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!

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Spotify finally introduces real-time lyrics feature

No more Behind the Lyrics from Genius

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Who doesn’t love singing along to their favorite tunes on their way to work? Jamming out to the hits of the ‘90s is an essential part of the commuter’s experience. However, if you’re also a fan of K-pop, you’ll know that singing along is virtually impossible without lyrics convenient running along on the screen.

Currently (or previously, depending on when you’re reading this), Spotify offers a rudimentary lyrics service with select songs. However, despite offering the lyrics themselves, the app (partnered with Genius) also displays factoids about the song you’re listening to. Though interesting, the barrage of facts can distract you when all you want is a singalong for your road trip.

Thankfully enough, Spotify is finally renewing its forgotten partnership with Musixmatch, as reported by TechCrunch. The music streaming service partnered with the lyrics provider before but ended the service in 2016. Soon afterwards, Spotify partnered with Genius for the current Behind the Lyrics option, factoids and all.

With the renewed Musixmatch partnership, Spotify is going back to providing uninterrupted lyrics in real time. Users can turn unabated lyrics on through the Lyrics button at the bottom.

In an exceedingly rare instance, Spotify is not launching the new feature in the US first. Instead, the feature will first come to India, South America, and Southeast Asia (which includes the Philippines). The update should have rolled out starting June 30, 10 a.m. EDT. If you haven’t received the update yet, you can manually check for updates on the Google Play or App Store.

SEE ALSO: Spotify is taking out the infamous 10,000-song limit

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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, he 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!

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Entertainment

Now Playing: More and More, The World of the Married

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As we spend more time in the comfort of our own homes, we find ways to stay sane. The same goes for us in GadgetMatch, where we’re all still working at home and trying to get ourselves entertained with games to play, shows to watch, and music to listen to. Here’s what’s Now Playing at GadgetMatch!

Games to play

NBA 2K20 2000s Roster

Rodneil: I consumed a lot of NBA basketball in the 2000s and I am inexplicably fond of the teams and players that played in that decade. To get my 2000s NBA fix, I’ve been using user-created rosters on NBA 2K20. I even made an entire Twitter thread about the teams I missed and have since played each on in a few exhibition games.

7 Deadly Sins: Grand Cross

Rodneil: I wanted to check this out as soon as it came out but life got in the way. I found my way back to the game as I reviewed some midrange smartphones in the past couple of weeks. It’s mostly another way to experience the first season of the animé. It’s a fantastic, truly made for mobile, JRPG that’s pretty fun to play.

Shows to binge-watch

The World of the Married

MJ: There’s a reason why The World of the Married took over social media by storm. It’s not your typical Mexican telenovelas about infidelity and betrayal where there are ridiculous situations that don’t just happen in real life. This K-Drama tackled the painful loss of a marriage, abuse in different forms, divorce, cheating, and the struggles of a broken family. Every episode might leave you fuming, triggered, or heartbroken. Watch with caution!

Hospital Playlist

Vincenz: This isn’t your typical medical K-Drama. Hospital Playlist is about five doctors whose friendship dates back to medical school, centering around their music band. Reminiscing their youthful days, they formed their band once more, practicing songs they used to play. It’s an uplifting rollercoaster ride of emotions to keep you company in your mundane life.

Gameboys

Vincenz: It’s all about how a professional gamer’s first defeat after battling a “noob” which led to another loss after a rematch. In an unexpected turn, one friend request and video call changed everything — both players caught feelings. Although this isn’t based on a BL manga, this is still a better take for a BL series produced in the Philippines for the first time.

Fire Force

Rodneil: I like fire, but I wasn’t expecting much when I started watching Fire Force. It didn’t get the same level of hype as its contemporaries like Kimetsu No Yaiba (Demon Slayer) and Dr. STONE, but I thoroughly enjoyed this show. The first three episodes, I think, is a masterclass in character introduction, world-building, and establishing motivations. The rest of the episodes is just one fun, fiery ride.

Yu Yu Hakusho/ Ghost Files/ Ghost Fighter

Rodneil: This was a fan favorite animé growing up and was almost part of the stuff kids talked about at school. It’s a classic shounen animé that a lot of Filipinos grew up with. Look for it to quickly rise in Netflix’s Top 10 trending list.

White Lines

Shivam: If you’ve seen and liked Narcos, this show is made for you. Portraying Ibiza, the show starts like a thriller where the protagonist is trying to find the killer of her brother. But, with the island’s showbiz and craziness, be ready to see the unexpected. While we’re all missing travel, this show perfectly highlights the dark secrets of the world’s party island.

Movies to see

Mission Impossible: Fallout

Rodneil: I missed this when it arrived at cinemas so I was delighted to see it on Netflix. I just really like spy action movies. It’s the same old formula for Mission Impossible movies, but at a time when everything feels new and nothing feels normal, this was the good old, same old I needed.

The Big Short

Shivam: The movie perfectly summarizes the 2008 financial crisis and how it brewed. Finance is usually complicated to understand, but thanks to a mix of humor and panic, the most complex concepts are easy to understand and digest. It’s a perfect package that’ll teach you something new without boring or dragging you along.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

Lifetime by Ben&Ben

Kenrick: What does it feel like to love someone unrequitedly? This song by Ben&Ben imagines all that longing to be loved in return. The beats are as addictive as the visuals portraying a love that is no more. Perhaps, there is more to love with this new Ben&Ben single, aside from the fact that it is inspired by a comment from one of their fans. It’s mellow, melodramatic, and delivers the right line for a reminiscing moment.

Zombie by DAY6

Vincenz: In this pandemic, it’s hard to not think about how our life runs on a daily basis. Just like a zombie, you’re not alive nor dead. You’ve been walking endlessly, circling around without the thought of progression — like how I feel my life is repetitive and part of an inescapable routine. Luckily, songs such as this, and people I value the most make me forget such thoughts once in a while. If you can’t feel the song in Korean, there’s also an English version here.

Eight by IU (feat. Suga)

Vincenz: If you’ve been following K-Pop for years, you’d know how close IU was with the late Jonghyun and Sulli. Although this wasn’t mentioned, the music video depicted how IU departs from her original location through a plane and meets them halfway through the orange sky — Sulli in white and Jonghyun as the lizard turned dragon (as he liked Charmander a lot). The light-hearted song that talks about youth will suddenly turn into a tear-jerking emotional song. You’ll feel it more when you read the translated lyrics every time you play it.

Girls by NATURE

Vincenz: NATURE is one of K-Pop’s most underrated girl groups. Though this isn’t their past concept, they completely transformed and revealed their mysterious and eerie vibe with ‘Girls’. The Korean title ‘어린애’ (eorinae) might be a contradiction as it means ‘child’ but it goes well with how they paired a catchy and eargasmic song with dark and gory visuals. The official music video is less horrifying — just in case you want that version. Overall, this is a song that needs more attention from the crowd.

Dance with Somebody by The Midnight

Vincenz: Between the ongoing pandemic and racial inequality, the real world sucks right now. We all just miss (and hope for) those times when we can just dance with anybody. Off their upcoming album Monsters, The Midnight’s new retrowave single echoes a nostalgia for both times long gone and for a normal that we might never see again. If you don’t love it for its nostalgia, you’ll love it for its wicked saxophone solos!

MORE and MORE by TWICE

Rodneil: It’s my favorite girl group’s comeback after nine long months (unusual for TWICE) and it’s another chapter in their evolving sound. “More and More” is an EDM summer dance track but you need to go beyond the title track. The album is home to some of their best songs — I particularly enjoyed “Firework” and “Make Me Go.” For their usual bright vibe, there’s “Sweet Summer Day.”

Fanfare by TWICE

Rodneil: This Japanese single was supposed to launch right alongside the 2020 Olympics. Unfortunately, we’re dealing with a global health crisis that forced multiple events to either postpone or cancel. If that thought is bringing you down, then give “Fanfare” a listen or two for that instant shot of happiness.

NBA Redraftables 2008 by The Ringer

Rodneil: No live sports means plenty of time to look back at things from the past. The Ringer started with the 1996 draft and made their way to 2008 which featured one of my favorite players ever — Javale McGee (kidding! I really mean Derrick Rose). It’s a fun ‘What If’ listen for NBA fans.


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!

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