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The Harold & Maudecast - Sarah Mason & Jake Essoe

COW Blogs : The Harold & Maudecast - Sarah Mason & Jake Essoe

The Leftovers Season 3 Premiere "The Book of Kevin" - Review

The Leftovers, HBO's Peabody Award winning drama returns April 16 for its third and final season with "The Book of Kevin." Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review and recap the episode.

It's been three years since the events in Miracle (Jardin) Texas. We find Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) back in his old uniform as the town's Chief of Police. His son Tommy (Chris Zylka), now deputized, is by his side and pretty handy with a firearm. Nora (Carrie Coon) has a new gig for the Department of the Departed. The gang is mostly all here with the notable exception of Erika (Regina King) who is expected to return for season 3. Her husband John (Kevin Carroll) is shacked up with Kevin's ex Laurie (Amy Brenneman) and running a palm reading scam out of their house together. Matt (Christopher Eccleston) is preaching to an overflowing congregation with wife Mary (Janel Moloney), now out of her coma, and son Noah by his side. It seems like all things are sunny and right in Miracle but, not so fast, this is The Leftovers.

We dive into the details of this somewhat subdued yet none the less brilliant premiere episode.

For more weekly TV recaps, movie reviews, game reviews and our Travel and Lifestyle series visit www.thehmcnetwork.com



Posted by: Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe on Apr 19, 2017 at 12:12:46 am the leftovers, hbo, tv reviews

Walter Hill's The Assignment - Movie Review

Now Playing Movie Reviews podcast hosted by Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe from The HMC. Review by Sarah Mason.

Legendary filmmaker Walter Hill first heard the story for his latest revenge thriller THE ASSIGNMENT in 1978. But it would take almost 40 years and many projects in between (THE WARRIORS, ALIENS, Tales from the Crypt, Deadwood) to bring Denis Hamill's original story draft, Tomboy, to the big screen.

Hit man Frank Kitchens (Michelle Rodriguez), double crossed by his client mob boss Honest John (Anthony LaPaglia) undergoes gender reassignment surgery against his will at the hands of a sadistic surgeon (Sigourney Weaver) who seeks revenge for the death of her brother. Aided by his nurse girlfriend, Kitchens sets out for revenge.

THE ASSIGNMENT is not a great film but its consistent action and strong performances, keep you intrigued throughout it's relatively short run time (1h 35m). Editor Phil Norden uses comic book style stills to move the story along from act to act. It's a kitchy but effective technique giving the film a cult classic charm.

Rodriguez performance is strong particularly in the second act when she loses the obvious and distracting male disguise. Weaver's scenes with Tony Shaloub, who plays a psychiatrist tasked with the doctor's diagnosis, are some of the best moments of the film and certainly the highlight of the script.

One could argue that THE ASSIGNMENT is both timely, and suffering from horrific timing. Though I don't think Hill intended the film to serve as social statement or lacking empathy he perhaps, should have considered the consequences. What Hill does do, he does well, good ol' fashion action, THE GETAWAY, 48 HOURS, to name a few. And that is what this film is, a B action film with a A cast. HUMAN CENTIPEDE meets SIN CITY if you will. Loyal fans of action films and Hill will surely dig it. If you can overlook the bad PR, which you should, it's worth a watch. 6/10.

For more movie, tv, and game reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Lifestyle Series Preview - What's Eatin, What's Drinkin

Dan Fagan brings a new show to The HMC, 'What's Drinkin', What's Eatin', a lifestyle series featuring the stories and people behind some of the greatest bars and restaurants in America.

The series will kick off with Southern California eateries and pubs. Fagan brings with him a love for the social component and multiculturalism of the food and beverage industry and over 25 years experience in the restaurant/bar business.

For more information on What's Eatin, What's Drinkin, and The HMC's other podcasts, news and event coverage visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




It's Either Magic or it Isn't - Interview with Screenwriter Warren Lewis

Kicking off a new series on The HMC, "Conversations With" an interview with screenwriter, Warren Lewis. Host Sarah Mason sits down with the busy writer/professor to talk about how he navigated Hollywood and his take on the future of the movie business.

Warren Lewis’s credits as screenwriter include Black Rain (Paramount) and The Thirteenth Warrior (Touchstone). He has worked on assignments for most of the major film and television studios including Sony, Warner Brothers and Fox. Warren’s recent scripts include, A World Away – a modern retelling of The Dybbuk, Ansky’s classic play; The Brownsville Boys: A Tale of Murder Incorporated; Trade Craft, an espionage thriller; The Tale of the Bloodstone Riders, a western set in post-civil war Texas, and The Point, a one hour drama. Lewis holds an MFA from The California State University at Fullerton. He teaches screenwriting at La Jolla Writers Conference, the UCLA and UCSD Writers Programs Extension and The California State University at Fullerton.

For more interviews, movie/tv reviews, game reviews and more visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Ghost in the Shell - Movie Review 6/10

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.

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more movie, tv and game reviews.




The Walking Dead: Telltale Series - New Frontiers 3 - Game Review 8/10

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.

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more video game reviews, movie & tv reviews and much more!




Zombies for Every Occassion - Train to Busan & The Girl with All the Gifts Reviews

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

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for complete write ups on these reviews as well as more TV, movie, streaming and game reviews.




The Walking Dead Season 7 Finale Review

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

For more episodes of We Talk Dead, movie and game reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com



Posted by: Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe on Apr 19, 2017 at 12:03:45 am walking dead, season 7 finale, tv reviews

The Walking Dead Ep 715 "Something They Need" - Review

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.




The Walking Dead Ep 714 Review

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!

For more We Talk Dead and other podcasts, movie, game and product reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com.



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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. The Harold & Maudecast covers recaps and reviews of the latest Walking Dead and Game of Thrones episodes, Now Playing movie reviews, film festival and Comic Con & fan fest event coverage, technology expos and more. Fandom Never Gets Old.


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