On Episode 354 of the Harold & Maudecast, Sarah and Jake dissect Stranger Things Season 3 (SPOILERS!).
The Hawkins kids are growing up, much to the dismay of Chief Hopper ( David Harbour) who is struggling to keep Eleven "El" (Mille Bobbie Brown) and Mike (Finn Wolfhard) 3 inches apart. Meanwhile Joyce (Winona Ryder) is busy trying to uncover the secret to the falling refrigerator magnets, Steve (Joe Keery) is scooping ice cream in a sailor uniform with Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman's daughter Maya Hawke (who plays Robin), Dustin has a girlfriend! Billy's been invaded by the Mindflayer body snatcher, Lucas and Max are on again off again, nobody wants to play D&D with Will anymore, and Russians have landed in Hawkins, Indiana.
We get into it all the awesome details of Season 3 and countdown to Comic-Con's 50th anniversary with some previews of the Hall H panels and ConanCon 2019.
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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
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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
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On this episode of Now Streaming reviews from The HMC, hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review SHOT CALLER and Netflix's DEATH NOTE.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game ofThrones) stars as white collar working suburban family man whose negligence leads to vehicular manslaughter. Released from prison, he must orchestrate a major arms deal in order to appease gang leaders whose protection saved his life in prison.
Coster-Waldau shines in this bloody, gritty crime thriller. Outside of Thrones, SHOT CALLER showcases Coster-Waldau skill at navigating complex character archs. Aided by an excepitional cast of supporting actors including, Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice), Emory Cohen (BROOKLYN) and Lake Bell (NO ESCAPE), and a solid script from writer/director, Ric Roman Waugh (SNITCH), SHOT CALLER is engaging, layered and tragic. We give it much Justice, 8/10.
DEATH NOTE began its story journey as a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. It has since been adapted into a novel, video game, live action anime and now a live action film produced by Netflix.
The film is directed by Adam Wingard and written by Charles Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides and Jeremy Slater. The film stars Nat Wolff, Lakeith Stanfield, Margaret Qualley, Shea Whigham, Paul Nakauchi, Jason Liles and Willem Dafoe
High school student Light Turner (Nat Wolff), finds detention to be a bit more exciting after he discovers a notebook labeled "Death Note" that magically allows him to kill people by writing down their names. When Demon, Ryuk (Willem Dafoe), keeper of the Death Note, appears and educates Light on the rules of the Death Note, Light decides to launch his own crusade against bullies and criminals.
Other than Dafoe's entrance and some initial cow towing to horror fans with gore, this adaptation is so weak. The writers move the story from Japan to Seattle without developing culture backdrops, or commentary. There's no significant character development. The run away plot leaves you confused if you don't know the source material and, mad if you do. We were left wondering what the hell happened given the producers/director/writer had the blueprint to an amazing story. We therefore must Doom it 4.5/10
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
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.
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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
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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.