Entertainment

Cooking on High, Islands: Now Playing

We don’t feel any December blues

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There’s still so much going on before the year ends. Here’s what everyone’s up to while waiting for the holiday season!

Movies to see

Spider-Man into the Spider-verse
Rodneil: A lot of people are calling this the best animated flick of the year. The visuals are stunning and the story introduces mainstream audiences to a new Spider-Man, all while keeping the spirit of the character and the whole franchise firmly intact.

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
Daniel:
The newest adaptation to the beloved classic is a showcase of the latest and most impressive motion capture technology. The story is a bit on the dark side, but still has the elements of the classic. The best part is it’s available on Netflix and it’ll be a good film for everyone to watch, especially on a big screen.

TV shows to binge watch

Devilman Crybaby
Rodneil: This might just be one of the most messed up anime I’ve seen in awhile. It starts off as a seemingly regular shōnen series with a monster of the week but quickly turns into a depressing social commentary about how people can be the true monsters after all.

Ms. Hammurabi
Rodneil: My growing mild obsession to K-pop led me to this clip on my YouTube recommendations. The actress prominently featured on the clip isn’t even the lead actress but after watching the pilot episode of the series, I instantly got hooked. Ms. Hammurabi tackles power balance and politics in the Korean judiciary but with a sprinkle of romance here and there.

Cooking on High
Marvin: You could describe this is a prestigious culinary competition on TV, but it’s essentially about guests getting high on cannabis-based dishes prepared by master chefs. The 15-minute format makes it perfect for in-between-work binge watching, and is ideal for red-eyed folks with short attention spans.

Games to play

Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Marvin: Lara Croft’s third entry in the revived Tomb Raider series is one to remember. It’s not GOTY-worthy by any measure, but its refinements over the predecessors and gorgeous graphics make it a high-octane gaming experience over the holidays.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

The Best Thing I Ever Did by TWICE
Vincenz: Their latest song feels “merry” enough to be considered a winter song, but diving deeper into the lyrics clearly leaves an impression among fans, as it wants to show how one’s love can change everything, even the coldness and emptiness we feel especially when it’s December. After all, that’s what the spirit of Christmas is all about: giving what you love and loving what you give.

Islands by Reese Lansangan
Vincenz: If you’ve been listening to Reese’s previous songs, you’d definitely know that her latest single sounds different. From the title of the track itself, it is a tropic-themed song that has electronic sounds and water drop synths, making it ethereal enough to listen to.

Tadow by FKJ & Masego
Kevin: Sexy, smooth, intimate — these are some of the first words that come to mind when describing this track. FKJ or French Kiwi Juice is a French multi-instrumentalist who makes tracks that will make you want to lie back and drift away. “Tadow” is no exception with its soulful sax, chill beats, and soothing vocals. Turn down the lights, hit play, and enjoy the night.

Line by Line by PREP
Kevin: “Line by Line” is the latest of two EPs released in 2018 by British pop band PREP. Their songs are a mix of funk, R&B, and a bit of electronic music that go together to create a an easy-listening experience to make you feel good and dance when no one is looking. Their older EPs (like “Futures”) are golden, as well.

Cities/Places to visit

El Nido, Palawan
MJ: White sand beaches, crystal-clear water, towering palm trees, and amazing lagoons behind limestone rock formations. El Nido is indeed a tropical paradise, one that you should visit at least once in your lifetime.

DIY/Trends to try

Brown sugar milk tea
Marvin: It’s nothing new, but certainly one to enjoy. Milk tea stores have been ramping up brown sugar production lately, and each one has its own signature flavor. Whether you try it in Taipei or your own neighborhood, it’s a sweet alternative to the tried-and-tested formula.

Apps to download

PackPoint
MJ: PackPoint is a very useful app to help you pack your essentials for an upcoming trip — whether it’s for business or leisure. It has local weather forecasts and comes up with a checklist that you can customize depending on the activities of your trip.

Books to read

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
MJ: Personally, I believe the universe brings us the people we need in our lives. If you think the same, then you need to read What If It’s Us. It’s a love story between Ben and Arthur and yes, it’s gay fiction, but it’s a book anyone can read this holiday season. After all, it’s about love and the universe. This book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and probably your local bookstores.


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

Apps

Amazon Prime Video expands content for Philippine viewers

Including a new Amazon Original

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Amazon Prime Video

Starting August 2022, Amazon Prime Video will expand its content for Philippine viewers. It will add more local titles featuring the country’s top celebrities as well as exclusive Asian shows.

The move will be highlighted by the release of a new Amazon Original, Comedy Island: Philippines (Base Entertainment) which is a comedy challenge show featuring comedians and other celebrities.

Local Originals will include Big Night starring Christian Bables, How To Love Mr. Heartless with Sue Ramirez, and Whether The Weather Is Fine featuring Daniel Padilla.

Thanks to local licensing deals, Filipino streamers will also be able to watch exclusive Korean titles and anime hits, such as:

  • Nothing Serious (Son Seok-gu/Gong Min-jung)
  • Toy Soldiers: Fake Men 2 The Complete (Julien Kang)
  • Demon Slayer
  • Jujutsu Kaisen O

Other Hollywood blockbuster films and series subscribers may enjoy include The Good Doctor, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and Thirteen Lives.

To cap it off, a local campaign featuring Anne Curtis has also been launched to encourage more viewers to subscribe.

Prime Video will be available in the Philippines for an introductory offer of PhP 149 a month until December 31, 2023.

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Netflix’s The Gray Man is getting its own cinematic universe

A sequel and a spin-off is coming

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Netflix isn’t shy to spend the big bucks on big names. Last year, the platform gambled on a blockbuster called Red Notice featuring A-list celebrities like Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds. This year, the big budget went to The Gray Man, a thriller from MCU stalwarts, the Russo brothers.

Much like the former, The Gray Man opened warmly towards audiences, amid colder reception from critics. The latter doesn’t really matter to Netflix, though. Hearing the applause from the audience, Netflix has decided to jumpstart more titles situated in the universe.

Announced today, the Russo Brothers, Ryan Gosling, and writer Stephen McFeely are returning for a sequel to the original film. Further, Netflix has also greenlit an untitled spin-off film set in the same universe as the original. It will be written by Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, potentially hinting at a more comedic take on the universe.

The original film was based on a book series written by Mark Greaney. Netflix has a wealth of content to adapt for its platform. Similarly, the Russo brothers are well acclimated to cinematic universes, having directed the most ambitious team-up movies in film history, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.

For its part, Netflix is adamant to create its own hit cinematic universes. Besides The Gray Man, the platform has also invested in follow-ups to its popular titles such as The Witcher, Squid Game, Stranger Things, and Army of the Dead.

In the meantime, The Gray Man is available for streaming now on Netflix.

SEE ALSO: Now Playing: The Gray Man

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MCU unveils plans for Phase 5 and 6

The Infinity Saga is officially over

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Years after the end of the Infinity Saga, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still alive and kicking. More movies and series are coming out to set up what’s next for the future. Besides the slate of post-credits stingers, Marvel has another one tried-and-tested method to stoke the hype: San Diego Comic Con. During this year’s event, the MCU once again unveiled unannounced titles and offered more peeks at already announced ones. Without further ado, let’s unravel what’s coming to the Multiverse Saga.

What remains of Phase 4

With a bunch of Disney+ shows and theatrical releases already in the bag, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is winding down Phase 4. The recent lineup of titles both introduced new characters and dealt with the aftermath of Thanos.

The final titles for Phase 4 will do more of the same, while ushering in the start of Phase 5. During this year’s SDCC, the MCU revealed new trailers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (coming to Disney+ starting August 17) and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (coming to theaters on November 11). Wakanda Forever will notably end Phase 4.

Oh, and if the main MCU entries are too much, Marvel also revealed a new trailer for I Am Groot, a series of shorts featuring Baby Groot. It will start streaming August 10 on Disney+.

Phase 5 builds on the future

While Phase 4 focused on bridging old Marvel with the new, Phase 5 shifts attention to the future. It starts off with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, coming to theaters on February 17, 2023. There are no trailers yet, but we have a poster. Plus, Marvel confirms that both Kang and MODOK will be villains for the feature.

After Ant-Man 3, Secret Invasion will drop sometime in the spring of 2023. The thriller will feature Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and the Skrulls as the world takes on an invasion of alien shapeshifters.

Then, James Gunn is unleashing the third volume of this cosmic saga, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which will feature the return of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket Raccoon’s (Bradley Cooper) origins, and the debut of Adam Warlock (Will Poulter). It shows on theaters starting May 5, 2023.

The Marvels will premiere on July 28, presumably featuring Kamala Khan from the recently concluded Ms. Marvel series.

The next film will take a while, though. Sprinkled between and around them, Disney+ has a flurry of shows to stave off any superhero cravings, including Echo, Loki Season 2, Ironheart, and Agatha: Coven of Chaos.

Blade is also coming to cinemas on November 3, 2023. Finally, on May 3, 2024, the Captain America franchise comes back to the big screen. This time, Sam Wilson is at the helm in the aptly titled Captain America: New World Order.

Then, in a blockbuster announcement, Marvel has confirmed that Charlie Cox is returning as Daredevil in his first MCU show, Daredevil: Born Again. Vincent D’Onofrio is also returning to the franchise. It premieres during the spring of 2024.

Finally, Marvel is capping off Phase 5 with Thunderbolts, coming to theaters on July 26, 2024. It will star Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Valentina Allegra de Fontaine and (presumably) Wyatt Russell’s John Walker.

Phase 6 brings out the big guns

Though it’s still quite some time away, Marvel has already announced a few big titles coming to Phase 6. Much like Phase 3 from the Infinity Saga, Phase 6 is a doozy, featuring big names and catastrophic implications for the distant future.

First up, Marvel has confirmed that Fantastic Four is coming to theaters on November 8, 2024. Marvel’s first family is finally debuting. Fans already got a taste with John Krasinski’s cameo in Multiverse of Madness. This time, it’s for real. With the family’s debut, the studio might also be ready to unleash its other recently acquired titles like X-Men.

Finally, presumably the climax of this multi-title arc, Phase 6 will feature a two-parter Avengers movie. Avengers: The Kang Dynasty will show on May 2, 2025. Meanwhile, Avengers: Secret Wars will premiere on November 7, 2025.

While the name doesn’t indicate much, Secret Wars means untold implications for the multiverse. The first Secret Wars comic event introduced Spider-Man’s Black Suit, which eventually evolved to become Venom. The second one, which concluded in 2015, saw the death of the entire multiverse, merging Marvel’s comic books into one smooth timeline. Only time will tell if the MCU’s Secret Wars will feature the same implications.

Also, don’t expect Phase 6 to be just a three-title phase. Marvel will likely announced more for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as time goes by.

SEE ALSO: Marvel’s Midnight Suns available for pre-order; release date announced

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