Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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Tomb Raider

Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) is just wandering through life. Her father has been missing for seven years and the time has come to declare him dead. But before Lara does, she discovers a secret chamber at her father’s estate. It leads her on a quest to find the answers to her father’s disappearance. Of course, it isn’t smooth sailing and Lara ends up on an island in the middle of nowhere. Soon she is trying to escape with her life. But will she find the answers she is looking for before it is too late?

Having never played the video games but having seen the other two Lara Croft movies starring Angelina Jolie, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I really liked this reboot of the series. It was action-packed and kept me interested in the storyline. Also starring, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, and Kristin Scott Thomas. Rated PG-13


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Davis (Dwayne Johnson) works with primates in San Diego. He is especially tight with George, an albino ape, he rescued as a baby. One night a container falls from the sky. George comes across it and gets sprayed in the face with a mist. The next day Davis comes to work and finds George in the grizzly bears area. One grizzly is dead and George is a mess. He is also way bigger than he was the day before. The government shows up and takes George. But George is being called to Chicago. And George isn’t the only one. Can he be stopped?

This movie was action packed and entertaining. I really liked it especially with The Rock in it! also starring, Jeffery Dean Morgan, Naomie Harris, Malin Ackerman, and Joe Manganiello. Rated PG-13

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Death Wish

After a night of violence that leaves Dr. Paul Kersey’s wife dead and his daughter in a coma, Paul (Bruce Willis) decides to take matters into his own hands. The first thing he does is get a gun. He learns how to use it and goes out into the streets of Chicago. He stops a carjacking and kills the thieves. He becomes known as the Grim Reaper.

A man is brought into the ER and Paul recognizes him as the valet at the restaurant his family attended shortly before the murder. He steals the guy’s phone and starts to find out who was involved that painful night. Instead of going to the police, Paul exacts his revenge in the most brutal ways.

This is a remake of the Charles Bronson movie of the same title. It was a good action movie. I think I am just blood thirsty but I enjoyed it! Also starring, Elisabeth Shue, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Dean Norris. Rated R

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Waste of Space by Stuart Gibbs

Time is running out….

Moon Base Alpha has had its share of problems since the Moonies arrived. Problems much bigger than the food. There has already been one murder and a kidnapping/blackmailing. These cases were solved thanks to Dash and a little help from Kira, his friend on the Moon Base, along with Zan, an alien he encountered shortly after the murder. Now another killer has struck on Moon Base Alpha once more. This time the multi-billionaire Lars Sjoburg was poisoned (something no one is shocked by) and it is up to Dash to find the attempted killer. Beside this new case of the poisoning, something has everyone worried.  All Dash wanted to do is enjoy his birthday, but of course things are never that simple on the moon.

It was great to read the newest adventure of Dash and the other Moonies. I had been waiting for this installment in the series since the title was announced on Stuart Gibbs website. It was a fast read that kept my attention. It had many funny moments in it. I felt that the characters grew throughout the series. It had a more realistic vision of space than most of the books or TV shows/movies than I have seen in the past. I’m pretty good at figuring out who the crime was committed by so I was not shocked by that. However, there was so many twists with the crime and how it was committed that I never would have guessed. I was sad to see the series end. However, the reasons for the series to end made sense. I did like how it ended.

If you liked the Moon Base series, I highly recommend reading the FunJungle series, the Spy School Series and the Last Musketeer series.  All of these series are great reads that keep you entertained throughout them. All three of these series are also written by Stuart Gibbs. I finished reading Waste of Space on May 13th, which I thought was funny as it was my birthday. I also got a copy of Waste of Space for my birthday from my friend Marisa.

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Joe Braven (Jason Momoa) is the owner of a logging company in Canada. Business is good, and family life as well, except for one thing. Linden (Stephen Lang), Joe’s dad, has dementia, and after an incident at a local bar, it seems time to take the next step in his care. Thinking that the best place to talk to his dad might be the peace and quiet of the family’s cabin, the two head out. Unbeknownst to them, one of Joe’s employees has gotten himself involved in a drug trafficking operation, and after an accident, has stashed drugs in the cabin. Kassen (Garret Dillahunt), the ruthless boss of the drug operation and his guys show up at the cabin to retrieve the drugs, and when they discover the two Braven men in residence, decide to do things the hard way. Now, Joe and his father will have to fight for their survival.

Beautifully shot in the wilds of Newfoundland, this one sets a heart pounding pace almost immediately, and doesn’t let up until the very end. Rated R.

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The Commuter

Former cop Michael (Liam Neeson) has been just laid off from the NYC insurance company he has been employed by for the last ten years.  At age sixty, he knows that his chances of finding another job are unlikely. His wife and him live hand to mouth, and they have their son’s college tuition to pay for.

After commiserating at a local pub with a former cop buddy (Patrick Wilson), he gets on the train to make his final commute home. On the train he is approached by a woman who presents a hypothetical situation: what if there was $25,000 stashed away on this train that it is yours to keep. All you have to do is locate a commuter on this very train named Prynne and put a tracking device on his/her bag. You’ll get a payout of another $75,000. Would you do it, never knowing the fate you are causing another individual?

After the women departs, Michael realizes that it isn’t so hypothetical at all when he finds the money. And now he has put in motion a series that might put his own family at risk.

A top-notch action flick that is typical of Neeson. Most viewers will find this entertaining enough. Rated PG-13

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

In this Jumanji reboot, a group of high school kids (a jock, a nerd, a popular girl, and a brainy girl) are all in detention together. Their punishment is to go through a storage room full of old magazines that need the staples removed so they can be recycled. When one of the kids discovers an old video game console with the game Jumanji loaded, they connect it to a TV and try to play after they select their characters.

Suddenly, they are magically transported into the real life game and are shocked to find out that their game characters aren’t who they thought they were. The geek is the main character who’s strength is muscle and brawn (played by the Rock); the jock is a zoologist and the main character’s weapon’s valet (Kevin Hart); the brainy girl is a kick-butt woman ninja; and the popular girl is a male map expert (played by Jack Black).

Stranded in the jungle, they have to work together to restore the eye (a precious stone) of Jumanji while fleeing from a group of bad villains and just like a video game, they have to do so with only three lives.

This funny and adventure-filled movie will appeal to the whole family. Rated PG-13