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

The longest day of the year has come and gone, but that doesn't mean there's not lots of time to kick back and enjoy some great movies, books, and music. If you're looking for suggestions, we put together a collection of some of the best stuff out there right now.

Movies and TV

Here are some of the movies and TV shows Windows Central is enjoying this week.

Halo Legends

Recommended by Brendan Lowry, writer

With all the hype that came alongside the reveal trailer for Halo Infinite, I thought it would be a great idea to revisit the closest thing Halo has ever had to an anime: Halo Legends. Comprised of a myriad of short stories that enrich the Halo universe and gives us a closer look at the UNSC, Covenant, and even the Forerunners, Halo Legends is a production that any fan of the franchise would be crazy to miss out on.

Champions

Recommended by Sean Endicott, writer

Champions is a new take on a fish out of water story centered around a bubbly 15-year-old boy, Michael, who dreams of being an actor. He has to live with his dad and his uncle in New York City so he can attend a performing-arts school.

Michael's father, Vince, has become aloof when it comes to the gym he owns and many parts of his life. Their contrasting personalities make for fun antics such as when the celebrity and social media obsessed Michael has to help Vince convince women to attend Vince's failing gym.

Atonement

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

I'm not usually one for this type of romantic movie, but having thoroughly enjoyed the book by author Ian McEwan, I figured I'd check it out to see how it was adapted.

I don't want to give too much away about the plot, but it's essentially divided into three parts. First, we have a dinner party in 1935 before the outbreak of World War II; second a section that recalls first-hand the experiences of British soldiers during the Battle of Dunkirk in 1940; and third a recollection by the fictional author of the story in 1999.

It really is a great story, and I fully enjoyed the movie. If you watch it, keep an eye out for the unbroken shot of Dunkirk when soldiers first arrive. It lasts about five minutes and is absolutely stunning.

Music

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

Ashes of the Wake — Lamb of God

Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer

Though I've drastically expanded my musical horizons since high school, I used to be a huge metalhead. One of the bands that struck a chord with me during those years was Lamb of God, and I got the urge to dive back into their back catalog this week.

And you know what? I didn't end up cringing about my angsty teenage tastes like I thought I would.

The band's highly technical riffs and artistry still hold up today, and I'd still place Ashes of the Wake as one of my top metal albums. In fact, I'm discovering a whole new side of the band that teenage Dan didn't quite pick up on. Scattered amongst the hammering double-bass kicks and intricate guitar are some anti-war and political statements that still resonate – albeit in a less-than-subtle way.

If you're into heavy music, Lamb of God's older stuff is worth diving back into. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be quietly headbanging while writing about tech goodies the rest of the week.


Global a Go-Go — Joe Strummer

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

Even if you don't know who Joe Strummer is (shame on you), you've very likely heard his voice countless times. As a lead singer of the seminal rock band The Clash, Strummer's voice is familiar to most folks who came up in the late Twentieth Century. Hell, Clash tunes are still used in popular movies and TV today. So you young'uns probably know his sound, as well.

I love The Clash, but it's the music Strummer made after the dissolution of that band that really hooked me and eventually led me to spend more time with his earlier stuff. His band at the time of his death in 2002, Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros, only released a small set of albums, but the music they made is exceptional. And Global a Go-Go is my go-to Mescaleros album.

The best songs are probably 'Johnny Appleseed' and 'Bummed Out City,' but every track on the album is great. Whether you're already a Clash or Strummer fan, or you're just looking for something new and different, you could definitely do much worse than Global a Go-Go. It's goooood listenin'.


Sleeping Operator — The Barr Brothers

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

The Barr Brothers is a Montreal-based band made up of brothers Brad and Andrew, as well as Sarah Page and Andres Vial. Their brand of folky alternative music is one I love, and Sleeping Operator, released 2014, is one of my favorite albums.

Page's harp adds so much depth to these songs, and Brad Barr's voice voice and lyrics are a perfect complement. If you don't mind some slower tunes, definitely give this one a listen.


Books

Here are the books we're reading this week!

The Gunslinger — Stephen King

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

I'm a huge fan of Stephen King, as you may know if you regularly read these weekly media recommendations. (You do read these every week, right? Right … ?) And perhaps my favorite work from King — I've literally read every book the man has publishing, as well as a massive amount of his short stories — is his Dark Tower series.

The Dark Tower begins with the book, The Gunslinger. It's a weird combination of genres, including American Western, sci-fi, and horror. And if I'm honest, it's not a great novel. However, the six novels in the series that follow it (seven, if you count The Wind Through the Keyhole, which was published after the story was complete), are pieces in what is quite simply a genuine masterpiece.

King has published more stories than a normal human has any right to even dream of. But none of them come close to the epic scale, imagination and sheer memorability of The Dark Tower books. And it all starts with The Gunslinger. I'm not even going to try to explain exactly what it's about, but if you like long sagas, such as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series, and you don't scare easily, you really ought to read The Dark Tower books, starting with The Gunslinger.


A Song of Ice and Fire box set — George R. R. Martin

Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer

Just because Father's Day is behind us for 2018, it doesn't mean it's too late to treat your old man to the Song of Ice and Fire series. If not your father, then George R. R. Martin's series of novels are well worth the read for anyone interested in fantasy, politics, war, and terrors in the dark.


The Island of the Day Before — Umberto Eco

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

I haven't read Eco before, but I'm about 100 pages into The Island of the Day Before and am so far enjoying myself. In 1643 the protagonist named Roberto is shipwrecked only to wind up on another ship that's been anchored and abandoned near an island.

Between exposition on Roberto's plight aboard this new ship, named "Daphne," major events from his early life are recounted, including important historical events in which he played a part of.


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.

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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.

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