Entertainment

God of War, Lost in Space, This is America: Now Playing

This is what we’re up to when we’re not creating tech features and reviews!

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Everyone’s watching, playing, or listening to something at any given moment. That includes us here at GadgetMatch, so we thought we would pull everyone together to share what we’re now playing.

Games to play

God of War
Rodneil: This is the game that all gamers are talking about. Yes, even those who don’t own a PlayStation 4 console are intrigued by this PS4-exclusive. The moment the embargo lifted on the reviews, the game was getting praises left and right. The story is compelling, gameplay is challenging, and boy, it looks hella good.

Wordscapes
Rodneil: Wordscapes isn’t new but between work and playing on my PS4, this is what gets me through down times when I need something casual to play with on my phone. I haven’t really bought into the more demanding iterations of mobile gaming and to be honest, I might never. So for those of you who like to keep it casual, this game does just that.

Movies to see

Love, Simon
MJ: I don’t know why I hesitated watching a movie I’ve been wanting to see for months. Rodneil and Chay had to convince me to watch Love, Simon on a late Friday night and god, I’m so happy I decided to go. Love, Simon is not just an ordinary coming-out film; it’s a masterpiece that will make your heart cry. It will resonate with experiences back in your teenage years, and remind you of the lessons you’ve learned. It’s a story of accepting yourself and the people around you.

Deadpool 2
Marvin: Deadpool 2 is both bloody and funny — it’s bloody funny! While it’s a lot like the first film in terms of crude humor and non-stop gore, the characters are more memorable this time, the plot’s much richer (and sometimes more emotional), and there are loads more silly meta references thrown at you. This sequel is a nice change of pace after the tear fest that was Avengers: Infinity War. Tip: You must stay for the post-credit scenes. Those alone make the price of admission worth it!

TV shows to binge watch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjRnbOgoAUQ

Santa Clarita Diet
Chay: I gave Santa Clarita Diet a chance after seeing countless ads and tweets about how underrated it is. I honestly wasn’t hooked until probably episode seven, but I found myself finishing two seasons in one week. Each episode is only 30 minutes long, and there are only 10 episodes per season, so it’s one of the easiest shows to binge watch. And in case it’s not obvious in the posters and trailers: No, it’s not a show about dieting and food, although there is a lot of eating involved.

Terrace House: Opening New Doors
Chay: For the uninitiated, Terrace House is a Japanese reality show about six strangers who live inside the same house. It’s like Big Brother without the scheming and games. So really it’s a show about nothing. It’s like watching Japanese people be themselves. For us unfortunate souls who don’t live in Japan, waiting for the new season can be excruciating, but I was lucky enough to watch all of Season 2 of Opening New Doors while I was in Osaka, and all I can say is you need to watch it and I need more episodes! It’s set in the woods of Karuizawa, Nagano, around two hours from Tokyo. The house is more beautiful than ever, and the housemates are so pure and genuine, sometimes to a fault.

Lost in Space
Dan: If you’re into sci-fi stories, you should check out Lost in Space on Netflix. It’s set 30 years in the future and chosen humans are on their journey to an Earth-like planet, but things go astray, hence the title. The story mainly revolves around the Robinson family and the peculiar robot. The first episode is a bit lacking, so you shouldn’t quickly judge the series by its pilot. The production value alone is enough to attract sci-fi adventure fans, and it’s one of the few sci-fi series that you can watch with your family.

My Hero Academia
Rodneil: Titled Boku No Hero Academia in Japanese, I will argue that this is probably the best ongoing shonen anime at the moment. Shonen is a genre primarily aimed at teenage boys that revolves around fighting in squads and camaraderie. My Hero Academia is about a boy born into a world where super powers or, as the show calls it, quirks, is a norm to a point that people actually go to school to get a job as a hero. Protagonist Izuku Midoriya has all the qualities of a zero, except he was born without a quirk, but this does not stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming the world’s best hero.

Happy!
Kevin: An alcoholic ex-detective turned hitman, Nick Sax is on a Christmas quest to save his daughter from a kidnapper junkie dressed as Santa Claus. Accompanying him on this mission is his daughter’s imaginary friend, an animated unicorn named Happy. This dark comedy goes for a different approach in storytelling. It also shows the unique relationship between a man who’s almost out of his mind and an imaginary friend who only cares for the kid. Don’t let the animated unicorn fool you, though, as the show gets really graphic. Better to watch it when the kids are asleep!

Music to listen to

Childish Gambino: This is America
Kevin: We’re pretty sure you’ve heard of this song. Childish Gambino’s new single that became an instant success overnight is chock full of hidden messages that reflect the current state of their country. From the lyrics to the music video, it might shock you as it did us and you’ll surely hit that replay button right after watching it.

Arctic Monkeys: Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Kevin: A recent release from the English rock band, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is far from the previous 2013 album AM. I feel like the band went back closer to their older albums in terms of sound and sprinkled a vibe of David Bowie into the mix. The result is soulful, almost laid-back — the kind that grows more and more in you after a few times of listening to the songs. And yes, there’s the staple Alex Turner appeal with the way he drops each word.

John Mayer: New Light
Alven: When it comes to our favorite artists, sometimes we want them to just stick to what they do best. When it comes to John Mayer, for a lot of people that means John sitting on a stool, acoustic guitar in hand, serenading you with a ballad. “New Light” is a great departure from that vibe, and I gotta say that I ain’t complaining. An upbeat tune with a funky beat and a bit of an 80s feel to it. this song will indeed make you see John in a new light.

Cities to visit

Krakow, Poland
Josh: Krakow isn’t usually top of mind when one thinks about cities to visit in Europe, but I found myself enthralled by the Polish city’s old world charm during a last minute trip this week. Follow the Royal Road route through its historic gates and medieval walls to reach Main Market Square, a sprawling space with cobblestone streets, renaissance architecture, and rows of cafes and shops. Continue further up a hill to the Royal Castle and Wawel Cathedral where the late Pope Saint John Paul II celebrated his first mass as a priest in 1946, then end the day with a scenic cruise along the Vistula River for breathtaking views of the city.

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Chay: If you ask me what my favorite Southeast Asian destination is, my answer always changes depending on which city I last visited. So this month, it’s Vietnam’s biggest city: Ho Chi Minh. What’s not to like? Food is cheap, delicious, and healthy; internet is fast; coffee is great, and everything is just a scooter ride away.

Osaka, Japan
Chay: Tokyo is my favorite city in Japan but Osaka is still a good idea, and not just because of the food. Kyoto is only a 30-minute train ride away, if you want to explore old Japanese architecture and Shinto shrines. And if Japanese video games are your thing, especially those from the 90s (Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong!), you will go gaga in Osaka.

Apps to download

Unfold
Mj: There’s a new craze in the Instagram space, and it involves Unfold. I downloaded the app, and I’ve been using it on Instagram Stories a lot lately. It has a simple approach like creating a postcard of moments you cherish, but with lots of templates and fonts to choose from. I can finally make my snaps memorable and beautiful!

Plant Nanny
Mj: Plant Nanny is a fun way to remind yourself to drink some water. In the app, you take care of plants as if they’re yourself. Once you drink your glass of water, you log that activity in the app by pouring water on your plant, or else it dies if left unattended.

Did you like any of our picks or have suggestions of your own? Feel free to let us know in the comments section!


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!

Entertainment

Netflix Protip: Finding content like ‘The Last Dance’

Everything from basketball films to animé

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Live sports were cancelled due to the health crisis, that’s why basketball lifers turned their attention to The Last Dance. It’s a documentary series featuring the final championship run of basketball G.O.A.T. (this is not debatable) Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Sadly, the docuseries has ended and now there’s another void that needs to be filled.

Fear not, Netflix shared with us some protips on how to find similar content. This, by the way, applies not just for basketball but also for other types of content. You can also do all these whether you’re accessing Netflix on your smartphone or a computer. Let’s go!

Search by Keyword

If you’re still on a basketball high, you can type in keywords such as ‘Basketballor ‘Michael Jordan’  and let Netflix share with you the results. Here are some of the titles you’ll find.

      1. Q Ball — At San Quentin State Prison, hardened convicts take their shots at redemption while navigation personal struggles by bonding through basketball.
      2. One in a Billion — Follow the journey of Santam Singh Bhamara as he works to fulfill his dream of becoming the first India-born player to be drafted into the NBA.
      3. #Rucker50 — This documentary celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Harlem sports program that has inspired countless kids to become pro basketball players.
      4. The Carter Effect– Featuring eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter, this documentary takes an in-depth look at his impact on pop culture and the Canadian basketball scene.
      5. Coach Carter– Controversial basketball coach Ken Carter puts school before sports and benches his undefeated high school team for poor academic performance.

+My List

To save time from having to search over and over, quickly add titles you’re interested in to your list. The add to ‘My List’ feature enables you to compile and easily access the shows that you may want to watch at a later time.

Here’s yet another list of basketball movies and anime titles you might want to watch.

  1. Space Jam — Bugs Bunny and his pals coax Michael Jordan out of retirement to play in a basketball game against a team of monstrous aliens to win their freedom.
  2. Basketball or Nothing — Follow the Chinle basketball team in Arizona’s Navajo Nation on a quest to win a state championship and bring pride to their isolated community.
  3. Kuroko no Basuke (Anime) — Five middle school basketball stars went to separate high schools and now Tetsuya Kuroko and Seirin High are making their play to glory.
  4. Ahiru no Sora (Anime)  — Sora joins the high school basketball club, but his unmotivated teammates don’t care about the game. To get anywhere, he has to change their minds.

More Like This

In case you didn’t know, there’s a tab called ‘More Like This’ right under a show or a movie’s title page. This reveals a list of other shows that are similar. So, if you enjoyed that one show or film, this is a great way to find more that might interest you.

Here are more sports shows and films you might enjoy:

  1. Antione Griezmann: The Making of a Legend — With heart and determination, Antione Griezmann overcame his small stature to become one of the world’s top soccer players and a World Cup champion.
  2. The Ronda Rousey Story: Through My Father’s Eyes — This documentary chronicles former Olympian and UFC champion Ronda Rousey’s ascent to iconic status in the world of mixed martial arts.
  3. First Team: Juventus — Follow renowned soccer club Juventus on and off the pitch as they attempt to win a seventh straight Italian title and achieve Champions League glory.
  4. Losers In a “winning is everything” society, how do we handle failure? This series profiles athletes who have turned the agony of defeat into human triumph.
  5. Sunderland ‘Til I Die’This docuseries follows English soccer club Sunderland through the 2017-18 season as they try to bounce back after relegation from the Premier League.

Recommend to Netflix

Not everything is on Netflix and they’re the first ones to admit it. Fret not, if a title you’re looking for isn’t there, you can let Netflix know that you want it. Tucked away in their Help Centre is a little page that lets you recommend TV shows or movies for Netflix to add to their service.

You access this either through a web browser at help.netflix.com/titlerequest or by clicking on “Help” in your account menu. Personally, I’ve previously requested for Kimetsu No Yaiba (Demon Slayer) and for all the three Rurouni Kenshin live actions movies. Kimetsu No Yaiba is actually available to watch now, so I’m crossing my fingers that the live action Rurouni Kenshin movies come next!

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10 films and shows about motherhood you need to watch

Untold struggles and stories that every mom experiences

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Fierce, strong, brave, loving, gentle, and caring.

When we’re describing mothers, the list of adjectives can go on and on. Often, they’re selfless — putting their kids’ and families’ needs first.

To celebrate the women we hold dear, we have an annual holiday where everyone shares their love for their mom in one day. The internet turns into a forum of stories glorifying mothers, painting them as superwomen worth looking up to.

However, mothers don’t need to be celebrated in just a single day. So we’ve compiled a list of TV shows and films you can watch by yourself or with your mom. From comedies to documentaries to thought-provoking dramas, they highlight the untold struggles moms experience and stories of our relationship with them.

After watching a few from this list, you might come into realization how strong our mothers really are. If you’re a new mom, a mom taking a break from your busy life, a partner to a mother, or a daughter or son who loves their mom so much, these shows are definitely worth watching. Express your love and celebrate each day like it’s Mother’s Day!

Becoming

This new Netflix documentary tells the story of Michelle Obama, from her humble upbringing on the South Side of Chicago to getting her law degree, to meeting Barack Obama, to being a mother to Sasha and Malia, to their journey to the White House, and beyond. It’s a story of love, loss and hope, successes and failures, fulfillment and hard work, and bringing about change for oneself and for others.

Wild

Cheryl Strayed decides to build her life again in this movie adaptation of her memoir with the same title. She sets out for the great outdoors and hikes the Pacific Crest Trail alone after losing her mother, going through divorce and addiction.

Unorthodox

Unorthodox is a short but profound story of a former member of New York’s Hasidic Jewish community. Esty’s journey is a story of self-discovery and questioning what happiness truly is — is it one that you find for yourself or that which your circumstances dictate? Is becoming a mother a choice you make yourself or one that’s made for you by society?

The Joy Luck Club

Based on a book of the same title, The Joy Luck Club explores the lives of four Chinese-American women and their Chinese immigrant mothers that defy what it means to be a woman.

Marriage Story

Despite what the title suggests, Marriage Story is a deep dive into the ugly, painful process of divorce. It’s an intimate story of a couple breaking up and a family coming together.

Workin’ Moms

Four urban moms find each other and become friends over their shared struggles in raising children in the city, their careers, and trying not to lose their sense of self.

Tully

Comical yet eye-opening (and somewhat depressing after some realization kicks in), Tully tackles the struggles of motherhood — juggling responsibilities while tending to your family’s needs, sometimes forsaking the need to take care of yourself.

Egg

There’s a reason why some women choose motherhood, and some fear it. Over a heated discourse, Egg cracks open different ideologies about bringing new life into the world. With complicated characters and truth bombs being thrown left and right, this comedy will make you laugh while making you realize why it’s perfectly okay to have your own definition of motherhood.

Brave

A Disney-Pixar favorite, Brave is about a mother-daughter relationship going astray because of indifference. Merida defies an age-old custom of forced, arranged marriage by her mother, Queen Elinor, to pursue freedom which led to chaos and a striking realization about changing fates.

Bad Moms

Three over-stressed moms went on a quest to break free from the usual responsibilities of every mom. Most of which are imposed by a clique of women dedicated to becoming devoted, perfect moms. This film highlights every mom’s breaking point caused by overworking and over-exhaustion. One night, they just decided to be the ‘bad moms.’ But in reality, they’re not regular nor bad moms. They’re the cool moms.

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Now Playing: 2gether, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Animal Crossing

Quarantine edition!

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The year 2020 ushered a sudden change in our day-to-day lives. With social distancing and staying at home becoming our new normal, it’s unsurprising that this pandemic has taken a toll on people’s emotional and mental health. The GadgetMatch team may be used to working remotely, but we’re experiencing this crisis, too. Here’s what’s Now Playing and what’s keeping us sane during the lockdown!

Games to play

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Rodneil: There were so many things that could have gone wrong for a title that was so hotly anticipated. Instead, what we got is a thoughtful expansion on a game and story so dear to many gamers’ hearts. FF7R is not perfect, but it does more than enough to quench the thirst built up over five years (since it was confirmed to be in development) while also making us want more.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Leez: At this point, who wouldn’t want to escape the impending doom of millions of people dying across the globe by going on a small island getaway, making it your own, and socializing with friends? Animal Crossing: New Horizons is addictive with more customizable features for you and your island to make every detail your own. This game is definitely one to add to the list of games and reasons you should get a Nintendo Switch if you don’t have one by now.

Stardew Valley

Luigi: If you’re a fan of the life simulator genre (à la The Sims or Animal Crossing), then you’ve heard of Stardew Valley before. Released in 2016, this cozy farm simulator is one of the best companions when you’re stuck at home in quarantine. With tons of things to do and villagers to warm up to, Stardew Valley can keep you entertained for hours on end.

Resident Evil 3 (Remake)

Kenrick: Capcom just can’t get enough of Resident Evil remakes. Last year, fans of the beloved action-horror game were treated to a glorious remake of Resident Evil 2. This year, Resident Evil 3 becomes the latest installment to be remade. The remake will surely please fans as it sticks to the story of the original. There’s just so much to love about this game as it breathes new life to the characters of Jill, Carlos, and the dreaded Nemesis.

Shows to binge-watch

Community

MJ: When life throws you a curve ball, that’s the universe’s way of redirecting you to a new path — it’s a lesson I gleefully accept. Community reminded me of my younger days. I remember an unexpected disaster that threw me to a bunch of misfits who I now call friends. The hit sitcom finally found its way to Netflix where you can binge-watch its six seasons, giving you real good laughs and serious life lessons in every episode.

What We Do in the Shadows

Luigi: In the month or so that we’ve been under quarantine, you might’ve found yourself stuck with the quirkiest of housemates. Nothing gets stranger, however, than the weird vampire (and vampire wannabe) quintet of What We Do in the Shadows. Inspired by Taika Waititi’s 2014 eponymous film, FX’s mockumentary comedy series follows the adventures of the most dysfunctional housemates: a 757-year old vampire and his familiar, an overtly sexual vampire and his wife, and an energy vampire.

The Last Dance

Rodneil: The Last Dance is a 10-episode documentary detailing the last 6th and final championship run of the Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Phil Jackson Chicago Bulls. Seeing as live sports is currently postponed until further notice, the documentary is a much-needed dose of entertainment for basketball fans who badly miss the game.

2gether: The Series

Vincenz: Tine (aka Mr. Chic) is a playboy who’s desperately look for a girlfriend to replace his ex. But here’s the catch: a guy named Green likes him so much and follows him around to the point that Green looks like a leech attached to its host. The only way to get him out of the way is to beg Sarawat, a campus hottie, to become his fake boyfriend. He saw Sarawat as his savior to get away from an obsessed gay admirer. Little did he know, Sarawat was already head over heels for him long before they agreed on a pretend relationship.

Unorthodox

Carol: A closer look at the lives of Hasidic Jews in New York and a young woman’s struggle when she finds out the world she’s always known isn’t really for her. The story takes viewers from a secretive part of New York to the freedoms of Berlin. A poignant story spread out in four episodes based on the life of writer Deborah Feldman. It’s so good, you’ll end up wishing for a second season.

Chay: Unorthodox is a short but profound story about self-discovery and questioning what happiness truly is — is it one that you find for yourself or that which your circumstances dictate? The only bad thing about the series is it doesn’t have enough episodes!

TWICE: Seize The Light

Rodneil: This is a YouTube Originals documentary following K-Pop girl group TWICE during their TWICELIGHTS world tour. It also dives deep into their time as trainees and how they overcame hardships together as a nine-member group. It’ll surely be an emotional roller coaster for ONCEs — their devoted fans.

Why R U?

Vincenz: BL (Boys’ Love) series are common in Thailand, and these are based on fan novels. In Why R U, Zon has a younger sister (named Zol) who became popular because of the BL novel she published online. The characters were named after him and Saifah (the person he hates the most). Other than them, Fighter and Tor are also part of the novel (and they both consider each other as enemies). What if one day, you suddenly realize that you and the person you hate are already falling for each other? Would you still think it’s a curse that’s why you fell into the world of a BL novel? Or would you believe that homosexual love is the reality all along?

Ugly Delicious

Chay: Award-winning chef David Chang takes us on a culinary trip around the world; watching this felt like traveling while in self-isolation. Not only does the show combine two things I love, it also tackles racism, history, and what the future of regional cuisines as we know it might be like.

Movies to see

Contagion

Kenrick: A timely movie to watch? While the fictional virus in this movie is much more intense than the current COVID-19 pandemic, the story itself remains faithful to how society will respond to a health crisis. While the movie is almost nine years old, the current situation has revived interest in it as people try to understand just how a pandemic will affect the global society.

Godzilla: Resurgence

Rodneil: This feels like a very unique attack on Godzilla/Kaiju movies. Instead of having the protagonist be a regular citizen with some ties to people researching the creature, the film focuses on how the government responds to its emergence. That seems mundane at first glance but the pacing will keep you engaged. It does a good job of maintaining tension with well-timed reminders that ordinary people are dealing with a threat that can end mankind.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

Human. :||: Nature. By Nightwish

Luigi: I’ve always been a huge fan of the hard rock and metal genres coming out of the “it’s just a phase, mom” era. If you want a taste away from the ordinary fare, Nightwish, a paragon of symphonic metal, brings together brutal guitar riffs, operatic vocals, and a full orchestra. Their latest album, “Human. :||: Nature.” comes in two discs: one, a masterpiece of melodic metal; and, the other, a full orchestral arrangement thematically highlighting the human journey of art and discovery. Listen here.

Social Distance

Chay: A daily podcast from The Atlantic tries to make sense of the grim reality that we’re living in. Journalist and physician James Hamblin answers executive producer for podcasts Katherine Wells’ questions about the pandemic and its consequences. Listen here.

Foam and Flotsam

MJ: Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Chelsea Peretti (known as Gina Linetti) may not be in the popular sitcom anymore, but she knows how to keep us entertained with her humor. The artist dropped “Foam and Flotsam”, a concept comedy album about coffee. These coffee-centric tracks may give you laughs while jamming due to its lyrics, but the songs tackle the complexity of human emotions, only told through coffee.  Listen here.

“Easily” by Bruno Major

Rodneil: It’s a song from 2017 but I only chanced upon it recently. The lyrics suggest it’s a song about taking a chance on a relationship. While the thought has crossed my mind, I just really flow with the song’s melancholic but soothing vibe. Listen here.

Redraftables by The Ringer

Rodneil: With the NBA postponed indefinitely, Bill Simmons of The Ringer decided to do an NBA redraft. The rules are simple: How would we rank the players in a certain draft class knowing what we know now. They start with the notable 1996 draft that featured the likes of the late but great Kobe Bryant, and cultural icon Allen Iverson.

Oh My God by (G)I-DLE

Vincenz: A powerful love song with an unusual concept talking about how one woman is going crazy over another. Homosexuality in South Korea (and several parts of the world), is still a taboo. The music video depicts how same-sex love is considered a sin/crime while the lyrics suggest real intimacy and attraction between the two people. Soyeon, the member who’s responsible for writing the lyrics of the song, said it’s open to interpretation.

Doors by Ben&Ben

Vincenz: Just like anyone, we “open our secret doors” to people who we fully trust. This is an empowering song that tells us not to be afraid of opening up ourselves to those we hold dear. At the end of the day, people who truly love and care for you will be there in your darkest times. Listen here.

Sugar Calling

Chay: The Internet’s agony aunt Cheryl Strayed seeks wisdom and advice from writers like Margaret Atwood, Pico Iyer, and George Saunders. The reassuring podcast comes at a time when nothing makes sense and the future seems more uncertain than ever. Listen here.


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!

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