: The Harold & Maudecast - Sarah Mason & Jake Essoe
Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review Ghost in the Shell for Now Playing Reviews on The HMC.
Based on the Japanese anime, Ghost in the Shell stars Scarlett Johansson as Major, first of her kind cyber enhanced human. It's the near future and there's a powerful new enemy killing people by hacking into their minds. Major and her District 9 police crew must hunt him down and stop him before he kills again. However, once face to face with this new cyber enemy, Major finds there's more to his story, and hers then she new. Will these revelations threaten her mission? Oh hell yeah.
Ghost in the Shell is a far cry from the thoughtful and clever vision created by Masamune Shirow and original anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii. This Americanized version is all action and no heart. It has some impressive visual effects and fans of science fiction may enjoy the futuristic production design but, Johansson's wooden and weak performance render this film almost unbearable to watch. Cyber punk and original Ghost in the Shell fans do yourself a favor and go watch the anime versions (this film was a melding of both anime films 1 & 2).
We are giving this film a 6 on the Justice and Doom Meter which is generous as this constitutes small Justice, very small. Consider the Justice rating a shoutout to the impressive supporting cast including the phenomenal Juliette Binoche as scientist Dr. Ouelet, Pilou Asbæk as Major's partner Batou (you'll recognize him as Theon Greyjoy's dastardly uncle in Game of Thrones), Michael Pitt and Takeshi Kitano. The stunning visual effects and production design equally deserve much Justice. Save those standout features, this film doesn't live up to its potential as a visionary classic in the realm of cyber punk.
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Jake Essoe, host of The HMC's Game Review series, 'Confessions of a Basement Dweller' is back with a review of The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series, New Frontiers Episode 3 'Above the Law'.
After the shocking events of 'Ties That Bind: Part Two', Javier struggles to find a role in his newly reunited family. Meanwhile, tension within the walls of Richmond grow. Will Clementine and the rest of the group turn against Javier? It may be time to choose between the family you're born into and the family you've made...
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier acts as both a new beginning for players fresh to the series and unfamiliar with Clementine, as well as a continuation for players who have experienced Seasons One and Two.
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - A New Frontier Episode Three: 'Above The Law" is rated 'M' (Mature). It is available for download March 28, 2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC/Steam, iOS, and Android-based devices.
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This week the Harold & Maudecast hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe, celebrates its 290th episode with two new Now Streaming movie reviews, "The Girl with All the Gifts" and "Train to Busan" both zombie films, cause we love zombies.
The Girl with All the Gifts, released September 2016, Directed by Colm McCarthy, written by Mike Carey based on his novel by the same name. Starring, Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Sennia Nanua.
In a dystopian future a bizarre fungus as infected the population turning it's initial hosts into rabid, zombie-like creatures. When a save-humanity at all costs scientist and a empathetic teacher discover one of their child test subjects may hold the key to saving humanity, they set out on a dangerous quest of survival and redemption. 8.5/10
Train to Busan, released in South Korean and Asia July 2016, Now Streaming on Netflix, written and directed by Sang-ho Yeon, starring Yoo Gong, Dong-seok Ma, Yu-mi Jung and Soo-an Kim.
A overworked father travels with his young daughter by train to visit his estranged ex-wife. Unbeknownst to them and the other passengers, a zombie outbreak is about to take over their train and they must work together to survive. 8.8/10
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This week on We Talk Dead, hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The HMC, review and recap of The Walking, Season 7 finale episode 16, 'The First Day of the Rest of Your Life'.
Dwight pleads for his life as a vengeful Daryl can barely be contained egged on by Tara still mourning over the loss of Denise. Not so fast, we might need this guy. Turns out Dwight is a pretty proficient Lumberjack, tree blockade anyone? Unfortunately it doesn't stop Negan and his Saviors from descending upon Alexandria ready to rumble. But wait! Rick's got the Heepsters, right? Meanwhile in a dark undefined room not explained till the end of the episode, Sasha keeps having dreams or flashbacks of her and Abraham chatting it out lovingly in the room they first consecrated their feelings in (Cudlitz makes a surprise appearance). What is that all about? Sadly, we find out but it's one hell of a heroic reveal. Thank you Sasha! And just when we think all is lost, we're reminded, we got lots more friends. Negan, next time don't bring a bat to a tiger fight.
The Season 7 finale of The Walking Dead delivered some momentary, but much needed justice for fans. It appears a bigger battle is in store for us in Season 8 but for now, we're celebrating. #SHIVA2020
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This is We Talk Dead from The HMC! Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review The Walking Dead, Season 7, Episode 715 "Something They Need".
The season 7 finale of The Walking Dead is quickly upon us - No! This week in Ep 715 "Something they Need", Tara leads the Rick and the gang to the Ocean to meet the ladies with all the guns and we also meet some of the coolest Walkers ever - Barnacle Beach Walkers! Gregory proves even more useless than we thought when he can't manage to kill a Walker and must be saved by pregnant Maggie (#maggie2020). But it doesn't look like he's gonna take her help so graciously, plots of betrayal are hatched. Over at the Savior's compound we find Sasha locked up in Daryl's "Easy Street" cell about to be raped when she is saved by Negan - what! Not so fast, he has plans for her. It seems Eugene also has plans, to stay a total coward.
Listen up for all our thoughts and predications for the finale. And as always, visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more episodes of We Talk Dead, movie reviews, Game reviews and more.
This is We Talk Dead, a weekly Walking Dead podcast hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe from the HMC.
In this week's episode of We Talk Dead, review & recap of Episode 714 "The Other Side". At the Hilltop, Simon and the Savior crew need a doctor since Negan threw their last one in the furnace. Gregory is not too happy about this but after some strategic ass kissing behind the trailer, he bends the knee -- but not before getting a get out of death free pass from Simon should Gregory choose to visit the Savior compound -- Huh? Meanwhile, Daryl and Maggie hide out in the food cellar where Daryl finally breaks down and apologizes to Maggie for killing Glenn. Ah but Zen Maggie is way ahead of him, seeing the big picture, placing no blame on his winged shoulders and simply asking him to help her win.
Rosita and Sasha decide to take an ill advised and most probably ill fated road trip to the Saviors compound to Kick Ass! After some friendly cat fighting over Sasha's necklace, you know, the one Rosita made for Abraham who then gave it to Sasha, they work out their differences. At the compound they bump into Eugene who apparently really is Negan. What the hell Eugene!
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arah Mason and Jake Essoe host "We Talk Dead" for The HMC Network. This week, review and recap of The Walking Dead Episode 713 "Bury Me Here".
Meanwhile back in The Kingdom... We find trouble in Ezekiel's royal garden as an infection threatens to take out all the gardens. Carol's starting to get hip to the fact that something much more serious went down in Alexandria and she confronts Morgan for answers. Benjamin wants Carol to be his sensei after seeing her handily take out 5 Walkers with a sign post. Richard itching to get the fight started, sabotages The Kingdom's weekly drop with The Saviors leading to unintended and unforgivable consequences. Morgan figures it out and spirals out of control -- Uh oh, Clear? Carol to the rescue, for now.
Episode 713 continues where 712 left off in bringing us back to why we love The Walking Dead -- great zombie action, characters and a story we love that's actually getting somewhere. Big shout out to Karl Makinen aka Richard, for is phenomenal performance in this episode. Lennie James is equally amazing, as always.
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Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review The Belko Experiment for The HMC Now Playing Reviews.
Writer/Producer James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) took a little break from making blockbuster super hero movies to write this wonderfully gruesome horror/thriller. When the office workers at Belko came into work they had no idea they would be the subjects of a twisted social experiment. The American company, in Bogota, Columbia, is put on lock down and a mysterious voice over the intercom announces that they must kill 30 of their fellow co-workers or 60 will die. Assuming this is a hoax, COO, Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) attempts to calm the nervous staff now assembled in the lobby. When it becomes clear that this is no joke, things start to unravel pitting co-worker against co-worker in an ultimate survival of the most moral test.
James Gunn's script, the phenomenal ensemble cast and Greg McLean's careful direction of Gunn's vision make The Belko Experiment one of the best indie horror/thriller/action films in years. It lives up to its tagline, "Office Space meets Battle Royale" with the level of gore and violence, which could have gone way over the top. But McLean's steady Direction keeps the film grounded. The ending, which could go many ways, will surprise you and leave you questioning your own humanity. Shoutout to the the practical effects team who did a fantastic job with such a small budget. Horror fans will be utterly charmed by this film and moviegoers in general will enjoy the psychological thrills and relentless action.
The Belko Experiment hits theaters on March 17, 2017.
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This week Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review Logan for The HMC Network's Now Playing Reviews.
Hugh Jackman reprises his role as Logan/Wolverine for the last time in this darker, grittier X-Men universe film. Set in the not so distant future, 2029, the world is looking pretty bleak for Logan (Hugh Jackman) and Charles Xavier (Sir Patrick Stewart) last surviving mutants. The once powerful leaders of the X-Men are weak and vulnerable suffering a mundane human existence. Logan is showing the effects of adamantium poisoning which has slowly been taking away his healing powers. Charles, suffering from a form of dementia is dependent on Logan and another surviving mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant) for care and medicine which has become necessary for more than his safety as his disease as certified his brain to be a weapon of mass destruction. Logan seems content in his miserable existence, driving a limousine and popping pills, until a mysterious little girl drags him into one last heroic venture.
Unlike any of it's franchise predecessors, Logan is extremely dark with more of an apocalyptic Road Warrior feel to it. It is the first R rated film of the X-Men franchise making us wonder why they all didn't do the same. Thanks to the success of 2016's Deadpool, also R Rated, and now the success of Logan ($85m opening weekend), look for Hollywood to start slowly opening the gates on R rated super hero films. In the case of Logan, the freedom to go balls out opens up a whole new dimension for the character(s) -- Dr. X dropping F bombs? Yes! It's the Wolverine we wish we had seen before, no implied destruction, actual visual confirmation of it. Thank you! Finally. Don't count on a Marvel happy super hero ending, this film has way more soul. Much justice.
Logan is in theaters now.
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Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review The Walking Dead Episode 712 "Say Yes" for the HMC's weekly We Talk Dead podcast.
Rick and Michonne go on a vacation in search of batteries, guns and sex. On their extended travels they discover an old carnival stock full of supplies and soldiers, for some unexplained reason. Those Walker soldiers have the guns they need however they have to get to them first. But this is no problem for our heroes, right? They seem to think so taking a momentary respite from the pain and suffering of their reality, the two flirt it up like a couple on their honeymoon. Of course, that doesn't last long. In true Walking Dead style, they face some close calls that lead to a moment of panic wondering if Rick has finally been defeated. They can't kill Rick, right?
Justice for this episode as it delivers on some great zombie action reminding us why started watching The Walking Dead in the first place.
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The HMC Network is a podcast network featuring genre entertainment commentary, movie and TV reviews, video game reviews, lifestyle & travel, event & Con media coverage & more. Featured on the Creative COW is our flagship podcast, The Harold & Maudecast hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe.
Combining critical analysis with passionate fandom, The Harold & Maudecast offers a fully-informed look at your favorite movies, TV and video games. Commentary and reviews include the latest Walking Dead and Game of Thrones episodes, film festival and Comic Con & fan fest event coverage, technology expos and more.
Fandom Never Gets Old.