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310: Sequels - Kingsman: The Golden Circle & Goon: Last of the Enforcers

On episode 310 of The Harold & Maudecast, "Sequels", hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Goon: Last of the Enforcers.

All too often sequels don't quite live up to their originals, with some notable exceptions (Godfather 2, Superman 2....) we examine the art of the sequel and review two new film sequels whose originals were unexpected sleeper hits.

After the Kingsman's HQ is destroyed by drug dealer, Poppy (Julianne Moore), Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) must team up with their American counterparts, The Statesman to take Poppy down before she destroys the world. The Statesman, whose front is a Bourbon distillery in Kentucky, are headed up by Champagne (Jeff Bridges) along with Tequila (Channing Tatum), Whiskey (Pedro Pascal) and Ginger Ale (Halle Berry). Kingsman: The Golden Circle is Drected/Co-Written by Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman the Secret Service, X-Men: First Class) and Co-Written by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass), Kingsman the Secret Service) . The film was theatrically released on September 22, 2017.

Sidelined after one too many hits and now married to Eva (Alison Pill) with a baby on the way, Doug "The Thug" Glatt (Seann William Scott) hangs up his skates and tries to live a 9 to 5 life. But when Doug's nemesis, Anders Cain (Wyatt Russell), is made captain of the Highlanders and new ownership threatens to tear his team apart, Doug's old nemesis Ross Rhea (Liev Schreiber) helps him get back on the ice. Goon: Last of the Enforcers is Directed by Jay Baruchel and Co-Written by Baruchel and Jesse Chabot. The film had a limited theatrical release on September 1, 2017 and is available on Streaming services.

For more movie, tv, game reviews and other podcasts, articles and news visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Universal Halloween Horror Nights 2017

This week on The Harold & Maudecast, Episode 309 "The Scary Truth About Horror Nights" hosts Sarah and Jake visit Universal Studios Hollywoods annual Halloween Horror Nights and review the RIP (VIP) Experience.

We get into every detail from arrival and parking to which mazes are the best and scariest, the terror tram, tram or scam? The VIP buffet and tour, scare zones, the maze set designs and performers and so much more. If you're wondering whether to spend the cash on HHN 2017, listen up! We got all the info you need to make an informed decision.

Visit www.thehmcnetwork.com for more podcasts, movie, tv, game reviews, lifestyle and travel survival tips & more!




Creature Feature - The Mummy & Wind Chill Reviews

On Episode 308 of The Harold & Maudecast Weekly, "Creature Feature", hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe explore the Dark Universe. We discuss Universal's lineup for its Dark Universe, monster movie reboots which kicked off with Tom Cruise's THE MUMMY and will include, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE INVISIBLE MAN, CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, DRACULA UNTOLD 2 and more of Universal's classic monster features.

We also review two Now Streaming reviews including THE MUMMY and WIND CHILL, a thriller starring Emily Blunt in an early career role.

Also a preview of Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights which we will be touring this week!

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




IT - Movie Review

On this episode of The Harold & Maudecast's Justice and Doom Now Playing Movie Reviews, Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review IT.

A new screen adaption of Stephen King's novel "It" has become the unlikely savior of the Summer box office shattering records with a $123m opening weekend. The novel which was originally published in 1986 was first adapted into a television miniseries in 1990.

Set in a small town in Maine in the 1980s, the story follows the interactions of seven children who in addition to being stalked by a bully and his gang, are being hunted by a killer being who appears [mostly] in the form of a clown named Pennywise.

The book weaves in and out of time periods alternating between the children's story and their reunion as adults. In this film it's all about the kids--a narrative choice which seems chosen solely to capitalize off the success of Stranger Things. Unfortunately, this film does not share the same charm and carefully crafted nostalgic atmosphere.

The unknown and underwhelming cast of kids in IT (which does include one of the actors from Strangers Things, Finn Wolfhard), struggles to carry the film when Pennywise is not on the screen. Bill Skarsgård, who takes over the role of Pennywise from Tim Curry (in the 1990 series), gives a career-defining performance. Terrified of clowns or not, it was hard not to crave his presence on screen.

The bond between the kids, the self-named "Losers Club", which is so beautifully developed in the book and the 1990 miniseries, seems thrown in only as necessary for their joint encounters with Pennywise and bully Henry Bowers. DIrector Andrés Muschietti (MAMA) took the helm after Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) left for creative differences. Fukunaga along with Chase Palmer and Gary Dauberman are credited with the script. Can't help but wonder what those creative differences were and if Fukunaga's vision would have been more fulfilling.

A sequel is already in the works which will undoubtedly feature the grown ups. If you have not read the book, love experiencing shared scares, and are NOT hopelessly afraid of clowns you will enjoy seeing IT in the theater. We give IT a 7.2 for Bill Skarsgård's performance and some visually intriguing oh-so scary creatures.

For more reviews visit out website at www.thehmcnetwork.com



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Nov 20, 2017 at 6:30:32 pm it, movie reviews, stephen king, horror, pennywise

Now Streaming Reviews: Bushwick & Marvel The Defenders

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



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Nov 20, 2017 at 6:29:38 pm bushwick, marvel's the defenders, reviews, netflix, streaming

Now Streaming Reviews: Shot Caller & Death Note

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



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Nov 20, 2017 at 6:28:37 pm shot caller, death note, movie reviews, streaming

We Talk Thrones - S7 Finale "The Dragon & the Wolf"

On this episode of We Talk Thrones, Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review the Season 7 finale of HBO's Game of Thrones.

And now the waiting begins! So laments all of us. Game of Thrones delivered one of the most epic finales ever leaving fans with much to ponder over the next, year, year and a half, more? HBO has yet to announce the Season 8 release date so we are left speculating in the dust of the fallen Wall.

Much to unpack in the season 7 finale and a little crow (or raven) to eat #wellplayedstarks. We break it all down and talk possibilities for Season 8.

For more episodes of We Talk Thrones and other super cool podcasts and articles visit www.thehmcnetwork.com



Telltale's Batman: The Enemy Within Ep 1 - Review

On this episode of Confessions of a Basement Dweller, host Jake Essoe reviews Telltale's Batman: The Enemy Within, Episode One "The Enigma"

In this latest chapter, both Bruce Wayne and Batman will be forced into precarious new roles. The Riddler has returned to terrorize Gotham City, but his gruesome puzzles merely foreshadow an even greater crisis. With the arrival of a ruthless federal agent and the return of a still nascent Joker, Batman must navigate uneasy alliances while Bruce Wayne undertakes a perilous series of deceptions. Which of Batman's new allies will you choose to trust? And how deep into the darkness will you let Bruce descend?

Batman: The Enemy Within will be a standalone product separate from the first season of Batman: The Telltale Series and is licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and based on DC's iconic character. Episode one, 'The Enigma,' has been rated 'Mature' by the ESRB. Now available for download on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

For more episodes of Confessions of a Basement Dweller game reviews, visit www.thehmcnetwork.com



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Nov 11, 2017 at 12:29:25 am telltale batman, video games, reviews, the enemy within

Game of Thrones Ep 70 "Beyond the Wall" Review

On this episode of We Talk Thrones from The HMC, Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe breakdown Game of Thrones, Episode 706 "Beyond the Wall".

Jon and the gang's attempts to capture a white walker are looking pretty grim when they are surrounded by an army of the dead. So many things defy time, geographic, the elements and logic in this accelerated season but this episode takes it to a whole new level of ridiculous. We break it down and preview the Season 7 finale.

For more episodes of We Talk Thrones and other great podcasts visit www.thehmcnetwork.com




Game of Thrones Ep 704 "Eastwatch" Review

This week on The Harold & Maudecast's weekly Game of Thrones recap 'We Talk Thrones' hosts Sarah and Jake review Game of Thrones, Episode 705 'Eastwatch'.

Now that I've got your attention! Said Daenerys. The realities of war have set in for Jaime who heads back to Kings Landing to report to Cersei. Deanerys returns to Dragonstone where Jon Snow is waiting to pet Drogon, more importantly Drogon seems to be waiting for Jon to pet him.

Deanerys and Jon's sexually tensed up moment on the cliff is interrupted by the return of Jorah who clearly still pines for his Khaleesi.

Meanwhile at Winterfell, Bran, doing his three eyed raven thing spies the Night King marching on Eastwick with his army. The news quickly reaches Jon who's excitement for learning Bran and Arya are alive and well is short lived with the news of the walking dead .

After hatching a pretty ridiculous plan with Tyrion and Davos: Sir Davos smuggles Tyrion into Kings Landing to secretly meet with Jaime. Jon and Jorah (and Gendry who, surprise, Sir Davos finds in Kings Landing) travel to Eastwick, pick up Tormund, travel north of the wall, capture a White Walker, bring it to Kings Landing to show Cersei the threat is real. No problem!

Over at the Citadel, Sam is growing tired of the meisters who dismiss the raven from Brandon Stark about the marching dead as fake news. Gilly inadvertently confirms unequivocally that Jon is the rightful eire to the throne. Unfortunately Sam's too busy bitching about the meisters to notice. Sam exits the Citadel with with Gilly, little Sam and a bunch of book he stole. We hope one of those books contained that bit about Rhaegar's annulment and subsequent marriage to Llyanna.

The Tarly family legacy is all on Sam now since Daenerys had his brother and father incinerated for refusing to bend the knee. No more Dickon jokes.

Back in Winterfell, Little Finger is hell bent on causing disruption, this time between Arya and Sansa. We'll see how that plays out, our money is on A Girl is No One.

Episode 705 leaves us with Jon Snow and his newly formed Fellowship of the Dead made up of, Jon, Jorah, Gendry, Tormund, The Hound, Berric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr. We're guessing not all of these A Team members (www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMSlT5pYU3w) are gonna make it back alive. Here's hopin this accelerated season gives us an answer on that in the next episode.

For more of our breakdowns and reviews of Game of Thrones visit our We Talk Thrones library www.thehmcnetwork.com



Posted by: Sarah Mason on Aug 24, 2017 at 6:10:46 pm game of thrones, tv reviews, hbo, got7, got704, eastwatch

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For over 10 years The HMC has been producing popular podcasts, digital content and events. The Harold & Maudecast is the flagship podcast for The HMC Network. Hosted by writer/producer, Sarah Mason and writer/comedian, Jake Essoe, The Harold & Maudecast offers a fully-informed look at your favorite movies, series, comics, conventions, video games and more. They combine critical analysis with passionate fandom. Go beyond the basics and get down and dirty with our in-depth, funny analysis and commentary. Also on this feed are episodes of our other podcast series, Age of Distraction hosted by screenwriters Warren Lewis and Stephen Godchaux, True Field Test for production professionals, Conversations with Cooler People Than Me interview series, Justice and Doom Movie and Series Reviews. Don't miss out, Follow us at www.thehmcnetwork.com


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