Entertainment

Now Playing: X-Men, Yuri!!! On Ice

Shows we’re enjoying during Pride month!

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Happy Pride month, everyone! This month’s Now Playing is a mix of the hottest in pop culture and mainstream media, as well as shows and music that celebrate love. Come and watch with us!

Movies to see

Someone Great
Chay: This Netflix Original came out a few months ago but I have been rewatching and replaying it in the background like it’s a new album release on Spotify. The story centers around how the main character Gina copes with her breakup with the help of her two best friends. The film has very relatable characters and stories, and a great soundtrack. But one of the most important parts of the movie for me was the scene wherein Erin talks to her lover Leah about how someone she used to date left her out of nowhere and went back to dating men, and made her feel like an experiment. Her admission that she’s never been able to open up about her past and sexuality to anyone else, not even to her two straight best friends, was crushing. 🌈

X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Rodneil: This film’s biggest flaw is adapting an iconic story too soon. We haven’t spent enough time with the new Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) to feel invested in this story. It’s not the worst X-Men movie though, and it’s definitely better than X-Men: The Last Stand which was the first attempt at adapting the Dark Phoenix saga.

John Wick: Chapter 3
Marvin: If you’ve watched either of the first two movies, you’d know what you’re in for here. And if this is your first entry into the world of John Wick, that’s fine too. The plot is as simple as it gets: Mr. Wick is mad and he goes after the people he dislikes. The raw action is spectacular and the pacing is spot on, making this the most refined spectacle in the series.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Dan: Godzilla is back to protect humans once again. While the critic reviews of Godzilla: King of the Monsters aren’t exactly favorable, it’s a great monster movie. Put the human element aside to fully enjoy the new Godzilla movie. It’s true that the film isn’t as good as the previous one, but you should see it for the monster action.

TV shows to binge watch

Chernobyl
Dan: If you’re a Game of Thrones fan who’s disappointed about its finale, HBO will win you back to keep your subscription with Chernobyl. The miniseries is currently the highest-rated show on IMDB and it surely deserves its title. It’s no easy task to dramatize a national tragedy, but the creators of Chernobyl were able to produce an intelligent show.

Pose
Chay: In pop culture, New York is almost always depicted as the city where anything is possible — if you can dream it, you can do it. Pose shows a glimpse of 1980s Harlem — balls, drag competitions, and voguing. More than the glamor and fashion, the stories revolve around the struggles of LGBTQ+ people of color at the time, some of which still resonate today over 30 years later — from being disowned by their biological families, to shattered dreams and lack of employment opportunities for being queer, trans identity, and the HIV and AIDS epidemic — and little victories that stemmed from the support they get from the families they formed through house culture. 🌈

Black Mirror Season 5
Dan: Finally, the new season of Black Mirror is streaming on Netflix. It took them a while to deliver three new episodes. Thankfully, the Bandersnatch interactive film did a good job of keeping viewers entertained while they cooked up the new season. I must admit, the latest season doesn’t have the same level of horror that I enjoyed with previous Black Mirror seasons. Season 5 touches on sexuality, fanaticism, and anger issues that stem from the use of technology.

Yuri!!! On Ice
Rodneil: This was the breakout animé back in 2017. It’s a story of resilience, believing in yourself, and coming to grips with who you love along the way. It’s a story well told and the beautiful animation is just icing on the cake.

Amazing Race Season 31
Chay: Before I was even able to afford travel with my own money, I lived vicariously and explored the world by watching teams on The Amazing Race since the first season nearly 20 years ago. One of the episodes this season took an emotional turn when the show went to Uganda for the first time, and one team, composed of two gay people, acknowledged the extreme privilege of being able to travel safely, because of the protection afforded them by a TV show, in a country where LGBT persons are penalized, arrested, and harassed for being who they are. 🌈

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

Heart Attack by Chuu of LOONA
Vincenz: This isn’t a new song but this is always one of my favorite LOONA songs. It’s catchy yet whimsical; all those Christmas carols feel festive. The music video depicts that a lady can still admire and show love to someone from the same sex. 🌈

new by Yves of LOONA
Vincenz: Not a new song either but the bold beats plus the refreshing vocals make this a quality song to listen to. Yves is the other lady found on Chuu’s “Heart Attack,” but in this music video, Yves symbolizes the “Opposite Eve” as she goes against the norm by eating apples, correlated with music video cuts that show a forbidden same-sex love (2:19/2:38). #StanLOONA

Lover by Kevin Oh
Vincenz: I love listening to this when I’m sad and the rain is pouring outside. The melodramatic beat with the calm vocals give me the opposite vibe — which is warming and comforting. Also, the music video is about love between two men, something you can listen to and watch during Pride Month.

Born This Way cover by TWICE
Rodneil: TWICE gave a big shout out to the LGBT+ community when they covered Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” on the first leg of their TWICELIGHTS world tour. ONCEs who attended the Seoul leg of the world tour shared clips on social media, and fans who belong to the LGBT+ community couldn’t help but feel proud that the K-Pop girl group chose to cover the song.

Dedicated by Carly Rae Jepsen
Chay: A known queen of the LGBTQ+ community, Carly Rae Jepsen’s newest release is another pop album worthy of anyone’s attention. Variety magazine calls CRJ pop’s unlikely cult hero, for carving out her own lane instead of leaning into meme fame after the success of Call Me Maybe. One of my favorites from the album is Happy Not Knowing, which is the anthem of my life at the moment. One of the singles, Now That I Found You, was also used to promote the latest season of Queer Eye. 🌈

Places to visit

Salzburg, Austria
Marvin: Most people are familiar with Salzburg as the main location for The Sound of Music, but there’s a lot more to it than just the film. Surrounded by classic architecture, famous bridges over the Salzach River, and loads of flowers, there is no shortage of IG-worthy spots around the city. Make sure to get a good look at the Eastern Alps while you’re there!

Taipei, Taiwan
Vincenz: I know Taipei has been mentioned a lot on this website but I’ll be specific with how beautiful and majestic Taipei 101 is inside and out. It wasn’t a good day so I only reached the 89th floor (instead of the outdoor observatory found at the 91st floor). I would also recommend walking along Rainbow Riverside Park in Neihu to witness the colorful Second MacArthur bridge and see Taipei’s night lights (including Taipei 101) from afar.


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 will block offline watching in cheaper subscriptions

Coming in the ad-supported tier

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Netflix’s slide down from dominance is a cautionary tale for streaming platforms. Of course, while one side of the spotlight focuses on what went wrong, another side is focused on what they’re doing to stop the bleeding. One of those ways is an upcoming cheaper, ad-supported tier for subscribers. However, while the tier is already compensating the lower price for more ads, Netflix is also losing a key feature important to some: offline watching.

With Netflix’s current subscription tiers, users can download movies and shows to take with them offline. Though not every title was available for offline viewing, the feature allowed a lot of accessibility for everyone. If you were traveling, you could still watch Netflix while on a plane, for example.

Now, as first spotted by Bloomberg, subscribers will lose that ability if they’re on the ad-supported tier when it launches. The platform’s iOS app currently has a restriction that reads “Downloads available on all plans except Netflix with ads.” Since the tier isn’t available yet, the restriction is currently useless, waiting for the tier to pop up.

Earlier this year, the company started pondering a tier with ads, catering to a subset of the Netflix-watching population who prefers a cheaper subscription price. Prices for a normal subscription are getting steeper. An ad-supported version will allow Netflix to continue catering to everyone, despite the ad-filled setback. It’s expected to launch early next year.

Of course, other platforms, like Hulu, already have their own ad-supported tiers. Netflix’s version is more dire, however. For the first time in so long, the platform has started to lose subscribers. As a result, the platform has started rethinking its entire content strategy to recoup some of its losses from current users.

SEE ALSO: Netflix’s The Gray Man is getting its own cinematic universe

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Amazon Prime Video expands content for Philippine viewers

Including a new Amazon Original

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Amazon Prime Video

Starting August 2022, Amazon Prime Video will expand its content for Philippine viewers. It will add more local titles featuring the country’s top celebrities as well as exclusive Asian shows.

The move will be highlighted by the release of a new Amazon Original, Comedy Island: Philippines (Base Entertainment) which is a comedy challenge show featuring comedians and other celebrities.

Local Originals will include Big Night starring Christian Bables, How To Love Mr. Heartless with Sue Ramirez, and Whether The Weather Is Fine featuring Daniel Padilla.

Thanks to local licensing deals, Filipino streamers will also be able to watch exclusive Korean titles and anime hits, such as:

  • Nothing Serious (Son Seok-gu/Gong Min-jung)
  • Toy Soldiers: Fake Men 2 The Complete (Julien Kang)
  • Demon Slayer
  • Jujutsu Kaisen O

Other Hollywood blockbuster films and series subscribers may enjoy include The Good Doctor, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, and Thirteen Lives.

To cap it off, a local campaign featuring Anne Curtis has also been launched to encourage more viewers to subscribe.

Prime Video will be available in the Philippines for an introductory offer of PhP 149 a month until December 31, 2023.

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Entertainment

Netflix’s The Gray Man is getting its own cinematic universe

A sequel and a spin-off is coming

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Netflix isn’t shy to spend the big bucks on big names. Last year, the platform gambled on a blockbuster called Red Notice featuring A-list celebrities like Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds. This year, the big budget went to The Gray Man, a thriller from MCU stalwarts, the Russo brothers.

Much like the former, The Gray Man opened warmly towards audiences, amid colder reception from critics. The latter doesn’t really matter to Netflix, though. Hearing the applause from the audience, Netflix has decided to jumpstart more titles situated in the universe.

Announced today, the Russo Brothers, Ryan Gosling, and writer Stephen McFeely are returning for a sequel to the original film. Further, Netflix has also greenlit an untitled spin-off film set in the same universe as the original. It will be written by Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, potentially hinting at a more comedic take on the universe.

The original film was based on a book series written by Mark Greaney. Netflix has a wealth of content to adapt for its platform. Similarly, the Russo brothers are well acclimated to cinematic universes, having directed the most ambitious team-up movies in film history, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame.

For its part, Netflix is adamant to create its own hit cinematic universes. Besides The Gray Man, the platform has also invested in follow-ups to its popular titles such as The Witcher, Squid Game, Stranger Things, and Army of the Dead.

In the meantime, The Gray Man is available for streaming now on Netflix.

SEE ALSO: Now Playing: The Gray Man

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