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The Leftovers Series Finale "The Book of Nora" Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review The Leftovers, Series finale, "The Book of Nora".

Season 3, Episode 8, "The Book of Nora" opens with Nora Durst (Carrie Coon) announcing her sound mind and body intent to go over the other side. Brother Matt (Christopher Eccleston) is by her side to say goodbye. Flash forward to many years in the future a much older Nora is delivering doves to a church -- fans will remember this scene from the Season 3 premiere. We are soon reunited with Kevin, also much older, who surprises Nora at her home and spins a tale of vacations and old crushes. The truth of Kevin's journey, and Nora's is slowly uncovered and revealed at the very end leaving fans to sort out for themselves whether they got an answer to the ultimate question -- what really happened to the departed?

The Leftovers finale may leave the casual fan confused but, if you're thinking this was another Lost finale, which was loudly criticized by fans who felt jipped out of a conclusion, then you've missed the point entirely. Damon Lindeloff and the creators of The Leftovers have the balls to leave this ending up for interpretation in a way that is completely true to the essence of the series. This final episode is not filled with bizarre sequences or madcap suspense in fact the story is quite prosaic. The world has moved on from the Sudden Departure and Nora and Kevin, now older, none the wiser, are normal folk. Their lives are filled with mundane routines and two week vacations. In the hands of a lessor show this may feel like a let down particularly after the crazy brilliance of the previous episode "The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother). But this is The Leftovers which means, exploration into spiritual salvation vs damnation, weird but poignant metaphors, suicidal tendencies, poetic music interwoven strategically to punctuate in just the right places, loose ends tied up from previous seasons, and still a lot of unanswered questions. The final monologue, delivered by Nora, is the crescendo of this masterpiece concluded by its ethereal signature piano concerto.

Did we get our answer to the questions of what really happened? You decide. We're gonna take the opening song's advice and Let the Mystery Be.

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




The Autopsy of Jane Doe - Now Streaming Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review, THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE, for The HMC's Now Streaming Reviews, 7.3/10.

Father (Brian Cox) and son (Emile Hirsch) coroners investigate a the death of a beautiful girl "Jane Doe," whose mysteriously unscathed body was found in the basement of a house where a quadruple murder occurred. As the pair uncover bizarre clues to the girls death and origin strange things start to happen leading to a terrifying truth.

THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE was the darling of the 2016 film festival circuit, particularly for horror fans and now we know why. Directed by André Øvredal (TROLLHUNTER) the film cleverly makes use of its solo location with a well crafted script written by Ian B. Goldberg (Once Upon a Time) and Richard Naing (DEAD OF SUMMER), that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the bitter end. Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch give convincing performances as father and son detectives. The film successfully finds a way to navigate genres which is most impressive. Diehard horror fans will appreciate the practical effects and creatures. There's just enough gore yet not so over the top to alienate fans whose preference leans more toward thriller vs hardcore horror. The filmmakers thankfully don't try to overcomplicate the story rather they rely on their acting duos performances in concert with a slow build up of suspense to a series of unexpected jump scares. The promise of the ending was more exciting than the actual ending, which is our only disappointment. That said, it brings something new and quite creative to the genre which is no small feat. This indie horror will surprise, scare and entertain you. Justice 7.3/10

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



The Leftovers Season 3, Ep 7 "The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother" - Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review HBO's The Leftovers, Season 3, Episode 7 "The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother).

Well it's back to purgatory, or whatever this place is, for Kevin Garvey where the Grateful Remnant (GR) have become the ruling party. President Kevin Harvey (as he's called in this world) must work fast to stop assassin Kevin Harvey, his identical twin brother, from spoiling his plans for a nuclear launch. Assassin Kevin must work fast. He's got messages to distribute and Christopher Sunday to find so his father can stop the rain. Confused? Of course, It's The Leftovers!

One more episode to go and The Leftovers just keeps getting better and better. This episode showcases Justin Theroux's amazing yet unsung acting chops -- please give this man an award! Equally outstanding is Ann Dowd who returns as Patty Levin. There are many familiar faces popping up in this episode, like pieces of a puzzle that we can't quite put together. Never fear, it's in Leftovers we trust to sort it all out in the series finale which will air on June 4, 2017 on HBO.

For now, take a listen to our review and recap of this crazy but brilliant episode. Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more tv, film, game reviews and more!



Posted by: Sarah Mason on May 31, 2017 at 11:31:17 pm the leftovers, hbo, tv reviews, justin theroux, ann dowd

ALIEN: COVENANT - Review 8.3/10

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review ALIEN: COVENANT.

Ridley Scott knows a thing or two about Aliens. After all he started this whole crazy thing with his 1979 film ALIEN, hailed by sci fi purists as the superior of the franchise. With adjusted gross estimates ALIEN is at the top of the franchise box office total -- which collectively is over $1 billion. His last revival of the said franchise the 2012 film PROMETHEUS was successful ($126m) but disappointed fans and critics by alienating itself from its own brand (literally). Will bringing back the ALIEN moniker be a big enough bone for faithful fans to chew on? And will it be enough incentive for to bring in new fans? It's all about the story. And this one is pretty good.

Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created in ALIEN: COVENANT. A crew of colonists aboard the ship Covenant sets out for a remote planet. Captain Oram(Billy Crudup) leads them after an unforeseen accident pushed him up the chain of command. After discovering what seems to be an uncharted paradise, Oram's second in command Daniels, warns of the dangers of the unknown. Shoulda listen to the woman Captain Oram. After exploring the earth-like terrain of this new planet they are quickly met with the dark truth about their new potential home, and its not just the aliens.

Michael Fassbender brilliantly reprises his role from PROMETHEUS as David and as new android, Walter. At its core, ALIEN: COVENANT is the Frankenstein story. David, the creation of Weyland (Guy Pearce) becomes the monster and yet also the creator. It's a fascinating refreshed look at this Alien universe with all the textures and complexities of the original. There's just the right amount of action and creature featuring to bring fans back. It moves pretty fast and wastes very little time. The ending is frustrating and revelations about the fate of Dr Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) are frustrating yet lay out a path for the continuation of this story.

Katherine Waterston (FANTASTIC BEASTS) gives a convincing performance, albeit no Ripley, let's say Ripley Light. Danny McBride (VICE PRINCIPALS) known largely for his comedic roles also shows up proving himself worthy of the franchise.

We give it a solid 8.3/10. It's not ALIEN, it's not ALIENS, but it will give you a renewed faith in the franchise and leave you wanting more.

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.




The Leftovers Season 3, Ep 6 "Certified" - Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast recap and review HBO's The Leftovers, Season 3, Ep 6 "Certified".

HBO's drama The Leftovers is fast and furiously tying up loose ends as it nears the series finale. This week it's all about Laurie (Amy Brenneman).

After the bizarre journey to Australia, the gang has dispersed. Michael (Jovan Adepo) and John (Kevin Carroll) found their way to Kevin (Justin Theroux) at the ranch where he's been asked to die again by his father Kevin Sr. (Scott Glenn) and Aussie ranch woman turned accidental killer and new disciple Grace (Lindsay Duncan). Laurie shows up with a black eye, which we find she got from Nora (Carrie Coons) whilst on a stake out with her and Matt (Christopher Eccleston). Confused? We're all confused and loving it.

Amy Brenneman gives a heart wrenching, poignant, and beautiful performance. We find out many unanswered questions like, why'd she join the GR cult? It's the first of what will surely be very sad times ahead for the end of the show. If you can see it in the big picture context of the series brilliance, it's one of the best episodes thus far. Bravo.

Take a listen and visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more recaps, reviews and more.



Posted by: Sarah Mason on May 22, 2017 at 9:31:19 pm the leftovers, hbo, tv reviews

Art & Commerce in the Age of Distraction - Part 2 of our Conversation with Screenwriters Warren Lewis & Stephen Godchaux

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




The Leftovers Season 3, Ep 5 "It's a Matt Matt Matt World" Review

Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review The Leftovers, Season 3, Ep 5, "It's a Matt Matt Matt World".

Matt (Christopher Eccleston), determined to find Kevin (Justin Theroux) in Australia and bring him back before the 7 year anniversary of the Departure, charters a plane to take him to Melbourne. Along for the ride are John (Kevin Carroll), Michael (Jovan Adepo) and Laurie (Amy Brenneman). Their journey takes a bizarre and unexpected detour when an explosion off the coast of Australia grounds them in Tasmania forcing them to take the only transportation available -- a ferry that's been bought out by a lion worshipping sex cult. Yup, you heard that right. Hey, it's The Leftovers.

With every new episode of this final season of The Leftovers this series proves its superiority. You can set your watch to the performances of every cast member -- Eccleston is a genius but so is Amy Brenneman, so is Justin Theroux, Scott Glenn, Carrie Coons. Damon Lindeloff captured lightening in a bottle with this cast and as all good actors would say, it's the writing. The characters are rich, the story is all over the place yet follows a clear roadmap. Each week we get closer and closer to understanding what it all means. Here's hoping that our faith pays off in the series finale which will air on June 4. Till then, we'll keep reviewing if you keep listening.

For more episodes of The Harold & Maudecast, game reviews, movie reviews and our series Acoustic Series: Music and Travel visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




The Leftovers Season 3, Ep 4 "G'Day Australia" Review

Episode 294 of The Harold & Maudecast with Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe features a review of HBO's drama The Leftovers, Season 3, Ep 4 "G'Day Australia".

Kevin and Nora travel to Australia, where she meets up with the masterminds of the Mark Lin Baker con; Kevin catches a glimpse of John's deceased daughter Evy and pursues her thru the streets of Melbourne only to end up confronting past demons.

It's starting to get weird folks! But isn't that why we love The Leftovers? This episode reveals some truths about Nora's tough gal exterior and leaves us with a lot of questions about Kevin's sanity. Carrie Coon and Justin Theroux are doing some of the finest work on TV today. Their performances are Emmy worthy -- please powers that be, don't rob this show of its just dues. Speaking of award worthy, shoutout to Music Supervisor, Liza Richardson, who creates the melancholy/odd//spiritual/quirky mood of the series. The soundtrack of The Leftovers gives it the punctuation mark that keeps us coming back for more.

Also in this episode of The Harold & Maudecast, our quickie review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (for full review visit www.thehmcnetwork.com/movie-reviews ) and synopsis of the Marvel blueprint.

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



Posted by: Sarah Mason on May 9, 2017 at 9:40:48 pm the leftovers, hbo, tv reviews, g'day australia

TWD The Telltale Series New Frontier Ep 4 - Game Review

ake Essoe reviews The Walking Dead: Telltale Series, New Frontier, Ep 4 "Thicker Than Water" for Confessions of a Basement Dweller on The HMC.

Upon discovering the true nature of the New Frontier's leadership, relationships within the Garcia family have come to a head. As Javier, you will decide the shape and nature of your chosen family. All the while, a herd of walkers moves ever closer to Richmond, putting pressure on allies and enemies alike. With distrust running rampant, you'll have to determine if blood is thicker than water...

Download Episode 4: 'Thicker Than Water' on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC/Steam, iOS, and Android-based devices. Rated M for Mature. The Walking Dead is set in the world of Robert Kirkman's award-winning comic book series and offers an emotionally-charged, tailored game experience where a player's actions and choices affect how their story plays out across the entire series.

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more Game Reviews, Movie and TV reviews and more.




Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Review 7.8/10


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Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe of The Harold & Maudecast review THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2.

The Guardians, now heroes having saved the galaxy in the first film, the (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) are hired by The Sovereign, a superior (according to them) alien race to protect their powerful batteries from invaders. Everything is going according to plan, they stop a giant alien worm creature, collect their requested payment, Nebula (Karen Gillan), Gamora's (Zoe Saldana) evil sister, but then Rocket (Bradley Cooper) gets greedy. Shortly after leaving The Sovereign's planet it's discovered that Rocket stole some of their batteries. Now The Guardians must fend off an attack from their vengeful leader Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) who has placed a bounty on their head with Yondu (Michael Rooker) Fortunately for them, Starlord's (Chris Pratt) past comes back to haunt him when his long lost and unknown father Ego (Kurt Russell) mysteriously shows up to save them.

It would be near impossible to capture the magic of the original GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. VOLUME 2, although entertaining and not without its charms, it suffers from sequelitis. Like its Marvel brethren's sequels that have come before it, Volume 2 has a weaker, more predictable script. The music trick of the first film, Awesome Mix strategically disbursed throughout the film, has lost its cool because you see it coming from a mile away. Bottom line, what was awesome in the first film is no longer fresh. Kurt Russell is his signature cool self but the direction they go with his character is a bummer and it does nothing to tie this film into INFINITY WAR--where the Guardians will be crucial. They also went way over the top with the Baby Groot cute factor, think Puss in Boots' cute trick x10. Chris Pratt is entertaining and funny as always but the real standout in these Guardians is Drax (Dave Bautista) who masters his too literal straight man and delivers the funniest lines of the film. Also shoutout Michael Rooker who shows up big time and has one of the best action sequences in the film.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2 is worth seeing in the theaters. Just keep your expectations a bit lower and let it the experience be a fun escape. 7.8/10

For more 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. 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.


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