The winter months are slipping by, and we've almost arrived at the end of February. If everything's moving just a bit too fast, you can slow things down this weekend 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.
The Mountain Between Us Recommended by Jez Corden, senior Xbox editor
A doctor and a photojournalist take a risky charter flight over a remote mountain range, and as you might expect from the movie's title, things don't go according to plan. Kate Winslet and Idris Elba portray two strangers who must use every ounce of their will to survive a massive snowy trek from the top of a mountain back to civilization. The Mountain Between Us focuses a little more on the relationship of the people involved rather than the suspense of their predicament, but it leaves a lasting impression with some gorgeous nature cinematography, excellent acting, with a down-to-earth plot.
Bad Boys Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor
Everybody wants to be like Mike. Critics panned it, but I, and many others have always enjoyed Bad Boys. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence make a great team and what Bad Boys is, is a '90s cop flick with fast cars, lots of guns and plenty of humor. It's also discounted in some regions in the Microsoft Store right now.
Dunkirk Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
I'm a big fan of movies that have to do with WWII, so I'm kind of surprised at myself that I didn't rush out and see this one in theatres. What's done is done, and this weekend I finally plan on enjoying it at home.Dunkirk is based on true events that occurred in early summer 1940 during the Battle of Dunkirk. Hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers, backed off from the Western Front, found themselves stranded on a beach as they awaited evacuation.This retelling is directed by one of my favorite directors, Christopher Nolan, so I'm expecting some greatness here.
Here's some of the music the Windows Central team is listening to this week.
Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards — Tom Waits Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
Tom Waits has been making music for a really long time. Like, nearly 50 years. It's hard to make tunes for that long and not start sounding extremely repetitive. But that's one of my favorite things about Waits's music. Most of his albums, especially, his most recent stuff, sounds different and unique; except for his hit distinctive voice, some could be made by entirely different artists. Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards, a "three-disc" album released in 2006, fits that description nicely.Each "disc" of the album — or when consumed digitally, each "section" — is made of similar types of songs. So Brawlers contains tunes that are loud, upbeat, angry and/or good songs to, well … fight to. Bawlers is about sing-songy, sad, gloomy or nostalgic tunes. And Bastards is everything else.If you're not familiar with Waits, his voice sounds like he's been smoking a pack a day since he was about six years old — and he might have done just that. And the sound can be an acquired taste. But he's one of the most talented and original old-school crooners still making great music today. He's well worth spending some time with, and Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards is a great place to start.
Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) — Car Seat Headrest Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
My friend Marc Lagace, who primarily writes for Android Central, has been going on about Car Seat Headrest for about a year now, often bringing a couple of songs to the table when we get together with guitars.So far I haven't really paid much attention other than to what he suggests, but I see that they've re-recorded (and partly redone) their sixth album that was originally released 2011. I put it on this morning and have been enjoying it so far, basking in the indie-rock sound.
Here are the books we're reading this week!
Earth Abides — George R. Stewart Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
Earth Abides is a wonderful post-apocalyptic novel that often gets overlooked in favor of some of the other sensationalist stuff to do with zombies and roving bands of shirtless men with a hunger for flesh — not that there's anything wrong with that.This book tell the story of Isherwood Williams, who completely misses out on the sickness that wipes out humanity. Why? He's recovering from a snakebite in a remote cabin. Rather than uniting the remaining humans and fighting off evildoers, Earth Abides is more about human creations breaking down and what happens when the race is started all over again.
Every Last Lie — Mary Kubica Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
The latest book from popular thriller novelist Mary Kubica is the story of a woman whose life turns into chaos when her husband is killed in a car wreck. But it's not the mourning that proves to be hardest for her … it's slowly figuring out that she barely knew her husband — and that his death may not have been an accident at all. Suddenly even the most innocent seeming people in the heroine, Clara's, life seem frighteningly guilty. And suspense ensues.The plot is kind of cookie-cutter. And honestly, there's a lot I don't like about the book. But it definitely keeps you guessing. And some redeeming aspects (a great portrayal of Clara's adorable four-year-old daughter, decent writing) help make up for its shortcomings (the story is unrealistic at times). But overall, it's a read that's worth a look. And based on some good Amazon reviews, lots of people like it more than I did.
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