The First Annual KohOscars Summer Awards

Now that summer has officially ended, we decided to present a preview of this year’s very interesting KohOscars award race by hosting a summer awards show to celebrate the wonderful films released this summer.

Best Picture:bigsick

  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Baby Driver
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • The Big Sick
  • Logan Lucky
  • Death Note

Best Actor:warofplanetofapes

  • Chris Pine, Wonder Woman
  • Ansel Elgort, Baby Driver
  • Tom Holland, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
  • Channing Tatum, Logan Lucky
  • Nat Wolff, Death Note
  • Andy Serkis, War for the Planet of the Apes

Best Actress:baby-driver-et00040794-14-03-2017-09-05-24

  • Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman
  • Lily James, Baby Driver
  • Zoe Kazan, The Big Sick
  • Margaret Qualley, Death Note
  • Elizabeth Olsen, Wind River
  • Zoe Saldana, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Charlize Theron, Atomic Blonde

Best Supporting Actor:guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-2-wallpaper

  • Kurt Russell, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Michael Rooker, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Dave Bautista, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Brenton Thiwates, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Jamie Foxx, Baby Driver
  • Jon Hamm, Baby Driver
  • C.J. Jones, Baby Driver
  • Michael Keaton, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Ray Romano, The Big Sick
  • Daniel Craig, Logan Lucky
  • Lakeith Stanfield, Death Note
  • Jacob Batalon, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Steve Zahn, War for the Planet of the Apes
  • James McAvoy, Atomic Blonde

Best Supporting Actress:pirates-caribbean-5-movie-posters

  • Pom Klementieff, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Elizabeth Debicki, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Karen Gillan, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Kaya Scodelario, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Elis González, Baby Driver
  • Holly Hunter, The Big Sick
  • Riley Keough, Logan Lucky
  • Zendaya, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Marissa Tomei, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Amiah Miller, War for the Planet of the Apes

Best Director:1491990205555-1

  • Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman
  • Edgar Wright, Baby Driver
  • Jon Watts, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Steven Soderbergh, Logan Lucky
  • Adam Wingard, Death Note
  • Matt Reeves, War for the Planet of the Apes

Best Cameo:at6khn8b

  • Stan Lee, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Sean Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Seth Green, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Orlando Bloom, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Russell Crowe, The Mummy
  • Stanley Tucci, Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Jon Bernthal, Baby Driver
  • Brogan Hall, Baby Driver
  • Jon Favreau, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Gwyneth Paltrow, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Chris Evans, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Bo Burnham, The Big Sick
  • Seth MacFarlane, Logan Lucky
  • Jon Bernthal, Wind River

Best Comic Book Movie:maxresdefault

  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Best Sequel:au_rich_large_cars3_nr_b9e5af7c

  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Cars 3

Best Reboot/Remake:the-mummy-2017-movie

  • Death Note
  • The Mummy

Best Animated Feature:despicable-me-3-2017-after-credits-hq

  • Cars 3
  • Despicable Me 3
  • Batman and Harley Quinn

Best Adapted Screenplay:deathnote

  • Allan Heinberg, Wonder Woman
  • Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson, and Mike Rich, Cars 3
  • Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Day, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chis McKenna, and Erik Sommers, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Luc Besson, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
  • Matt Reeves and Mark Bomback, War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Charley Parlapanides, Vlad Parlapanides, and Jeremy Slater, Death Note

Best Original Screenplay:maxresdefault1

  • Rebecca Blunt, Logan Lucky
  • Tyler Sheridan, Wind River
  • Edgar Wright, Baby Driver
  • Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, The Big Sick

Best Cinematography:wind-river-movie-poster

  • Paul Cameron, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Matthew Jensen, Wonder Woman
  • Bill Pope, Baby Driver
  • Salvatore Totino, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Steven Soderbergh, Logan Lucky
  • Ben Richardson, Wind River
  • David Tattersall, Death Note

Best Film Editing:guardians-of-the-galaxy-wallpaper-roster-nebula

  • Fred Raskin and Craig Wood, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Martin Walsh, Wonder Woman
  • Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss, Baby Driver
  • Debbie Berman and Dan Lebental, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Julien Rey, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
  • Robert Nassau, The Big Sick

Best Production Design:valerian-2017

  • Scott Chambliss, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Nigel Phelps, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Aline Bonetto, Wonder Woman
  • Marcus Rowland, Baby Driver
  • Oliver Scholl, Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Hugues Tissandier, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Best Original Score:

  • Tyler Bates, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Geoff Zanelli, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Rupert Gregson-Williams, Wonder Woman
  • Brian Tyler, The Mummy
  • Randy Newman, Cars 3
  • Alexandre Desplat, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Best Original Song:bhq044751_5955a77a221211-21547377

  • “Run That Race,” Cars 3
  • “Yellow Light,” Despicable Me 3
  • “Was He Slow?” Baby Driver
  • “A Million on My Soul,” Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
  • “Don’t Pull Your Love,” Batman and Harley Quinn

Best Costume Design:spiderman-homecoming-759

  • Judianna Makovsky, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Penny Rose, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Lindy Hemming, Wonder Woman
  • Courtney Hoffman, Baby Driver
  • Louise Frogley, Spider-Man: Homecoming

Best Hair & Makeup:Death Note

  • Camille Friend, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Kerrin Jackson, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Christine Blundell, Wonder Woman
  • Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, The Mummy
  • Fionagh Cush, Baby Driver
  • Thi Thanh Tu Nguyen, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
  • Anne Carroll, Death Note

Best Sound Editing:transformers-last-knight-poster-optimus-prime

  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Baby Driver
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • War for the Planet of the Apes

Best Sound Mixing:warofplanetofapes

  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Transformers: The Last Knight
  • Baby Driver
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

Best Visual Effects:piratesofthecaribbean-deadmentellnotales-1494963463382_1280w

  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Wonder Woman
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
  • Death Note

Best Stunts:maxresdefault2

  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Wonder Woman
  • The Mummy
  • Baby Driver
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
  • Atomic Blonde

Best Ensemble:img_0365

  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Baby Driver
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

Best Soundtrack:1-17

  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Baby Driver
  • Despicable Me 3
  • Logan Lucky

Best Post-Credits Scene:spider-man-homecoming

  • Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

 

 

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Top 15 Broadway (and Off-Broadway) Musicals

Top 15 Broadway (and Off-Broadway) Musicals

Introduction:

Musical theatre is one of my favorite mediums of storytelling. I was introduced to it at a young age in elementary school and soon became obsessed with performing in, and later writing, musicals. While performing in smaller school musicals and originals around my town in middle school was fun, high school introduced me to a whole new world (pun intended) of musical theatre. Here are my fifteen favorite musicals from both Broadway and Off-Broadway of all time.

15. School of Rock (2015-)school-of-rock-broadway

Based on the cult classic film starring Jack Black, the musical adapted to the stage by Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera) is a fun, brilliant joyride with excellent music and a fantastic performance by Alex Brightman. The show might’ve won the Tony for Best Musical had it not been up against Hamilton.

14. Grease (1971-1980, 1993-1999)grease-musical-raleigh-febraury-2016

The musical that inspired the classic film, Jim Jacobs’ profane and aggressive treasure was based on his own high school experiences and were transformed into a musical that spoke to youthful audiences of the time. The music is iconic, so much so that after it’s 1980 closing, the musical was revived for a 90s run.

13. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (2013-2015)thumb_100_1920x0_0_0_auto

Originally written for television, Broadway legends Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II crafted a wonderful adaption of the French version of the classic story. The TV musical was adapted for Broadway in 2013 by Douglas Carter Beane, who translated it with poise and fantastical grace. The show is wonderful and near and dear to my heart, admittedly because I played the role of Jean-Michel in my junior year of high school.

12. The Addams Family (2010-2011)1476917706-5428757-the_addams_family_musical_tickets

The Broadway adaption of Charles Addams’ comic strip family came as a surprise to many. The show was adapted by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and featured great music with a wonderful story. The show also had great performances by Kevin Chamberlain, Nathan Lane, Krysta Rodriguez, and Bebe Neuwirth.

11. 21 Chump Street (2014)14444585426_a76a70bb6f_b

Based on an episode of This American Life, the fifteen minute musical debuted as a radio drama before making an Off-Broadway debut. The musical was written by the genius Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also played the Narrator. The show featured a stellar premiere performance from Anthony Ramos, who would go on to star in Hamilton. The show is often overlooked, but features incredible music and a tragic tale.

10. In The Heights (2008-2011)alt_50684

Speaking of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the genius playwright made his debut with this show. A wonderful snapshot of the world of Washington Heights, Lin starred in the lead role and wrote the music. The show’s earliest draft was written by Miranda, but the show’s credited playwright is Quiara Alegría Hudes, who wrote the book. The show features rap, salsa, and tons of wonderful music. The show also introduced the Broadway world to not just Lin, but also the wonderful talents of Christopher Jackson, Mandy Gonzalez, and Javier Muñoz. The show also won the Tony for Best Musical.

9. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (2010-2011)

I’m a sucker for a historically based story, especially when it’s accurate. I’m also a sucker for rock musicals. Alex Timbers brilliantly combines the two into a wonderful show, with a fantastic performance from Benjamin Walker in the title role. The show was snubbed by The Book of Mormon, but this musical is still a fantastic satire with wonderful music.

8. Chicago (1975-1977, 1996-)event_image-135

The longest running musical in Broadway history, Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse’s prolific show is spectacle that is unlike anything else on Broadway. Despite receiving a short original run with mixed reviews, the show was revived to mass praise and acclaim in 1996 and is still running 21 years later. It’s a fantastic show with wonderful music. I played D.A. Harrsion when my school performed it my sophomore year. It’s a show unique in design and style.

7. Wicked (2003-)wicked-the-musical

One of the greatest musicals of the 21st century, the show, adapted by Winnie Holzman from the prolific book by Gregory Maguire, features great music and breakout performances from Broadway legends Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenowith. Telling the alternative take of the classic story, one of cinema and literature’s greatest villains becomes one of Broadway’s most tragic heroes. It’s a wonderful show that pushed the boundaries of what could be done from a technical standpoint in design for Broadway shows.

6. Little Shop of Horrors (1982-1987, 2003-2004)000188_hero

One of Off-Broadway’s biggest hits, the show is based on the 1960 film and the musical, in turn, inspired the 1986 remake. It made a brief revival on Broadway in 2003, but was panned by critics. The show features incredible music that is memorable and featured a great performance from Ellen Greene. I played the role of Bernstein in my freshman year production of the show, but lends to my bias, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a wonderful show.

5. Heathers (2014)home-girls

The brief Off-Broadway run might seem like it was a failure, but Heathers (based on the 80s cult classic film) found a huge cult audience and won over many fans. With a book wonderfully adapted by Lawrence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy, the show features amazing music and breakout performances by Barrett Wilbert Weed, Jessica Keenan Wynn, and Ryan McCartan.

4. Jekyll & Hyde (1997-2001, 2013)000181_hero

This show is haunting, prolific, and an incredible thrill ride. Adapted from the literary classic by Leslie Bricusse, the show featured a breakout performance from Robert Cuccioli from its original cast, Coleen Sexton from the final cast, and an incredible  surprise turn from David Hasselhoff. The show ran for 5 years and received a DVD recording of Hasselfhoff’s final performance. The show made a very brief revival in 2013, but was not very memorable. It is a fantastic show with vocally challenging roles.

3. RENT (1996-2008, 2011-2012)rent

You thought I wasn’t going to include one of Broadway’s greatest shows? You’re crazy. Jonathan Larson is on the same level of genius as Lin-Manuel Miranda, but his time was tragically cut short. His crowning achievement is this wonderful rock show about living with AIDS, as well as living in New York. Broadway legends are born from this show, including Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel, and Wilson Jermaine Heredia. With great music and a wonderful cast, this show goes down in history as one of the greats. Born in 1996 and running to an end in 2008, the show was revived Off-Broadway for a relatively brief run.

2. Dear Evan Hansen (2016-)90

Many will eye-roll because I included a very new musical, but this show truly deserves it. This show is a wonderful treasure, with incredible music and a touching story about suicide and loss. Ben Platt makes a huge star turn with his amazing performance. The show is written by Steven Levenson, with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the duo behind the Oscar-winning masterpiece La La Land. It’s for sure one of my most favorite shows.

1. Hamilton (2015-)hamilton

Of course this my number one. Hamilton is the perfect show in my opinion. It blends everything I love into one massive show: American history, rap music, and great storytelling. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a certifiable genius, writing a masterpiece show. It also features incredible performances from Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Daveed Diggs, Christopher Jackson, Leslie Odom Jr, and Jonathan Groff, all of which are now certifiable Broadway royalty. It’s an incredible show, with music unparralled and performances unmatched in any musical, on or off Broadway, in the history of the craft.

 

Doctor Who: Alternative Series Pitch

Doctor Who: Alternative Series Pitch

This pitch was posted on kkoho87.wix.com/kalebkohowrites on December 5, 2015, before the release of series 9 & 10 and the announcement of the Jodie Whitaker as the Thirteenth Doctor. Whenever you read “12” or “Capaldi”, replace it with “13” or “Whitaker”.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

I got the idea for this pitch from the news that Peter Capaldi (the current Twelfth Doctor) wanted to do other projects on the side, which would result in shorter seasons. I decided to keep the standard twelve episode season. I’d also like to note that I haven’t seen a single episode of season nine at this time. I do not get BBC America on cable. Moving on…

Introduction

This season would open with the Twelfth Doctor in his TARDIS. He is basically distraught over losing Clara a few episodes ago in Season Nine or is basically doing something in his Tardis. He flashes back to his time in another incarnation. This would allow Capaldi to appear in the beginning of the series and end of the series or begin and end each episode, while being able to work on his projects. What incarnation would be spending time with, you ask? Well, I’m telling you that it’s a Doctor we haven’t seen a lot of. We’ve seen his beginning and ending, but what about in between? Of course I’m talking about that one hit wonder from the 90’s, the Eighth Doctor, played by Paul McGann. From here on out, I will be pitching each episode with a possible title and synopsis for each episode.

Episode #10.1 – The Eighth Day

This episode would begin with our flashback. The episode would lead into 8 and his companion, Grace (as we last saw them at the end of 1996’s Doctor Who movie). The episode would feature the Eighth Doctor take Grace back to the never before seen eighth day of Earth’s creation. There, they find aliens being created, one of which is the Silence. The 8th Doctor forgets ever meeting them at the end because of a Silence erasing the adventure from his mind. Twelve closes the episode by filling any loopholes with his smooth Scottish psychobabble. They leave the day as the winners however, defeating a plot by the silence to kill Adam & Eve to end Humans before they grew.

Episode #10.2 – Enter Grace

The Eighth Doctor & Grace battle Cybermen, who plan to delete an entire planet to expand their power. Grace is the hero in this episode and we get better development with her character. She shows grace on the Cybermen, allowing them to leave with their lives when The Doctor stops them.

Episode #10.3 – Exterminate

The Doctor & Grace encounter a group of rouge Daleks who plan to destroy a Time Lord embassy on the planet of the Sontarans. The Doctor & Grace foil the war criminals. The Doctor first catches wind of the 1st Great Time War, prompting him to return to Gallifrey.

Episode #10.4 – The Drums of War

The Doctor & Grace are summoned to Gallifrey by the War Council of Gallifrey. The council informs the Doctor of their dire need of his help. The Doctor refuses to get involved, even when being urged by a regenerated Master. Part One of a three part story.

Episode #10.5 – Treachery of the Time Lords

The Eighth Doctor & Grace are planning on leaving Gallifrey to continue exploration. Eight’s TARDIS is damaged by the Daleks as the fight is brought to Gallifrey. The War Council continues to hound the Doctor to join them in their war with the Daleks, begging him to save Gallifrey. He refuses. The head Time Lord, played by Timothy Dalton, hires an assassin to kill Grace and make it look like a Dalek killed her. Grace is killed. The Eighth Doctor is enraged and agrees to fight the Daleks, believing them to be the killers. He is assigned to the Master’s unit. End of Part Two or Three.

Episode #10.6 – Run

The Eighth Doctor fights ferociously and even brings the war to a tipping point. The Master, who is drunk while celebrating their inevitable victory, reveals it was the Time Lord War Council’s fault. Eight already knows what he is doing is wrong. With this new information, he decides to run. He sneaks into the TARDIS shed and steals his repaired TARDIS & flees Gallifrey, being branded a war criminal. Part 3 of 3.

Episode #10.7 – The Battle of New York

The Doctor is hiding out in New York City in the year 5000 A.D, when a group of Time Lords sent to arrest him attack. The Doctor defeats them and escapes. He continues on in a life of depressed solitude, blaming himself for Grace’s death. He begins suffering from PTSD.

Episode #10.8 – No More War

The Eighth Doctor finds himself battling The Master’s unit, who is sent to capture him for his war crimes, when they all discover the 1st Time War is over, but a second has broke out. The Master is called back to Gallifrey. The Doctor refuses involvement.

Episode #10.9 – The Skaro Advancement

The Eighth Doctor is kidnapped by the Master and his Time Lords & forced to travel to Skaro to lead a covert ops group of Time Lords in their attempts to end the Second Great Time War. The Doctor helps blow up the capital and kills several Daleks, however he refuses to aid the Time Lords and further. The Second Great Time War is won by the Time Lords, but a third and final war breaks out in revenge only months later.

Episode #10.10 – 2000 A.D.

The Doctor finds himself on Earth when Y2K, which wasn’t supposed to happen, breaks out due to a temporal anomaly. The Doctor is able to source the problem to Sontarans and moves on. The events of Y2K are erased, with the destruction date being set back thousand and thousands of years into the future.

Episode #10.11 – The Dalek Offensive

Part 1 of 2: The Doctor is forced into a confrontation between the Time Lords and Daleks & is taken war prisoner by the Daleks. He believes he is to die soon, not wanting to live any longer. The Daleks put him on death row. The Daleks take him to the execution chamber & he is set to die, but the Doctor isn’t done yet.

Episode #10.12 – The Night of the Doctor

The Doctor is saved from death row by the Master. The Master (who has gone rogue) has a plan to end the Time Wars forever, but he needs the Doctor’s help in doing so. The Master & The Doctor sneak back to Gallifrey & steal a weapon called The Moment. The Master & Doctor escape to a safe place to use the device. The Doctor asks what the point of this device is, to which the Master replies by telling him it’s a weapon to blow up Gallifrey & kill everyone, that there’s no other way to end it, and that he wants the drumming to stop. The Doctor defeats the Master and turns him over to the Time Lords, resulting in a full pardon for the Doctor and The Master was to be punished. The Doctor is reinvigorated with new life and purpose, but because of the Time Lords reputation in the Time Wars, he can’t save anyone because they don’t trust him. This is the case with Claire, who dies rather than let the Doctor save her. The Doctor dies in the crash with her, but, as the Night of The Doctor showed, he chose his regeneration into the War Doctor (played by John Hurt). Leading us back full circle, we catch up with 12 who is on his TARDIS concluding his flashback & telling us the untold story of the 8th Doctor.

The Force Awakens: An Alternative Scene Sketch

The Force Awakens: An Alternative Scene Sketch

This sketch was originally posted on kkoho87.wix.com/kalebkohowrites on December 22, 2015.

In my version of the film, we didn’t know Kylo Ren was Han Solo’s son. It was revealed when Kylo Ren, or Ben Solo, murders his father Han Solo. Rey and Finn, who were captured by Captain Phasma, are saved by Chewbacca, who viewed Han’s murder with the others. They run away from the base, Finn has his lightsaber and Chewy his bowcaster. As they get close to the Millenium Falcon, Kylo Ren walks off the Falcon, crossbar lightsaber in hand. He turns it on and screams, “Rey! We have unfinished business to attend to!” Finn activates his lightsaber and yells, “Over my dead body!”

 Ren replies, “That’s the idea, F-N2187”

“That’s not my name!” yells Finn

Finn charges at Ren swinging willy nilly. Ren smacks blades and shoves Finn. It’s clear that Kylo Ren is playing a sick game with Finn and toying with him. Finn gets struck up the back by Ren after a while of toying with him. Finn is severley injured and unconscience. Chewy shoots Ren in the side, grazing him. Just a flesh wound. Ren goes to kill Chewbacca, but Rey picks up Finn’s saber and and swings at Ren, but misses him entirely. She blocks Ren’s swing. She is able to defend herself but isn’t very skilled with the lightsaber. She leads Ren away from the Falcon giving Chewy (carrying Finn) time to escape on the Falcon. Meanwhile, Poe Dameron and his men cannot penetrate the starkiller’s port. The shields are damaged but not fully down and they are being destroyed by the First Order’s fleet. Poe and Wedge Antilles are the only ones left. They are being persued by seven TFO fighters. All hope is lost. Rey and Kylo fight on the edge of the charging Starkiller. We see the beam begin to glow red and that glow illuminates their fight. Rey loses her lightsaber and Ren points his blade are her throat and says, “You’re nothing. You’re an insignificant speck from an insginificant planet. You get lucky that’s all. Now you’re luck has run out.” He raises his blade but suddently stops. He turns to the sky. An old, faded X-Wing flys through the pack and destroys five of the fighters. Poe shouts to the other plane to attack and they wipe out the other two fighters.

The X-Winger shoots the final piece thatis keeping the shields up and destroys it. It’s an impossible shot. Poe shoots and fires in to the port. The Starkiller is going to be destroyed. Kylo Ren is immeditaly taken with fear. “Skywalker,” he says. Ren flees to his ship. Rey watches as Poe and the mysterious pilot fly away. Rey is then picked up by Chewbacca. When Rey returns Poe tells General Leia Organa-Solo about the mysterious pilot. “Luke,” she says. At this, R2 turns on with the map leading to Luke. Luke walks in from the shadows and says, “Don’t worry R2.. I’m back. I sensed I was needed more than I ever had been. I only wish I had been fast enough to save Han.” Everyone is so happy that he is back and to MEET THE WAR HERO & LAST JEDI. Luke Skywalker meets Rey and tells her that the Force is strong in her. That the Force has awakened and it is what called him back. Meanwhile, on a star detroyer, Kylo Ren reports Skywalker’s return to Snoke who tells him he is a failure. He will have to face his uncle and when that time comes, Snoke will have made him ready.

TO BE CONTINUED IN THE LAST JEDI.

Magic & Bird: A Review

Magic & Bird: A Review

Introduction

Since it was teased from the start of the year, Magic & Bird has been one of the most anticipated releases of the summer. This is the year that CHH returned, with artists such as Lecrae, Andy Mineo, and NF all dropping albums in later half of this year. But before Andy Mineo drops the long-awaited follow-up to 2015’s Uncomfortable, he announced a “fun summer mixtape” would be released with his friend and collaborator, Wordsplayed. Andy Mineo launched his career in 2011 with his mixtape Formerly Known and his debut album Heroes For Sale. He followed that up with his 2013 EP Never Land before dropping his 2015 sophomore album Uncomfortable and his 2016 single Candy Rain. Wordsplayed launched his career with his 2016 debut album Clowntown. Now, the two rappers have joined forces for Magic & Bird, an album named after the legendary NBA stars Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. This has been one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I cannot wait the listen and review this album.

1. HI-FIVE (LOADING)

This introduction track is a comedic, retro-styled track. The first half of this song is styled like a retro sports game centering around Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. The second half sees a coach giving a comedic attempt at a motivational speech warning kids about the “high-contact sport” that is life and warning against ending up as a greasy car salesman. It perfectly sets the tone for the album: fun and nonsensical joy.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

2. KIDZ

The first single from the mixtape was well-received and continues to shine on the album. Wordsplayed goes first, rapping about success on Spotify and his life. Andy goes second, rapping about love and individuality. The connective tissue that ties their verses together, “I’m in the pocket like Brady/Magic and Bird like the 80s”. As they claim in the hook, they do it for the kids, and this “kid” throughly enjoyed this track. It’s well-constructed with a great beat and expert vocalization. They control this track with master flow-patterns and timing.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

3. DUNK CONTEST (MAGIC BIRD)

The second single appears next. Once again, Wordsplayed starts, but it’s a back and forth between him and Andy. In comparison, the beat is more low-key than the last track, and the hook is more simple, but it works. It’s fun, with great lyricism from Andy and Wordsplayed. Their timing and chemistry is even stronger in this track and more precise. Andy has some outro commentary on Magic & Bird’s rivalry that seamlessly plays into the theme of the track. Overall, it’s a fun song, and solid display of lyricism from the two.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

4. SAY LESS

As soon as I heard “GAWVI, get em,” I knew we were in for a fun time. GAWVI is the Reach Records producing genius and artist in his own right. Andy comes out with some mumbling rapping, which was different, but he picks up his steam as he goes on. This is the first time ever I can honestly say Wordsplayed was better than Andy Mineo on a track with the two. Wordsplayed’s verse was straight fire with great lyricism, while Andy’s was more subdued than normal. The beat was different, with Eastern vibes and 80s influence and it works. Overall, this track is strong, but stands as the weakest of the project so far. The hook is mediocre, as his the first verse. The track is well produced, but the lyricism comes back hard in the second verse. It’s a pretty decent song.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: B+

5. DISQUIS (Skit)

The skit is performed by Andy Mineo doing an accent and it’s hilarious. The skit sees an Olympic tryout telling kids in a comedic fashion to encourage kids to never give up, telling them of his attempt to throw a disquis and his training, resulting him being covered in sweat. It’s mildly funny. It’s not the funniest of the spoken material so far, but it’s a solid intermission.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: B+

6. R.U.T.S.

This beat already sounds intense in the beginning, but then Andy gets on and takes an even more intense command. The verse is very strong and Andy slays this track with expert lyricism and a superior flow pattern. He rides the beat flawlessly. The hook reveals what R.U.T.S. stands for: Run Up The Score. Wordsplayed jumps on and rides this beat just as perfectly. His flow pattern is strong and his lyricism, while not as incredible as Andy, is amazing in his own right. It’s a perfect workout or athletics song. It’s easily the best offering so far since KIDZ.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

7. JUDO (feat. Judo)

The third single released features the producer Judo. JUDO is a strong track. It has the sleakest production of the album so far. Andy gets on with great lyricism and rides the beat well. The vocals on this song are beautiful and fun to listen to. The hook is silly and fun and work perfectly with the song. Wordsplayed has fun on this song and rocks it. They both have killer one liners in their verse that absolutely slay it. It’s a great song that also works in hyping and in athletic situations.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

8. BREAK BREAD

The vocals are coated in some auto tune that adds to the track, which as good production. Andy comes in with some strong lyricism about being isolated in the industry by producers and merchandisers. This track has a great hook. Wordsplayed makes references to the Minnesota Vikings, which makes me rather bias, but he continues the same themes very well. It’s the most subdued track of the album, but it works very well.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

9. METRO (Skit)

The second skit sees a lady lose her metro card and she talks Andy about it. It’s not as funny, but it really is about how this lady has faith in the Lord about being okay. It’s a solid intermission.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: B+

10. DANCE (You See It)

This track launches strong  with great production and Wordsplayed, who absolutely kills it in his first verse with strong lyricism. “I told I was kinda strange, and, yeah, I can’t debate it” is my favorite line. Andy jumps in with a good hook and then launches into his verse. He rides the beat well with great timing and masterful lyricism and amazing wordplay. It’s a solid jam with a great ending.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

11. TEAM (feat. BEAM)

The track starts with some vocals that sound Jamaican reggae and work very well on the track. The song sounds like it’s slower and is about teamwork and how you need a team to make it in life. Andy jumps in with some great lyricism and a strong verse featuring personal stories. Wordsplayed follows him with a strong verse with some personal stories as well. This song has the best hook out of all of the tracks on the album.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

12. LEGEND

The track starts with the guy from DISQUIS and Wordsplayed yelling at the audience about needing to work until they sweat to get better. The track then launches into a what sounds like the perfect culmination of the album. Wordsplayed jumps in first and gives a strong verse with some solid wordplay. The hook is just some remixed phrases, but it works well. Andy jumps in with a very strong verse about how long he will last and his team, tying every theme together. His verse is incredible with amazing lyricism and some personal introspection. Andy jumps back into his second verse and makes some comments on Donald Trump and his ex-girlfriend (unrelated, but they’re both killer lines). Wordsplayed jumps into his second verse and talks about his situations. The most poignant line in song: “There ain’t no time to rest when you’re trying to be a legend”. This is a great song from both men, who are talented enough to do just that. The track then transitions into Wordsplayed and the guy from DISQUIS giving some comedic coaching to someone about wanting to smell..no, taste, the hardwork the audience has been putting in. It’s a comedic little thing to cap off the best song on the album.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

13. LAY UP (Bonus)

Originally released as a single by Andy Mineo in early 2015 and featuring Wordsplayed, this fun jam returns and fights a perfect fit as a bonus track on this mixtape. It’s an absolute jam with some great lyricism and wordplay from both Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed. It’s a fun way to cap off the album after the semi-serious note that LEGEND ended on.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

Conclusion

This album is a fun and very strong piece of music that is filled with an energy that comes from two best friends making music they’re passionate about together. They’re fantastic together and is a perfect project to remind us the fun that Andy can have before he comes back with his fourth album that is sure to hold nothing back. In the end, Magic & Bird is filled strong lyricism, solid production, and masterful flow patterns. In the end, the message of their album rings true and they kill it: There ain’t no time to rest when you’re trying to be a legend. The two of them are a perfect match. Overall, their album is very strong and I can’t wait to hear what’s next from the two.

Album Rating: 9/10

Grade: A