Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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Fist Fight

Andy Campbell (Charlie Day) is just trying to survive as a high school teacher. It is the last day and it is chaos. Teachers are getting fired, seniors are pranking, and Andy needs to make it to his daughter’s talent show by 2:30. But he has a run in with another teacher, Strickland (Ice Cube), which results in Strickland getting fired. Strickland is a tough guy and demands that Andy meet him after school for a fight. Andy spends the rest of the day trying to get out of it but it isn’t meant to be. And then 3 o’clock hits…

This was an ok comedy for me. I chuckled a few times but overall wasn’t impressed. If you are just looking for a mindless comedy then check this one out. Also starring, Tracy Morgan, Jillian Bell, Dean Norris, Joanna Garcia Swisher, and Christina Hendricks. Rated R


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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen finds a box on his doorstep with his name on it. He cautiously opens it to find a bunch of audio cassettes inside. Confused he pulls them out and sees that they are labeled on each side with a number. Thirteen numbers in total. What he hears  when he plays them shocks him. Hannah Baker’s voice. Hannah had killed herself a couple of weeks ago. As she talks she explains that if you are listening to the tapes then you are one of the reasons why she did it.

Clay is shocked. He continues to listen and is told to follow the map that was included and that whoever is mentioned after him on the tapes is the next person who gets the tapes. If these instructions aren’t followed someone who is watching will know and release a second set of tapes to everyone. Clay ends up staying up all night wandering around town listening, waiting to hear his name. Because he has no idea why he is on the tapes. And he can’t believe what Hannah is revealing about their classmates.

This was a very difficult book. It had a lot of serious material like suicide, date rape, and bullying. And unfortunately it is very relevant in today’s schools. Netflix made it into a thirteen episode series. It has had a lot of backlash and support. Thirteen Reasons Why is the book you need to read especially if you have teenagers.


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The Great Wall

William (Matt Damon) and Tovar (Pedro Pascal) have heard about the mysterious black powder. In their search for it, they encounter a creature that William is able to kill. As they are fleeing they come across the Great Wall and are captured by the people who protect it. There William is pulled between finishing his goal and fighting for a purpose. They soon are thrust into battle to help protect the wall from the same creatures that William had killed. Will they stay and finish the fight or steal the powder and leave the people to defend the Wall by themselves?

I was shockingly surprised by how much I ended up liking this movie. I think my expectations were so low  I ended up enjoying it. I really liked all of the stunts and the story. Also starring, Tian Jing and Willem Dafoe. Rated PG-13


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Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

A woman has been arrested for shoplifting at a grocery store. She tries to talk her way out of it but the police are called. There is no way she telling them her identity because there is no way she is going home. While she is trying to get out of this, she remembers the story of Rebecca Winter, the sixteen year old girl who went missing eleven years ago. This girl decides to try a see if she can convince them that she is Rebecca because they look a like. The next thing she knows, she is on her way to Rebecca’s house and family.

Rebecca’s family welcomes her and “Rebecca” knows that she can’t stay but she hasn’t had a family like this before and she loves it. Until she starts to notices that they seem a little off. She starts to investigate what really happened. But what she finds out shocks her. Will she be able to escape this situation she created?

This was a pretty good psychological thriller. I was surprised at the ending when it is revealed what really happened all those years ago. What a great start for this debut novel!


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Fifty Shades Darker

Ana Steel (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) are back and hotter than ever. We start the movie with Ana and Christian still broken up and both are miserable. But when Christian shows up at Jose’s photography show, Anna agrees to have dinner with him. As they talk, Christian agrees to throw out all of the rules and have a normal relationship with Ana.

Ana is happy. She is working her dream job at a publishing house and has Christian back. The only thing is that a girl keeps appearing who looks similar to Ana. Christian soon realizes that it is Leila (Bella Heathcote), a previous submissive who is having issues since  her boyfriend died in a car accident. And lets not forgot Mrs. Robinson (Kim Basinger). She finally makes an appearance and it does not go over well. Will Ana and Christian be able to maneuver through this new relationship or is it doomed before they even start?

I don’t care what anyone says, I like these movies and books. This one follows the book pretty well and I enjoyed it. The last one, Fifty Shades Freed, hits theaters in February 2018. Also starring, Marcia Gay Harden, Eloise Mumford, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, and Max Martini. Rated R


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Murder on the Orient Express

Daisy Armstrong was kidnapped and murdered in 1930. Of the two kidnappers only one was brought to justice. Five years later, Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) finds himself on the train, Orient Express. He is headed back to England for a case and was able to secure last minute passage on the train. While on the train a fellow passage, Ratchett (Richard Widmark), asks Poirot to be his bodyguard. Poirot declines and the next day Ratchett is found dead in his cabin. Now it is up to Poirot to solve the murder before the train arrives and the murderer gets away.

I am a big fan of Agatha Christie and this is a great movie to go along with the book. It is fun trying to guess who did it and even more fun when you find out. This one is being remade with Johnny Depp, Kenneth Branagh, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, and Penelope Cruz. It will be out this November.

Also starring, Sean Connery, Vanessa Redgrave, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Anthony Perkins, and Michael York. Rated PG


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La La Land

Mia (Emma Stone) wants to be an actress. She works as a barista and goes on as many auditions as possible. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a jazz musician. He lives and breathes jazz. He wants to open his own club one day but until then he takes any gigs he can get. Their first couple of meetings don’t go well but they find themselves attracted to each other. They fall in love but the demands of their careers pull them apart. Does love conquer all or will their careers keep them apart?

I do not understand how this movie won so many awards! It was so boring. I love a good love story but this one just didn’t do it for me. I enjoyed the majority of the musical numbers but did not like the ending. I would only only recommend this if you are curious about why it got so much hype. Also starring, J.K. Simmons, John Legend, and Thomas Everett Scott. Rated PG-13