This year is coming to a close! Though technology isn’t going to take a holiday break, we’ll be here to hand out stories you need to catch up on while enjoying what’s Now Playing in GadgetMatch.
Movies to see
Chay: Don’t be fooled by the title of the film; Noah Baumbach’s latest work actually deals with divorce. You will either love it or feel indifferent about it. The couple played by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson are both selfish and stubborn. The film will want you to side with one of them at first and then confuse you midway. It features some of the best acting I’ve seen in my life, with Adam Driver delivering a performance that deserves an Oscar. Songs from the musical Company were also weaved perfectly into the narrative and the characters’ stories.
Vincenz: To be frank, I know most of the main cast but they’re not the main reason why I watched it. My interest was piqued after recalling a similar case to a rich student who was held captive by his peers. This time, the plot focuses on the rich bully who was kidnapped by his classmates for ransom. The first few minutes felt heavy but I really wanted to see if they will be successful or not — even if in the back of my mind, something terrible will happen. One more thing: this is a socially relevant film *coughs* EJK *clears throat*.
Vincenz: An indie film showing how complicated homosexual relationships are. Even if you’re not part of the community, you will see how hook-ups, dating, and gay relationships work in real life. It will also give you life lessons that relationships will always have ups and downs and too much pride can destroy both parties. Giving second chances all depend on the person who got hurt the most.
Vincenz: Another relevant indie film I recommend not just for Filipinos, but for everyone. A lot of people don’t know the differences between assigned sex at birth, sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (thus the push for SOGIE Bill). Adam, the protagonist, started doubting himself in all of those aspects as he was later confirmed as part of the intersex. The line that struck me the most is when Angel (a prostitute) told him that it’s okay to be who you are and that someone like him is normal.
Rodneil: Explosions, stunts, quips, and more explosions. When Ryan Reynolds said this was the most Michael Bay movies in the history of Michael Bay movies, he wasn’t kidding. The movie lacked any soul to speak of. But if you like explosions, stunts, quips, and more explosions, then maybe you’ll like it.
Men In Black: International
Rodneil: Missed this when it first came out in theaters so I was pleasantly surprised when it came to Netflix recently. There’s nothing groundbreaking here but I’d argue the chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson definitely carried over from Thor: Ragnarok. If you’re not too attached to the MIB franchise, this is a fun little sci-fi flick that the family can watch together during the holidays.
Star Wars (All the previous 8 movies, or at least the latest two)
Rodneil: The sequel trilogy of the franchise is coming to a close. Following the divisive reception of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, there’s plenty of anticipation over how Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker will wrap everything up. It’s the perfect time to revisit the previous films in the franchise so everything’s fresh when you finally see Episode IX.
Shows to binge-watch
Ahiru no Sora
Rodneil: Ahiru no Sora follows the story of a kid too undersized to play basketball. But what he lacks in size, he makes up for in skills. This basketball animé has more in common with Slam Dunk than Kuroko no Basket. It feels grounded and has all the emotional and motivational beats you can expect from your usual sports animé.
Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to
365 by LOONA
Vincenz: Orbits have been waiting for almost a year and now, LOONA finally has something to offer this Christmas season. LOONA’s angelic and soothing vocals always sound so good when the song is in ballad, and the song lyrics make it even more special. Just like the “Heart fluttering, as if dreaming” part — that’s exactly how I felt while listening to it. It’s so good that I’ve been listening to this track repeatedly ever since it was released.
Wake Up by Crush (feat. Dean)
Vincenz: I don’t literally take the title as it is as it’s not the most ideal alarm tune to wake you up, but I enjoy this song not just because of its chilly vibe, but because Crush and Dean’s vocals blend well together. I even listen to it whenever I go out. It suddenly makes me forget that I’m in a long traffic jam.
Everyday Life (Coldplay)
Kenrick: The highly-anticipated follow-up to 2015’s A Head Full of Dreams, Coldplay’s newest album Everyday Life could be their most diverse album yet. It combines different musical genres while retaining the signature Coldplay tune and the unique voice of Chris Martin. However, fans may find it different at first — it is a clear departure from the pop-rock roots of the albums that came before it. Still, it is worth listening to since Coldplay nailed the basics while sending a message that they’re not afraid to experiment with other genres.
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 is embracing Anime even more
5 new major, diverse projects are on the horizon
It’s a great time to be an anime fan. Netflix hasn’t only been adding popular titles to their library, they’ve also fully embraced anime with five major projects to look forward to.
The five newly announced projects are: Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure, Thermae Romae Novae, High-Rise Invasion, Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan and The Way of the Househusband. Each add to the diverse and never-before-seen catalogue of stories straight from our creative home in Japan.
Netflix says anime titles have appeared in the Top 10 list in almost 100 countries this year so far. Over 100 million households around the world chose to watch at least one anime title on Netflix (Oct 2019 – Sept 2020), growing by 50% year-over-year.
Titles like Seven Deadly Sins and BAKI have resonated with fans globally. Seven Deadly Sins became one of the Top 10 titles among all series and films in over 70 countries since its launch, and Baki in almost 50 countries.
There’s a total of 16 titles to be excited about. The first five on this list are completely new while the rest were previously announced and are expected to arrive in 2021.
Five new projects
Rilakkuma’s Theme Park Adventure
The production of the new series of Rilakkuma has been produced in stop-motion animation following the success of “Rilakkuma and Kaoru.” The series depicts an active day of incidents and meetings that take place when Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, Kiiroitori, and Kaoru go play in an amusement park that is about to close.
Thermae Romae Novae
The very popular manga by Yamazaki Mari has been brought back to life in the present day in a new way (“Novae” means “new” in Latin). Based on the manga, new episodes created by Mari Yamazaki will also appear. Lucius, a bath designer in the Roman Empire, accidentally slips back in time to present day Japan and learns about Japanese bath culture in this comedy.
Based on the manga by Miura Tsuina (Ajin) and Takahiro Oba (Box!), this is an unpredictable and frightening survival story set in high-rise buildings that don’t reach the ground. The protagonist, Yuri, decides to survive in order to destroy this illogical world and kill the enemy wearing the “mask”, but what will she do?
Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan
This series consists of four strange episodes that Kishibe Rohan, the manga artist from “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable,” saw and heard in a destination he visited to collect material for the manga.
The Way of the Househusband
The most evil yakuza, Tatsu, is a legend in the underworld. He chose to walk away from the yakuza to become a full-time househusband!
Updates on 11 upcoming titles
EDEN (Coming May 2021)
A completely new story from director Irie Yasuhiro and the creators of the world, this sci-fi fantasy follows Sarah, a girl raised by two robots, as she confronts the world.
RESIDENT EVIL: Infinite Darkness (Coming 2021)
Known as the gold standard of survival horror games with over 100 million units from the game series shipped worldwide, “Resident Evil” has now been transformed into a Netflix original CG anime series. Three years after 2017’s CG film “Resident Evil: Vendetta,” technology has further evolved, creating the groundwork for a new series in unprecedented full 3DCG animation.
Vampire in the Garden (Coming 2021)
Once upon a time, there was a world where vampires and humans lived together in “Paradise”. This is the story of a young girl, Momo, and the vampire queen, Fine, who traveled in search of “Paradise.” This is a completely new work by WIT STUDIO, well-known for “Attack on Titan” and talented creators.
Yasuke (Coming Soon 2021)
In a war-torn feudal Japan filled with mechs and magic, the greatest ronin never known, Yasuke, struggles to maintain a peaceful existence after a past life of violence. But when a local village becomes the center of social upheaval between warring daimyo, Yasuke must take up his sword and transport a mysterious child who is the target of dark forces and bloodthirsty warlords.The story of Yasuke, the first African samurai who actually served the legendary Oda Nobunaga, will be released to the world.
Godzilla Singular Point (Coming 2021)
This series features a brand new staff and original story which depicts the young geniuses Mei Kamino, a female researcher, and Yun Arikawa, a male engineer, as they take on an unprecedented threat with their companions.
Pacific Rim: The Black (Coming Soon 2021)
There was a time when Kaiju rose from the Pacific Rim only to encounter gigantic robots, Jaegers, built to fight them back. That time has passed. Now, Australia has been overrun by Kaiju, forcing the evacuation of an entire continent. Left behind, teenage siblings Taylor and Hayley embark on a desperate search for their missing parents, teaching themselves to pilot a battered, long-abandoned Jaeger to help in their quest and give them even the slightest hope of surviving.
Transformers: War for the Cybertron Trilogy (Coming Soon)
The WAR FOR CYBERTRON continues with the second chapter, EARTHRISE! With the Allspark gone, Megatron is forced to confront the harsh reality that his Decepticons are trapped on a dying Cybertron while also fighting off the persistent threat of Elita-1 and her Autobots. Meanwhile, lost in the darkest reaches of space, Optimus Prime and his team embark on a desperate mission that will push them to the breaking point as they travel to uncharted new worlds to face spacefaring mercenaries, enigmatic figures from long ago and even their own creators.
Trese (Coming 2021)
Set in Manila where the mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans, Alexandra Trese finds herself going head to head with a criminal underworld composed of malevolent supernatural beings.
B: The Beginning Succession (Coming Soon 2021)
After Keith and Koku solved the incidents successfully , the world has regained its composure. In the months since then, Keith returns to the RIS to conduct his own investigation, and Koku is living a peaceful life with Yuna. They are visited by Kirisame, who was once supposed to have broken up with Kurou in death at the Faura Blanca Institute.
Baki Hanma (Coming 2021)
The story finally unfolds into a full-blooded clash between Baki Hanma and his father, Yujiro Hanma, who is known as the “strongest creature on earth.” The climax of the Baki universe, which depicted the “strongest parent-child brawl in history of the world” in the original manga, has been adapted into the long-awaited anime!
The legendary manga that took the world by storm in the 1990s has been vividly brought to this animated series by utilizing 2D drawings and 3DCG. The legacy of an outstanding civilization that once existed on this planet is said to still be hidden in various parts of the world. The military of major powers has intervened in the excavation and research of this mysterious and powerful heritage, and has begun battling over it. At the same time, an organization called “Spriggan” is working to seal up this ancient civilization. This is a high speed action series featuring battles over ancient relics!
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.”
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