Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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Waitress and single mother Karla (played by Halle Berry) spends a day with her son at New Orlean’s City Park. What starts as a pleasant day turns into a nightmare when she steps away from Frankie for a moment to take a call from her ex attorney about custody. When she turns back, Frankie is no where in sight. Like any frantic mother, she runs all over the park screaming his name, asking anyone if they have seen her little boy.

At the last minute, she sees a woman shoving Frankie into the passenger side of a sports car. Karla gets in her car and follows it. The rest of the movie is basically a high speed car chase from a mother who will do whatever it takes to get her son back and who isn’t going to wait for the authorities to do what needs to be done.

I didn’t really have high expectations of this movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. Kidnap is a a fast paced and thrilling movie that will keep you on the seat of your pants. The only warning is that you may find it bothersome if you have a hard time with stories involving crimes against children, but, it’s just a movie!


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Sting by Sandra Brown

Jordan Bennett has just been kidnapped. She is pretty sure it has to do with her brother and his boss, Billy Panella. Her brother, Josh, is going to testify against Billy and is under federal protection. They are both guilty but Josh turned first. Billy has vanished at the same time as Josh and there is 30 million dollars missing. Jordan has no clue where the men are or the money.

Shaw Kinnard and his partner have been hired to kill Jordan Bennett. But Shaw soon realizes that he is also a target. He changes the plan and kills his partner and kidnaps Jordan. He figures she knows where Josh and Billy are and he is thinking he can get more money from the brother if he has Jordan. But not everything is what it seems. The good guys and the bad guys might not be who you think.

Another good one by Sandra Brown. Had a little twist in the middle and the end. I guessed the middle twist but didn’t see that end one coming. I look forward to her next one, Seeing Red.

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The Hero

Once popular western actor Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott) lives a quiet life in LA. He gets by, doing commercial voice over work, and the occasional cameo role or personal appearance. He spends his days mostly alone, walking at the beach, eating take-out, and visiting his friend/dealer Jeremy (Nick Offerman), who co-starred with Lee in a TV western series as a child actor. Lee has just been given a terminal diagnosis when he meets Charlotte (Laura Prepon), a young comedian. Struggling to make sense of his diagnosis and wanting to make peace with his ex-wife and daughter, Charlotte helps him to make peace with himself, and gives him the courage to approach his family, and the desire to buy more time.

Even though this is a somewhat sad movie, the breathtaking scenery and subtle humor keep it from feeling too bogged down. Very well acted, and definitely well worth watching. Rated R. Also featuring: Katherine Ross, Krysten Ritter, Ali Wong, and Max Gail.

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Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) is a lifeguard. He doesn’t just sit on the beach tanning all day. He saves lives and solves crimes with the help of CJ (Kelly Rohrbach) and Stephanie (Ilfenesh Hadera), his fellow lifeguards. They have three spots open on the team and Olympian Matt Brody (Zac Efron) thinks he has the spot without trying out. Mitch soon puts him in his place. He does end up making the team along with Ronnie (Jon Bass) and Summer (Alexandra Daddario). They soon stumble upon drugs and dead bodies. It all leads to the new resort owner, Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra). Will they be able to find the evidence before it is too late?

This wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be. I mean it wasn’t great but I love Dwayne Johnson so I could handle watching this movie. It did hold my attention and there was some good action. Rated R

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When a Stranger Calls

Jill (Camilla Belle) has been grounded for going over her minutes on her phone. Not able to go to the big school bonfire, Jill agrees to babysit for a new family.¬† When Jill gets there she sees that they live in a secluded area in a huge house. The kids are already in bed and the housekeeper is supposedly gone. Jill settles in but soon receives a phone call. No one is there and Jill dismisses it. But the phone keeps ringing all night. Jill calls the police and they put a trace on the phone. When the stranger calls back, the police call Jill as soon as he hangs up. What Jill hears is, “The call is coming from inside the house.”

This is a remake of the 1979 Carol Kane version. The acting isn’t great but it is a good thriller. You don’t know where this stalker is and when he is going to strike. Also starring, Tommy Flanagan, Katie Cassidy, Tessa Thompson, and Clark Gregg. Rated PG-13

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The Bad Batch

Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) is sent into exile deep in the Texas desert land. In this post apocalyptic world, “Bad Batch”, criminals and other people who don’t conform are sent out to fend for themselves in this bleak wasteland. The exiled have joined into separate groups – one a brutal, cannibalistic¬†tribe, and the other a more peace loving group that is none the less dangerous. Arlen is unlucky enough to meet the first group shortly after entering the desert, and her encounter leaves her changed in ways she’d never imagined possible.

Sigh. I don’t even know where to start with this one. It’s part exploitation, part art house, part hot mess. With all of the money that was obviously spent on getting a big name cast and the effects etc, one would think you might pay a little more attention to the script. I know, I know – don’t get your hopes up too high for a movie about cannibals and finding love in a hostile world. I will say this though – the movie tries, it really does. But I’m not exactly sure what for. Featuring Keanu Reeves, Jason Momoa, Jim Carrey, and Giovanni Ribisi. Rated R.

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Odd Child Out By Gilly Macmillan

Detective Inspector Clemo from Mamillan’s What She Knew is called in to investigate the case of Noah Sadler, a teenage boy who fell into a canal and is now in a coma. After attending his father’s photo gallery exhibit, Noah, diagnosed with terminal cancer, and his childhood best friend, Abdi Mahad, sneaked out at some point during the night. No one knows what they were doing near Bristol’s scrap yard and canal, and Abdi refuses to speak.

Could Abdi be involved in some sort of fowl play that caused Noah’s fall? Tensions are already high in Bristol between residents and the immigrated Somalian population, which includes Abdi and his family. Steven Sadler, Noah’s father, is a photo journalist who has exhibited his work taking pictures of the inhumane conditions of Somalia and some of the refugee camps where Abdi had stayed. Was there something Abdi saw in one of the photos that may have set him off?

As Clemo digs into the investigation, he is confronted with Emma, his former girlfriend and ex cop, who is now working for the media and will do anything to get the story out to the public, even if it jeopardizes the case.

Although mildly entertaining enough, MacMillan’s latest isn’t really a standout in an already crowded psychological suspense genre and pales in comparison to her previous books.