Summer is flying by, and June is nearly over. There are some holidays coming up depending on where you live, and you're probably looking for a bit of entertainment. If you're lying out in the sun you're probably looking for an interesting book to read or a catchy album to listen to, or you might just want to hang out inside and watch a great movie. Read on for some suggestions from Team Windows Central.
Here are some of the movies Windows Central is enjoying this week.
Cars Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor
My little boy, as with many children, adores Disney, and one of his favorites is Cars. He sleeps in a Lightning McQueen bed, he's a Lightning McQueen mural on his wall and of course, we're no strangers to watching the movies. Now a trilogy, pull up a chair and have some fun with the Radiator Springs gang.
The Conjuring Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer
I'm not normally one who enjoys jump scare type horror movies. While I love the odd OMG moment as much as the person sitting next to me, I much prefer movies that have more to the experience than simply loud music to mark cues when you should be afraid.The Conjuring is a great movie and one that was well received by critics and audiences. It's also one of my all-time favorites, creeping up to The Thing and The Shining on my list of best horror movies. Just be sure you're not watching alone.
Unsane Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
I love me a good horror movie. Unfortunately, they seem to be few and far between these days. (I'm partial to the old slasher flicks of the late '70s and early '80s. Yes, I'm old. ) But I was pleasantly surprised when I rented Steven Soderbergh's Unsane.It's the story of a woman who leaves her family in Boston after a stalker forces her to flee. However, she finds that she is still haunted by the creep, and her fears begin to shape all aspects of her life and affect her job. After she seeks help from a local therapist, the woman ends up unwillingly committed to a psychiatric hospital, where her sanity is called into question — and where her stalker may or may not have tracked her and then found a job as a nurse.It's a quality, stylized psychological thriller that's kind of like a scary One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Oh, and it's all shot on an iPhone, which is pretty cool and gives it a unique modern feel.
Are You Here Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
Are You Here kind of comes across as a comedy at first, especially considering the cast of Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler, and Owen Wilson, but it's actually quite sad. The two guy friends head back to their hometown following a father's death, and Galifianakis' character must come to terms with his bipolar disorder and abuse of illegal drugs.It's not the greatest movie, but if you like any of these actors, I'd say definitely give it a watch.
Here's some of the music the Windows Central team is listening to this week.
Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde — The Pharcyde Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
For some reason, the album Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde embodies summer for me. So when the temperature skyrockets in Boston this weekend as predicted, Bizarre Ride will be bumping in my ride. Or my apartment if I decide to stay indoors. Because I hate the heat. Bah.The album is silly-stoner, west-coast '90s hip hop at its pinnacle. The beats are original and fresh, and the lyrics are hilarious, intelligent and inspired. (And possibly a bit offensive, if you blush easily.) Every track is great. But the ones that have always stood out to me are 'Soul Flower,' 'Passin' Me By,' and "Otha Fish.'You may not think you've ever heard the Pharcyde, but quite a few of their songs are used in movies, even today. If you find yourself seeking some new tunes this weekend, and you're in a funky kind of mood, do yourself a favor and take a Bizarre Ride.
Sea of Noise — St. Paul & The Broken Bones Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
I'm spending next week at Winnipeg's Folk Festival, where St. Paul & The Broken Bones are playing. If you haven't before experienced this band, it's all about a big group of talented people backing up lead singer Paul Janeway's outstanding vocals.This is soul music at its finest, and I'm kind of glad I get to see them before they attain the stardom they deserve.
Here are the books we're reading this week!
The Satanic Verses — Salman Rushdie Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer
I last read The Satanic Verses as part of my senior seminar class in college. At the time, the controversial novel was incredibly intriguing, but I obviously was reading and discussing it in the context of an academic setting, rather than for my own enjoyment. So, I've decided to dive back into the story this week.The Satanic Verses follows the lives of Gibreel Farishta and Saladin Chamcha, two Indian actors of Muslim faith who find themselves in a plane explosion after a hijacking on their way to England. Following the explosion, both Farishta and Chamcha assume the personas of the biblical figures of Gabriel and the devil, respectively. The rest of the novel follows the actors' lives in England, using a mix of religious dream sequences and the dramatic real-life events both characters go through.The Satanic Verses is largely known for the controversy it caused upon release, owing to claims of blasphemy among some followers of the Muslim faith. Rushdie's life was threatened through a formal fatwa and one of the novel's translators was killed.Still, the novel is incredibly deep, with plenty of literary nuggets to mine.
Whatever — Michel Houellebecq Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
French author Michel Houellebecq's later work isn't an easy read, and his first novel, Whatever, is no different. Within is an examination of human relationships, degrading morals in Western society, and the things that turned our love lives into a capitalist game.The protagonist is disgusted with the world, smokes four packs of cigarettes a day, and goes through life not wanting to die but not wanting to try, either. I smell existentialism.
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What have you been watching, reading, and listening to this week? We want to know, so drop a comment and share your recommendations.
If none of these recommendations strike your fancy, check out a list of all of our past recommendations. We promise you'll find something you'll like.
Tons more recommendations from Team Windows Central