Every week, the writers and editors of Windows Central get together and collect all the movies, shows, music and books we're all into. Below you'll find the latest roundup, and it's a good one.
If this isn't enough to satisfy your need for quality media recommendations, we have plenty more where these came from at the link below.
Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor
Queen is one of the greatest musical acts in history, crossing boundaries and making history throughout a glittering career. Bohemian Rhapsody is a jubilant celebration of the band and its charismatic frontman, Freddie Mercury, played superbly by Rami Malek. He brings the swagger, Queen brings the music, and this is one movie you absolutely must see.
Happy Death Day
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
I love a good horror flick. Unfortunately, there just aren't many of them being made these days, at least not by my standards. To me, the slasher flicks of the 1980s were just about perfect. Happy Death Day takes some of the formulas that made those movies great and combines them with a modern, Groundhog's Day-like twist — the heroine is forced to relive the day she is murdered over and over again until she can somehow reverse the event.
It's an original take on a genre that's largely gone stale. The cast of unknown actors is great. It's not overly violent or gory. And the ending (mostly) delivers. Oh, and as of this writing, the movie is discounted to $0.99 for a rental on the Microsoft Store. There's also a sequel in the works, so now's a good time to watch the original.
Isle of Dogs
Recommended by Daniel Rubino, executive editor
Director Wes Anderson has a particular style that's especially popular with younger, more hipster folks. Because of that I usually enjoy his films with a huge heaping of salt and eye rolling. Isle of Dogs (2018), however, is just a good, funny, and enjoyable film that kept me entertained the entire time.
The story in its most basic form is about a boy and his lost dog and the journey that ensues, but the characters and location all take place in a future Japan giving a new twist to the plot and some West versus East hilarity. The cast is outstanding. The script is concise and sharp.
While Isle of Dogs is worth renting Microsoft is currently running a sale for the next few days making the purchase price just $4.99 for the HD version. Considering that's the cost of a rental, it makes this an easy buy – and yes, it's even Movies Anywhere compatible.
The Big Sick
Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, news editor
It's Valentine's Day week, which means it's time to bust out a romantic comedy. My pick? A recent flick called The Big Sick.
The Big Sick stars Kumail Nanjiani (of Silicon Valley fame) and Zoe Kazan, alongside Ray Romano, Bo Burnham, and Holly Hunter in supporting roles. The story follows the traditional romantic comedy formula: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl split, then boy and girl find their way back together.
But what makes The Big Sick special is that it feels incredibly genuine throughout. Right as Ninjiani and Kazan hit their conflict point, Kazan's character falls ill with an incredibly dangerous infection that throws her into a coma. While she's out, Nanjiani's character stays by her side, navigating how to warm up to her parents and circumvent his Pakistani family's traditional expectations.
Even if you're not a fan of romantic comedies, The Big Sick is worth checking out.
Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
Getting sick during winter is a Canadian pastime, and to pass the time while I'm unfit to be out in public, I've been watching Crashing. It's created by comedian Pete Holmes and stars Pete Holmes as Pete Holmes; it's a semi-autobiographical look at his early path through the comedy world in New York City featuring plenty of other well-known comedians in that scene.
If you're at all interested in the East Coast comedy world, you should see plenty of familiar faces here. At no point does the show really take itself too seriously, and it's packed full of awful jokes that let you know it's not trying too hard to be funny.
Erase The Pain — Palisades
Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer
Rock has progressed so far over the years to remain relevant and attract a new audience in a pop-dominated world. Palisade's Erase The Pain is an excellent album that mixes metalcore with some new sounds, making it a solid option to get started with if you're making a return to the genre or are listening to some proper music for the first time.
You'll likely have Patient and War played on a loop, especially if it's a hot sunny day and you have the windows down low.
Long Road to Mercy — David Baldacci
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
David Baldacci writes a lot of series of novels with a lot of books in them. And most of them are quite good, if formulaic. Baldacci's latest series, featuring female FBI agent Atlee Pine, just began late last year. But it's sure to quickly multiply, based on how fast this guy bangs out books. And that's a good thing, because the first novel, Long Road to Mercy is a decent read, though far from great.
Pine works in remote FBI field office in Utah, but she is called in to investigate a mysterious set of events that take place in Arizona, in and around the Grand Canyon, which begin when a local tour guide finds a mutilated mule with the letters "j" and "k" carved into its corpse. It becomes clear immediately that powerful forces are at play, when FBI bigwigs attempt to pull Pine off the case for no reason, just as she begins to find clues.
It's no coincidence that Baldacci created a powerful female heroin in what is a largely male-dominated field, given the climate in the United States and beyond these days. The book isn't perfect by any means — it feels a bit "cookie-cutter" and rather unrealistic at times. But it kept me flipping pages.
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