Baby, it’s cold outside, or at least it is many places these days. That makes us want to stay inside and relax this weekend with a movie binge, playlist or album, or a quality read. Even if it’s beautiful outside where you’re at, you need to take shelter and chill out sometime, right? We can help. This is the latest batch of Team Windows Central media recommendations.
Solo: A Star Wars Movie
Despite an anemic run at the box office, at least for me, Solo might be my favorite Disney Star Wars movie so far.
Taking place in Han Solo’s youth, Solo charts the smuggler’s rise to infamy escaping the underworld of Corellia.
Some great writing and acting from a star-studded cast helps Solo shine in its own right, completely free of light sabers and The Force. Don’t write off Solo based on what you heard, this is a very worthy entry in Star Wars canon.
Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons is the ultimate tabletop and RPG experience for millions. It has also been adapted into a feature film, released in 2000. It wasn’t well received by critics, it’s difficult to endure should you not be able to overlook cheesy gimmicks and sub-par writing, but there are some big names in this D&D movie that make it well worth the watch.
You can find Jeremy Irons in many medieval and fantasy movies and he plays the part of Profion, the antagonist. Even Profion cannot save the movie from spouts of boredom and interesting one-liners, but should you be a big fantasy and D&D fan, you’ll definitely want to at least give this film a sitting to experience the madness.
If you tell me Die Hard isn’t a Christmas film, I’m happy to fight you all the way. Not only that but it’s probably one of the best, (not counting Elf, of course). Bruce Willis’ first outing as John McClane is iconic, as he attempts to rescue a group of hostages on Christmas Eve from the hands of the late Alan Rickman. It’s also 30 years old this year, which is perhaps harder to believe than some folks not considering it a Christmas movie. Yippee Ki Yay!
Bob’s Burgers is easily one of the funniest shows on television right now. It’s also easy to pop in and out of, which makes it a prime candidate for throwing on in the background while I do other things around my apartment – which is exactly what I’ve been doing this week.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of checking out Bob’s Burgers yet, the show is about the Belcher family, who operate a burger joint. But it’s so much more than that, following the hijinks of the kids – Louise, Gene, and Tina – and the ridiculous situations the whole family finds itself in.
The characters are hilarious and the plots are absurd, and Bob’s Burgers is definitely worth giving your attention.
Do You Want More?!!!??! — The Roots
I’m a sucker for ’90s hip hop, and Philadelphia’s The Roots was one of the bands that got me into the genre, back in the glory days of the late Twentieth Century. The band’s percussionist and beatboxing aficionado is probably the most well-known remnant of The Roots these days, thanks to the fact that he’s now part of the Saturday Night Live musical ensemble and has been for years. But _ Do You Want More?!!!??!_ is an early album that, for me, cemented The Roots as a seminal voice in hip hop and music back in the day.
My favorite tracks are ‘I Remain Calm’ and ‘Lazy Afternoon’ but the entire album is well worth a listen as it blends hip hop and jazz. It’s a great look back at early-ish hip hop in American, and yeah, I’m old, but in my opinion, it makes today’s rap music look amateurish, or at least most of it.
The Tree of Forgiveness — John Prine
I’m a huge fan of John Prine, and the fact that he’s still touring and recording new albums brings me much joy. If you’ve never heard of Prine, you probably don’t like folk and old country music — he rose to fame in the ’70s and hasn’t really slowed down despite lung cancer that took one of his lungs.
The Tree of Forgiveness is something like Prine’s 24th album, recorded in Nashville and featuring a bunch of the best songwriters and singers from the same genre. It’s a moody album that begins by looking back at fond memories of summer, moving through to despair at what’s currently happening to the planet. Prine is undoubtedly an old man, and the album wraps up accordingly with “When I Get to Heaven,” a jolly tune that slows down and speeds up and includes the title words.
Andrew Bird, another singer-songwriter who I don’t ever mind listening to, recently covered Prine’s “Lonesome Friends of Science” to great effect. Check it out if you’re so inclined.
Elevation — Stephen King
King’s latest novella is short but poignant. It’s not what most people expect from the prolific author; it’s not scary at all, though it does feature supernatural elements. It’s the story of a recently divorced man who is quite literally bogged down by the weigh of the world. Then, suddenly, he stops really caring and he begins inexplicably losing weight. Fast. And regardless of the fact that he’s eating like a horse. There’s no discernable medical reason, but still, he continues to lose weight every day. Then the loss begins to accelerate.
It’s a metaphorical tale of what can happen when that weight the world of the world, which is typically considered a burden, miraculously lifts. Elevation is a quick, easy read I finished in one sitting. But I’ve been thinking about ever since I put the book down.
The Adventures of Asterix is a series of French comics which take place in Roman times. The series first appeared in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Pilote in October 1959. It was written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo until the death of Goscinny in 1977. Uderzo then took over the writing until 2009, when he sold the rights to publishing company Hachette. In 2013, a new team consisting of Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad took over. As of 2017, 37 volumes have been released. This is the complete collection of Goscinny’s works.