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

It's always a busy time here at Windows Central, but that doesn't mean we can't find a bit of downtime to enjoy 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.

Homeland

Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor

If for some reason you haven't yet seen Homeland, then now's as good a time as any to start with Season 7 upon us. The early seasons are arguably the best, starting the tale of a CIA officer who doesn't believe a returning POW is everything he seems. There are plenty of twists and turns and it'll get its hooks in pretty easily.

See at Microsoft Store See at Amazon See at iTunes

Better Call Saul

Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer

I'm going to make my third attempt to get into Better Call Saul this week. Don't get me wrong: I don't dislike the series. It's just that I've only managed to get three or four episodes in during previous attempts before life or other shiny things got in the way. Before I know it, six months have gone by and I don't remember what the heck happened the last time I watched it.

If you're unfamiliar with it, Better Call Saul is a Breaking Bad spinoff prequel that follows lawyer Jimmy McGill's slow descent into becoming the sleazy Saul Goodman we come to know in Breaking Bad. The lead character is played by Bob Odenkirk, a fantastic comedian and actor who does an excellent job of bringing Jimmy McGill to life. If you've seen Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul offers an interesting look at what some of the ancillary characters of that series were up to before Walt and Jesse came knocking.

I didn't catch all of Breaking Bad until the series was in its final season, so I'm hoping life won't get in the way and I can play catch up with Better Call Saul while it's still got plenty of life left in it. Wish me luck!

See at Microsoft Store See at Amazon See at iTunes

The Disaster Artist

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

The Disaster Artist is a really strange film — but probably not quite as strange as the cult classic it's based on, called The Room. I haven't seen the original movie, so I can't say much about that. But The Disaster Artist is the story of a mysteriously wealthy guy in California who partners up with a fellow member of his acting class to make their own movie … their own terrible, poorly written, confusing and awkward movie, which eventually turns out to be The Room.

That's about it, but the real tale lies in the two main characters, Tommy and Greg, played hilariously by James Franco and his brother Dave Franco respectively. You never really know who Tommy is, where he comes from (his marble-mouth accent seems to suggest somewhere in Eastern Europe), why he's so rich, or what the hell the movie they're making is actually about. But the elder Franco's performance as the eccentric Tommy is truly memorable and unique and just really funny.

It takes about 10 minutes to even understand what Tommy is saying due to that weird accent, but once you do, just about everything that makes its way out of his mouth is amusing. Again, it's a strange movie, but strange in a really good, you'll-like-this-flick kind of way.

See at Microsoft See at Amazon See at iTunes

Darkest Hour

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

Gary Oldman, in my opinion, is a damn fine actor, so I'm excited to see him play Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. Following his rise to Prime Minister at the behest of his own political party and the King, Churchill must deal with Hitler's armies rolling across Europe.

I'm a sucker for WWII-era movies already, and looking at a few of the reviews tells me this one will likely be added to the long list I've made of historical dramas worth watching again.

See at Microsoft Store See at Amazon See at iTunes

Music

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

Uncle, Duke & The Chief — Born Ruffians

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

Born Ruffians is a great Canadian indie rock band that has a real knack for making light, often silly or snarky songs that quickly get stuck in your head. And the lyrics are usually quite smart, even though they may seem simple at first, which is one reason they've always stood out to me. I'm just starting to listen to their new album, Uncle, Duke & The Chief, but it's growing on me quickly, thanks to earworm songs like "Forget Me" and "Fade to Black."

It's upbeat, mostly-positive music that's equally fitting for a drive on a dark rainy morning or for a stroll outside on a warm almost-but-not-quite spring afternoon. And if you like the new album, I strongly recommend checking out 2008's Red, Yellow & Blue, an album I still listen to regularly after a decade.

See at Amazon See at iTunes


The Band — The Band

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

The Band's self-titled album from 1969, known popularly as "the brown album," is about as close to a masterpiece as you'll find. Songs like "Rag Mama Rag," "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "Up On Cripple Creek," "King Harvest," — OK, the whole album is great.

I've long had this album on the go, whether CD or digital, but I recently came into ownership of a vinyl copy. It's nice to have at home, but definitely grab a digital version to satisfy your folk cravings when you're out and about town.

See at Amazon See at iTunes


Books

Here are the books we're reading this week!

Mistborn: The Final Empire — Brandon Sanderson

Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer

I'm a big fantasy nerd, and I've been on the lookout for a new series to get into for a while. With the help of some wonderful Reddit users, I was tipped off to Brandon Sanderson. Specifically, several readers of his recommended starting with the first three novels in his Mistborn series.

I've only just ordered the first book, titled The Final Empire, so I'm not entirely sure what to expect. But, the late medieval setting laden with mysterious supernatural mists, an ancient evil, and a hero ascending to godhood, all sound like promising fantasy threads to unravel. Oh, and apparently there's magic called Allomancy that involves users swallowing metals to gain new abilities. What's not to like?

I'll be diving into Mistborn: The Final Empire as soon as it arrives, and I'm hoping it's good enough to warrant exploring the rest of the trilogy and the rest of Sanderson's work.

See the Kindle book at Amazon See the Audible audiobook at Amazon


Libra — Don DeLillo

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

Don DeLillo is an American author with relatively far-reaching influence, having won plenty of prestigious writing awards over his career. Libra tells the life story of infamous Lee Harvey Oswald, all the way from life as a child to the time he spent in the USSR before returning to plot the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

DeLillo of course doesn't have all the facts and the book is classed as fiction, but the ride on which he takes the reader is one that's hard to quit. Was Oswald just a patsy, as he claimed? Or was he something more? I doubt we'll ever know for sure, but Libra is a good place to go for anyone interested in that period of time.

See at Microsoft Store See Kindle book at Amazon See Audible audiobook at Amazon


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.

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