Marriage Story, Star Wars: Now Playing

Enjoy your holiday break!



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

Marriage Story
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.

Dead Kids
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.

6 Underground
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 losing a lot of long-term subscribers

People are switching



The Netflix revolution was indeed televised. However, after enjoying years of success as the streaming platform of choice, a lot of users are now leaving Netflix for greener pastures. Over the past few months, the company has struggled to patch its failures. A recently released data report does confirm that the platform has a right to worry. More and more long-term subscribers are reportedly cutting their subscriptions short.

According to The Information, around 13 percent of Netflix cancelers in the past quarter are from accounts that have been with the platform for over three years. The data, which was reportedly obtained from Antenna, pegs cancelations at around 3.6 million Americans, a big increase from the 2.5 million of the past five quarters.

Though 13 percent isn’t exactly a giant figure, it’s still a blow to Netflix’s empire. While streaming platform rightly focus on gaining new subscribers, losing the loyalty of long-term users isn’t something to shrug off.

Since announcing lost expectations, Netflix announced ways to save on costs and retain its subscribers. Other methods include canceling projects, opening a games division, and potentially charging users more for account sharing. Naturally, not every plan hits users the same way.

In the meantime, other platforms — like Disney+, HBO, and Hulu — are attracting more users with more varied and exclusive content. Regardless, Netflix is skidding down a slope. Only time will tell whether its latest strategies will stave off more losses.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content

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Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content

For reality shows and comedy specials



Netflix is in a bit of a rough patch. After losing subscribers for the first time, the platform is trying other strategies to retain its userbase including more stringent ways to police password sharing. This time, Netflix is trying a more additive approach. According to a report, the company is experimenting with livestreaming content.

First reported by Deadline, the company is currently in the early stages of creating such content. More specifically, Netflix will try the format for its catalog of “unscripted shows and stand-up specials.” There is no timetable for the experiment’s launch, but the company hopes to launch it soon.

A move towards livestreaming does make sense with Netflix’s current catalog of titles. Over the years, the platform has slowly curated an expansive lineup of reality shows and stand-up comedy specials. For example, Netflix’s Drive to Survive quickly became one of its biggest titles in reality television, bringing a lot of eyes to Formula One racing. Likewise, the platform has always been a stronghold for comedy specials since the advent of its popularity.

Besides its strong slate of content, the company has also experimented with user input including shows that mimicked Choose Your Own Adventure books. Under a livestreaming format, the audience might be able to provide input for the title as well, such as voting for (or against) contestants in a game show.

That said, it’s still too early to tell how livestreaming might appear on Netflix. For now, at least.

SEE ALSO: Netflix considers cheaper, ad-supported subscription

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Campaign putting seizure, epilepsy warnings to YouTube gaming content initiated



Seizure Warning

Whenever on YouTube, people tend to have the urge to skip annoying or uninteresting ads.

But Digitas Philippines is trying to change that with an all-important online campaign that puts the safety of the gaming community first.

With the Seizure Warning Pre-Rolls project, Digitas Philippines turns YouTube’s 6-second pre-rolls before videos play into dedicated spaces, where instead of ads, PSAs get played.

Digitas will focus on showing warnings that effectively alert viewers of possible adverse of conditions such as seizures and photosensitive epilepsy.

To ensure that such warnings draw the attention of YouTube viewers, Digitas’ team included flashy animations, fast and mind-bending gameplay, and vivid, ultra-colorful visuals.

Such components make gaming content extremely visually stimulating, yet can also seriously affect those who have had seizures or epilepsy in the past, as well as those who have not had them before.

Avoiding risk on YouTube 

With more than 40 million active gaming channels, users definitely have a chance of running into possible seizure risks.

This pushed Digitas to jumpstart the campaign, trying to address the lack of warning signs before the start of videos and more.

Through their campaign, notices will be placed before anyone views gaming-related content to boost safety and lower the risk of getting a seizure or epilepsy.

The initiative will already cover all YouTube videos with gaming content tags in its initial phase. It will feature highly-targeted and specific warning messages for viewers’ protection.

The group is also in the process of partnering with more institutions to follow up and go beyond the first phase.

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