On this episode of The Harold & Maudecast hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review AQUAMAN in theaters and BIRD BOX, now streaming on Netflix.
It's been a long time coming since we got our first glimpse of Jason Momoa as AQUAMAN to seeing James Wan's (THE CONJURING) vision play out on the big screen. This origin story is visually thrilling and manages to keep the cheese to a minimum -- let's face it, AQUAMAN was always cheesey. But James Wan does an amazing job world building and staying true to the protector of the deep's comic narratives. Best thing Zack Snyder did for the DCU was to cast Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Momoa was born to play this role and it just makes sense. Alongside him as mom, Nicole Kidman, Queen Atlanna shows her strength right out of the films credits kicking some underwater storm troopers asses. Amber Heard's Mera proves a worthy ass kicker as well though the chemistry between Momoa and Heard was missing. Patrick Wilson plays a mean Orm/Ocean Master and our favorite, who SPOILER alert, may prove the bigger foe in the sequel was Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta. Willem Dafoe as Vulko was Aquaman's Obi-Wan and Dolph Lundgren (yes please!) has a bigger role than we expected (thank you!) as Mera's father King Nereus.
We unpack all this in more in the podcast.
Bonus! BIRD BOX, now streaming on Netflix became the most watched ever when over 45 million accounts streamed the Sandra Bullock horror/thriller over the Christmas break, according to Netflix who never release their stats. Directed by Susan Bier (IN A BETTER WORLD), screenplay adapted by Eric Heisserer from Josh Malerman's novel, BIRD BOX joins A QUIET PLACE in this new niche of apocalyptic horror, this time sight challenged vs. sound. There are unknown creatures who have invaded the world and if you get a good look at them, you're F*CKED! Bullock's character, Malorie who happens to be 8.5 months pregnant, finds her way to a house occupied by a group of other survivors including another 8.5 month pregnant woman Olympia played by Danielle McDonald (PATTI CAKE$). The odd but impressive cast mash up includes, Sarah Paulsen, Trevantes Rhodes Lil Rel Howery, Tom Hollander, Machine Gun Kelly, Jacki Weaver and the always cool John Malkovich. BIRD BOX is suspenseful, sporadically really gory, and a bit tragic. It feels a little bit like Season 1 of The Walking Dead, and that ain't bad. Bullock proves she can concur any genre. Hopefully there is a sequel in the works.
Listen to the full podcast for our detailed review and for more episodes and reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
|Posted by: Sarah Mason on Jan 8, 2019 at 12:53:47 am|| aquaman, bird box, reviews, netflix, movies, podcast, sandra bullock, jason momoa, dc, warner bros|
In Episode 340 of The Harold & Maudecast Sarah and Jake review the Netflix original film, THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS.
The Coen Brothers take on the Old West with an anthology of six short films that take place in 19th-century post-Civil War era. Each short film is packed with brilliant dialogue, poignancy, humor and violence--everything you would expect from a Coen Brothers movie and more. There are moments of real genius. The cinematography is gorgeous and as always, a hand picked perfect ensemble cast including, Tim Blake Nelson stars as the title character, James Franco, Zoe Kazan, Tom Waits, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, Tyne Daly, Stephen Root, Saul Rubinek, Clancy Brown, David Krumholz and, Harry Melling aka Dudley from the HARRY POTTER films in an outstanding performance as a master thespian with no arms or legs carted around from town to town in a stage coach by Liam Neeson.
No excuse not to watch this masterpiece. It's free on Netlfix!
Also in this episode We Talk Dead about The Walking Dead Midseason finale.
For more podcast episodes, reviews and more visit thehmcnetwork.com
On this episode of The Harold & Maudecast hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review the Netflix original movie, OUTLAW KING, starring Chris Pine and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, based on the life of Scotland's Robert the Bruce.
For more podcast episodes and reviews and articles visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
On Episode 333 of The Harold & Maudecast, 2018 Fall and Holiday Movie Preview and review of Amazon Studios, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE and Netflix Disenchantment.
Hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE, an Amazon Studios release, written and directed by Lynne Ramsay (WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN) and starring Joaquin Phoenix. The film won both Best Screenplay and Actor, for Phoenix, at Cannes Film Festival 2017 and was nominated for the festival's top prize, the Palm D'Or.
Joe (Phoenix) is a traumatized veteran funneling his unearthed rage into brutal take-downs of sex traffickers. When Joe agrees to track down a high ranking government officials missing daughter, he finds himself in the middle of cover up leading to deathly consequences.
Phoenix gives an unapologetically brutal and layered performance. Joe's violence is balanced by his thoughtful care-taking of his mother played by Judith Roberts (ERASERHEAD, DEAD CALM. The film spares the audience the distraction of confusing subplots choosing to focus solely on the mission at hand. It's darkly artistic--feels like a film festival entry! But in all the best ways.
Additionally, Sarah and Jake go through the full list of upcoming movies releasing in September through the end of 2018 -- THE NUN, HALLOWEEN, OUTLAW KING, THE PREDATOR, HAL, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB, SPIDER-MAN INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE, HOLMES AND WATSON, FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD, AQUAMAN and so many more.
Bonus! A review of Matt Groening's (The Simpson's), new Netflix series, Disenchantment.
For more episodes of The Harold & Maudecast and other podcasts please visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
On episode 330 of The Harold and Maudecast "Fall of the House of Nerd", hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe discuss the MeToo revelations about nerd mogul, Chris Hardwick and it's potential impact on Comic Con.
It's been 14 years since the Oscar winning animated film, INCREDIBLES became an instant success. Apparently time has only made this franchise more popular as INCREDIBLES 2 made history with the highest grossing opening of an animated film, ever. We review!
Also, we review the Netflix original thriller, OPEN HOUSE, now streaming starring Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why).
Spoiler hint: We loved one of these films, hated the other. Hmmmm... listen up to find out more!
INCREDIBLES 2 Review - @26:39
OPEN HOUSE Review - @40:09
For more reviews, news and podcasts visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
On Episode 328 of The Harold & Maudecast, hosts Sarah Mason and Jake review the movies SOLO and CARGO and checking in on Westeros, predictions for who will survive Game of Thrones.
Han Solo is finally getting his own origin story! Question is, did he really need one? SOLO, A STAR WARS STORY, was released on May 24th to lukewarm box office results, if you consider $115m lukewarm. Well Disney does. It appears SOLO may be the first victim of STAR WARS fatigue, as Disney continues to pump out spin-off films whether we want them or not.
We meet young Han (Alden Ehrenreich), the would-be pilot as he's escaping with his girlfriend Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) from their home planet, under siege by the Empire. Spoiler alert! One of them gets left behind, but we'll see her again in the future after Han completes his training, does some soldiering for the Empire, meets Chewie and joins a misfit group of space outlaws led by Beckett (Woody Harrelson). After their big score heist goes terribly wrong, they face certain death at the hands of big boss Drydon Vos (Paul Bettany) unless the team can find a ship that can make the Kessel run in 12 parsecs....luckily part time dandy, full time card shark, Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), has one.
SOLO is full of edge-of-your-seat action sequences including a intergalactic space train heist that invokes the spirit of Indiana Jones. Although Ehrenreich's name is a mouthful to say and he looks nothing like Harrison Ford, he's the right guy for the job. He pulls it off thanks to a wonderful supporting cast and a strategic script penned by the great Lawrence Kasdan (THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, SILVERADO) and his son Jonathan Kasdan (IN THE LAND OF WOMEN), the younger Kasdan clearly supplied the many satisfying albeit obscure easter eggs like a reference to the 1997 video game, “Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi. Director Ron Howard stepped in after Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (THE LEGO MOVIE) were fired for presumably being too silly? Regardless, it was the right choice as Howard's steady vision steered this film into maturity. Oh there's fun, and silliness, lots of crazy Lucas inspired creatures. But what makes this film enjoyable is the feeling that it's being produced by real filmmaking pros. You may not walk away thrilled as you were after THE FORCE AWAKENS, but don't forget that came after a long dry spell and the disasters that were Episodes 1, 2 and 3. Seek to be entertained in the spirit of Indiana Jones and get over Harrison Ford's absence and you'll dig this film as much as we did. Justice!
Review for CARGO, the Netflix original re-invention of the zombie genre starring Martin Friedman (Sherlock, THE HOBBIT) starts at 29:17.
In the outback of Australia, Andy (Friedman) and wife Kay (Susie Porter), with baby in tow, are struggling to stay alive in the new zombie stricken world. When tragedy strikes, it's up to Andy to find a family to take care of their baby girl before it's too late.
In some ways CARGO is your typical zombie story. It's got all the trappings of the genre, biting, walking dead, apocalyptic world, dangerous people who may kill you before the zombies do. Yet, it's far from the maddening crowd of Walking Dead and George Romero films. We don't know why or how the outbreak occurred but if you're lucky enough to have survived this far you're probably familiar with the government issued kit equipped with countdown bracelet and suicide tools. The film rests largely on the performance of Friedman, who delivers. Equally delightful is his young aboriginal companion, Thoomi (Simone Landers), who he must help in order to find refuge for his baby. The countdown/doomsday clock formula of the story combined with the baby, makes the stakes impossibly high for even a zombie movie. It is that urgency and the desperation of Andy that keep you engaged and nervous throughout. It's a tough film to watch -- not entirely tragic, yet sad and draining. Writer/Director team Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling (JUNGLE), stretch and breath life into this genre which seemed to be on it's way out. Justice!
For more podcasts and reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
On this episode of The Harold & Maudecast, hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review Netflix 'The Frankenstein Chronicles'.
Just in time for the 200th anniversary of the publishing of Frankenstein, Netflix picks up 'The Frankenstein Chronicles' starring Sean Bean, the most bingeworthy new drama series. After years in purgatory, (first bought by A&E in 2015 but never produced), the series refused to die. Created by Benjamin Ross and Barry Langford, it is a loose reimagining of the Frankenstein legend. At its core a bold, solid detective story cleverly weaving literary giants like Mary Shelly and William Blake into the story without being too cheeky.
Sarah and Jake review Season 1&2 and talk origin stories as well as future possibilities. For more reviews and podcast episodes visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
Episode 315 of The Harold & Maudecast "Punish This Netflix", hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review the Netflix original Series, The Punisher, Season 1 and the Netflix original movie, 1922.
Marvel's The Punisher hit Netflix on November 17th. This live action serial installment of the popular comic book franchise stars Jon Berthal (The Walking Dead), Amber Rose Rivah (Indian Summer), Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Girls) and Ben Barnes (Westworld). Created by Steve Lightfoot (Hannibal, Narcos), the story picks as ex-special ops Frank Castle/The Punisher (Bernthal) tries to pick up the pieces of his tragic life after his wife and two children are brutally murdered. His revenge spawned blood quest to punish everyone responsible is dealt with as flashbacks in Ep 1. The series follows Castle, presumed dead, living low in NY under an alias, Homeland Security Agent Dina Madani pursuing the source of an anonymous source outing the CIA for murdering an innocent Afghan police officer and David Lieberman aka Micro, a former CIA agent and hacker who becomes Frank's unlikely ally.
Like the other series in the Marvel Defender's universe (which this will presumably tie into), The Punisher is dark, brooding and filled with a lot of unnecessary drama. If you're looking for all out Punisher action, it's there but, with the exception of the first episode, you'll wait till the last 10 minutes of every episode to get it. That said, Bernthal is fantastic and worth all the bloated dialogue spent attempting to make this a drama. 7.5/10
1922, also now streaming on Netflix, is an adaptation of a Stephen King novella. The film stars Thomas Jane (The Mist, Hung) Molly Parker (Deadwood) and Dylan Schmid (Once Upon a Time), written and directed by Zak Hilditch (These Final Hours).
After his wife Arlette (Parker) decides to sell the land they live on bequeathed to her by her father, Wilfred (Jane) conspires to kill her enlisting the help of his son Henry (Schmid). Though it appears they may escape the consequences of the law, Wilfred can not escape the karmic wrath of the spirits that haunt him leading to tragedy for all those around him.
This film is dark, really dark, tragic, sometimes scary and at times hard to watch. It's filled with blood, ghosts and gore. Jane gives a career best with this performance--he is almost unrecognizable, completely transformed into a 1920s era farmer. The film has a similar vibe as the 2015 indie horror film, Witch, creepy, dark but also gripping and well written. This too is well written and Zak Hilditch takes Stephen King's story and both captures the grimness of 1920s heartland America yet modernizes it for today's very sophisticated horror fans. It's slow moving, so don't expect a lot of jump scares. This film takes its time making you uncomfortable. Justice 8.5/10
For more movie, tv, game reviews and other podcast episodes visit ww.thehmcnetwork.com
TV & Streaming Reviews
This episode of The Harold & Maudecast's Now Streaming, Marvel The Defenders and BUSHWICK reviews.
Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) team up to stop mysterious and powerful bad guy org, The Hand, from destroying New York in Marvel's The Defenders.
Marvel sure knows how to build universes and market them really well. The individual series of each character masterfully set up the convergence of all their worlds in The Defenders. That's about the only impressive thing about this series. The writing is incredibly weak, the acting is uneven and there is very little super hero action for a super hero show. Some cool action packed sequences and a few stand out performances from veteran actor Scott Glenn as Stick, Daredevil's mentor and Charlie Cox as Daredevil saved this from a DOOM rating, barely. 5.8/10
When a Texas military force invades the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, grad student, Lucy (Brittany Snow) and former marine Stupe (Dave Bautista) must depend on each other to survive.
Dave Bautista proves himself worthy of dramatic acting gigs in BUSHWICK. The film directed by Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott (COOTIES) and written by Nick Damici and Graham Reznick (STAKE LAND), is thrilling and provocative survival story. The story starts out with a literal bang and wastes no time unveiling the plot, which was refreshing. Brittany Snow (PITCH PERFECT) does a nice job with an abrupt character arc as her damsel in distress quickly adapts. The story loses steam about midway through the film when unnecessary and clichéd characters are introduced. The ending is exactly what you'd expect from a film festival darling -- a bummer. Still, Bautista's performance and the excitement of the chase and action sequences are worth it. 6.8/10
For more tv, movie and game reviews visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
This week on The Harold & Maudecast, Sarah and Jake review the film ANNABELLE: CREATION and Netflix's Original Castlevania, Season 1, based on the Nintendo game.
For our full write up of these reviews and more podcast episodes visit www.thehmcnetwork.com/movie-reviews
Art & Commerce in the Age of Distraction: Conversations with Screenwriters Warren Lewis and Stephen Godchaux Part 2.
Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast sit down with screenwriters, Warren Lewis (Black Rain) and Stephen Godchaux (Dead Like Me), to discuss television content in the age of Amazon, Netflix and how this has changed their process as writers -- is it art or is it commerce.
For Part 1 of our Conversation with Lewis and Godchaux visit, http://www.thehmcnetwork.com/lifestyle
This month on The HMC we are examining content creation in the age of smart phones, Netflix and other distractions. In this preview of The Harold & Maudecast, Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe discuss the concept of Audience vs. Customer. Who are we in today's re-classified content viewing world. Are we audiences or are we customers, or both?
For more on our Age of Distraction series visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
Sarah Mason of The HMC Network (www.thehmcnetwork.com) sits down with screenwriters Stephen Godchaux (Dead Like Me, Spin City, Roseanne) and Warren Lewis (Black Rain, The Thirteenth Warrior) to whether or not quality content can survive in the age of distracted viewing. They explore; what's in store for traditional broadcast television and theatrical film releases, audiences vs. customers, how Netflix and Amazon pulled off the greatest coup ever, why and how audiences are migrating more and more toward streaming content, binge vs. event night and what shows are revolutionizing the way we watch content.
For more Interviews, movie and tv reviews, game reviews and our weekly podcast episodes visit www.thehmcnetwork.com
Now Streaming on your favorite VOD service, IM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, the 2016 horror/crime thriller starring Max Records, Laura Fraser and Christopher Lloyd. In a small Midwestern town, a troubled teen with homicidal tendencies must hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer whilst keeping his own inner demons at bay.
Based on the novel by Dan Wells the film is Directed by Billy O'Brien, Screenplay by Billy O'Brien and Christopher Hyde.
This film is more X Files than straight up horror. Christopher Lloyd fans will geek out over his wonderful performance and lookout for Max Records in the lead role as the would be serial killer turned crime sleuth/demon hunter. He's exceptional. There's a magnificent payoff at the end of the film -- we won't spoil it for you. But we do hash out the details of this well crafted indie film. Now streaming on Netflix. 7.8/10
Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more reviews and podcasts.
On Now Streaming Reviews on The HMC, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, the 2016 reboot of the 1960 classic western of the same name starring Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner.
The town of Rose Creek has been taken over by gold digging bad guy, Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Saarsgard) who besides forcing the townspeople out, is literally gunning them down in the street. With new found motivation for vengeance after Bogue murders her husband, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennet), employs bounty hunter Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington) to take back the town. With the help of a ragtag group of outlaws, gamblers and gunslingers, this Magnificent Seven prepare for a violent showdown and find themselves fighting for more than money--righteousness.
If you're a Western fan, you'll dig this. It's not spectacular, but it delivers on action and performances. The original theme song makes a cameo at the very end, lots of critics have complained about it's absence in the film. Never fear, the new score by James Horner & Simon Franglen (AVATAR, TITANIC), is superb elevating the film to a higher level that perhaps it deserves. It's a simple story, based original on Kurosawa's SEVEN SAMURAI, so don't go looking for anything complex or profound Westworld fans. Denzel is fantastic, also shoutout to Korean actor Byung‑hun Lee (I SAW THE DEVEL, GI JOE), who shines as Ethan Hawke's protector/BFF.
7.3/10 for this film, it's worth a Stream! Justice.
Now Streaming the Netflix original series, Stranger Things. This is our review of Season 1 -- and it KILLS, literally and superlatively. The series created by The Duffer Brothers (Wayward Pines), stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard and Matthew Modine. It is set in small town Indiana in 1983. Winona Ryder is a single mom who's son goes missing. Meanwhile his buddies discover a mysterious new resident "Eleven" a young girl with some super special powers who aids them in their quest to find their lost friend. An unapologetic homage to all things 80 movies particularly Spielberg, it finds it's modern sensibilities amongst its tribute spirit. It's brilliant, engaging, the casting is incredible particularly with Millie Bobby Brown who plays Eleven - this kid is a star in the making. If you see nothing else on TV or VOD this Summer, see this one. 10/10
|Posted by: Sarah Mason on Aug 3, 2016 at 3:54:45 pm|| stranger things, netflix, duffer brothers, winona ryder, science fiction, fantasy, streaming, original programming, supernatural, spielberg||
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.