Entertainment

Now Playing: Pride Edition

Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community!

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Happy Pride! To celebrate our LGBTQ+ community all over the world, we asked them and their allies about movies, shows, music, and podcasts you can watch and listen to, along with books you should read.

This list is also a good start to understanding the lives and struggles of our beloved LGBTQ+ community. You may refer to this article — Pride month or not! Here’s what’s Now Playing at Her GadgetMatch!

Videos to watch

Pride Conversations

MJ: Google concluded the Pride Month with a live stream entitled Pride Conversations, comprised of powerful members of the Filipino LGBTQ+ community sharing their remarkable and inspiring stories — from tales of coming out to their journey in owning their sexuality.

Movies to see

Love, Simon

MJ: A modern classic in today’s generation, Love, Simon is about yearning, secrets, and struggle of everyone in the LGBTQ+ community — coming to terms with your identity and getting out of the closet.

Prayers for Bobby

MJ: A heart-wrenching, tearjerker film that every parent must watch, especially when their religion and faith get in the way of truly loving their child.

The Half of It

MJ: Lighthearted yet revolutionary, The Half of It explores an introvert’s young love, sexuality, and loving in secret expressed through a love letter.

Holding the Man

MJ: Raw, honest, and genuine. It’s difficult not to weep after watching a touching piece tackling a love affair weathering the struggles of coming out in the 70s and 80s — remembering the horrors the stigma surrounding AIDS caused.

Free Fall

MJ: Jokingly known as the German version of Brokeback Mountain, Free Fall is a complex, hot, and passionate story about a married man’s internal struggles of falling in love with a colleague.

Blue Is The Warmest Colour

MJ: Blue Is The Warmest Colour is a moving film portraying a French teen’s beatific, intimate attachment to another woman.

Metamorphosis

Vincenz: Intersex is one of the minorities in the LGBTQIA+ community. This is a locally-produced indie film that shows how one explores and discovers him/herself. Just like the process of metamorphosis, s/he finally accepts and reveals who s/he really is to the eyes of many.

Sila-Sila

Vincenz: A depiction of complicated homosexual relationships: from hook-ups, break-ups, losing people you value the most, and even getting back together. A slice of life that shows laughs, joys, and tears of gay people throughout their relationship with their friends, family members, and partners altogether.

Shows to binge-watch

Queer Eye

Chay: The Fab 5 spreads love in Pennsylvania back in the US in the latest season of our favorite feel-good makeover series. Whenever I’m feeling distress or despair — especially during these difficult times — Queer Eye is the series that never fails to restore my faith in humanity.

Pose

Chay: House Evangelista is back for another season of ball culture, voguing, building new relationships and rekindling old ones, and confronting crises LGBTQ+ people of color faced in the ’80s. Prepare not just your favorite bag of chips but your box of Kleenex as well!

Love, Victor

Chay: If you enjoyed Love, Simon and find yourself wanting for more a spinoff series premiered on Hulu this month. Love, Victor tells the story of a new student at Creekwood High School — the ups and downs at home, making new friends, and exploring his sexual orientation.

Looking

MJ: Being in your late twenties and early thirties can be mind-boggling. Such is the case in Looking, where three best friends in San Francisco tell their explorations in love and in life while each taking separate paths.

One Day at a Time

MJ: A refresh of a hit sitcom in the ’70s, One Day at a Time is a modern comedy that has an upbeat take on tales of coming out yet still portrays the struggles of coming to terms with your sexuality within a family.

TharnType The Series

Vincenz: Not your typical sugarcoated Thai BL series as it eradicates homophobia as well as how they openly portray the sexual desires of two men. Expect a rollercoaster of emotions when you watch this series.

Gameboys

Vincenz: One of the first Filipino BL series that is timely and relevant — especially during this pandemic. Can you believe two gamers ended up falling for each other even with just a series of game battles, chats, and video calls? In my own thoughts: “Sana all hindi pang-quarantine lang“.

Hello Stranger

Vincenz: What would you do if you were paired up with someone you truly dislike? Hello Stranger exhibits unexpected love at an unexpected time, reminding us that love simply happens for everyone, regardless of your orientation.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

Music Universal: PRIDE

 

Chay: Pop icon and ally Carly Rae Jepsen and artist and activist Mark Kanemura put together a Pride-themed playlist featuring music from different artists and eras that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and our right to express our true selves. This 90-minute playlist is perfect when you’re working out, experimenting in the kitchen, or walking to your neighborhood cafe for your iced latte fix!

Chromatica

 

MJ: Lady Gaga’s return with “Chromatica” has sent the LGBTQ+ community reeling over the nostalgia evoked by this eccentric album — bringing back the days of dancing to Gaga’s fabulous and bizarre pop music we loved.

Help by 10cm

Vincenz: Although the music video only showed minor scenes of how people consider same-sex relationships in public a taboo, the song’s message should dig deeper into our minds and hearts that we should ask for somebody’s help when all of these deep-seated issues come in mind.

Oh my God by (G)I-DLE

Vincenz: Originally a Now Playing: Volume 3 entry, the message of the song this time is clearer because it’s in English — and we can’t deny it’s all about two women having love and affection for one another.

Books to read

What If It’s Us?

MJ: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera’s novel about two men stumbling upon each other in New York City is a refreshing take on common, gay love stories. It tackled love, signs, and universe — reminding us that we meet people in our lives for a reason.

Call Me by Your Name

MJ: A powerful, coming-of-age, and tale of coming out stirring a pot of raw emotions. Call Me by Your Name explores sexual awakening, yearning, and obsession over the course of summer in Italy, in the year 1983.


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

What to expect from Apple Music, TV+ and Arcade this Christmas

Enjoy A Charlie Brown

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As Christmas season approaches and families and friends continue to prepare for their gatherings, parties, and week-long celebrations, here’s what to expect from Apple’s services to make sure the holidays are best enjoyed.

Apple Music: Carols Covered 2022

Carols Covered is back with a new lineup of Apple Music-exclusive holiday songs reimagined by today’s contemporary music artists,

The selection of artists includes Amelia Moore, Brett Eldredge, charlieonafriday, Elio, Ellie Goulding, glaive, Jvck James, Katie Gregson-MacLeod, Muni Long, RAYE, Shygirl, SiR, and Yahritza Y Su Esencia.

A new Classical Carols Covered playlist, highlighting beautiful new versions of carols and festive songs performed by top classical artists, will also be available. Both playlists are available in immersive Spatial Audio.

Apple TV+: new originals, Charlie Brown

Meanwhile, Apple TV+ is ready to help families and kids spread the holiday love with a joyous lineup of new episodes of Apple Original series, as well as the streaming debut of holiday Peanuts specials.

As one’s holiday entertainment experience isn’t complete without the iconic A Charlie Brown Christmas, Apple TV+ is offering a free stream of the holiday special from December 22 to 25.

Here are other shows to enjoy throughout the season:

  • Spirited
  • Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock
  • Interrupting Chicken (December 2)
  • Pretzel and the Puppies (December 2)
  • The Snoopy Show (December 2)
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (Stream for free from December 22 to 25)
  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse (December 25)

Apple Arcade

Lastly, to make the holiday bonding even more special and fun with friends and family, here are a few games from Apple Arcade to check and enjoy:

  • Amazing Bomberman
  • SongPop Party
  • Hanx101 Trivia
  • Nickleodeon Extreme Tennis
  • Gear.Club Stradale
  • Hidden Folks+
  • Gibbon: Beyond the Trees
  • Jetpack Joyride 2
  • Cooking Mama: Cuisine!
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2022 FIFA World Cup: Apps, games, podcasts to check

The World Cup fever is on

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FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is arguably the greatest sporting spectacle in the world. In just a few days, the 2022 edition will kick off in Qatar.

But if you can’t contain the excitement as early as now, here are some apps, games, and podcasts from the App Store to keep yourself immersed in football World Cup content.

Football at your fingertips

For those who want to keep their focus on the sport itself, there’s FIFA+, the official World Cup app that has updates such as match highlights, insights, and live blogs.

In Singapore, there is meWATCH, an all-in-one entertainment hub which allows fans to cheer on their favorite teams when they go head-to-head live.

Other apps for more in-depth stuff like news and statistics, there’s Goal, Eurosport, and Sofascore.

Listen to the game

After matches, tune in to a free and new limited podcast series from Apple News which follows the tournament: After the Whistle.

The podcast is presented by actor Brendan Hunt and NBC Sports host Rebecca Lowe, who will provide entertaining and informative takes on all of the action throughout the World Cup tournament.

Play the beautiful game

Lastly, if you can’t get enough of football, might as well get your hands on FIFA Mobile for an authentic playing experience that features all 32 teams.

There is also eFootball 2023 from KONAMI, which immerses you to a realistic football feel at the comfort of your own device.

If that still doesn’t cut it, put on your manager’s hat on in Football Manager 2023 Touch, which lets you manage squads and create your own legacy.

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Entertainment

Now Playing: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

In case you didn’t notice, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now in theaters. It’s the much-anticipated sequel to the groundbreaking MCU film Black Panther in 2018.

People were looking forward to this movie for many reasons. Chief among them, how will it handle the passing of lead star Chadwick Boseman. Boseman is played T’Challa/Black Panther but passed away in 2020 after silently battling cancer. The film also has the unenviable task of closing the chapter on Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) which many feel has been underwhelming.

Here, two of our team members discuss the film with some spoilers so this is your OFFICIAL SPOILER WARNING. If you haven’t seen the film, we suggest you just bookmark this for now and come back after watching it.

Initial thoughts on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Wakanda Forever

Levi: Disappointment might have filled Marvel fans throughout Phase 4, with one underwhelming film after the other. It was only fitting that the MCU capped this phase with a masterpiece. One that sets up everyone for Phases 5 and 6 while reigniting their excitement for what’s about to unfold.

Rodneil: Hmm… not quite sure I share the “disappointment” but I do recognize. I honestly feel like the MCU has become what Iron Man is to that universe. Harking back to what Happy told Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home, “Not even Tony could live up to, Tony.”

I acknowledge that not every show or movie has been strong, but I am personally not as disappointed as the general sentiment is. And Black Panther: Wakanda Forever closes Phase 4 in the most appropriate way which is bittersweet. 

Thoughts on Namor?

Wakanda Forever

Levi: It had all the elements of a cinematic marvel (pun intended), from how Ryan Coogler chose to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman by having the Wakandans offer a ceremonial burial to his titular role. At the same time, the ending also struck as what traditional critics call as an “unending” type. Again, quite fitting as there is just more to come from the MCU in the immediate future. 

I am just relieved that Namor and his people are here to stay for what is possibly a mega-collaboration with Wakanda. It was alarming considering MCU’s sometimes penchant for expendable villains (See: Kilmonger). That kind of threw me back to the events of Avengers: Infinity War in terms of how vital the role Wakanda played, so it is intriguing what this partnership will have for the eventual Secret Wars phase, as teased towards the end of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. 

Rodneil: Agreed. There was a moment in the film when I genuinely thought he was gonna be a one-off character. But I knew in the back of my head that they weren’t gonna get rid of him just like that. 

But hold on, aren’t we getting ahead of ourselves? What did you think of Namor as the primary antagonist? 

A nuanced character

Levi: I was about to get there! I think Namor adds another layer to the movie as he acts more of an anti-hero, where he is neither the protagonist nor antagonist. Obviously, one can only speculate based on comics as to what he will really be, but as we all know, the MCU is a different animal. That’s a treatment we will definitely wait for, given how this film has set up the existing timeline.

Rodneil: I think he was very much the antagonist of the film. In the comics, he flips-flops between hero and villain. But his motivations have always been clear. He does everything he does for the sake of protecting his people. And that much is true for this film. He fights alongside whoever his motivations align with the most. Namor is refreshing because he is a very nuanced character, and that’s something we need to see more of in mainstream films, especially the MCU. 

The backstory that the film gives him, as well as that sequence in the middle of the film he spent with Shuri perfectly solidified what kind of character he is. Now that we’ve spoken about the antagonist. Let’s switch to the other side, what did you think of Shuri?

Shuri and her character’s journey

Wakanda Forever

Levi: Before I get to Shuri, yes, that is one great way of putting it. He operates on his own terms, which will again be crucial once we get to the latter stages of the MCU and the gigantic war that is brewing. In the first place, this movie also refreshingly brought us back to the surface – which we are just scratching – after spending time in multiverses the second Doctor Strange film as well as Spider-Man: No Way Home and across different dimensions – to align things looking ahead.

Anyway, Shuri was tremendous in leading Wakanda in the aftermath of T’Challa’s death. It was all worthy successor vibes for me. Obviously, if you have been following Marvel closely, it was only a matter of time before she finally dawned that Black Panther suit. But then again, it’s like she channeled her smarts in the lab to being representative of the entire Wakandan race through combat, doing so in such an emotional yet powerful manner which was just as energizing for all of us as she led everyone in the next chapter of her nation.

War and its consequences

Wakanda Forever

Rodneil: Funny how you said it “brought us back to the surface.” Because, indeed, we have been dealing with the multiverse, magic, and cosmic things that tackling the very real feud between nations feels a lot more grounded despite the stakes still being really high. That’s actually one theme that I liked – how war isn’t romanticized. It’s portrayed as this horrifying thing where no one actually wins. And we need more of that idea being spread in as many media as possible. 

Shuri was solid in this film. I loved her character arc. It all felt very real, especially all that rage. She was dealing with loss, pain, grief, and anger all at the same time and it dictated a lot of her actions. It was very compelling and was presented expertly all the way from when Namor finally attacked Wakanda up to the third act battle. 

Levi: Speaking of wars, part of me initially thought there would be three players to the party with America threatening to wage war with Wakanda after their Vibranium detector got destroyed. I’m glad the overall direction of the movie focused on Namor and his Atlanteans, pinned against Black Panther and Wakanda.

What’s next for the MCU?

Wakanda Forever

Levi: As mentioned earlier, it was terrific that they were able to introduce a new character who is not one and done, and an entire race to go along with it. And its aftermath with the two sides basically calling a truce to focus on an even more important matter in the future is kind of how you expected the MCU to close this chapter. We can’t get ahead of ourselves that much, but depending on how the first few movies in Phase 5 fair, we are probably getting a promising build up for Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars.

Rodneil: Oh that whole America thing and Valentina being there is most certainly a set-up for the announced and upcoming film Thunderbolts. But I’ll save that discussion for another time. 

Speaking of build-up, while Phase 4 does feel clunky and disconnected at first, I still very much think everything is leading up to somewhere. It just wasn’t as apparent as Thanos and the Infinity stones. There were just more characters, more universes, and more elements to introduce. As someone who’s familiar with how convoluted the comic books can get, we’re still getting only a mild dose. 

On that note, this is getting a bit long, so let’s jump right into your final overarching thoughts on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. 

Final thoughts on Wakanda Forever

Levi: You are definitely the more immersed Marvel guy between us two, but perhaps from a casual’s perspective, it was Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s ability to connect them back to the overall scheme of things MCU-wise that made it such a refresher, again, owing to the perceived “disconnect” from some of the other films in Phase 4 that perhaps at one point made them go “What is going on?”. That said, again, what a way to punctuate this phase and set us all up for the next two. Excited is an understatement. Also, we have Disney+ in the Philippines now to get us reacquainted with the storylines, so there’s that.

Rodneil: We’re just pretty much echoing each other at this point, but I agree, this is the best way to close a phase. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a brilliant story. As a film, it had such a big responsibility. It had to deal with the passing of Chadwick Boseman all while moving the plot forward for the MCU. At the same time, it still felt like a self-contained movie instead of just another forgettable chapter. 

There are so many themes and emotions tackled here. There’s pain, loss, the cost of war, the consequence of revenge, and many more. All of it was handled and presented expertly. It’s easily the best film Phase 4 and gives us hope of better things to come for the MCU. 

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