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”.

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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 fight ferociously and even bring 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 going 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 – 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 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 rouge) 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 save 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, 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

Worldwide Movie Trivia Masterlist

Worldwide Movie Trivia Masterlist

Singles:

Champion: “The Aussie” Jacob Blunden (5-0)

  1. Lucas “Lucky Luke” Schildbach (5-1)
  2. “The Maelstrom” Manning Franks (6-3)
  3. “Maverick” Zack Mitchell (4-0)
  4. “The Meme Queen” Jen Kempe (4-1)
  5. “The Kid” Jonno Stowell (5-2)*
  6. “The Real American” John Salvi (3-1)
  7. Zach “The Sosmaster” Sosland (3-1)
  8. Zabeeh “The Poet” Rehman (3-2)
  9. Kees “The Assassin” Cornelisse (3-2)
  10. Chris “Skywalker” Dohmen (3-3)

Unranked

  • “The Silmaril” Kristen Smith (2-1)
  • “Superman” Matthew Kearns (2-1)
  • “A A Ron” Aaron Connole (2-1)
  • Greg “The Einstein” Weinstein (1-1)
  • “The Butcher” Luca Fallon (1-1)
  • Mike “Mr. DVD” Hanley (2-2)
  • Corey “The Governor” Brown (2-2)
  • Malcom “The Crusher” Lay (2-2)
  • Chris “The Legend” Day (2-2)
  • Robert “The Hobbit” Parker (1-1)
  • Madeeh “The Madman” Rehman (1-1)
  • Timmy Wells (1-0)
  • “T.M. Smith” Timothy Smith (1-0)
  • Aaron “The Titan” Turner (1-2)
  • Chris “The Killer” Woodburn (1-2)
  • Ryan “The Braveheart” McLellan (1-2)
  • Adam “The Doctor” Schultz (1-2)
  • Brett “The Schmoe Stoppper” Sheridan (0-1)
  • Ryan McKenna (0-1)
  • Rasika Wickramaratne (0-1)
  • “The Philosopher” Lucas Went (0-1)
  • Henry “Confidential” Sanchez (0-1)
  • Jan “The Giant” Engelmann (0-1)
  • Steven “Mr.” Anderson (0-1)
  • Harvey “The Killer Ginge” Dryer (0-1)
  • Frank “The Stat Man” Janisch (0-1)
  • “The Orangutan” Kyle Arango (0-1)
  • “Atomic” Ed Sale (0-1)
  • Evan “Showtime” DeGraff (1-3)
  • “The Dark Knight” Subrath Sharma (0-2)
  • “Mr. Pink” Matt Beer (0-2)

Upcoming Unranked Competitors:

  • Jeremy Hastings (0-0)
  • David Crosson (0-0)
  • “The Commander” Chris Clark (0-0)
  • Andrew Hays (0-0)
  • Russell Howell (0-0)
  • Isaac Horvat (0-0)
  • Dan Skip Allen (0-0)
  • Ryan Casey Duncan (0-0)
  • Zack Ford (0-0)
  • Liam Ward (0-0)
  • Andy Wood (0-0)
  • Jonathan Peck (0-0)
  • Patrick Ravida (0-0)
  • Jeremy Adams (0-0)
  • Andy Casalnova (0-0)
  • Christian Schelp (0-0)
  • “The King” Kaleb Koho (0-0)
  • Dan Jensen (0-0)
  • Linus L. Babcock (0-0)
  • Maxance Vincent (0-0)

Retired Competitors:

  • “The Wisconsin Crippler” John Macy (0-1)
  • TJ “2 Points” Pelon (0-1)
  • “The Cocaine Donkey” Ryan Conway (0-1)
  • Kyle “The Warrior” Durand (0-1)
  • “Lord” Nate Wallace (0-1)
  • Joey “The Wall” Morin (0-1)
  • Brian Fernandez (0-1)
  • Zac Horton (0-1)
  • Drake “The GOAT” Froemsdorf (0-1)

Celebrity Competitors:

  • RB3 (1-0)
  • Ryan Snelling (0-1)

*1st Singles Champion

Teams:

  1. Team Who Must Not Be Named (1-0) [Lucas Schildbach and Greg Weinstein]
  2. Team Smilies (1-0) [Zabeeh Rehman and Henry Sanchez]
  3. Disney Duo (1-0) [Paul Wulff and Chris Skalicky]
  4. The Death Eaters (0-1) [Ryan McLellan and Kees Cornelisse]
  5. Team Regulators (0-1) [Mike Hanley and Andrew Hays]
  6. Disney Renaissance (0-1) [Chris Dohmen and Jacob Blunden]

Title Matches:

  • Franks v Stowell; Winner: Stowell – Singles
  • Blunden v Stowell; Winner: Stowell – Singles
  • Blunden v Stowell II; Winner: Blunden – Singles

Schedule:

  • “The Maelstrom” Manning Franks v “The Meme Queen” Jen Kempe – August 20th
  • Lucas “Lucky Luke” Schildbach v “Maverick” Zack Mitchell – August 24th
  • Championship Match v “The Aussie” Jacob Blunden – August 31st
  • Jeremy Hastings v David Crosson – September 7th
  • Chris Clark v Andrew Hays – September 10th
  • Henry Sanchez v Ed Sale – September 14th
  • Russell Howell v Isaac Horvat – September 17th
  • Dan Skip Allen v Ryan Casey Duncan – September 21st
  • Retirement Match: Evan “Showtime” DeGraff v “Mr. Pink” Matt Beer – September 24th
  • Zack Ford v Liam Ward – September 28th
  • Andy Wood v Jonathan Peck – October 1st
  • Brett Sheridan v Frank Janisch; Patrick Ravida v Jeremy Adams – October 5th
  • Anthony Casalnova v Christian Schelp – October 8th
  • “The King” Kaleb Koho v Dan Jensen – October 12th
  • Kees “The Assassin” Cornelisse v “Superman” Matthew Kearns; Harvey Dryer v Ryan McLellan – Oct. 15th
  • Ryan McKenna v Jan “The Giant” Engelman – October 19th
  • Linus L. Babcock v Maxance Vincent – October 22nd
  • Mike “Mr. DVD” Hanley v Chris “Skywalker” Dohmen; Malcom “The Crusher” Lay v Robert “The Hobbit” Parker – October 26th
  • Special Horror Match – October 29th
  • Return Players Match (#1 v #2) – November 2nd
  • Rasika Wickramaratne v Kyle Arango – November 5th
  • Timmy Wells v New Competitor – November 9th
  • New Competitor Match – November 12th
  • #1 Ranked Contender Match; Returning Players Undercard – November 16th
  • New Competitor Match – November 19th
  • New Competitor Match – November 23rd
  • Returning Players Match; “The Real American” John Salvi v TBA – November 26th
  • Returning Players Match – November 30th
  • New Competitor Match – December 3rd
  • New Competitor Match – December 7th
  • New Competitor Match – December 10th
  • Returning Players Match – December 14th
  • New Competitor Match – December 17th
  • #2 Ranked Contender Match; Returning Players Undercard – December 21st
  • Special Winter Event – December 24th

Dear Evan Hansen: A Review

Dear Evan Hansen: A Review

Introduction:

Broadway is still reeling from the game-changing success of Hamilton, the rap musical that has taken the world by storm. Over a year after their major Tony Award sweep, Broadway is now buzzing about an under-appreciated gem: Dear Evan Hansen. The pop musical tells the story of Evan Hansen, a suicidal teen with social anxiety and a broken family background who is told to write letters addressed to himself to subside the anxiety. After a classmate commits suicide and is found with one of Evan’s letters, he mistaken as a friend of Connor Murphy’s, propelling him into the life he’s always wanted when he lands his dream girl and gets a new family. But can a family built on lies stand? The fantastic musical is written by Steven Levenson with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Directed by the Tony-award winning Michael Greif (Rent) with orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton).

1. Anybody Have a Map?

The first song in the musical sets up the different family dynamics perfectly, backdropped by a great pop sound. The utilization of acoustic guitars and pop stylings similar to Phillip Phillips is great. It’s a wonderful song to start the musical with.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

2. Waiving Through A Window

This is the My Shot of Dear Evan Hansen. This is an amazing ballad that talks about Evan’s anxiety and desires, with subtle hints to his failed suicide attempt. It’s an incredible song that I am really surprised didn’t make a bigger splash with mainstream audiences.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

3. For Forever

The song follows Evan’s fantasy as he imagines what it would be like to have a best friend while painting a realistic, fantastical, tragic story for Connor’s parents about the last time he saw his “friend”. It’s a very well done ballad about friendship that really brings tears to the eyes.

Trak Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

4. Sincerely, Me

After Connor parents ask Evan for more letters between the two, he enlists the help of a classmate, Jacob, to forge emails between Connor and Evan that paint them as friends. It’s a fun, bantering, boisterous song that just rocks. It’s so fun to listen to and sing along with.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

5. Requiem

This song is tragic and a sad, acoustic song that shows the individual feelings of hurt, sorrow, and betrayal felt by the family of Connor Murphy. It’s a hard song to get through. It’s pretty, but it’s not one that I will revisit any time soon.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: A-

6. If I Could Tell Her

This is a great love song. Zoe, Connor’s sister and Evan’s dream girl, asks him if her brother ever said anything about her. Evan, not knowing Connor, just says how he feels about her and what he thinks about her as if her brother said it. Ben Platt and Laura Dreyfuss play off each other very well in this song and the brief acting bits in the recorded track are stellar. Platt’s vocals are incredible.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

7. Disappear

This is another tragic song, but the entire ensemble comes together to make this a positive song. The ghost of Connor that has been present with Evan throughout the story begs him to make sure he isn’t forgotten. As the chorus says, “No one deserves to be forgotten.” It picks up over the course of the song and ends in a swelling of emotions.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

8. You Will Be Found

Another ensemble piece, the act one finale picks right up from the previous track and provides hope and inspiration to the those who feel lost. It’s a wonderful song that is fueled with emotion and passion. It’s a great song and one of the best first act finales of all time.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

9. To Break In a Glove

This song felt out of place at first, but upon repeat listening, it fits perfectly. It not only gives Evan the father figure he always wanted and needed, it also shows Connor’s father’s pain of losing his son and the sense of failure he feels. It’s a beautiful and well-produced song.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A

10. Only Us

The second love song of the show is not as good as the first. It’s a pretty duet where Zoe reassures Evan about why she loves him. It’s nice and adds to the story, but it isn’t the best version of what it was trying to be.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: A-

11. Good For You

This song is the only one that is fueled by anger and spit and thus is the only rock song in the show. It’s like a break up song between Evan’s mom and his two friends to him for leaving them behind for his new family with the Murphy’s. It’s the most underrated song of the show.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

12. Words Fail

This is really the saddest song of the show. Evan comes clean to the family in this emotional ballad that exposes the personality and the psyche of Evan Hansen. It’s an explosion of emotion and features the best singing and acting blend I’ve seen in Broadway history. Ben Platt is amazing.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

13. So Big/So Small

This was a really sad song that adds to Evan’s story and adds character to his mom, but overall, it feels sort of jarring and out of place. It’s nonetheless a good song. It really hits emotionally and gives Evan’s mom her due emotionally, bringing her range full circle.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

14. Finale

This short and sweet finale leaves the audience simultaneously satisfied with the landing, but wanting more of a definitive conclusion. There’s not much in this song to say anything negatively.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

Conclusion:

Dear Evan Hansen is an amazing project and is a masterclass in performance art. Ben Platt is a massive talent and the whole team involved hold their own and shine. If Dear Evan Hansen had not been released so close to Hamilton, I think it would’ve been more of a phenomenon. Overall, Dear Evan Hansen is worth the download and is one of the best musical theatre albums of all time.

Album Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

 

To The Future: The Movies I’m Looking Forward To For the Rest of the Decade

To The Future: The Movies I’m Looking Forward To For the Rest of the Decade

As a massive cinefile, movies are my lifeblood. I love stories and there an abundance of them coming in the next few years. As the second decade of the twenty-first century begins to wind down, I decided to organize a list of films that I’m excited to see before 2020.

1. Cars 3

Lightning McQueen finds himself in the same position as his late mentor Doc Hudson and must decide wether or not to return to the racing world and defeat his new rival, Jackson Storm.

Release Date: June 16, 2017

Director: Brian Fee

Screenwriters: Keil Murray, Bob Peterson, and Mike Rich

Starring: Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, and Nathan Fillion

2. All Eyez on Me

The life story of rap legend Tupac Shakur.

Release Date: June 16, 2017

Director: Benny Boom

Screenwriters: Jeremy Haft, Eddie Gonzalez, and Steven Bagatourian

Starring: Demetrius Shipp Jr, Danai Gurira, Kat Graham, and Hill Harper

3. Transformers: The Last Knight

The most disappointing and action-packed franchise in Hollywood returns with the latest installment. Optimus Prime returns from space to lead an attack on Earth and faces opposition from Bumblebee and the rest of the Autobots.

Release Date: June 23, 2017

Director: Michael Bay

Screenwriters: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, and Ken Nolan

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Laura Haddock, Gemma Chan, and Isabela Moner

4. Despicable Me 3

After failing to catch the super villain Balthazar Bratt, Gru is fired from the superhero business and is enticed to return to super-villainy by his long lost twin brother: Dru.

Release Date: June 30, 2017

Directors: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin, and Eric Guillon

Screenwriters: Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul

Starring: Jenny Slate, Kristen Wiig, Steve Carell, and Julie Andrews

5. Baby Driver

A young getaway driver is recruited to work for a crime boss and finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.

Release Date: June 30, 2017

Director: Edgar Wright

Screenwriter: Edgar Wright

Starring: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx

6. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker returns to New York where he works for Tony Stark and takes on a new superbad: the Vulture.

Release Date: July 7, 2017

Director: Jon Watts

Screenwriters: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Day, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers

Starring: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr, Marisa Tomei, and Michael Keaton

7. War for the Planet of the Apes

After years of a cold war between the apes and humans, Caesar seeks to make peace, but is forced to war by a new human faction lead by the Colonel.

Release Date: July 14, 2017

Director: Matt Reeves

Screenwriters: Mark Bomback and Matt Reeves

Starring: Judy Greer, Woody Harrelson, Andy Serkis, and Steve Zahn

8. Dunkirk

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

Release Date: July 21, 2017

Director: Christopher Nolan

Screenwriter: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, and Mark Rylance

9. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Two intergalactic agents are tasked with protecting Alpha, a vast metropolis that houses a thousand planets.

RD: July 21, 2017

Director: Luc Besson

Screenwriter: Luc Besson

Starring: Dane DeHann, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, and Elizabeth Debicki

10. Atomic Blonde

A British special agent uncovers a plot within MI6 and finds everyone is now out to silence her.

RD: July 28, 2017

Director: David Leitch

Screenwriter: Kurt Johnstad

Starring: Sofia Boutella, Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, and Bill Skarsgård

11. Detroit

Following a police raid in 1967 Detroit, one of the largest riot in US history breaks out.

RD: August 4, 2017

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Screenwriter: Mark Boal

Starring: John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith, and Jacob Latimore

12. It

In small town Maine, seven friends come face to face with their greatest fear in the form of Pennywise, a clown that lives beneath the city.

RD: September 8. 2017

Director: Andrés Muschietti

Screenwriters: Chase Palmer, Cary Joji Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman

Starring: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, and Sophia Lillis

13. Battle of the Sexes

The true story of the 1973 Tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

RD: September 22, 2017

Directors: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

Screenwriter: Simon Beaufoy

Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Sarah Silverman, and Elisabeth Shue

14. American Made

The story of a pilot turned CIA drug runner during the 1980s.

RD: September 29, 2017

Director: Doug Liman

Screenwriter: Gary Spinelli

Starring: Tom Cruise, Caleb Landry Jones, Jesse Plemmons, and Sarah Wright

15. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

After a murder case becomes cold, the mother of the victim paints three billboards leading into town with a controversial message for the sheriff, leading to clash between law enforcement.

RD: October 13, 2017

Director: Martin McDonagh

Screenwriter: Martin McDonagh

Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, and Peter Dinklage

16. Marshall

The true life story of Thurgood Marshall.

RD: October 13, 2017

Director: Reginald Hudlin

Screenwriters: Jacob and Michael Koskoff

Starring: Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, Chadwick Boseman, and Kate Hudson

17. Geostorm

I can’t even justify my excitement for this besides it’s Gerard Butler fights global warming.

RD: October 20, 2017

Directors: Dean Devlin and Danny Cannon

Screenwriters: Dean Devlin and Paul Guyot

Starring: Gerard Butler, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris, and Robert Sheehan

18. Thor: Ragnarok

Hela destroys Thor’s hammer and sends him to alien planet where he fights in gladiatorial combat against his fellow Avenger The Hulk. Meanwhile, Loki is left to defend Asgard and find Thor as the two team together with Doctor Strange to locate Odin, the last hope for Asgard.

RD: November 3, 2017

Director: Taika Waititi

Screenwriter: Eric Pearson

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, and Benedict Cumberbatch

19. Suburbicon

A home invasion shakes up a suburban community.

RD: November 3, 2017

Director: George Clooney

Screenwriters: George Clooney, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, and Grant Heslov

Starring: Matt Damon, Oscar Issac, Julianne Moore, and Noah Jupe

20. Justice League

Inspired by Superman’s sacrifice, Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince assemble the world’s greatest heroes to protect against an imminent threat of annihilation.

RD: November 17, 2017

Director: Zack Snyder

Screenwriters: Chris Terrio and Joss Wheadon

Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, and Jason Momoa

21. Murder on the Orient Express

Thirteen strangers are stranded on the lush Orient Express when a murder occurs. Lucky for the innocents, the world’s greatest detective Hercule Poirot is also on board.

RD: November 24, 2017

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Screenwriter: Michael Green

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Penélope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, Judi Dench, Lucy Boynton, Willem Dafoe, Derek Jacobi, and Leslie Odom Jr

22. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi

Rey has found the last Jedi master Luke Skywalker and seeks training, meanwhile Kylo Ren and the First Order hunt General Leia Solo and the remaining members of the Resistance.

RD: December 15, 2017

Director: Rian Johnson

Screenwriter: Rian Johnson

Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher

23. Pitch Perfect 3

The Barden Bellas return as alumni return to coach the failing acapella team.

RD: December 22, 2017

Director: Trish Sie

Screenwriter: Kay Cannon

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, and Elizabeth Banks

24. The Current War

The race to create a marketable and sustainable system for electricity between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse.

RD: December 22, 2017

Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Screenwriter: Michael Mitnick

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Nicholas Hoult, and Michael Shannon

25. The Greatest Showman

The story of P.T. Barnum and his rise to becoming an international sensation.

RD: December 25, 2017

Director: Michael Gracey

Screenwriters: Michael Arndt, Jenny Bicks, and Bill Condon

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, Zac Efron, and Zendaya

26. Black Panther

T’Challa defends his nation of Wakanda from physical threats and political challengers in a post-Civil War world.

RD: February 16, 2018

Director: Ryan Cooler

Screenwriters: Joe Robert Cole and Ryan Coogler

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, and Martin Freeman

27. Pacific Rim: Uprising

Following 2013’s surprise smash Pacific Rim, the world builds more defenses for an imminent kaiju return.

RD: February 23, 2018

Director: Steven S. DeKnight

Screenwriters: Emily Carmichael, Steven S. DeKnight, T.S. Nowlin, and Kira Snyder

Starring: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Charlie Day, and Tian Jing

28. A Wrinkle in Time

After her scientist father disappears, Meg and her brother and friend are sent to space to find him by three peculiar beings.

RD: March 9, 2018

Director: Ava DuVernay

Screenwriter Jennifer Lee

Starring: Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Zach Galifianakis, and Michael Peña

29. Sherlock Gnomes

When other gnomes go missing, Gnomeo and Juliet recruit Sherlock Gnomes, the world famous detective to solve the case.

RD: March 23, 2018

Director: John Stevenson

Screenwriters: Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, and Ben Zazove

Starring: Johnny Depp, James McAvoy, and Emily Blunt

30. Ready Player One

A world suffering from an energy crisis serves as the backdrop for a virtual rollercoaster ride about a massive hunt for an easter egg within the open world of the OASIS, in which a high school senior makes the first progress towards winning the inventor Halliday’s fortune in five years.

RD: March 30, 2018

Director: Steven Spielberg

Screenwriters: Ernest Cline, Zak Penn, and Eric Eason

Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Mark Rylance, and Simon Pegg

31. X-Men: The New Mutants

A team of heroes composed of graduates from Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters embark on their first mission.

RD: April 13, 2018

Director: Josh Boone

Screenwriters: Josh Boone, Kante Gwaltney, and Knate Lee

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Rosario Dawson, and Henry Zaga

32. Avengers: Infinity War

The Avengers face their greatest threat yet as they prepare for impending doom at the hands of Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet.

RD: May 4, 2018

Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo

Screenwriters: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillian, Zoe Saldana, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brie Larson, Dave Bautista, Cobie Smulders, Vin Diesel, Sebastian Stan, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Olsen, Tessa Thompson, Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Brolin, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Rudd, Peter Dinklage, Paul Bettany, Benicio Del Toro, Sean Gunn, Benedict Wong, Anthony Mackie, and Winston Duke

33. Han Solo: A Star Wars Story

The story of the young smuggler Han Solo leading up to his involvement in the original Star Wars.

RD: May 25, 2018

Directors: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Screenwriters: Jon and Lawrence Kasdan

Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, and Woody Harrelson

34. Deadpool 2

Deadpool returns with Cable for more shenanigans and chimichangas.

RD: June 1, 2018

Director: David Leitch

Screenwriters: Rhett Resse and Paul Wernick

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, T.J. Miller, and Morena Baccarin

35. The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles return 15 years later.

RD: June 15, 2018

Director: Brad Bird

Screenwriter: Brad Bird

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, and Raymond Ochoa

36. Jurassic World 2

Jurassic Park meets Jurassic World.

RD: June 22, 2018

Director: J.A. Bayona

Screenwriters: Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow

Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, and BD Wong

37. Hotel Transylvania 3

The monsters are back, and better than the Dark Universe.

RD: July 13, 2018

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky

Screenwriters: Genndy Tartakovsky and Michael McCullers

Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, and Selena Gomez

38. M:I6 – Mission Impossible

Ethan Hunt teams with MI6 once again.

RD: July 27, 2018

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Screenwriter: Christopher McQuarrie

Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Henry Cavill, and Simon Pegg

39. Scarface

A Mexican immigrant’s rise up the ladder in the drug trade.

RD: August 10, 2018

Director: David Ayer

Screenwriters: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Jonathan Herman, and Terence Winter

Starring: Diego Luna

40. Venom

Eddie Brock, a disgraced journalist for the Daily Bugle, discovers an alien symbiote that grants him superpowers similar to the hero who ruined his life: Spider-Man.

RD: October 5, 2018

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Screenwriters: Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg

Starring: Tom Hardy

41. Jungle Book

An orphan boy is raised in the wild by animals and hunted by a tiger.

RD: October 19, 2018

Director: Andy Serkis

Screenwriter: Callie Kloves

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and Andy Serkis

42. X-Men: Dark Phoenix

The X-Men face a betrayal from within their ranks and fight an unexpected war.

RD: November 2, 2018

Director: Simon Kinberg

Screenwriter: Simon Kinberg

Starring: Sophie Turner

43. Mulan

A young woman rises up to save China.

RD: November 2, 2018

Director: Niki Caro

Screenwriters: Lauren Hynek, Rick Jaffa, Elizabeth Martin, and Amanda Silver

44. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Animated; The Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the town of Whoville.

RD: November 9, 2018

Directors: Peter Candeland and Yarrow Cheney

Screenwriter: Michael LeSieur

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch

45. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2

Dumbledore and Newt Scamander work together to stop the dark wizard Grindelwald.

RD: November 16, 2018

Director: David Yates

Screenwriter: J.K. Rowling

Starring: Johnny Depp, Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, and Ezra Miller

46. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

Ralph’s adventures move from the arcade world to worlds of mobile and internet gaming.

RD: November 21, 2018

Directors: Phil Johnston and Rich Moore

Screenwriters: Phil Johnston and Pamela Ribon

Starring: Sarah Silverman, John C. Reilly, Jane Lynch, and James Cordon

47. Untitled Animated Spider-Man Film

Following the death of Peter Parker at the hands of the Sinister Six, a young boy named Miles Morales dons the mantle of Spider-Man after gaining superpowers.

RD: December 12, 2018

Directors: Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey

Screenwriters: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and Rodney Rothman

Starring: Liev Schreiber and Shameik Moore

48. Aquaman

Arthur Curry returns to Atlantis following his escapades with the Justice League to find his brother Orin has stolen the throne.

RD: December 21, 2018

Director: James Wan

Screenwriters: Will Beall, Geoff Jahn, and James Wan

Starring: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, and Patrick Wilson

49. Mary Poppins Returns

The now adult Jane and Michael Banks and his three children are treated to a return from the ageless treasure Mary Poppins, who is accompanied by Jack, a young colleague of her old friend Bert.

RD: December 25, 2018

Director: Rob Marshall

Screenwriter: David Magee

Starring: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dick Van Dyke, and Meryl Streep

50. Bohemian Rhapsody

The story of Queen leading up to their Live Aid concert in 1985.

RD: December 25, 2018

Director: Bryan Singer

Screenwriter: Anthony McCarten

Starring: Rami Malek

51. Glass

A sequel to Unbreakable and Split; David Dunn returns to superhero duty at the news that a new villain called The Horde has surfaced, and is revealed to be manipulated by Mr. Glass himself.

RD: January 18, 2019

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Screenwriter: M. Night Shyamalan

Starring: Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson, and Anya Taylor-Joy

52. The Lego Movie Sequel

A sequel…nothing is really known yet.

RD: February 8, 2019

Director: Mike Mitchell

Screenwriters: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Starring: Chris Pratt

53. Bride of Frankenstein

The second installment I’m Universal’s Dark Universe.

RD: February 14, 2019

Director: Bill Condon

Screenwriters: Neil Burger, Dirk Wittenborn, Davon Koepp, Alex Kurtzman, and Chris Morgan

Starring: Javier Bardem

54. How to Train Your Dragon 3

The conclusion to Hiccup’s trilogy.

RD: March 1, 2019

Director: Dean DeBlois

Screenwriter: Dean DeBlois

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, and Gerard Butler

55. Fast and Furious 9

The family returns.

RD: April 19, 2019

Screenwriter: Chris Morgan

Starring: Vin Diesel, Lucas Black, and Tyrese Gibson

56. Avengers 4

The continuation of Infinity War.

RD: May 3, 2019

Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo

Screenwriters: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

Starring: Everyone from Infinity War + Evangeline Lily

57. Star Wars: Episode IX

The epic conclusion to sequel trilogy that involves Rey, Kylo, Poe, and Finn.

RD: May 24, 2019

Director: Colin Trevorrow

Screenwriters: Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow

Starring: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, and Andy Serkis

58. Minecraft

I’ll admit.. I just wanna see how they pull this off…

RD: May 24, 2019

Director: Rob McElhenney

Screenwriters: Rob McElhenney and Jason Fuchs

Starring: Steve Carell

59. The Lion King

A young lion prince runs away following the assassination of his father and returns to find his kingdom in disarray under the rule of his uncle.

RD: July 19, 2019

Director: Jon Favreau

Screenwriters: Jeff Nathanson

Starring: Donald Glover, James Earl Jones, Seth Rogan, and Billy Eichner

60. Wicked

An aspiring young sorcerer uncovers a plot by the devious Wizard of Oz and rises up against him despite being branded the Wicked Witch of the West.

RD: December 20, 2019

Director: Stephen Daldry

Screenwriter: Winnie Holzman