Entertainment

Stranger Things, Jessica Jones, Spider-Man: Now Playing

It’s a superhero month!

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We’re halfway through 2019 and we all know that the best phones have yet to come. While we wait for new launches, here’s what’s Now Playing on GadgetMatch:

Movies to see

Spider-Man: Far From Home
Rodneil: This might just be Spider-Man’s best appearance on the MCU to date. It manages to address the somber events of Avengers: Endgame — a film it immediately follows — while maintaining its comedic tone. It’s perfect for what it’s trying to be — a Spidey film set in a larger Marvel universe.

The Carter Effect
Rodneil: This documentary details the massive impact of eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter on pop culture and the Canadian basketball scene. It’s a timely watch as the Toronto Raptors — the team that Carter helped put on the map — recently won the NBA Championship and with Carter entering the final season of his NBA career.

Black Hole Apocalypse
Kevin: What exactly are black holes? I played this documentary as background noise but then, like a black hole, it sucked me in. It explains what astrophysicists think about these hard-to-explain concepts and how they might behave. What got me hooked are the CGI-driven dramatizations of theories like what would physically happen to a person if they go near and into a black hole. It may not be for everyone but for the wondering minds, it’s really interesting.

TV shows to binge-watch

Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Season 3)
MJ: In the past two seasons, Jessica Jones didn’t give a shit. This time, she has no choice now that she’s branded as a hero. Now running on its final season, Jessica teams up with Trish to take down a genius psychopath, despite being haunted by a traumatic past that broke their relationship. The show also tackles every character’s moral compass and the concept of heroism, as well as their growth throughout the series.

The Kirlian Frequency
Kevin: Think The Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt — only in animated form. The Kirlian Frequency is a collection of short stories revolving around the small, creepy town of Kirlian in Buenos Aires. This Argentinian web series follows a radio DJ who broadcasts his show only at night and tells the different stories of people losing their way to Kirlian. What happens next is for you to find out.

Stranger Things 3
Chay: The year is summer 1985 in Hawkins, Indiana. Our protagonists have grown up and are on a break from school, busy exploring being teenagers — they’re all in a relationship except for Will, who just wants to play Dungeons and Dragons. Who can blame him? He missed out on his childhood no thanks to the upside down. One thing that struck me this season, and what I think made it the best season yet, is the pattern of its strong female characters taking charge and telling us to 👏🏻 listen 👏🏻 to 👏🏻 women 👏🏻 — from Eleven fighting the Mind Flayer, to Joyce solving the mystery of her fridge magnets, to Max teaching Mike a lesson, to Nancy pursuing a story even if it means being fired by middle-aged misogynists, to newcomer Robin cracking Russian codes, to Erica (Lucas’ younger sister) taking no shit and standing up for herself.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

FEVER by GFRIEND
Vincenz: GFRIEND has managed to keep their signature style with a newer song concept. Unlike their previous classical tracks, this one is a Moombahton summer song — and it’s a bop. Their vocals are still powerful even if they haven’t showcased the usual adlibs. The music video visuals blend well with the song’s rhythm, which captivated me a lot.

Racecar by Gabe Bondoc
Rodneil: Fil-Am acoustic artist Gabe Bondoc hasn’t released new music since 2016 so “Racecar” completely took me by surprise. The song talks about spending time with a person you want to get with. The song gives off a sexy vibe and I’ve had on repeat since its release.

Stranger Songs by Ingrid Michaelson
Chay: You might know her for the song “You and I”, but Ingrid Michaelson’s newest album sounds nothing like the popular hit from 2008. Inspired by Stranger Things, the songs on the album are actually tied to the show. My favorite tracks include “Pretty”, which is about Eleven becoming her own person, and “Young and in Love”, a fun bop that reminds me of the blossoming love stories in the show’s third season. Stranger Things fan or not, you will enjoy and occasionally find yourself singing along to the songs, as their themes are universal and relatable.

Games to play

Super Mario Maker 2
Luigi: Finally, the perfect Mario game comes to the Switch! Like Super Mario Odyssey before it, Super Mario Maker 2 fits perfectly in the Switch’s pantheon of games. You can breeze through thousands of creatively themed levels or take near-sadistic puzzles with you on-the-go. Most importantly, you can get those creative juices flowing in the improved game design mode with so many possibilities.

Matchketeers’ Pick

Lucifer
GadgetMatch: Our dear Matchketeers’ recommendation for this month is Lucifer. Based on DC Comics, it tells the story of what happens when the Lord of the Underworld decides he just wants to take a break. He ends up in Los Angeles where he meets Chloe — a female detective who’s presence renders him powerless. Lucifer enjoys the thrill of actually brushing with death and decides to play consultant to the smart and steadfast Chloe. It also helps that the Tom Ellis — the actor who plays Luficer — is a real charmer guaranteed to steal your heart.


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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I’m missing the Olympics because I don’t have cable

And it sucks

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It’s 2021. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, is in full swing as of writing. However, as someone whose primary source of media entertainment all comes from streaming, there’s no easy and convenient way for me to watch the games. Major bummer.

I like to enjoy my media a certain way; I prefer to stream them on my TV. Which is why majority of the content I consume come from YouTube, Netflix, and the occasional Amazon Prime, HBO Go (Yep, not even HBO Max), and Apple TV.

I find it incredibly baffling that the stakeholders involved in bringing the games to the people failed to come to an agreement to make it easily accessible on the aforementioned platforms. It’s 2021. Why on earth am I not able to watch the greatest sporting event on the planet the way I want to?

Believe me, I hear the privilege in my words. Regardless, I still feel marginalized.

So how can you watch the Olympics right now?

I asked a friend who’s been covering the games. He watches through cable and had to pay a PhP 150 fee (around US$ 3/ SG$ 4) to avail of the Tokyo 2020 Premium from a particular cable provider.

Thing is, the whole Olympic coverage in the Philippines is locked to the MVP group of companies. You wanna follow the games, you’re gonna have to do it on one of their platforms.

Here’s an excerpt from their press release on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic coverage:

“Sports fans will have comprehensive access to the Olympic Games — from the Opening Ceremonies all the way to when the games conclude — on free to air via TV5 and One Sports. One Sports+ on Cignal TV will also dedicate a significant amount of their daily hours to broadcast the events, with Cignal also opening up two exclusive channels dedicated to broadcast the games 24/7. Cignal Play, in addition to live channels TV5, One Sports & One Sports+, will be offering exclusive channels broadcasting live updates to its subscribers, along with exclusive content not available on the TV broadcast. Cignal TV’s One News leads the group’s round-the-clock news coverage, featuring results, updates, and highlights.”

Comprehensive? Maybe. For platforms within the MVP group of companies. If you’re not subscribed to any of these, well, that’s just too bad. It’s good for business and I completely understand how the whole thing works. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.

The coverage also missed to televise or showcase Hidilyn Diaz’s historic gold medal win in the Weightlifting competition. If you’ve been following sports news, the Philippines was expected to get a medal in this event. Sadly, the moment was only known following updates from reporters on the ground.

How I wish it was handled

I’m sure there’s a lot more that goes into it in terms of TV and broadcasting rights, but we’re literally at an age where plenty of folks have decided to cut the cord and rely on streaming for content.

On YouTube, you can buy and/or rent movies and shows. The platform and structure exists for pay-to-watch content. They could have even made tiers or packages like charge a certain amount to gain access to all the games, a different and lower amount if you just want to follow a certain sport and/or a certain event.

Maybe the potential earnings to do so didn’t justify the costs to implement it. Whatever the case, it’s still incredibly frustrating.

Sure, I can go through the hoopla of setting up a VPN and look for streaming sites. But that’s more even more cumbersome. I don’t mind paying a convenience fee if it means that after a long day of work I can kick back, relax, and watch some damn sports.

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Entertainment

Netflix is reportedly producing a live-action Pokémon series

With Lucifer showrunner Joe Henderson

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Pokémon remains one of the most popular franchises today. From the ever-popular video game series to the still-ongoing anime series, the creature collector franchise still going strong. Even then, the franchise is reportedly working on another addition to its repertoire: a live-action Netflix series.

According to Variety, Netflix is in the early stages of an upcoming Pokémon series on the platform. Much like the widely successful film Detective Pikachu starring Ryan Reynolds, the series will star actual humans in a live-action format. Beyond that, the report does not go into detail into how the creatures will look like for the series.

Likewise, the report does not indicate when the series will launch.

Lucifer’s Joe Henderson is reportedly helming the series. He is also known for adapting Stephen King’s 11.22.63 for Hulu.

Over the past few years, Pokémon has tapped various segments besides gaming and anime fans. The company has tapped lifestyle with branded accessories and lifestyle-oriented apps. Adding a live-action series will tap into the thriving Netflix market.

For Netflix’s part, the popular streaming platform has considerably increased the variety of genres it is producing. Besides the live-action Pokémon series, Netflix is also releasing an anime version of its popular original, The Witcher.

SEE ALSO: Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the first open-world Pokémon game

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Entertainment

Netflix’s first games will be mobile-only first

Including Stranger Things titles

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Since the rise of its popularity years ago, Netflix has dominated the streaming services industry. Since then, the company has moved past just hosting content on its platform. They have also produced their own content including hit shows like Stranger Things. Now, they are going further than just films and TV series. Netflix is expanding to mobile games first.

Days ago, Netflix announced development towards gaming content. However, in their earnings report for the second quarter of this year, Netflix announced focus on mobile games first. To do so, the company has hired former EA official Mike Verdu for the project.

The company has also listed some properties that it is working on. The first game titles will include ones for Stranger Things. Further, Netflix subscribers will have free access to the games with their subscription. However, since the focus is still on mobile, only mobile users can access them when they come out.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Netflix tried interactive content. Recently, they released a special choose-your-own-adventure version of Black Mirror called Bandersnatch. Viewers were able to steer the film according to prompts on their screen, effectively making their own version of the film. Though the film never kickstarted the interactive film genre, it redefined how Netflix content can be enjoyed digitally.

Now, with whatever Netflix is planning, the company is likely continuing that trend.

SEE ALSO: What does your favorite Netflix genre say about you?

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