The holidays are over (and not a moment too soon). And it’s almost the weekend (again, Saturday can’t get here quickly enough). What better time to jump into a great movie, TV show, album or book? If that sounds good to you, we can help. Oh yeah, we can help.
Here are the movies, TV, music, and books the writers and editors of Team Windows Central are into right now. And if nothing here scratches your intrigue bone, hit the link below for tons more great recommendations. Happy New Year!
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
Yeah, I watched a Halloween movie during the Christmas break. What of it? I wish I could say it was a better film though …
I love John Carpenter’s original Halloween. It’s truly a horror classic and possibly my favorite horror flick of all time. So it would admittedly be tough to impress me with a sequel. However, the latest entry in the series received relatively good reviews across the board. So I was optimistic. The movie fell unfortunately short of my expectations, however. But it’s still worth a watch if you’re a fan of the franchise, if for no other reason than to point out the many plot holes and to try to recognize the multiple homages throughout.
The new Halloween is not a great movie or even the best sequel. But it’s now part of the series, for better or for worse.
Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor
One of Disney’s movies that somehow passed me by until recently is Big Hero 6, and even then, it was my four-year old who brought it to my attention. I’m not ashamed of being a big kid and having a big soft spot for Disney, and Big Hero 6 is now collectively one of our favorites. It’s currently played almost daily by the little ones, and while following a typical Disney formula, the addition of a superhero revenge tale and the lovable Baymax make it an absolute must watch.
Recommended by Jez Corden, Xbox and gaming editor
As someone on a huge apocalypse kick (hey, gotta prep), one movie, in particular, should be part of any prepper’s library.
The Road takes place in an unspecified apocalypse, where society falls apart rapidly. Marauding gangs, cannibals, and contaminated food and water make daily survival a huge struggle, as one man attempts to keep his son safe in an increasingly dangerous world.
Recommended by Brendan Lowry, contributor
In this harrowing World War I film, two friends – a horse and his trainer – are separated when the young man is sent off to fight in the trenches.
Few films depict World War I in such a visceral, effective way, and while War Horse slipped under the radar for many, I consider it to be one of Steven Spielberg’s best works.
Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, news writer
Over the holiday break, I consumed a lot of TV I wanted to catch up on, but the one show that sticks out is Better Call Saul, the prequel series to Breaking Bad.
Better Call Saul follows Jimmy McGill, a small-time lawyer with questionable morals when it comes to the law, as he slowly transforms into the Saul Goodman character that we come to know in Breaking Bad. Starring in the leading role is Bob Odenkirk, who once again manages to nail the role by making Jimmy both contemptible and lovable at the same time.
The show is full of its comedic moments, but it’s a drama at its heart and has plenty of material that tugs at your heart strings. Jimmy’s extremely strained relationship with his wildly successful older brother — who also happens to be a lawyer — for example, is a huge part of his character arc, and will leave you alternating between rage, pity, and sadness.
I’ve dipped into Better Call Saul in the past, but I just had to give the full series another watch as I caught up with the events of season four. Season five should be landing sometime this fall, so now is a good time to check in if you were a big fan of Breaking Bad.
Aeon – Artento Divini
Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer
Trance could be viewed as a pass-time genre, but it’s still alive and kicking to this very day. The release of Aeon by Artento Divini is a testament to how artists can make solid trance tracks with a tint of modern EDM. It’s not old school, but that’s okay as soon as it starts playing.
If you’re more into Robert Miles, classic Tiësto, Divini may be more your thing and I highly recommend you check out the rest of his published work. He’s been throwing out killer tracks for more than a decade and even the older tracks are still worth a listen today.
The Coughlin Trilogy — Dennis Lehane
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
Dennis Lehane is probably best known for the movie version of his novel Mystic River. And rightly so. It’s a great flick. But I’ve read every book the man’s penned, and his three ‘Coughlin novels’ surpass just about everything else he’s written. The three books, The Given Day, Live By Night, and World Gone By tell the stories of the Coughlin family, a Boston working-class clan composed of cops and criminals and not much else.
The first book paints an unforgettable picture of Boston in the 1910s and 1920s, when the city was seemingly in the midst of non-stop chaos, including the violent anarchist movement, a police strike, a molasses tank collapse, and more — all of which really happened. It’s historical fiction at its best. The two other books tell the fully-fictional story of Joe Coughlin, a Boston gangster who takes over the rum trade in Florida in the ’30s and ’40s.
The stories are amazing, and the writing is even better. I can’t recommend this trilogy enough.