There's no better time to relax than the weekend, when everything moves slower and there are idle hours to be found. What better way to kick back than with some great tunes, a quality movie, or a real page turner? If you're looking for suggestions, we put together a collection of some of the best stuff out there right now.
TV and movies
Here are some of the movies and TV shows Windows Central is enjoying this week.
Recommended by Matt Brown, writer
While I often find it hard to set aside time for movies today, nothing beats a fast-paced action experience on the big screen. I recently revisited Ocean's Eleven, an iconic heist movie of the early 2000s, and the timeless classic still holds up over 15 years later.
Featuring a strong cast, comprised of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and many more, Ocean's Eleven follows a group of criminals who attempt to hit three Las Vegas casinos in a single sweep. After building a strong team of various skill sets, the film sets out with an interesting dynamic of both thrilling action and cunning tactics, paired with a fair dash of humor. While it undeniably shows its age, Ocean's Eleven is a sure hit for some light weekend movie-going.
Recommended by Jez Corden, senior Xbox editor
It's almost Halloween, so it's high time you get some horror movies into your watch list. Clive Barker's Hellraiser remains a personal favorite for its diabolical themes, gore-gasmic special effects and costume design (for the time), and brutal hyper-violence. Hellraiser II is pretty good as well, just ... don't check out any sequels beyond that.
Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer
Hulu's dark and brooding Chance was one of many surprising delights that I checked out in 2016. It was only after I binged my way through season one that I discovered I was in for quite a wait for more episodes. Now that season two is finally here, I'm stoked to dive in.
Chance stars Hugh Laurie as Eldon Chance, a San Francisco-based psychiatrist who finds himself unwittingly pulled into a dark world of corruption and violence by one of his patients. I don't want to spoil too much here, but Chance was a gripping watch from start to finish, and I expect the same from season two. If you enjoyed Laurie's performance in House, it's likely you'll find something to like in Chance. Oh, and if you're a Windows phone fan, you'll frequently see Eldon Chance whipping out his trusty Windows phone to respond to a text or make a call.
The Hills Have Eyes (2016)
Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
With Halloween just around the corner, scary movies are popular. When The Hills Have Eyes remake came out in 2006, it actually scared me. Something about the deformed refugees clinging onto their way of life in a nuclear test zone seemed to hit a chord.
Compared to the horror movies of today, The Hills Have Eyes is a bit tame, but the scene with the father (if you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about) is still affecting. And that's not even getting to the scene with the daughter in the trailer.
It's been a long time since I saw The Hills Have Eyes, but it will be rewatched this weekend. It will be interesting to see how well it holds up (I'm guessing not great).
Here's some of the music the Windows Central team is listening to this week.
Queens of the Breakers — The Barr Brothers
Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
Hailing from Montreal, Quebec, The Barr Brothers are a band consisting of, you guessed it, two American brothers. They are joined by Canadian harpist and vocalist Sarah Pagé, who adds so much to the music. It's a good thing they heard her practicing through an open window.
A self-titled album was released in 2011, followed up by 2014's Sleeping Operator. Other than a few singles and a collection of songs they deemed not suitable for Sleeping Operator, The Barr Brothers have been busy with Queens of the Breakers. Set to release today, it's more of the same layered folk-rock that deals with love, loss, and some sort of God.
Lead Singer Brad Barr plays guitar, his brother, Andrew, plays drums and helps with vocals, and while Sarah isn't creating beautiful melodies on her harp, she's contributing a songbird voice. So far we have three singles from Queens of the Breakers, but that changes today.
Here are the books we're reading this week!
Sleeping Beauties — Stephen King
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
I'm a huge — massive, gigantic — Stephen King fan. Anything the man writes, I read. That said, because I love his writing so much, I can be critical of it, maybe more so than he deserves. King's recent stuff has been, well … not as good as his early novels. In fact, his last great book, "11.22.63," was published in 2011. So I was a skeptical of his latest work, 'Sleeping Beauties,' especially because he coauthored it with his son, novelist Owen King, who I'm honestly not familiar with. But, boy, have I been pleasantly surprised.
'Sleeping Beauties' is the story of a small American town at the middle of a global epidemic, dubbed "Aurora," that sees the world's women unable to wake from sleep, leaving the men to deal with the aftermath, and each other.
I haven't finished it yet — it's longer than 700 pages — but I am more than halfway through, and it's a return to many of things I love about King's early work. It's jampacked with memorable characters. It's beautifully, if loosely, modelled after the story arch of the classic Disney fairytale, 'Sleeping Beauty.' (Aurora is the name of the princess in that story.) It has clever biblical allusions throughout. It's a timely examination of gender relations in the U.S, and in the world. And, perhaps most importantly, it has an awesome antagonist: the beautiful, witty and downright diabolical, Evie Black.
Again, I haven't finished 'Sleeping Beauties' yet, and a bad ending can spoil even the freshest stories. But I'm really enjoying it so far, and at this point, I really don't want it to end.
Wolf — Jim Harrison
Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
Jim Harrison's 'Wolf' was recommended to me by a good friend who knows her books. I've yet to make it halfway through, but the little I've read is very interesting. Harrison, who also wrote "Legends of the Fall," likes to write a bit about a topic, go off on a wild tangent, and return to the original subject with ease.
'Wolf' is a story about a man who leaves the big city — in this case Manhattan — and tries his hand at surviving in the wilderness of Michigan. This book seems to be about focusing on the things that are important in life, especially nature around us.
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.
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