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

It's Easter weekend and you might have some extra time to yourself or with your family. Wondering what to do? Why not check out some great tunes, a quality movie, or a real page turner? If you're looking for suggestions, read on!

TV and movies

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

24

Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor

Have you ever had a 24 binge and lost most or all of a day? No? You're missing out and recent shows I've been enjoying starring Kiefer Sutherland have sent me back to one of my absolute favorites of all time. 24 is a day in the life of Jack Bauer, and each day is usually worse than the last. Events occur in real time, and there are eight full seasons of 24 episodes and a ninth of 12 to get your teeth into. Watch one episode, see how easy it is to pull yourself away.

Pacific Rim Uprising

Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer

I was pleasantly surprised by the original Pacific Rim. I went to see it on a whim with a friend and went in not expecting to be blown away. But when I came out of the theater, I was grinning from ear to ear over what I witnessed. It was the giant-robots-fighting-monsters movie I never knew I needed.

Fast forward to 2018 and let's just say my expectations are high for the sequel. I'm fully prepared to be tragically disappointed based on the reviews. However, Pacific Rim isn't one of those movies I expect to be a deep, reflective experience either. There's a place for entertainment that's simply over-the-top action. And as long as Pacific Rim Uprising checks that box, I'll at least be OK with it.

Still, if you haven't seen the original Pacific Rim and want some cheap thrills, I definitely recommend checking it out before heading into Uprising.

Paranoia Agent

Recommended by Jez Corden, senior Xbox editor

Satoshi Kon is a legendary anime director known for inspiring various Western blockbusters. Darren Aronofsky practically ripped off Kon's Perfect Blue for both Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan, while Kon's Paprika has been cited as heavily influential on Nolan's Inception, which have very similar plots. As you might expect, Kon's style is infused with paranoia and surrealism, and few works of his embody that like Paranoia Agent.

Paranoia Agent is a series of interconnected stories exploring the private lives of various people in a local community. Revolving around a series of strange assaults from an individual known as Bat Boy, a couple of police detectives seek to hunt down the assailant, discovering a strange correlation between the otherwise seemingly random attacks.

Paranoia Agent is a Lynchian tale full of fear, failure, and occasionally humor, blurring the lines between truth and fiction (or do they?)

See at Amazon

The Greatest Showman

Recommended by Mark Guim, video editor

I felt goosebumps when I saw one of the trailers for The Greatest Showman so I knew I wanted to watch this movie when I had time. Starring Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. It has an audience score of 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, so you know it'll be good.

Music

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

Thickfreakness — The Black Keys

Thickfreakness — The Black Keys

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

You really can't go wrong with any Black Keys album, at least if you like bluesy, '70s-ish, guitar-riff heavy rock. But Thickfreakness is probably my favorite album from this power duo from Akron, Ohio.

At first, it's hard to comprehend how so much sound comes from two skinny white guys, but that's what makes The Black Keys so unique; the music is loud, and nuanced, and super catchy. My favorite tracks on Thickfreakness are 'Hard Row,' 'Have Love Will Travel,' and 'If You See Me,' but every song is great.

This is the kind of music that makes you roll the windows in your car all the way down and crank the volume all the way up. With the weather warming in many regions right now, it's a timely listen that I highly recommend.


Boarding House Reach — Jack White

Boarding House Reach — Jack White

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

Jack White's latest solo album, Boarding House Reach, is a bit of a step away from his two previous solo efforts, but that's not really a bad thing. The man who I associate mostly with his guitar work with The White Stripes and The Raconteurs, um, raps in the song 'Ice Station Zebra' while simultaneously playing piano.

He's certainly keeping his sound fresh, and if you're a fan of White, you'll probably get a kick out of the weirdness that this album contains.


Books

Here are the books we're reading this week!

Double Play — Robert B. Parker

Double Play — Robert B. Parker

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

I've literally read more than 50 books written by Robert B. Parker, the father of modern detective fiction, in my opinion. I would have read more of his books, too, if he hadn't passed away in 2010. Parker is best known for his lengthy series of short novels featuring the Boston private detective known simply by the one name, 'Spenser.' But Parker's one-off novels don't get as much love as they deserve, and Double Play is one of those books.

It's the story of a former U.S. Marine whose wife leaves him after he returns from World War II, and whose life is basically all messed up. He's a tough guy with little skill other than fighting and violence, so he gravitates to the criminal world in Brooklyn, New York. After bouncing between gigs collecting for a loan shark and protecting the troubled daughter of a mobster and politician, he's drafted as the bodyguard for the first black baseball player in Major League Baseball: the now-famous and singular Jackie Robinson.

The book is an odd mishmash of historical fiction and crime novel, with the emphasis on fiction. It has very little to do with Robinson or baseball, but it's a cool take on the crime genre, set in 1940s New York City. It's a quick read that's very well written, and it's definitely worth a look


Kafka on the Shore — Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore — Haruki Murakami

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

Most of Murakami's books have the same themes running through them, including cats, mysterious phone calls, missing persons, and detailed meal preparation.

Kafka on the Shore is half the story of Kafka, a young man who runs away from home at the age of 15 to find shelter in a secluded library. The other half tells the story of Nakata, a finder of lost cats who's still dealing with afflictions from WWII. It's a book full of unanswered questions, leaving you free to make suppositions based on seemingly unrelated information found elsewhere in the novel.


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

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