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Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

Dark Knight Rises

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I will be the first person to tell you that I don’t like Batman.  He’s a lame superhero that doesn’t even have superpowers.  He’s a rich dude, who is still fighting some sort of teenage angst about his parents getting killed in an alley.  I mean, I know that might be a little hard to get over at first, but Batman’s been around for 70 years; don’t you think he could have seen a psychotherapist by now so he could get over some of his anger issues?  Anyways, I was opposed to seeing the first two Batman movies in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy because of my deep hatred for Batman, but when I finally saw The Dark Knight, I was blown right off my seat.  It wasn’t a lame superhero movie, but a thrilling drama that happened to use comic book characters.  It made me really excited to see the final part of the trilogy, Dark Knight Rises, so excited that I saw it on opening weekend.

I don’t want to give anything away about the movie, so I’m going to stay away from the plot.  I just want to say that the acting performances were those of Oscar worthy performances.  Everyone was really into their part; Anne Hathaway somehow managed to play a convincing Catwoman, although I wouldn’t have minded them bringing back Halle Berry.  Bane was the creepiest thing I’ve seen in a while, and Joseph Gordan Levitt was great in his role too.

I do have two complaints about the movie though. My first complaint was that the movie was really long.  I think it was almost three hours.  I think my butt went numb after the first two hours. My second complaint is more of a warning than a complaint.  The movie was exceptionally violent.  There were a lot of graphic killings, and a lot of gunfire.  I thought that parents might like to know this; I personally thought it should have gotten its’ rating bumped up to an R.

But, I give Dark Knight Rises a B, and it was rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language.

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Marvel’s The Avengers

I have been so tuckered out with all of these superhero movies over the last couple of years.  They have a pretty set demographic: people who like large explosions, repetitive overconfident villains, and bright multicolored costumes.  And The Avengers definitely held to form.

The Avengers was a conglomeration of all the previous years superhero movies: Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor.  They form a super-group to protect the world from Loki, the villain Thor fought in his last movie.  This time Loki is trying to steal a powerful artifact from earth and at the same time take over the entire human population.

This is a very typical action movie where the good guys overcome some sort of adversity, band together, and successfully rid the world from evil.  There are large explosions, a funny line here and there, and a maiden in distress.  It was an alright movie, but am I the only one getting tired of these repetitive superhero movies?  It was also way too long for my taste.

The Avengers gets a C- from me, and it’s rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference.

Casa de mi Padre

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I watched a movie last night called Casa de Mi Padre, starring Will Ferrell.  It was entirely in Spanish (subtitled in English), and I thought it was hilarious.  So here’s my review.

Anoche, miré una película en mi televisión. Esta película tuvo al actor, Will Ferrell, como su héroe, Armando. Fue muy cómico. Fue una historia acerca de la familia. El hermano de Armando, Raul, volvió a casa para dar muchos presentes. ¡Armando descubre que los presentes de Raul no son buenos, y tratan de guardar su familia del peligro!

Esta película fue muy cómica a mí. Fue un poco lento a veces, y quizás no sería cómico a la mayoría de las personas. Pero a mí, muy cómico. Lo sugeriría si prefiere humor caprichoso.

 

 

Esta película es una parodia de las telenovelas latinas siempre populares, completas con números musicales, objetos malos, paisajes falso, y el melodrama cómico. Si todos parodias se podía hacer esto bien!

This película has an R rating for: bloody violence, language, some sexual content and drug use.

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The Dictator

Step aside Gigli, Glitter, and Wild Wild West.  This reviewer has a new worst movie of all time, and it’s called The Dictator.

Disclaimer: There is a section of this blog post where I clicked a box to indicate that this movie was a comedy, but that is only because you have to pick a movie category.  I would not call this a comedic film otherwise.  It was NOT funny.

The Dictator is another movie by director/actor Sasha Baron Cohen who also did Borat and Bruno.  This was about a dictator from a made up country called Wadiya, which would be located just south of Egypt, who enjoys executing/oppressing people and being sexist/racist/xenophobic.  He comes to America to give some sort of speech, when people who want him out of power swap him for a doppelganger.  Now he is stuck being a regular American and has to fight to get back to being a dictator so he can keep his country from becoming a democracy, blah blah blah.

This movie was so horrible.  Ridiculously and terribly offensive.  I wanted to leave the theater 15 minutes into the movie, but the other half of my double date was somehow laughing at the vilest “humor” I’ve ever seen in my entire life.  If I may quote the movie, “Was your baby a boy, or an abortion?”  STAY AWAY FROM THIS MOVIE!

I give The Dictator an F-, and it is rated R for strong crude and sexual content, brief male nudity, language and some violent images.


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The Prestige

When was the last time you saw a movie and were so blown away by the ending that you couldn’t wait to sit through another two hours re-watching that same exact movie? It probably doesn’t happen a whole lot, but it just might if you take the time to watch The Prestige.

While a story about rival magicians from the 1800’s may seem about as interesting as the inside of a cardboard box, there is a lot of interesting parts of the plot to keep you thoroughly invested in this movie.  Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman co-star as magicians who originally trained together as understudies for another magician, but as they honed their craft they eventually started their own acts.  Early in the film, Bale’s character may have accidentally played a role in the death of Jackman’s wife, tying a knot incorrectly for her to untie while being submerged underwater.  This leads to a professional rivalry of greed, theft,  death, and one hell of a movie.

If you aren’t completely shocked at the end of this movie when the trick is discovered, I don’t know what to tell you.  You either fell asleep halfway through (somehow), or just couldn’t keep the details straight.  All I can tell you is that the second viewing is worthwhile, you see a lot more than you do the first time.

I give this movie an A, and it is rated PG-13 for some violence and disturbing images.  Which honestly surprises me; I thought the content was more on the R side.


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Gladiator

Gladiator is a movie that a lot of people have already seen since it won the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Actor in 2001, but I watched it again since I just finished season 1 of Game of Thrones and the wait for season 2 will be a while.  So if you’re either looking for a good movie you haven’t seen, or you need to fill in some time between seasons of Game of Thrones, this might be the movie for you.

Russell Crowe plays Maximus, the military genius who fought wars for the Marcus Aurelius era Roman Empire.  Before Aurelius dies, he explains to Maximus how he no longer wishes for there to be an emperor of Rome, and instead to be a republic governed by the Senate.  Maximus is to be the protector of Rome, and run the military and Aurelius’ son, the would-have-been emperor was supposed to take all of this in stride.  He doesn’t, and instead orders Maximus executed for treason, becomes emperor, and asserts all of his efforts into removing the Senate entirely.  Maximus manages to live, but is captured and sold as a slave to a man who trains fighters and gladiators.  It is now up to Maximus to exact revenge upon the new emperor, restore the empire to Aurelius’ vision, and become the greatest show the Colleseum has ever seen… all whilst being a slave.

I’m glad that it’s been so long since I’ve seen this movie, because it was almost is if I was watching it for the first time.  I forgot all the important scenes, and how badass the fight scenes were.  Which, by the way, there are a ton of.  But this movie isn’t all people fighting to the death in front of a live audience.  Joaquin Phoenix play the most psychologically deranged person you’ll ever see, and the love story within the film choked me up a little bit.  I also felt that the violence was well done, and not excessive considering the subject matter.  Blood doesn’t splatter all over and it isn’t done gratuitously.

I give Gladiator an A, and it is Rated R for intense, graphic combat.


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Spirited Away is a visual masterpiece written and directed by Japanese living legend Hayao Miyazaki. The story starts out with a young family on moving day, driving to their new house.  They stop along the way and find a long, narrow passageway that leads to a large open area that looks like an abandoned theme park. Soon enough, the area becomes overwhelmed by spirits who take control of the young girl’s (Sen’s) parents, and it is up to her to free herself and her parents from its grasps.

This story is mystical, bizarre and elaborate. Most of what is going on is seemingly beyond imagination. Not just for you and I, but for Sen too.  What’s fabulous about this movie is that you experience this mystical world as Sen explores it, and you really feel like you’re in her shoes and it becomes very relatable.  There are a lot of real life metaphors that you can draw from this movie from true love to work ethic. I really enjoyed this movie, and it is as aesthetically pleasing as it is visually impressive. I highly recommend this movie; it’s fun for all ages.

Spirited Away gets an easy A, and is rated PG for some scary moments.

Watch the trailer here!