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

December is here. Before the holiday rush takes over, take a weekend to enjoy some of our favorite movies, music, and books.

The craze of Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend has passed, and this weekend you might just be tempted to stay in and do nothing but watch great movies, listen to great tunes, or read a deep book. 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.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Recommended by Mark Guim, video editor

I liked the first Kingsman movie a lot, so I'm planning to watch this sequel when I have time. I'm expecting epic fighting scenes, cool spy gadgets, and great cinematography.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle heads to the U.S. where two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.

See at Microsoft Store

Justice League

Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer

As someone who tends toward a preference for DC's lineup of characters, despite never really being steeped in comic fandom, Justice League is calling my name this week.

Given the track record of Warner Bros. with DC movies as of late, I'm keeping my expectations firmly in check. I wasn't a huge fan of Batman v Superman, but outside of the overly bleak tone and excessive run time, I didn't buy into all of the hate it received. I'm cautiously optimistic (and hopeful – I want it to be good) that Justice League will right some of those wrongs, largely because of the absolute joy that Wonder Woman turned out to be. I've also kept myself from watching any trailers, so I'm looking forward to a fresh look at the movie, which will be a nice change of pace in a world where it seems like virtually every trailer is just a massive spoiler. (It's not just me, right?)

If anything, I'll be giddy to see Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and Cyborg simultaneously occupying the big screen for a couple of hours.

Preorder at Microsoft Store

Starship Troopers

Recommended by Jez Corden, senior Xbox editor

Do you hate giant alien BUGS? Do you love VIOLENCE and SCI-FI? Well then, come on you apes, you need to buy Starship Troopers!

Starship Troopers comes from the same director who brought us classics like Total Recall and Robocop, Paul Verhoeven, who brings the same level of badassery, over-the-top ultra violence, and tongue-in-cheek commentary with this ridiculously awesome sci-fi war movie.

Starship Troopers also represented some of the best CGI and effects for its era, and to celebrate its twentieth birthday, the film is getting re-released on 4K Blu-ray.

See at Microsoft Store

Just Friends

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

It's hard to believe that this movie came out in 2005, and it's also hard to believe that I still watch it anytime I come across it. Just Friends is all about a character played by Ryan Reynolds who, once fat and friend-zoned in high school, is now a record exec with some money in the bank.

An accidental visit back to his hometown has him run into the old love of his life, and as he attempts to impress her with his cool new attitude, events transpire that seemingly revert him back into the teen he once was.

It's silly and it has a cliche ending, but I can't help but laugh at most of the gags. For a holiday movie that isn't entirely dripping in romance, try Just Friends.

See at Microsoft Store

Music

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

Mimicking Birds — Mimicking Birds

Mimicking Birds — Mimicking Birds

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

A glorious product of Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock's small label, Glacial Pace, Mimicking Birds' first album, which is self-titled, is a haunting and memorable alternative masterwork. It's laidback and beautiful, unique, catchy and kind of creepy. And every song on it is great.

The album is packed with acoustic guitar riffs that stick in your head and that'll have you humming uncontrollably for days after hearing 'em. The lead singer Nate Lacy's voice is truly one of a kind, and it's probably my favorite thing about the band's sound. And then there are the smart and sometimes biting lyrics.

Mimicking Birds is one of those bands that should really be much more popular than they are, and I'm honestly unsure why they're not. I remember hearing this album for the first time in 2010 and predicting that these guys would be hugely popular. So far, I've been wrong. But there's still time…

See at Microsoft Store See at Amazon See at iTunes


The Suburbs — Arcade Fire

The Suburbs — Arcade Fire

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

Arcade Fire, which got its start in Montreal, has at this point put out a decent collection of records, but only The Suburbs has really appealed to me when it comes to albums as a whole.

I spent a good portion of my teen years living in a suburb, and right from the start, this album's sound captures the feeling that I can still remember today. Overall, I'd say the album has an uplifting sound, but it mostly examines the seemingly temporary nature of a suburb (I worked in new development houses for a few years and let's just say the build quality is scary) and the effect it has on humans and nature.

See at Microsoft Store See at Amazon See at iTunes


Books

Here are the books we're reading this week!

The Camel Club — David Baldacci

The Camel Club — David Baldacci

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

The Camel Club is a mystery all you conspiracy theorists will love. And it has a truly surprising twist that caught me off guard. I read a lot of mysteries and kind of pride myself on not getting caught off guard. So this was a pleasant surprise

The book is about a group of outcasts in Washington, D.C., who band together based on a distrust of the government and a shared mission to find 'the truth.' They call themselves 'the Camel Club,' and their leader, a former super-spy badass who literally has no legal identity, and who goes by the name 'Oliver Stone' — a nod to the controversial director who notoriously questions societal 'truths' — gets them entwined in a terrorist plot to kidnap the American president.

It's the ragtag cast of quirky characters, and the genuinely creative terrorist scheme, that make this book a winner. It's a story seemingly packed with all the common action-thriller book clichés that actually works. It's also the first part of a five-part series, so there's plenty more to read if you like this one.

See at Microsoft Store See Kindle book at Amazon See Audible audiobook at Amazon


1Q84 — Haruki Murakami

1Q84 — Haruki Murakami

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

No matter how you pronounce it — "Q-teen Eighty-Four" or "One Q Eighty-Four" — Haruki Murakami's 2009 novel about parallel realities, cats, meal preparation, manuscripts, communes, sex, and love is a trip.

This is a big book that primarily follows two protagonists who are unknowingly looking for each other, albeit in a reality that is not the same. I read it for the first time about six years ago and am excited to tackle it again. 1Q84 is definitely a book that requires reading twice; if you like the genre of magical realism, this is some of the finest.

See at Microsoft Store Download the Kindle book at Amazon Download the Audible audio 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