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

Check out our media recommendations as we head into the weekend!

It's been a busy week here at Windows Central, but that doesn't mean we haven't had time to enjoy some movies, music, and books. If you're thinking about doing the same this weekend, check out these great suggestions from our writers and editors.

TV and movies

Here are some of the movies and TV shows Windows Central is enjoying this week.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Recommended by Jason Ward, writer

I'm a huge superhero fan, and Spider-Man has been my favorite since I was knee-high to an arachnid. Early iterations of the character from the 1960s cartoon to the live action and corny renditions like the one found in the children's program The Electric Company arrested my attention. So when Toby Maguire's Spidey introduced the level of special effects that made the comic book Spidey come truly alive, I was all in. Andrew Garfield's Spidey kept me engaged. And Tom Holland's smart-mouth, quick-witted Spidey that mouths off in the face of danger got me excited about Spidey all over again when he appeared in Captain America: Civil War.

Homecoming brings us back to the original Spidey of lore. A geeky, awkward-but-brilliant kid. Yes, a kid, with kid problems, just like early comic books. He's not the adult struggling with a mature relationship like we see in previous modern movies; this is Spidey, back to the roots of the character, but not an origin story.

We see a struggle with learning responsibility as a hero. Though he can lift 10 tons, stick to walls and dodge bullets, these gifts don't really impress Tony Stark (aka Iron-Man) who Peter desperately wants to impress. Peter learns hard lessons as he struggles to be a teen and a hero.

Though some of the bungling about Spidey experiences in this flick I think were overdone, and though I don't identify with kiddy problems in the way I identify with the adult issues other recent Spider-Man movies present, this is an enjoyable action flick that Marvel, and Spidey fans, may enjoy.

See at Microsoft Store

Non-Stop

Recommended by Zac Bowden, senior editor

This week I watched Non-Stop, a 2014 movie starring Liam Neeson. The movie is an hour and a half of action that leaves you on the edge of your seat. I enjoyed the narrative greatly and had me guessing throughout who the villain actually was.

See at Microsoft Store

Mr. Robot

Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor

In preparation for Season 3 of Mr. Robot, I've been watching the older episodes. If you're not familiar, it tells the story of a computer genius, Elliot, who becomes involved with a secret hacking group. One thing that's certain is that nothing is ever as it seems in this show. But it's brilliantly done.

See at Microsoft Store

Bean: The Movie

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

I was recently rewatching some old Mr. Bean episodes, and it got me thinking about the first Bean movie, which I hadn't seen for years. If you haven't seen any of Mr. Bean and are wondering who I'm talking about, this is one of Rowan Atkinson's odder characters; a man who rarely speaks, has intense social anxiety, and who really does his own thing, for better or for worse.

Bean: The Movie has the character come to America in a mixup; what follows are some of the cringiest Bean moments ever. If you love Bean and haven't seen the movie, be sure to check it out. If you have seen the movie, isn't it time you watched it again?

See at Microsoft Store

Music

Here's some of the music the Windows Central team is listening to this week.

Clubland Classics — Ibiza Dance Party

Clubland Classics — Ibiza Dance Party

Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer

Returning to my roots in EDM with classic dance, this album contains some of the absolute best in the genre. Throw in an album for happy hardcore and you'll have me jumping all night long.

See at Microsoft Store See at Amazon

Beck — Colors

Beck — Colors

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

I've been a Beck fan for a long time, since the mid '90s when he released the now-classic album Mellow Gold. A few years after that, I saw him perform at the HORDE Festival, and it was probably the single most compelling live set I've ever seen. So when Beck puts out a new album, I purchase that sucker.

Colors just came out last week, but I've probably listened to it all the way through a dozen times already. It's classic Beck. And yet it sounds completely different than his last few albums, which is what makes Beck's music so great — every album is unique but you know it's going to sound really good.

The standout tracks, for me, are "No Distraction" (think Beck meets The Police) and "Dear Life" (I hear notes of Elliott Smith in this one). Seriously, this album is worth a listen, perhaps many listens. Go download/stream/borrow/steal this one immediately.

See at Microsoft Store See at Amazon See at iTunes

Coke Machine Glow — Gordon Downie

Coke Machine Glow — Gordon Downie

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

We all knew it was coming, but it still hurts. Gord Downie, frontman for Canadian band The Tragically Hip, passed away this week after a battle with terminal brain cancer. His passing has kicked me back into Tragically Hip listening sessions, as well as some of Downie's solo work.

Coke Machine Glow, released in 2001, is just more of Downie's poetic lyrics, obscure references, and heartfelt message, albeit without his usual Hip crew backing him up. If you'd like a sample, I suggest checking out "Chancellor" and "Trick Rider." If you like these two tracks, you should enjoy the rest.

Take 'er easy, Gord.

See at Microsoft Store See at Amazon See at iTunes


Books

Here are the books we're reading this week!

The Child Finder — Rene Denfeld

The Child Finder — Rene Denfeld

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

When it comes to good thrillers, setting and atmosphere are almost always key. The rural Oregon mountains in the middle of the winter are freezing (obviously), desolate, barren and seemingly endless. All of those things make The Child Finder feel decidedly creepy throughout, as the story's protagonist Naomi tries to run from her own past (when she was abducted as a child) and give meaning to her damaged existence by finding other lost or stolen children — or at least give the parents of missing kids some shred of hope.

The storyline here is quite dark, but Denfeld's poetic, stylized writing somehow makes it feel uplifting at times, as she deals with some seriously disturbing themes, which is why the book feels memorable to me. The characters are well developed and authentic-feeling. This one is as much literary fiction as it is a page-turner, and it's a good book to cozy up to on cold fall evening.

See Kindle book at Amazon See Audible audiobook at Amazon

The Buried Giant — Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant — Kazuo Ishiguro

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

Kazuo Ishiguro was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature, so on my latest trip to the local used book store I searched out his name. Sure enough, I was able to find both The Buried Giant and Never Let Me Go.

I began first with the former book, and so far I've barely been able to put it down. It tells the story of Axl and Beatrice, two seniors living in Britain about 500 years ago. They live in an underground warren with a small farming community, but they soon set off on a walk that will reunite them with their son.

Along the way, they meet characters whose memories are as full of holes as their own, and it seems like there is some sort of supernatural power that has a grip over the land. Ishiguro writes simply and directly, but manages to somehow inject a sense of wonder that captivates. I'm about halfway through The Buried Giant, but I can already see why he is such a celebrated author.

See Kindle book at Amazon


Your favorites?

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