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Movies, TV, music and books we're into this week

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CES 2019 has officially come to a close. We've been working tirelessly this week to bring you all the best Windows- and PC-related stuff from Vegas. And, frankly, we're ready for some weekend downtime. These are the movies, shows, tunes and reads we'll be chilling out with.

If nothing on this list piques your interest, do yourself a favor and hit the link below; our list of past recommendations contains some gems that're sure to do the trick

More media recommendations from Team Windows Central


Bad Times at the El Royale

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

Three things I love in a movie: Great atmosphere and sets; catchy music; and a cool, memorable cast. Bad Times at the El Royale has all these things in spades. The film is a Tarantino-esque story about a motel situated directly on the U.S. state line between California and Nevada, and the property is literally split into two sections based on the states.The movie is dark and violent, moody and creepy, at times funny and maybe even beautiful. The story is actually a set of smaller tales that all come to together when the various characters meet at the motel. Starring Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, and Chris Hemsworth, all as nogoodniks dripping with noir, this is one of my favorite flicks of 2018 … even if I did wait until 2019 to check it out.


Recommended by Jez Corden, senior gaming editor

Bless my soul, Herc was on a roll. Well, still is on a roll, considering this is one of the all-time great Disney movies.Based on the popular Greek myth, Hercules struggles with superhuman strength in a world where superhuman strength isn't all that common place. Resolving to become a heroic defender of Greece, Herc attracts the attention of the nefarious Hades, with a particularly hilarious portrayal from James Woods.Hercules is infectious, timeless, and just plain great. And you should bloody well watch it.


Fawlty Towers

Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer

Basil Fawlty, the creation of John Cleese, is a troubled and manic hotel owner in classic Britain. Unfortunately for Fawlty, not everything runs smoothly and he's joined by a crew of misfits, including his nagging wife Sybil.Often regarded as one of Britain's classics, Fawlty Towers will make you laugh with its silly humor, ridiculous story lines — including a few dead guests — and pushing the boundaries on comedy. If you've yet to watch the entire series, you'll have to make some room this weekend.


Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, news editor

I've tried to get into Dexter at least twice before, even finishing the first season on my first run, but it's never managed to stick for some reason. This week, I'm getting the bug again.The show follows Dexter Morgan, who is a blood splatter expert by day and a serial killer by night. The twist is that Dexter only kills those who he feels deserve their fate. It's a type of vigilante justice that both satisfies Dexter's thirst for blood and helps him justify his actions.I'm going to give Dexter another shot this weekend, hoping its sticks this time. If you've never checked out the critically acclaimed series, it's worht at least dipping your toes in. Just stay away if your stomach turns easily at the sight of blood.


Bullet for my Valentine - The Poison

Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer

The Poison was the debut album from Welsh heavy metal band Bullet for my Valentine, released in 2005. It features some of the band's greatest hits, including Tears Don't Fall and Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow. As a young lad, I have fond memories of traveling to see BFMV and even landing a few hits in the mosh pit.When you need to crank up the volume on your sound system and have grown tired of today's EDM obsession, give this album a play and experience some excellent British metal.


The Witch Elm — Tana French

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

I've recommended quite a few Tana French novels in our weekly media picks posts. That's because they're all great mysteries, with unique and memorable Irish flair. The Witch Elm is French's latest mystery novel, and it's right up there with her best.It's the story of a group of 20-something cousins with a shared family vacation home of sorts in Dublin. They each have memories of endless summer parties and other (mostly happy) shenanigans. But when a body is discovered on the property years after they grow up and grow apart, questions get raised about what really happened during all those parties — and whether the cousins actually know each other the way they think they do.Like all of French's books, her writing, dialogue and ability to convey modern Irish sensibilities are what makes The Witch Elm stand out. But it's also a great yarn, pack with twists and turns and no shortage of suspense.

The Brothers Karamazov — Fyodor Dostoevsky

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

I've heard a lot of great things about The Brothers Karamazov over the years, and I've cracked it open more than once only to set it aside for something lighter. But … 2019 is the year. So far I'm about 100 pages in, and it's mostly been introductions for the cast of characters, which includes Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov and his three sons.As a whole, this book is a scope through which nineteenth-century Russian culture can be viewed, and is filled with arguments about God and morality. It's a slow read, but it's so far well worth the go, and I don't think that will change before the end.

Marvel's SPIDER-MAN: Hostile Takeover

Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor

My absolute top game of 2018 was Marvel's Spider-Man on the PS4, and by a fairly handsome margin. I can't get enough of it, and this novel, Hostile Takeover, is the official prequel to the game. It sets the scene for the Peter Parker universe created by Insomniac Games for Sony, and acts as a perfect side to the game.

  • Fawlty Towers is indeed one of the best BBC comedies of all time, along with 'Only Fools and Horses'
  • Thanks once again. Bad Times at El Royale, another film which somehow passed me by, has now been added to my list.