Movies, music and books we're into this week
'Tis the final weekend of July, and summer is flying by. By all means, enjoy the outdoors while you can. But you should probably also wind down afterward with a good movie, album or novel.
It's been a long week, huh? Yeah, us too. Welp, we're here with another bold batch of media recommendations, direct from the fine folks at Windows Central. This week, we have movies about a bat(man) and a lion; some electronic music that's surprisingly laidback; and a collection of surreal short stories.
Everything here has received the official Windows Central stamp o' approval, but if you don't see anything that grabs you, hit the link below for more recommendations from week's past.
More media recommendations from Windows Central
OG Lion King
Recommended by Sean Endicott, news writer
While I'm excited to watch the new version of the Lion King starring Donald Glover and Beyoncé, talking about the new film made me nostalgic for the original. The soundtrack, animation, and story are incredible and, in many ways, revolutionized modern animation. Following the tale of Simba from naïve child excited to become king to a reluctant protagonist guided by his father is moving and uplifting. I'll probably also rock out to the soundtrack as well since it includes songs ranging from the upbeat and carefree "Hakuna Matata" to the menacing and dark "Be Prepared." While I'm sure that the new version is good, this classic Disney film is the perfect storm of voice acting, music, and nostalgia for a hot Summer weekend.
You don't mess with The Bat
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
Unlike most of my fellow writers and editors here at Windows Central, I don't generally love films about superheroes or based on comics. But 'The Dark Knight' is an exception, largely due to Heath Ledger's unforgettable performance as The Joker. He might not be the best joker ever, but you sure don't forget him.During Amazon Prime Day 2019, I splurged on a new TV. And the first thing I did after I set it up was search for the best 4K movies to watch on an OLED TV. I found a bunch of different lists, with a bunch of different recommendations. But quite a few featured 'The Dark Knight' prominently. So I watched it in glorious UHD, and I was not disappointed.I don't know if it's the best Batman flick out there, but it sure does look purty in 4K. Even if you don't have a 4K TV, this one is worth a revisit if you haven't seen it in a while — or ever.
I Choose You
Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, news editor
I saw Pokémon Detective Pikachu in theaters and I've been dying for it to hit digital stores so I could watch it again.I'm a nineties baby, so Pokémon consumed a large portion of my childhood. The movies were always great as a kid, but what I always wanted to see was Pokémon come to life on the big screen. Detective Pikachu does that with an entertaining mystery that I honestly didn't expect to be as good as it was.
Recommended by Jez Corden, gaming editor
Blade Runner is a masterpiece, and with the passing of Rutger Hauer this week, I felt it appropriate to recommend this timeless movie.Blade Runner is set in a dystopian future filled with corrupt corporations on a dying Earth.To help humanity escape the planet and colonize other worlds, companies created Replicants, synthetic human slaves to work in dangerous conditions. Eventually, the Replicants revolted, massacring their human masters. New, more compliant generations of Replicants were developed, but those first-gen synths had to be "retired" by special police, known as Blade Runners. Blade Runner follows Harrison Ford as he hunts down a remaining band of rogue Replicants, the leader of which is portrayed by the legendary Rutger Hauer.
Recommended by Daniel Rubino, executive editor
Good Riddance has been around for 27 years hailing as one of the most popular melodic punk and hardcore bands from Santa Cruz. The group is back in 2019 with the just-released Thoughts and Prayers, a 12 track melodic, catchy album that also delivers the political and social messaging we deserve in America right now.The whole album is a detailed, rage-filled, but accessible introduction to the entire California punk and hardcore scene prevalent in the 1990s. From the opening track "Edmund Pettus Bridge," which starts with a quote from 1987's film Wall Street to the all-to-real "Our Great Divide," Good Riddance has returned to form with one of their best albums yet.
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
Every Radiohead album is worthy of a recommendation, but if I had to pick just one, that choice would be easy; 'In Rainbows' is the one that keeps me coming back for more.It's electronic sounding but with a chill, relaxing feeling (for the most part) that you don't usually associate with the usually-up-beat genre. Every single track on the album gets stuck in your head like a melty piece of chewing gum on your sneaker in the midday summer heat. Or something like that.It's even hard to pick the "best tracks" on the album since they're all strong in their own right. I suggest listening to the whole thing from start to finish because it really feels like it was composed with a purposeful order of the songs.
Let's get weird
Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
I enjoy a good DFW story as much as the next person — whether it's an enormous tome like Infinite Jest (opens in new tab) or collection of short stories like found here in Oblivion — so I was glad to find the latter deeply discounted on my last trip to the local bookstore.The book is made up of eight entirely separate stories, and in standard DFW form, they're so far a mix of the surreal and the everyday mundane. We get a glimpse into a substitute teacher's mental breakdown in front of a class, a young boy who can answer any question asked by the members of his Stone Age village, an ad exec who explains the horror of his work, and so on. You get the idea. If you're looking for some summer reading, it's easy to sit back and digest these short stories that somehow make you feel like you've read an entire novel upon completion.
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THE DARK KNIGHT trilogy and BLADE RUNNER are easily among the top 20 films of all time
This is the day that The Boys was unleashed upon the World and I must say, it's pretty epic (not quite as in your face as the comics, but it's pretty out there). I highly recommend if you are into the likes of Watchmen or Preacher.