Some of us (Hello, Canadians) have a long weekend to look forward to, and for the rest, there’s the usual time off that deserves some rest and relaxation. What better way to chill out than with 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.
Here are some of the movies Team Windows Central is enjoying this week.
Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer
Apollo 13 was an aborted 1970 lunar mission, which went terribly wrong. The film is a dramatized version of events, starring Tom Hanks and other top names. If you’ve yet to see it in 4K, you should totally do so as it’s impressive and makes for an excellent gift for upcoming Father’s Day.
Recommended by Jez Corden, senior Xbox editor
If you fancy being frightened this weekend, consider cult horror hit Session 9.
Session 9 is cited as influencing Silent Hill, as much of the movie takes place in a decrepit abandoned mental hospital.
A team hired by the city to clear asbestos from the aging buildings finds themselves haunted by the ghosts of the hospital’s past. Not literally, mind you.
This atmospheric psychological horror is all about mental illness, paranoid delusions, and the stress of modern life. This gripping movie has stuck with me for years and years, and I highly recommend it.
Recommended by Brendan Lowry, writer
Though it’s certainly not my favorite movie in the world, I can’t think of a film that has better cinematography than The Revenant, a brutal revenge story set in the uncharted wilderness of America in 1823. It’s an absolute treat to watch for the masterful camerawork alone, but the acting, musical score, and story are all excellent as well, making The Revenant one of the most well-rounded movies of the last few years.
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
If you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, and you’re a film fan, chances are you have a soft spot for Arnold Schwarzenegger. And even if you’re not as old as me, you should have some respect for ol’ Arnie, because he’s one of the best damn action movie stars ever. Of course, Kindergarten Cop is NOT one of his best flicks. And it’s not even really an action movie. But I love it, due to some memorable cast members and awesome one-liners (‘IT’S NOT A TUMOR!!’).
The plot is silly (like most Schwarzenegger movies). But the plot doesn’t really matter (like most Schwarzenegger movies). Bottom line is that some Bad Guys mess with Arnold, which really isn’t a wise idea, and he breaks those suckers down, while protecting the Good Guys.
If you haven’t seen Kindergarten Cop, and you’re in the mood for a light action-comedy, or just some warm ’90s nostalgia, you could definitely do much worse than this movie. (It’s also available for free streaming on HBO Now.)
Here’s some of the music the Windows Central team is listening to this week.
I Get Wet ― Andrew W.K.
Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor
Bethesda dropped two insanity filled trailers for Rage 2 this week and both have one thing that jumps out immediately: The Andrew W.K. soundtrack. It’s been a ‘few’ years since I was jumping around covered in beer to tracks like “Party Hard” and “Ready to Die,” but thanks to this one game and this one album I’ve been in the mood to party all week. It’s impossible to have a bad day with Andrew W.K. It’s loud, silly, and utterly brilliant.
Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino ― Arctic Monkeys
Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
I have a confession: before listening to the new Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, I’d never listened to Arctic Monkeys. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy them, I just never went down that road other than hearing some of the popular singles here and there. Now that I’m in, I’m all in. I’ve listened to this album countless times since it was released about a week ago, and I’m set to dive into the older work as well.
Here are the books we’re reading this week!
The Kremlin’s Candidate ― Jason Matthews
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
Jason Matthews’s Red Sparrow Trilogy is easily one of the best spy sagas published in years. Maybe even decades. One big reason for that: Matthews is a former CIA agent, so he knows what he’s talking, err … writing about.
The Kremlin’s Candidate is the third and final book in the Red Sparrow Trilogy, and it’s not a novel you want to read without first tackling the earlier books, Red Sparrow and Palace of Treason. But if you appreciate the genre, you really can’t go wrong here.
To sum up a long and windy story in a few sentences, the heroine is a Russian whose family was wronged by its government (many times), and as revenge she joins the Russian intelligence agency and then eventually sidles up to the U.S. CIA, to provide secrets and get back at Vladimir Putin, who’s portrayed as a slimy sort of super villain. It’s packed with excessive violence, sex, over-the-top plotting, and oddly enough … recipes — all of which I’m A-OK with.
I read Canadian author Naomi Klein’s No Logo many years ago and it was an eye-opener concerning the awful practices of some of the biggest corporations around. The Shock Doctrine, written almost a decade after No Logo, is all about the political policies and decisions that happen in the wake of national crises across the globe. Profiting from disaster, overthrowing stable democracies, and tripping financial crises are all covered here. Scary, interesting stuff.
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.