Samsung has just unfolded the future and MWC Barcelona gave a glimpse of this year’s trends in smartphones. While we’re recuperating, we travel, celebrate International Women’s Month, and catch up with the latest shows and movies to see. Here’s what’s Now Playing:
Movies to see
Chay: March is International Women’s Month and what better way to celebrate than by watching, RBG, a fascinating documentary about the life and legacy of US Supreme Court Justice and icon Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She pioneered and has pushed for gender equality throughout her career not only by arguing for women’s rights, but also by proving that gender-based discrimination hurts men as well.
Marvin: I’m at the point of origin story fatigue, so seeing yet another one while every other character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is fully developed feels like a drag. Still, Captain Marvel is a required watch before buying a ticket for Avengers: Endgame which is coming out next month. Not to say that the movie is bad, but I wish Super Saiyan Carol were as interesting as the cast around her.
Dan: Let’s take a break from Hollywood and embrace local cinema. Ulan, which stars Nadine Lustre and Carlo Aquino, is a mix of movie genres. In a nutshell, it’s about a girl’s perception about the rain, may it be positive or negative. Be warned that you might feel weirded out at times, but I’d say it’s part of the viewing experience. Combining folklore and a modern love story is not a bad idea.
TV shows to binge watch
Chay: This new Netflix series isn’t like any other reality TV about dating and finding love. Each episode features someone who goes on different blind dates and by the end of it, he or she picks someone to go on a second date with. There are so many unexpected twists that are not only entertaining but also completely relatable. It gives you a peek at how different people are in choosing potential partners, and is a good reflection of what we are like on first dates.
The Umbrella Academy
Dan: Umbrella Academy is the next big thing on Netflix. Its first season might not be as strong as Stranger Things’, but its interesting storyline will keep you hooked. It’s a different kind of superhero story about kids who were born on the same day and were adopted by a billionaire. If you like bizarre stories and superpowers, be sure to check this out.
Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to
Chrysalis by Empire of the Sun
Kevin: The Australian electronic music duo Empire of the Sun who wrote the catchy/dancy “Walking on a Dream” released a brand new track through an exclusive vinyl reissue. Called “Chrysalis,” the song has more of a laid back approach compared to their previous works while still owning that new wave vibe that they’re known for. It’s a nice, progressive song to relax with when you’re having a hectic day.
Butterfly by LOONA
Vincenz: “Butterfly” is one of the reasons why you should follow this Korean girl group. People say the music video looks “odd” since it focuses on women empowerment and racial diversity but its lyrics, the members’ goddess-like visuals, and their flawless choreography complements the song’s dreamy yet powerful vibe. 🦋
Cities/Places to visit
Kevin: Downtown Chicago feels like New York with its tall skyscrapers and busy streets — only it’s cleaner and quieter. It was my first time there and I was immediately enticed by its charm since most establishments have their own unique personalities. It’s filled with barcades (arcade bars) complete with old school titles like PAC-MAN and Time Crisis II. There’s also a veggie burger with fake bacon made of seitan that appeased the meat-lover in me. And if you’re not out eating or drinking, the WNDR Museum is a must-visit for installations and backdrops perfect for the ‘gram.
San Francisco, California
Marvin: San Francisco is famous for its diversity — not just in its people but in the places to visit. I didn’t get a chance to revisit famous spots like the Golden Gate Bridge and Mission Street, but my time around its financial district was memorable. It’s astounding how much merch there is to buy here, whether you’re into coffee, tech, cosmetics, toys, or sports.
Chay: There are more than a hundred reasons to visit The Metropolitan Museum in New York, but an ongoing exhibit called “In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at The Met” is one you shouldn’t miss. Running until October 2020, the show features Dutch paintings from the 17th century and gives you a good glimpse of The Dutch Republic’s colorful history and way of life during that period.
Trends to try
McDonald’s Flavors of Japan
Vincenz: I like the Teriyaki Samurai burger since the beef patty is juicy while the teriyaki sauce is oozing. You could also try their Ebi Burger if you like your shrimp tempura being sandwiched with buns, sweet sauce, and lettuce. Pair them with the Nori Shake Shake Fries and a Sakura McFloat for a full “oishii” experience.
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!
Netflix confirms one-weekend free trials
Called a StreamFest
Throughout the year, Netflix has released its exclusive content for absolutely free. Back in September, the streaming platform launched a “watch free” page with a few of its well-known titles for the unsubscribed. Now, the company is branching out even further with one-weekend free trials.
Officially called a StreamFest, the one-weekend event will make the entire platform absolutely free for non-subscribers. As a free trial should work, users don’t need to input the payment details to access the content.
Though officially unannounced, Protocol spotted the upcoming event in the Android app’s coding. According to the code, the StreamFest is scheduled for December 4 in India.
Immediately after the event, Netflix confirmed the plans as a way to “attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience.” Unfortunately, the Netflix spokesperson did not share anything beyond the confirmation.
However, the leaked code is enough to reveal the event’s payment-free system. Additionally, it might be a ticketed event. Or, at the very least, an event that will limit participants. A line in the code informs users that “Netflix StreamFest is at capacity.”
Other than that, not much else is known. Besides making the entire library free, the platform can also launch exclusive content during the event, creating a teaser for any potential customers.
After India, Netflix might bring the event to other countries, especially to new or saturated markets. With everyone still stuck at home, the streaming platform is facing a huge potential market for growing its subscriber base.
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.
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