Durant High School Journalism

Aladdin The Musical comes to Tampa

Aladdin the musical is a Braoday musical that tours the world, showcasing their talent acoss the globe.


Aladdin the musical is a Braoday musical that tours the world, showcasing their talent acoss the globe.

The iconic 1992 Disney classic, Aladdin, became an on-stage production to bring the mystical city of Agrabar to audiences across the country in 2011.  In December, the 2019 Aladdin Tour brought the story of a “street rat’s” efforts to win Princess Jasmine’s heart to Morsani Hall in Tampa’s Straz Center.  

The magical experience began at the doors when guests were met by enthusiastic greeters to be directed to their seats and to various locations inside the center for commemorative pictures.  The adaptation included 11 more songs than the original Tim Rice animated screenplay.

The new songs developed Aladdin’s character, played by Jonah Ho’okano, and motivation to become more than a “street rat” in a rendition of “Proud of Your Boy” which Aladdin emotionally dedicated to his mother. The emotional new songs not only gave the actors more solos but provided insight and back story of the characters that the animated version did not.  

Kaenaon Alani Kekoa’s powerful, yet fluid voice filled the stage in her first song as Jasmine with “These Palace Walls.”  While her solos stood out, her voice was overshadowed and lost in her duets with childhood friend Ho’okano, whose seven years of experience showed in his flawless performance. 

The on-stage adaptation included three friends for Aladdin to fill in for Abu, Aladdin’s monkey sidekick in the animated movie.  However, Babkak (Zach Bencal), Omar (Ben Chavez), and Kassim (Colt Prattes) were irrelevant and seemed to be randomly tossed in throughout the duration of the play.  Prattes’s emphatic voice, however, emerged in his solos of the songs the trio sang and saved the scenes the friends were in, but their roles seemed incongruous and mistimed to the storyline.

Korie Lee Blossey, who played Genie, and Ho’okano had indisputable chemistry.  Their dialogue seemed genuine and flowed naturally as their jokes bounced off each other, like a veteran comedy team.  In one of his scenes with Genie, Ho’okano broke character and laughed at a few of Genie’s jokes before regaining his composure.  The natural friendship between the actors made Aladdin’s scenes with Genie the best part of the play.  

Iago (Reggie De Leon), Jafar’s sidekick, was overly dramatic and his performance took away from what should have been more serious scenes.  His part, like Aladdin’s friends, could have been left out of the show entirely. Genie begged for applause and laughs at the beginning by trying to rally the crowd, seemingly sitting on their hands, after some of his jokes didn’t land.  Although his performance was not comparable to Robin William’s (but then again, whose could be?), he played the part well and tied the scenes together seamlessly.

The sets designed for the play were terribly underdone.  The marketplace was far too simple and the small ensemble didn’t compensate for the lacking backdrop.  The same was true for the scenes in the palace.  

     The palace should have been elegant, as it was the palace of a sultan, but instead was disappointing and simple.  By comparison, however, the scene in the Cave of Wonders was exaggerated, a stark contrast to the rest of the play.  The Cave of Wonders shouldn’t have been the scene to have the large set since it was only used for one scene. The simple sets allowed the elegant and colorful costumes to stand out but was ultimately disappointing.

Nichole Sullivan saw the performance for the second time on December 26th and said, “I like it better than the first time I saw it…I saw it the first time and I think I expected it to be amazing, but I was a little disappointed.”  She said her expectations were lower this time, which made this performance more enjoyable.

“The tour will be coming to a close in April, and the reason being is that this show itself is just too big to fit other stages,” said Matthew Watson, a member of the orchestra.  Michelle West, an ensemble member of the production, explained that the show can only fit a few stages which limits the tour to a few cities in the country. 

Overall, the Broadway adaptation of Aladdin, in true Disney fashion, fulfilled all expectations, providing a unique on-stage Disney experience for Aladdin and Disney fans.

About the Writer
Photo of Lilyann Belcher
Lilyann Belcher, Staff Writer

Lily Belcher is a sophomore at Durant High School and she is a Staff Writer for the PawPrint newspaper. She is also part of Durant’s Flag Football team,...

Rachel Cohn’s Pop Princess makes super-stardom unappealing

The cover is slightly bland unlike the story.

Angelique Robinson

The cover is slightly bland unlike the story.

Rachel Cohn’s book Pop Princess is like no other book I have ever read. Sadly, I did not enjoy the book as much as I thought I would. The book follows the main character Wonder Blake and her journey to fame as a manufactured pop princess.

The sense of humor Cohn used appealed to me but might not to most people. She uses a mix of sarcasm, dark humor and a little sardonic humor. This humor doesn’t make people want to laugh out loud, but it does warrant a chuckle.

The structure of the book was also nice. The book is split into three parts, each part is based on her hair color symbolizing where she is on her pop princess journey. This was a nice touch, but it gets messy within each part. The worst past about this book is the sporadic bouts of information spread throughout. Even towards the end of the book new character information is gained. Some of this felt unnecessary, there were added character traits that felt forced.

One character’s development seemed to be added to include at least one member of a minority group. A lot of this had no warning, there were no hints throughout the book to even allude to the truths at the end.

The characters all also have few redeeming qualities. All of them were annoying, they make decisions that very few people in the real world would make. Her characterization makes me hope that this was a satire on the music industry.

This book was cringy but maybe it was me. Maybe aspiring artists may be able to relate to this or use this as an example of what they could do in their future. If there is still an interest in giving this book a try, it is 311 pages.

About the Contributor
Photo of Angelique Robinson
Angelique Robinson, Web Editor

Angelique Robinson is a senior at Durant and is Web Editor for the PawPrint newspaper. She loves writing creative pieces, as well as more serious articles...

Netflix’s “Anne with an E” is a heartwarming watch



Many people’s first thought when they hear an old classic story is being rebooted is “why?” A lot of people possess the belief that classic shows and movies should not be remade, as they fear that the old stories they once fell in love with will be ruined. But sometimes, bringing an old story back to life can have unexpectedly good results.

Netflix’s Anne with an E is a slightly modernized retelling of the wildly famous Anne of Green Gables books. The show aired on Netflix in early 2017, and the second season came out in early July of this year.

As someone who did not read the Anne of Green Gables books prior to watching the show, I cannot say whether or not the show did the books and original movies justice or not. But what I can say is that I was very touched by the show and I genuinely enjoyed watching it.

The story takes place in the 19th century, and is centered around Anne Shirley, a young orphan living in a small village called Avonlea. Siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert decide to take in a young boy to help them with their farm, but when Matthew goes to get the child, he finds that there was a mix-up, and he was given a girl instead.

Anne Shirley is the vibrant young orphan who was sent in place of the young boy. Anne is taken home with Matthew to Green Gables, where she falls in love with the farm and begs the Cuthberts not to take her back to the train station after Marilla insists that she must return. After an incident occurs involving a lost brooch, Anne is returned to the station, but eventually gets to come home and the three are reunited.

The show focuses on many important themes such as feminism, inclusivity, and equality, and touches on important issues such as bullying, self-doubt, and racism. It highlights the idea that we are all individuals, asserting that “different isn’t bad, it’s just not the same.”

Overall, the show gives off a powerful message of positivity and reminds viewers of the beauty of singularity. I absolutely adore the show and am anxiously awaiting the third season.

‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ is an explosive ending to a spectacular series



Epic, riveting, compelling, adventurous; these are all words that can be used to describe the third and final Maze Runner film that hit theaters in late January.

Wes Ball’s Maze Runner: The Death Cure is the fast-paced, action-packed conclusion to the popular series, The Maze Runner. Based off of the book The Death Cure by James Dashner, the long-awaited finale to the franchise ties all of the loose ends that arose in the first two films.

Like other young adult movies before it, such as The Hunger Games and Divergent, Maze Runner: The Death Cure takes place in a dystopian society years in the future. The movie is centered around a group led by Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) who desperately try to free their friend, Minho (Ki Hong Lee), from WCKD, a government corporation created to eradicate a virus that has proved to be the end of the world. The corporation, though trying to find a cure for the deadly virus that has wiped out more than half of the world’s population, conducts tests on children and teenagers that are less than humane, and with the help of some newfound allies, the group works to steal back their friend and take down WCKD.

The film takes place six months after the end of the previous movie, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, and the audience sees the characters in the same barren land that they left off in.

From the opening sequence, the film leaves its audience on the edge of their seats with nerves and excitement as the characters are engaged in a high-speed chase with a train that is transporting Minho and hundreds of other kids to the WCKD facility.


As a long-time fan of both the books and movies, I had high expectations going in, but I did not expect to be as utterly moved by the movie as I was. I was blown away by the emotions that I felt while watching the film. The complex characters and themes combined with the remarkable acting and cinematography easily made Maze Runner: The Death Cure my favorite movie of all time. Though it changes some elements from the books, the movie, for the most part, stays true to the original storyline, and satisfies all of the die-hard Maze Runner fans like myself.

The film is categorized as a sci-fi action film, but it is not all fight sequences and explosions. Many action movies nowadays tend to focus too much on the action and leave little time for viewers to get to know the characters and their personalities, but this is not the case with Maze Runner: The Death Cure. Throughout the film, the audience sees plenty of action and chaos, but also get to see many raw and heartfelt moments shared between their favorite characters from the previous movies. The emotional scenes in the movie capture the intensity of the despair that the group feels after their friend is taken from them.

The group is abruptly submerged in a highly dangerous mission to rescue their friend and essentially save the world from WCKD; a mission that could easily cause them to lose their lives. This is made even more heartbreaking by the fact that the majority of the main characters are only teenagers. These are things that would affect any real person going through them, and I was glad that the film chose a more realistic approach to the common ‘end of the world’ trope.

An angsty film such as this one requires a talented cast in order to have the targeted effect on its audience. Maze Runner: The Death Cure did an incredible job casting its main role, as Dylan O’Brien’s deep passion and impressive emotional range made Thomas the courageous and memorable character that he is. The entire cast was wonderfully chosen, and incredible actors such as Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito and Love Actually’s Thomas Brodie-Sangster brought real emotion and depth into the characters.

Though it takes place at the end of the world, Maze Runner: The Death Cure finds a way to paint stunning images across the screen. The film displays some truly breathtaking shots that perfectly encapsulate the tragically beautiful remains of a broken world.

Overall, the film is a stunning outro to the beloved series that has topped box office charts time and time again. It highlights many powerful themes such as teamwork, family, and the idea that you should always fight for what you believe in. If you’re looking for a movie to watch with action, heart, and well-developed characters, this is most definitely the movie for you.

Mega Man 11 Review: The Long-Awaited Return


Title: Mega Man 11

Platform: Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One

Release Date: October 2, 2018

Arguably Capcom’s biggest mascot, Mega Man, has made a huge return into the gaming industry. The hit 2D action platformer officially marked it’s first installment after an eight-year hiatus. After the retro aesthetic and feel of  2010’s Mega Man 10,  Mega Man 11 launched with everything a new or old fan of the series could have hoped for. The newest installment takes many leaps in the right direction while staying true to core roots.

With the whole game in crisp HD graphics and a bright “cartoon-y” art style, the Blue Bomber looks better than ever before. The disastrous animated-style video sequences of Mega Man 8 luckily make no appearance in the new installment. Contrasting from and 10‘s 8-bit approach to appeal to fans of the first six installments, Mega Man 11’s visual direction feels fresh and new to the series. Thanks to the graphics department, the new art style of Mega Man 11 is a welcome addition to the series.

Gameplay-wise, 11 performs exactly how you would expect from any of Capcom’s past Mega Man titles. Old-school fans will feel right at home when they play through the game’s steep difficulty curve using the tight control mechanics that they’ve grown accustomed to.

The most notable addition to the experience is the “Double Gear System.” The Double Gear system allows Mega Man to switch between two different modes. The “Speed Gear” slows down time around Mega Man, allowing him to maneuver around obstacles a little bit easier. The gear becomes very useful in intimidating situations.

The “Power Gear” increases Mega Man’s weapon strength. Using the Power Gear will give players an advantage over difficult enemies and bosses that Mega Man may encounter. In order to balance these abilities with the gameplay, the Double Gear System will overheat after a player uses the abilities too much at one time. This cool-down system allows for the game to maintain it’s ever-increasing difficulty.

New and younger fans of the series are given the option to tone down the intensity of the game since the options are more suitable for beginners. Towards the start of creating a new game file, players are prompted with the option to play the game on. The difficult settings, Newcomer, Casual, Normal, and Superhero, are all the options available to different players who would either like to take the game in a light-hearted approach or players who are willing to take on a serious challenge.

Each level’s structure is patterned similarly to previous titles in the series. Once a player reaches the end of any stage of their choosing, they are prompted to battle the boss of that stage. The bosses, called “Robot Masters,” will challenge Mega Man to a fight that the player must succeed in to complete the stage. Reaching each stage’s Robot Master remains a challenge others would expect from a Mega Man game.

Upon defeating a stage’s Robot Master, Mega Man is prompted to a new weapon for use in his arsenal. Players controlling Mega Man have the free will to switch between the available weapons at any given time. Each weapon takes advantage of a special ability that is unique to the Robot Master that Mega Man obtained the weapon from. Each weapon’s ability can either be used strategically against bosses and enemies who have a specific weakness towards the ability of a certain weapon or used to find secrets such as an extra life or an Energy Tank in each stage.

Overall, Mega Man 11 is a breath of fresh air for the franchise. The beautiful HD graphics shine brightly with the presented new art style and the added mechanics give Mega Man fans a new depth of gameplay to dive smoothly into. Mega Man is back with the action-packed adventure that the fans have been longing for.

Reviewer score: 9/10

View the video below to watch  Mega Man 11‘s launch trailer.

Noah Cyrus Comes to Florida


Celeste Mott

Noah Cyrus performing in Orlando, 2018.

Tampa Bay, Fla.–After releasing her debut EP, “Good Cry,” on Sept. 21, eighteen-year-old Noah Cyrus began touring with a first appearance in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Cyrus is touring through 20 different cities across the United States, after starting in Ft. Lauderdale.

After Ft. Lauderdale, Cyrus and Noyes held a concert at the Beacham club in Orlando, Fla. There were about 100 to 150 people present, so it was a small event. Cyrus was joined by her friend, Maty Noyes, who is the opening act for the Good Cry tour.

Celeste Mott
Noah Cyrus was joined onstage by performer Maty Noyes.

Noyes is an American singer who just released a new EP, “Love Songs by a Lolita” and two new singles, “Lava Lamps” and “Spiraling Down,” on Aug. 10, 2018.

I arrived an hour early before the event, meaning my spot from the performers was only three rows of people away. Because of the small concert size the event felt uniquely personal.

It was an exhilarating performance because I was able to connect to Cyrus’ emotional and meaningful lyrics. The performers’ were also incredibly passionate about how they were playing and the fact that they wanted to keep their audiences’ attention the entire time. The overall experience of the event was amazing, and I highly suggest checking Cyrus out on one of her upcoming tour stop destinations.

Sergei Prokofiev’s “Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78: 5. The Battle on Ice”

Karly Schmid-Gavini reviews Prokofiev's Op. 78:5.

Composer Sergei Prokofiev.

Russia Beyond

Composer Sergei Prokofiev.

Title: Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78: 5. The Battle on Ice

Composer: Sergei Prokofiev

Duration: 12:25

This Opus by Sergei Prokofiev is full of different forms of movement and music throughout the piece. There are chorus tones throughout the song, a lot of opera chants. The brass and woodwind features together create a clashing tone that really makes for a lovely piece. The percussive elements give tempo and movement throughout this 12-minute movement.

The beginning of this piece starts off so quiet and delicate, really soothing the listener. The suspense slowly starts to edge in with the crescendo of the low brass taking over the gentle woodwind and string features. It then layers in upper brass, string, percussion and finally the opera-like chanting, that persuades your heart to start beating faster. It continues with a similar pattern until about the four-minute mark, and the repetitive trills of the strings and percussive patterns ring through until the nine-minute mark, smacking the listener with heavy brass and timpani hits. The piece ends with the similar quiet delicate sound, replicating the beginning a bit.

Overall this piece is exciting and invigorating, yet relaxing and utterly beautiful all together. I recommend this piece for anyone interested in orchestral works of art.

Infinity War: A Superhero Epic Ten Years in the Making

The PawPrint film critic checks out Infinity War.


I’ve always considered myself to be a fan of Marvel and their cinematic universe.

From the age of eight, I’ve always had fond memories of the shared universe that grew to amazing proportions as I matured.

I still remember seeing the first Iron Man film in 2008, and to this day, it still remains one of my favorite superhero movies.

Flash forward to ten years later, and here we are, finally reaching the magnum opus of Marvel Studios in Infinity War, a superhero epic based on the storytelling and buildup of eighteen previous films made within the span of over ten years of work.

I find it difficult to judge Infinity War as a film in itself; it is much easier to describe and analyze as an event of sorts.

Much like the championship in a sport, the grand finale is the coalition of every game and participant of a season leading up to it.

Every film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has individually built up to this finale to some degree while acting as its own standalone film that can be held upon its own merits.

Just as there is no Super Bowl without its two teams, there is no Infinity War without these eighteen other films.

The ten year spread of these films doesn’t even begin to encompass the true ambition of such a film.

Infinity War is a film without any true character development for all but one character.  However, it is entirely unnecessary, as the development has come in the form of these other films on certain characters.

There is no necessary introduction to any of the characters within the film; the audience already has full awareness of each character and who they are given the events of the prior films.

In addition to the lack of necessity for development, the film also lacks a true structure that a typical film might follow.

The introductory phase of the film that usually comes in the beginning is dropped entirely; instead, the audience is cast directly into the events without any ease or unnecessary pieces of information given.

In any other film, these two essential filmmaking pieces would break the film.  In Infinity War, however, the absence is welcome and ultimately helps the film.

What was most intriguing to me, before seeing the film, was just how all the heroes within the universe would share the screen in an almost 3 hour debacle against an overwhelming threat to the universe.

Surely, I thought, there would be no true way to balance all of its main characters, and it would ultimately collapse on itself in the sheer weight of its subject.

I had never considered the idea of the roles of a typical superhero film to be reversed and defy my expectations to such a degree.

Infinity War’s method of making the villain of the film, an incredible visionary for a new universe by the name of Thanos (played by Josh Brolin) shifted the primary focus away from the large quantity of heroes was a simple, yet intuitive way of balancing the film and making a film that would subvert a wider sense of expectation to the story itself.

This is not the only aspect the film impressed me, however.

I found that many of my critiques surrounding other superhero movies were improved upon or removed entirely from Infinity War.

I found the writing to be much more tightly crafted and tuned to a fair mix of severity, comedy, and emotional moments, compared to that of prior superhero films.

In terms of sound and composition, both were improved tenfold from the previous Marvel films that often boasted sound effect galore and forgetful scores from the most seasoned of composers.

The coalition of each superhero presented in each of the prior films within the universe was objectively balanced, with each character receiving an ample amount of screen time for each to make a true impact.

This is a superhero film fans have waited their entire lives to see and will resonate within popular culture for years to come; Marvel Studios has found critical, general, and financial acclaim in their series of films that many can only dream of.

With its second part to release in May 2019, Infinity War’s success is not even close to reaching its peak.

With the film now boasting a staggering $640 million after its first weekend at the box office, Infinity War has potential to become the biggest film to ever be released in the history of cinema, and his rightfully earned its spot as one of the greatest superhero films to ever be made.

Cobra Kai: Yet Another Blunder from the Karate Kid’s Legacy

Our film critic takes a hard look at Cobra Kai.

Cobra Kai: Yet Another Blunder from the Karate Kid's Legacy

It’s always a shame when beloved properties are shamelessly milked just to make a quick buck in the world of television and film.

It’s even worse when the franchise portrays such promise for a future, only for it to be squandered.

The Karate Kid franchise has been victim of both of these things for over 30 years now.

The 1984 critically acclaimed underdog story follows New Jersey native Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio) moving to Reseda, California, undergoing a series of bullying from his peers, primarily from a boy named Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), who was studying karate in a dojo by the name of Cobra Kai led by a cutthroat sensei (Martin Kove).

After being antagonized by Lawrence, Larusso enlists in the help of his savior from a beating, a janitor by the name of Mr. Myagi (Pat Mora) who teaches him karate to participate in a tournament to get back at his tormentors.

In typical 1980s fashion and cheesiness, Larusso becomes adept in karate, defies the odds and beats Lawrence in the regional karate championship and to earn the respect of his bully.

The Karate Kid is heralded today as one of the quintessential films of the 1980s and arguably one of the greatest martial arts films of all time.

This, however, is where the series begins to falter.

In 1986, The Karate Kid Part II was released and was met with mixed reception. The sequel followed Larusso and Mr. Myagi in a journey to his homeland of Okinawa, Japan, to see his dying father.

Although the premise and location were inherently different, Larusso, just like the first film, encounters another bully, must train and improve in karate, and fight said bully in a high-stakes match.

In 1989, the infamous Karate Kid Part III was released and was critically panned for following the same plot of the first film and for once again recycling elements. The final film in the Karate Kid trilogy was nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards, which are given to the worst films of the year.

1989 also saw the release of the animated Karate Kid television series, which had little viewership over the course of a 13-episode season.

The franchise attempted a revival in the 1994 release of The Next Karate Kid, starring Hilary Swank in her debut role. The film was critically panned and was frequently called worse than the third part. The property remained untouched until 2010 when a remake of the first Karate Kid film was released. Starring Jaden Smith as Dre Parker and Jackie Chan as Mr. Han, the film was met with mixed reviews.

Flash forward to 2018, and the property is being milked yet again in the YouTube Red original series entitled Cobra Kai.

The biggest question I have is this: who asked for this?

From what I’ve seen, this is the sixth time the dead horse is being beaten.

This time appeared to be different, however.

As cheap as the trailer looked, upon its release on YouTube on May 1st, Cobra Kai was met to generally positive reviews from fans and critics alike, to which I was dumbfounded.

Could it be?  Could the franchise finally make a run at something above mediocrity?

The answer, upon my own viewing of the show, was a resounding no.

I simply cannot understand the positive reviews Cobra Kai is earning.

It is trivial to me that both critics and fans see this film as a recapturing of the era of which the films originally took place and to be a good product overall; it fails as both of those things.

Let’s start with my biggest problem: the characters.

Cobra Kai essentially follows the story from the perspective of Johnny Lawrence this time, approximately 34 years after fighting Daniel Larusso in the tournament.

It seems that after this fight, Johnny has absolutely let himself go, reduced to finding odd jobs to stay afloat in life.  In a time when things seem to be at their worst, Johnny becomes inspired to revitalize his karate career after a run-in with some bullies attempting to harm another kid and reconnecting with Larusso, whom has found success in life.

My major problem with this comes with all the characters of the show: none of them are interesting or likeable in themselves.

Johnny Lawrence is, to put it bluntly, a terrible person.  He’s a drunk, estranged, racist, degenerate at this point in life, disrespecting those around him and carrying an aura of selfishness and unpleasantries.

There are no good moral qualities in Johnny Lawrence’s character that make him interesting, nor is there anything remotely likeable about him.

Logically, the only way his character can maintain any sort of care or attention is because he’s the main character of the show; if that’s all you can muster from your audience regarding your most prominent character, something is gravely wrong.

Then there’s Daniel Larusso.

It seems that following this fight, Larusso has found admeasure success, namely in the sale of cars.  Larusso owns his own dealership and auto repair shop.

Larusso, just like Lawrence, isn’t an interesting character either.

Larusso is shown as Lawrence’s foil in the show; both are opposites in almost every way.

Where Lawrence is down on his luck, Larusso is wildly successful and famous.

Where Lawrence acts reclusive and distant, Larusso is very open and friendly.

Where Lawrence is unlikeable and lacks good qualities, Larusso is seemingly perfect and should be loved.

This is where both of them merge: both are equally static and uninteresting characters that lack any sort of complexity.

There are a variety of other major problems I have with the show as well.

As a fan of the original film, I was extremely bothered by the presentation of the tournament in Cobra Kai in context to the show.

In the film, after Larusso successfully defeats Lawrence, Larusso is shown being lifted up and praised for victory.

During this, Lawrence himself presents the trophy to Larusso and congratulates him on his victory, to which Larusso thanks him.

This was always one of my favorite moments of the series; it reveals how Larusso had finally come to earn the respect of Lawrence and his peers and found success. It was a fantastic, subtle moment that is essential to the ending of the film.

I suppose the creators of Cobra Kai didn’t particularly appreciate this moment just as others did.

Whenever the tournament is presented in a flashback sequence, all that is shown is Johnny Lawrence being knocked unconscious (which did not happen in the original) and never congratulating Larusso.

This small piece of the ending could completely erase the pointless hatred Lawrence seems to have for Larusso that acts as an overtone throughout the first episode.

Many of my other complaints come in the form of the plot making little to no sense.

In one scene, for example, in which Lawrence’s car is hit and suffers severe damage, upon being analyzed by Larusso, he says that the damages will cost more than the car is valued, to which Lawrence becomes dejected, as he says he does not have the money to fix it.

Yet, in a scene about three minutes later, Lawrence suddenly decides to get his life together and open his own dojo to revitalize his career in martial arts.

How can someone who cannot afford damages to a car suddenly afford to purchase space in a strip mall in the heart of Reseda, California seemingly on a whim?

Additionally, from a boarder perspective, in what way did a karate tournament cause his life to continually spiral in such a way for 34 years?  Also, how does he decide that he will now just turn his life completely around like that?

Folks who talk about Cobra Kai being a return to the world they loved as a kid are entirely deluded and blinded by the nostalgia of the film.

Much of this continuation of the story revolves around nostalgia primarily to fuel any sort of hype for such a series; I would be willing to bet that close to no one would touch this series if it wasn’t for the series name being attached to it.

It’s interesting to me that this show is one that YouTube uses as its model for why it’s new streaming service, YouTube Red, is superior to that of other streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

To me, this almost makes me apprehensive to ever give the service a chance or to even put it in the same conversation as Netflix and various other streaming platforms.

Hopefully, critics will find a way to look past the overbearing nostalgia of the Karate Kid world and realize that this series will ultimately flop and become another footnote in the sad history of The Karate Kid.

Super Mario Odyssey Review: Capturing the Minds of Adventurous Gamers

Super Mario Odyssey Review: Capturing the Minds of Adventurous Gamers


Title: Super Mario Odyssey
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: October 27th, 2017

It’s been awhile since Nintendo has released such a remarkable title in the Super Mario franchise. Going back to the 3D platformer’s roots, Super Mario Odyssey is a brand new title which incorporates new and original concepts built up with ideas illustrated from past games in the long-running franchise.

Odyssey’s main form leans toward the exploration style of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine as opposed to the more linear Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2. While Odyssey is more exploration based, it also incorporates more linear sections that balance the game’s progression.

The biggest concept presented in Odyssey, “Cappy,” is a new character featured to represent Mario’s well recognized hat. Throughout the game, Mario is able use Cappy as a weapon thrown at enemies, a jumping pad to reach territories out of reach, and a tool to solve puzzles located throughout each Kingdom in the game.

The bulk of the puzzles in Odyssey consists of Mario throwing his hat, Cappy, at enemies to “capture” their bodies.

Basically, whenever the player tosses Cappy at certain enemies, Mario possesses that enemy. Once the player takes control of an enemy, a new set of abilities are gained, giving the player access to complete puzzles, advance through linear sections or discover secret areas containing objects to collect.

Capturing a Goomba, for instance, will allow the player to stack onto other Goombas to create a tower to reach a higher ledge holding new collectables.

Another driving point the game offers is the expansive amount of objects to collect. The main collectibles you find are Power Moons and Purple Coins. There are 1,000 Purple Coins and over 800 Power Moon locations! Players are able to acquire these collectibles throughout the game.

After completing the game’s main campaign, I was surprised by the heavy amount of content that was still left to explore. Odyssey does a fantastic job captivating the player’s attention by rewarding the player with Power Moons throughout the entire game.

Never once did I find myself having a difficult time looking for a new objective.

Between compelling ideas, colorful visuals, balanced progression and richness in content, Odyssey is a wonderful surprise for everybody.

Odyssey is a must buy for any Nintendo fan. The game is another selling reason to own a Nintendo Switch, alongside other major exclusives such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Arms, and Splatoon 2.

Hats off to Nintendo for making a masterfully crafted platformer that evokes the adventure in all of us.

Reviewer score: 10/10

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