The final weekend of February is upon us. That means winter is dwindling down for many of us, and the warm temperatures of spring aren't too far off. But cold, dreary weather is good for one thing: hunkering down inside with a good film, album or read. Below you'll find a list of what the writers and editors of Windows Central are into right now.
If there is nothing in this list that tickles your interest-bone, we have plenty more suggestions from weeks past, all of which you can find at the link below.
Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
I've been on a bit of binge, watching movies that focus on the idea of having to repeat a day, or a series of events, over and over again, until the subjects find some sort of resolution, a la Groundhog's Day.
This past week, it was Live Die Repeat, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt as futuristic American soldiers tasked with defending their country, and the world, from an alien invasion. Cruise is forced to relive the same day until he can discover the aliens' weakness and save the planet Earth from utter emulation.
Overall, it's a good action flick that challenges the mind a bit with its twisty plot. And though it starts off stronger than it ends, it's definitely worth two hours of your time.
Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor
Toy Story remains one of my all time favorites from childhood, and being a parent I'm happy I get to experience it all over again with my own children. With Toy Story 4 slated to launch later this year, there's no better time than to go back to where it all began. Where a space toy changed everything, forever, and we met the gang that I certainly grew up with. Few things Disney have made can top Toy Story for me.
Corsicana Lemonade — White Denim
Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, news editor
I've had a bit of the winter doldrums lately, so I wanted to tap into some music this week that conjures up a summer feeling. White Denim fit that bill perfectly.
I first caught wind of White Denim when I saw them open for the Arctic Monkeys several years ago, and I was hooked from the start of their opening song. The band very much has a Black Keys vibe, from the guitar tone to the bluesy frills of each song.
White Denim, however, takes that formula and turns it into a peppy, driving force that takes me right back to standing in the grass with summer air filling my lungs.
Miami Blues — Charles Willeford
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
If you, like me, read a lot of crime fiction, you're probably aware that there is a whole subset of the genre based in and around the state of Florida, almost always packed with a cast of screwball characters that blur the lines between protagonists and antagonists. Authors like Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen are among the most well-known writers of this type of fiction. But I recently came across Charles Willeford's Hoke Moseley series of detective novels, and it fits right in there with the best from Leonard and Hiaassen.
It's the story of a wacky, down-on-his-luck Miami police sergeant who crosses paths with a dangerous ex-con and his hooker partner/wife. And it all goes downhill, for all of them, from there.
If you've never read one of these "Florida crime novels," they're often equal parts humor and double-crossing, and the characters are always trying to trick each other into something. The dialogue in Willeford's novel, like those of Leonard, is also quite sharp and authentic-feeling, which helps the overall believable in what is otherwise a farfetched tale. It's a fun, easy read.
Metro 2033 — Dmitry Glukhovsky
Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
Following the release of the Xbox and PC game Metro Exodus -- which we reviewed favorably -- I thought I'd go back and read the series of novels that inspired the games. Metro 2033, written by Russian author Dmitry Gluhovsky and translated to more than 30 languages, is a post-apocalyptic story involving a nuclear holocaust that occurred in 2013.
Living in the Moscow metro, protagonist Artyom lives his life harvesting mushrooms, tending pigs, or guarding checkpoints from thieves, warring clans, or mutated beasts that roam the tunnels. Like a lot of sci-fi books, Artyom meets a character who sparks a quest that takes him away from his home station VDNKh.
If you're a fan of the Metro games or you just enjoy a decent thriller that sort of creeps up on you, Metro 2033 is probably a good fit. And if you really like it, there are two more books that round out the trilogy.
Battle Angel Alita
Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer
I went to the movies this past weekend and went to see a movie I've not heard of before — Alita: Battle Angel. It looked intriguing so we checked it out and I'm glad we did. Not only did it have the best visual effects I've seen in a movie thus far, the story and character of Alita drew me in.
Set in a cyberpunk version of Earth sometime in the future, things aren't looking too good for society with the ultra-rich residing in floating city above the slums. A doctor comes across and rebuilds a cyborg who has to remember who she is and what she's capable of. If you haven't seen it, go check it out. It's a great visual experience.
The movie is based on a manga, which you can grab from Amazon. Also highly recommended.
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