The holiday season is winding down, and 2018 is just getting started. Whether or not you've put away the decorations and recycled the tree, you can enjoy a bit of time to yourself (or with the family) with some great tunes, a quality movie, or a real page turner. Need a suggestion? Here's what Team Windows Central is enjoying.
TV and movies
Here are some of the movies and TV shows Windows Central is enjoying this week.
The Emoji Movie
Recommended by Zac Bowden, senior editor
This week I recommend The Emoji Movie. Not because it's a good movie, but because it's so bad you just have to see it. It's a baseless movie that has no reason to exist. Yet here it is.
Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor
Fight Club is one of my all-time favorite movies, and not in any way because of the gratuitous violence. It's an incredibly clever tale with an ENORMOUS twist and one that shows you more and more every time you re-watch it. The first rule of Fight Club is, you don't talk about Fight Club.
Black Mirror Season 4
Recommended by Matt Brown, Xbox editor
Late last year, Netflix finally dropped the next long-awaited entries to its Black Mirror series — a show that takes a dive into the twisted future of technology, and its impact on society. For those who've watched previous seasons of the series, the contents of the fourth season are familiar, though establish new storylines around different technological environments.
Coming off a strong string of episodes last season, the six new entries have compelling stories to tell. While certain episodes in earlier seasons still stick out as favorites, I couldn't have asked for much this latest installment. If you're in for thrilling short stories that leave their mark, look no further than Black Mirror.
Terminator 2 (Digital Remaster 2017)
Recommended by Jez Corden, senior Xbox editor
Most of you have (hopefully) seen Terminator 2, but recently, the legendary action movie's digital remaster hit the Microsoft Store for a totally solid price.
If you haven't seen Terminator 2 before, know that it is essential cinema viewing. It is arguably the greatest action movie of all time, telling a foreboding tale of artificial intelligence gone wrong.
T2 is pure joy from start to finish, and certainly isn't something you'll soon forget. The digital remaster sharpens the 90s movie's picture quality, making it the best version yet. Ideally you should get the 4K bluray, but if you haven't jumped on that train yet, the HD version on the Microsoft Store is still an essential purchase.
Amazon Prime Video
Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer
My recommendation isn't technically a product, but access to products. It's a new year, which makes it the perfect opportunity to treat oneself (or a significant other) with access to Amazon Prime. Unlimited next-day delivery on select products, music, video, and much more make the $5.99 well worth it.
Here's some of the music the Windows Central team is listening to this week.
Buddy Holly — Greatest Hits
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
I hate country music. Or most country music. But I love Buddy Holly, a country musician who rose to fame in just a few short years and then died in a 1959 plane crash at the tender age of 22.
Every single Buddy Holly tune — literally every one — has the potential to get stuck in your head for days. Seriously, this dude knew how to write catchy songs. Most of the lyrics feel kind of silly and prudish by today's standards. But those choruses and riffs and everything else that tie them together are plain old special.
I was visiting family in Lubbock, Texas, a few years ago, and I visited the Buddy Holly Museum. (Holly was from Lubbock, and, yeah, that museum is really a thing.) Before then, I was sort of familiar with his work, but there is nothing to do in Lubbock, Texas, except eat, drink and go to the Buddy Holly Museum. So after eating (a lot) and drinking (even more), I went to that museum. And I've listened to Holly frequently ever since. For a 22-year-old guy, he created a decent amount of music, and his greatest hits album is a good place to familiarize yourself with his work.
The Basement Tapes — Bob Dylan & The Band
Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
I'm kind of obsessed with Bob Dylan and his backing band at the time, which eventually came to be known simply as "The Band." Songs on The Basement Tapes were recorded waaaaay back in '67 at the recording studio known as "Big Pink" in New York. This was while Dylan was on the mend from his motorcycle accident.
These songs are part of what is supposedly a collection of over 100 cuts, and while a few of them are meandering and of poor quality, there are a number that stand the test of time.
"Ain't No More Cane," "Crash on the Levee," "This Wheel's On Fire," and "Goin' to Acapulco" are personal favorites that are fun to play around the campfire when the whiskey's flowing and an acoustic is nearby.
Here are the books we're reading this week!
The Collectors — David Baldacci
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
A few weeks ago, I recommended the first book in author David Baldacci's "Camel Club" series, called just The Camel Club. I liked it so much that I quickly sought out the second part of the story, "The Collectors", picks up with the same ragtag bunch of conspiracy theorists in Washington, D.C. The leader, who calls himself 'Olive Stone,' and his crew are trying to get to the bottom of the murder of a rare book collector, who may have witnessed the murder of a government official wrapped up in a plot to leak secrets to terrorist.
I know, it kind of sounds cliché. And it kind of is. But the execution of the story, and the lovable band of misfits that make up the cast of characters make this a series worth coming back to. If you're looking for a light but thoughtful and well-written mystery, you'll find a friend in "The Collectors". But you'll definitely want to read the first book first.
11/22/63 — Stephen King
Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
The last King book I read was Under the Dome, and this was years ago when it was first published. I still remember not being able to set it down until I'd turned the final page.
The same holds true for 11/22/63. I grabbed it from my parents' place following the holiday break, and couldn't put it down until about four days later when I finally found out what happened to Jake/George.
The plot is all about a time travel bubble that takes people back to the late '50s. What do you do in this era? Stop the Kennedy assassination! There are all sorts of subplots and twists, and holding true to King's style, he keeps you hooked. Seriously hooked.
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.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Benchmarking the new Surface Book 3 15 with GTX 1660 Ti and 10th Gen i7
Although it's too early for a review, here are some initial benchmarks from the new Surface Book 3 15-inch with a Core i7 and NVIDIA GeForce 1660 Ti (Max-Q) and how it compares to Surface Book 2 and other premium laptops. Spoiler: While the CPU is just OK, that 1660 Ti definitely bumps up the Book 3's potential.
Minecraft Dungeons Ultimate Guide: Everything you need to know
Minecraft Dungeons is here, and it's time to run through everything you need to know about the game.
Developers weigh in on Microsoft's all-digital Build 2020 conference
Microsoft had to hold Build 2020 as an all-digital event. Developers from around the web shared their thoughts on Microsoft's all-digital conference and the biggest announcements from the event.
Best Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Docks and Docking Stations in 2019
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is a fantastic ultrabook, but what if you want to use it desktop-style? You're going to want to get yourself a laptop dock for that. Here are some of our favorites.