It's not quite Valentine's Day yet, and we're saving our romantic stuff for later, but you might still be looking for something to enjoy, either alone or with a significant other. Why not check out 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.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer
I'm one of those nerds who binges the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy a couple of times a year, and I've been feeling the urge this week. I have some pretty awesome memories of going to see the films in theatres with my older brother when I was young, and the entire series feels like the perfect fantasy package to me.At around three hours for each movie, it invariably turns into a bit of a slog by the time I hit Return of the King. But, that's why I learned not to go with the Extended Editions a long time ago. Still, Return of the King manages to pull me right back in before it's all said and done.If you've never tried to marathon this trilogy on a slow weekend, the winter months are great for it. And if you're really down for a challenge, I recommend attempting to binge The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies back-to-back over the course of a couple of days. I promise you'll only do it once.
See at Microsoft Store (opens in new tab) Logan Lucky Recommended by Mark Guim, video editor
I love heist movies, and Logan Lucky seems to be a good one according to reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Trying to reverse a family curse, brothers Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde Logan (Adam Driver) set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the legendary Coca-Cola 600 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. If you liked Ocean's 11, 12, and 13, you're probably going to enjoy this movie because it's from the same director.
See at Microsoft Store (opens in new tab) The Martian Recommended by Jez Corden, senior Xbox editor
Do you like space? Do you like Matt Damon? If you do, then this is practically the ultimate movie for you. Set on the red planet, Mark Watney (Matt Damon) finds himself stranded on a Mars research base, cut off from his crew, and Earth itself. With few resources, Watney has to use every ounce of his technical knowledge to survive in this intense and moving thriller from legendary director Ridley Scott. Unmissable for sci-fi fans.
See at Microsoft Store (opens in new tab) Jurassic Park Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
After having my brain shut off halfway through Jurassic World and seeing the abomination that is the trailer for Jurassic World 2, I decided I had to either forget entirely about this beloved series or rewatch the original Jurassic Park for the umpteenth time.I couldn't stand losing it, so — you guessed it — I rewatched the best. There's no chatting with your velociraptor girlfriends (unless you're saying "Clever girl"), the characters are relatable and not hateable caricatures, and dinosaurs are just dinosaurs, not shapeshifting invisibility monsters. BTW, we clocked the T-Rex at 32 miles per hour.
See at Microsoft Store (opens in new tab) Rogue One Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer
Whilst not my favorite Star Wars film — I'm not a fan of the new movies — I can appreciate just how good this movie looks and how it attempts to steer the Star Wars ship on a different course to switch things up a little. The plot hole really wasn't needing an explanation but I'm surprised by how they handled it and made it work really well. If you need a break from watching episodes one through eight, this is a nice filler before you hit episode four.
See at Microsoft Store (opens in new tab) Music
Here's some of the music the Windows Central team is listening to this week.
The Worm's Heart — The Shins Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
New Shins is always a good time, and The Worm's Heart is more of the distinct sound from James Mercer and crew. This one sort of didn't appear on my radar until a few days ago, but I have managed to get in a full listen.If it sounds familiar, it's because it's a "flipped" version of their album Heartworms. Yes, that's right; all songs are presented as alternate takes while still maintaining a bit of their original sound. Listening to both albums back to back is what I plan next.
I'm So Confused — Jonathan Richman Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
Jonathan Richman is (somewhat sadly) most known for his appearances and musical performances in the hit flick There's Something About Mary. He's the weird guy who keeps showing up, playing a guitar and singing throaty tunes, including the film's title track. I say that's sad, because the guy has made some truly outstanding music. He's also the lead singer in the seminal rock bad The Modern Lovers. But chances are, you haven't heard of them either.I'm a huge fan of Richman, who happens to be from my home city of Boston, where he still occasionally shows up to play small club. And when he does, those are must-see performances, at least in my opinion. My favorite Richman album is probably I'm So Confused. Richman's sound is kind of an acquired taste, and it ranges from full-on classic rock to Spanish-style Flamenca tunes. The best tracks on I'm So Confused are probably "When I Dance," the album's title track, and "True Love is Not Nice," also featured in There's Something About Mary. Seriously, give this guy a listen.
Here are the books we're reading this week!
The Dragon Reborn — Robert Jordan Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
I keep telling myself that this will be the last I read of the series, but upon finishing The Great Hunt (which I recommended last week), I couldn't help but pick up The Dragon Reborn.The writing still flows and is uncomplicated (Jordan hasn't yet started dragging out the storyline in a frustrating way), making them easy to blow through in about a week despite their size. My stack of other stuff to read is growing, so I'll no doubt drop these soon, but sometimes it's just too much fun getting into a fantasy series as broad and detailed as this one.
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