The roses are in a vase, the chocolate-filled hearts are half empty, and you're free this weekend to kick back and relax. What better way to enjoy yourself 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.
Red Dwarf Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor
Red Dwarf (the small rouge one) is my absolute favorite TV show of all time and this week it celebrates its 30th birthday. The BBC classic is still alive in its new home on Dave, and to celebrate the milestone I'm going right back to the start. Well, The End (first episode title ha ha ha). Happy birthday, smegheads.
Gravity Recommended by Matt Brown, Xbox editor
Somehow, it's nearly been five years since Gravity hit cinemas, yet even after this time the film holds up in almost every regard. Following a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission which ends in chaos, the film explores a journey of coming terms with hopelessness in the barren emptiness of space. Even revisiting now, Gravity's cinematography still stands out as a masterpiece of visual appeal.
Pirates of the Caribbean Recommended by Jez Corden, senior Xbox editor
With Microsoft's upcoming Xbox platform exclusive Sea of Thieves, there's few movies better suited to get you in the mood than the Pirates of the Caribbean series from Disney.Starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, for what the movies lack in consistent writing they make up for with great action scenes, stunning visual effects, and good old swashbuckling fun. And hey, the second movie has the kraken in it.
Rick and Morty Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer
Life is getting in the way of my free time outside of work this week, so I haven't had much time to dig into any movies or books. But one of the benefits of working from home is that I can stream a show in the background, which leads to a lot of binging, even if I'm only half paying attention at any given time.This week, I've been jumping back into Rick and Morty. It's one of my favorite shows of the last several years and, like Futurama before it, I've seen the episodes enough times that drop in and out while writing and still be able to keep up with what's going on.If you've never given Rick and Morty a shot and dig crude, ridiculous humor and the occasional obscure reference, I highly recommend it. If nothing else, do it for Pickle Rick.
Blade Runner 2049 Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer
If you have yet to see Blade Runner 2049 and have no idea about an original film, you should check out the 1982 movie and return to this excellent sequel. Sporting a unique world, impressive visuals and atmosphere, the Blade Runner series continues to offer a strange world to lose yourself in.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
Ever since Fargo I've been a big fan of watching Frances McDormand in pretty much anything. I heard about this movie from my dad, and plan on watching it this weekend. McDormand plays the mother of a murdered girl whose case has gone unsolved.She pays to have three billboards put up on the edge of town calling out the police chief and deputies. The police, of course, don't like what she's done, and the drama centers around their interactions.Backing up McDormand are Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson, who plays the chief of police.
The Goonies Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
I'm not sure I've seen any single film more than The Goonies. When I was a kid, my family had a bootleg tape of it on VHS (ssssshhhh, don't tell the Feds), and it was always playing in the background in my home. Until this week, I hadn't seen the movie in decades. But as soon as I started it, I was reciting quotes like I'd just watched it yesterday.The Goonies is the quintessential 1980s good (the protagonist group of kids) vs. bad (evil property developers trying to steal their homes, a pack of mobsters) family-friendly quest tale, with awesome flavors of '80s Americana. (The music and outfits are truly priceless.) It's made by both Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus, two true titans of Hollywood. It involves creepy dead bodies in cold storage freezers, a deformed (but ultimately friendly) monster of a man, car chases, underground tunnels, and quite literally, buried treasure. And it's all set against the lush and beautiful backdrop of the northern Oregon coast.Chances are you've seen The Goonies, too, but if it's been a while, now may be a great time to revisit a true classic. One Eyed Willy is waitin' for ya.
Here's some of the music the Windows Central team is listening to this week.
Workingman's Dead — The Grateful Dead Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
Although The Grateful Dead are best enjoyed live, their studio albums are a treat for the ears. Workingman's Dead is their fourth studio album, recorded just before American Beauty.The sound is similar, moving between blues and folk and rock seemingly without effort. Whenever I start the album with "Uncle John's Band" I find it hard to stop without listening all the way through to "Casey Jones."
Here are the books we're reading this week!
Timeline — Michael Crichton Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
Michael Crichton put out some great books, including Jurassic Park and Congo, but one of my absolute favorites is Timeline. It's the story of a group of archaeologists who make an odd discovery at a European dig before being whisked away to a top-secret laboratory where time travel can send people back to medieval England.Some people are trapped there in the past, the archaeologists have some discovering to do, and, of course, things don't exactly go as planned. For some great historical drama and patented Crichton suspense, give this one a read.
Red Sparrow — Jason Matthews Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
It's been a while since I've read a good U.S.-versus-Russia spy novel. I bet it has been for you too. (Have you ever read a U.S.-versus-Russia novel? I'm not sure I had either … until Red Sparrow. But anyway …)Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews is an awesome take on the spy genre, and it's about sets of spies for the U.S. and Russian governments, who simultaneously try to infiltrate each other to steal secrets by converting various government officials who have access to sensitive information on everything from financial markets, to national security and computer infrastructure. The quest to convert these people into spies is referred to as "The Game," and that's exactly how the book reads; as a game of chess between the U.S. and Russia, with potential spies as the pieces on the chess board. Embassy officials and foreign diplomats in each country serve as the "handlers" who attempt to convert their potential targets.That's the gist of it. It's a gritty, dark, sometimes violent and often humorous modern take on the classic spy novel. And each chapter oddly ends with a recipe based on food that was consumed in the past chapter. It's weird and wonderful. And I highly recommend it. It's also the first novel in a trilogy, so if you like it, there's more where that came from.
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