November started pretty magical. Right after Halloween, a lot has happened in the tech scene including the birth of the 108-megapixel monster, the Mi Note 10, and the resurrection of Motorola razr. In the midst of all these momentous launches, our team still found the time to catch up on the latest in pop culture. Here’s what’s Now Playing in GadgetMatch!
Movies to see
MJ: After six years, the most-awaited sequel is here to give us one last magical adventure. Set during the fall season, the film is about the adventures of Queen Elsa and her cohorts, seeking the truth about the past in order to protect the kingdom of Arendelle from a new threat. In between their adventures, we were rewarded with bursts of laughter, heartwarming lines, scenes that made us hold onto our seats, and lessons about change.
Frozen 2 — despite being a film made for kids and kids at heart — is a bit heavy for a Disney movie, with Elsa, Anna, and the rest of the crew enduring an emotional journey. However, the film is a call for us to go out of our comfort zones, head into the unknown, let our guard down, take chances, and risk in the name of love.
Ford v Ferrari
Kevin: The movie revolves around two special individuals — visionary car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and the fearless racer Ken Miles (Christian Bale). It was based on the historic Le Mans race in 1966 and tells the story of how car manufacturer Ford, wanted to beat the dominating cars of Ferrari and succeeded. Of course, with the help of Shelby and Miles.
Damon performed really well portraying his character but Bale completely transformed himself into another person yet again so you really feel the life of his character. Apart from that, another thing that stood out was the film’s sound design and how the cars’ engines roared and zoomed past you as if you were actually there. It’s simply an entertaining piece for all ages and a very refreshing movie about cars and racing without the overload in testosterone.
Luigi: Nothing beats a traditional whodunnit story. This oddjob of a story comes from The Last Jedi’s director, Rian Johnson. Like most mystery stories, everyone is a suspect and everyone is trapped. However, the story’s uniqueness comes from its wit and its stellar cast including a Chris Evans doing very non-Captain America things.
Shows to binge-watch
Hotel Del Luna
MJ: If you’re struggling with moving on, Hotel Del Luna is worth the watch. With themes about letting go, resentment, forgiveness, and love, it’s difficult not to fall in love with the show and its characters. It also has stunning cinematography and captivating soundtrack that would give you a different high even after you watched it. While people are iffy since it’s the talk of the town, this K-drama is definitely worth the hype. It’s one of the best shows I’ve watched this year, hands down.
La Casa De Papel (Money Heist)
Chay: Whether or not you’re a fan of foreign language material or stories about heists, there’s more to love about La Casa de Papel also known as Money Heist on Netflix. It tells many stories — stories of love, hope, inequality, injustice, and friendship. You will fall in love with one or two or three characters from the series. While a robbery sounds so wrong (it is, in fact, very wrong), you will find yourself rooting for the Money Heist squad to succeed.
The End of the F***ing World Season 2
Vincenz: The last season was a cliffhanger, and just like it, there were a lot of unexpected events that happened in the second installment of The End of the F***ing World — including several new characters. The portrayals of Alyssa and James may look apathetic but it’s for us to realize that actions speak louder than words, and there is always a bigger picture behind. I’m not trying to spoil but one thing I learned (that serves as a reminder for everyone): Say what you feel before it’s too late.
Queer Eye: We’re in Japan!
Chay: I grew up watching shows about makeovers — from Clean House to How Do I Look? to Shabby Chic. Queer Eye is basically all those makeover TV series from the 90s combined, and more. Set in Tokyo, the latest season feels like Terrace House meets the Fab 5. Despite the language barrier, the stories of the heroes this season are just as heartwarming and inspiring as their American counterparts.
Chay: Fleabag is a comedy that often breaks the fourth wall to involve the audience in her mishaps. Her character is often perceived by everyone in her life to be up to no good — who fucks up everything — making her very relatable. The entire series is only two seasons long with six episodes each, making it an easy binge when you’re stuck in traffic.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Season 4
MJ: One of my favorites, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow took a magical turn as the heroes — well, they call themselves Legends — save the world from demons and magical creatures. The troop travels through time to fix and destroy these fugitives in order to protect history. It’s time to refresh your memories and binge-watch it before Season 5 begins in January 2020!
Luigi: HBO’s Watchmen was a huge surprise for me. As a fan of the original comic, I initially thought that this sequel series was either a weak adaptation of the original or an unnecessary sequel. Fortunately, Watchmen is a hugely entertaining balance between its own story and fan service. Old fans will delight in the numerous references to comic events. New fans, however, will appreciate the timely story deeply embedded in racial politics and technological progress.
Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to
Frozen 2 Original Soundtrack
Chay: Only time will tell if any of the new songs in the Frozen sequel will be a hit like ‘Let it Go’. My favorite in the soundtrack is ‘Lost in the Woods’, mostly because of the cheesy, albeit poignant, sequence in the movie featuring straight white male Kristoff. After belting it all out, Sven, his reindeer best friend, tells him, “Your feelings are real. Feel what you feel. Let your guard down and let your feelings out.” Toxic masculinity, whomstve?
Chay: New York Times’ popular column was recently adapted into an Amazon series and while everyone has been raving about it on my feed, I haven’t had the time to watch a single episode yet. Its podcast counterpart, however, is much easier to access and digest as the episodes are all available on Spotify. Each essay is performed by actors, and the authors also get a few minutes at the end to talk about their stories. Reading Modern Love articles has been my go-to commute companion for a while now, and having a podcast to listen won’t change that anytime soon.
Bomb by AleXa
Vincenz: AleXa is a Korean-American who recently made her debut as a K-Pop soloist. Unlike any other K-Pop song, it heavily relies on electronic sounds and heavy bass. Her powerful dancing performance and vocals add up to the invigorating song. The music video gives me a Cyberpunk 2077 vibe (and even the same feels as 2NE1’s ‘Come Back Home’).
Dumb by BVNDIT
Vincenz: BVNDIT (pronounced as bandit) continues to prove their female dominance with their latest upbeat, Latin pop song. Digging into the lyrics, it talks about a guy being “dumb” for not having the courage to pursue her — and it actually made her numb. Dark red visuals are dominant, which may signify that their love desire is dying. It gets better as their vocals and synchronized choreography continue to scream “power.”
Games to play
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Luigi: I can hear the groans already. “Of course, Luigi is suggesting Luigi’s Mansion 3.” Well, Luigi’s third outing as a ghostbuster is really one of the smoothest Nintendo Switch experiences I’ve had this year. This massive action-puzzle game is right up every Switch user’s alley. If (a) you have a Switch, (b) you need an appetizer before Pokemon Sword and Shield, or (c) you want a polished platformer, grab Luigi’s Mansion 3.
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!
TWICE will feature in K/DA’s comeback EP
On the track called ‘I’ll Show You’
TWICE will be featured in the track “I’ll Show You” along with Bekuh Boom, and Anika Wells). A representative from Riot Games confirmed to Polygon that all nine members of TWICE participated in the track. The other tracks in the album are as follows:
- The Baddest (featuring Soyeon and Miyeon of (G)I-dle, Bea Miller, Wolftyla)
- More (featuring Madison Beer, Soyeon and Miyeon of (G)I-dle, Lexie Liu, Jaira Burns, Seraphine)
- Villain (featuring Madison Beer, Kim Petras)
- Drum Go Dum (featuring Aluna, Wolftyla, Bekuh Boom)
K/DA is a virtual girl group that debuted in 2018. The group is composed of four themed versions of League of Legends heroes Ahri, Akali, Evelynn, and Kai’Sa.
American singers Madison Beer and Jaira Burns voiced Evelynn and Kai’Sa during their debut. They were replaced by Bea Miller and Wolftyla in 2020. Meanwhile, Ahri and Akali are voiced by Miyeon and Soyeon who are members of K-Pop girl group (G)I-dle.
TWICE is a K-Pop girl group that debuted in 2016 with the title track “Like OOH-AAH” and have since released hit after hit after their first comeback track “Cheer Up.” The group is preparing to release their second full album titled Eyes Wide Open on October 26 with the title track “I Can’t Stop Me.”
Netflix faces charges for sexualizing children
Over controversial film “Cuties”
Contrary to what you might expect, Netflix’s most controversial film this year is not The Social Dilemma. Released on Netflix this year, Cuties, a French film about 11-year old girls, sparked a larger wave of controversy since its release. Now, Netflix faces charges for sexualizing children.
A grand jury in Texas recently indicted Netflix for showing Cuties on its platform. According to Texas Representative Matt Schaefer, the film “depicts lewd exhibition of [the] pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 years of age which appeals to the prurient interest of sex.”
Netflix, Inc. indicted by grand jury in Tyler Co., Tx for promoting material in Cuties film which depicts lewd exhibition of pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child who was younger than 18 yrs of age which appeals to the prurient interest in sex #Cuties #txlege pic.twitter.com/UJ1hY8XJ2l
— Matt Schaefer (@RepMattSchaefer) October 6, 2020
Texas’s allegations stem from the film’s poster controversy back in August. To promote the film, Netflix used a poster depicting the child actresses posing like a sexualized pop band. Notably, the film’s original French poster was more innocuous, lacking Netflix’s sexual overtones.
The film itself is “a social commentary against the sexualization of young children,” as explained by Netflix in a statement to Reuters. “This charge is without merit and we stand by the film.”
For its part, the platform took down their poster and apologized for the blunder. Regardless, numerous pundits and governments across the globe have rallied against and banned the film from showing. Before the poster controversy in August, the film won an award during its premiere at January’s Sundance Film Festival.
3 must-haves when traveling, in case you want to be like ‘Emily in Paris’
Never ever forget these!
Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen Emily in Paris, please read with caution.
Bonjour, mademoiselles and monsieurs!
I’m certain I’m not the only one obsessed with French culture, and of course, the latest Netflix series — Emily in Paris.
In case you’ve been living under the rock, Emily in Paris re-awakened people’s lust for travel. A bit of escape from the horrific reality we’re currently facing; a year that has gone haywire.
Think croissants, cobblestones, fine architecture, chic fashion, good food, art, and sex. This is the surface of what Emily in Paris is about: Emily Cooper’s hilarious misadventures in navigating her career, romance, and friendships.
While the series showcases how Emily documents her life and adventures in Paris through Instagram, there are a few things she forgot to bring. For a supposedly tech-savvy millennial, Emily Cooper forgot some travel essentials. Or maybe she didn’t know she needed them.
Based on a few episodes from Emily in Paris, I realized what gadgets must be deemed travel essentials, so we don’t experience Emily Cooper’s misadventures next time we’re in another country.
A battery-powered vibrator (so you don’t blow up the fuse)
First of all, Emily was in a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend in Chicago. The couple was having sexy time via video call but crappy internet connection got in the way.
To continue pleasing herself, Emily pulled out an effin’ gigantic, old-school wired vibrator. After plugging it into an electric socket, the vibrator short-circuited the electricity in her apartment. The blow-up was so bad, it shut down the power in the entire neighborhood.
As funny as it is (and no, it wouldn’t really happen in real life), there are a lot of battery-powered, wireless vibrators. Some are even high-tech enough to be controlled by your partner through a mobile app.
Consider this next time when you travel. Although before you pack your sex toy, make sure it’s not illegal in the country you will visit. In some Islamic countries, they confiscate toys as they fall under pornographic material. Last thing you want is to get persecuted in a foreign land.
An instax printer or a pocketable instax camera
Paris is the so-called city of romance. You can literally feel the love in the air. Throughout the series, Emily captured streets, everyday moments, and her life in Paris and uploaded it to her Instagram account.
But to travel — or live — in a romantic city, moments should be captured in a sentimental and romantic way. For instance, preserving memories through a pocketable instax camera which you can bring anywhere, or an instax printer where you can print your photos directly from your smartphone.
That’s exactly what we did one Sunday morning along Upper East Side in New York City. That je ne sais quoi of summer in the city is not something anyone can describe with mere words or capture on Instagram without losing its essence. Of course, we weren’t able to, either.
But we caught some vignettes on film, complete with audio recordings using the Instax Mini LiPlay. We found a way to reminisce those moments. That’s something we believe should be part of any travel.
Get a smartwatch or other running essentials
Forgive me for crying out loud, but smartwatches are made to accompany you while you run. Not hold your gigantic phone with tiny hands, huffing and puffing along the river Seine.
It’s a good idea that Emily didn’t forget how important working out is. But it’s not exactly a good idea to hold your phone while you run. Better to invest in a smartwatch like the Apple Watch to measure your heart rate, track your miles, and answer calls while you listen to music through your wireless earbuds.
And if you’re not the smartwatch-wearing type, invest in pockets, running pouches, arm wallets, or wrist straps. There are different ways to safeguard your phones, keys, and other essentials without putting yourself in potential danger.
Besides, Paris — like any other city — isn’t exactly crime-free. You can’t keep running around like crimes don’t happen. Even when I was running around Taipei, a city with low crime rate, I didn’t let my guard down. The same goes for traveling to any other city. It’s always best to keep yourself safe, no one else will do it for you.
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