Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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Going in Style

Joe (Michael Caine), Willie (Morgan Freeman), and Al (Alan Arkin) are three retired pals who’ve been friends for years. Having worked at the same company, they’ve just found out that their pensions have been dissolved. While at the bank, discussing his looming foreclosure, Joe finds himself caught in the middle of a bank robbery, and the spark of an idea is born. Why not rob a bank? Not just any bank though – the very bank that stole their pensions! The other guys think Joe is a bit crazy, but they begin their prep work, and soon the day has come. They’re going to rob a bank, but do they have what it takes?

This is a remake of the 1979 movie of the same name, starring George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg, and I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. Of course there was a lot of humor, but this movie also has a lot of heart. These three actors working together have great chemistry and are a treat to watch. Rated PG-13. Also featuring: Matt Dillon, Ann Margret, and Christopher Lloyd.


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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

As the castle comes under attack, Arthur’s parents spirit him away to relative safety by putting him in a boat and casting it adrift. The toddler is found by some “ladies” of the town and is brought up inside of a brothel and the mean streets of the village. Unaware of his parentage, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) learns all the tricks of the trade – shoplifting, pocket picking, fighting, and how to deal with Vikings. He earns the loyalty of his crew and the ladies who raised him, and is fiercely loyal and protective of them. As his crew’s activities attract the attention of the King’s guards, Arthur is gathered up, along with other young men of the same age, and brought to the castle for a test – who can draw the sword from the stone? After so many years spent trying to find young Arthur, King Vortigern (Jude Law) is desperate to dispose of him before he can pose a real challenge to the throne but this may prove to be more of a challenge than he’d bargained for.

Guy Ritchie’s vision of the Arthurian legend is definitely darker and grittier than what we’ve seen in the past, and some of his efforts to bring a modern spin to the tales fall decidedly flat. The casting is great though – Jude Law is phenomenal as King Vertigern, and Charlie Hunnam does a great job as the unwilling king-to-be Arthur. With the great effects and lots of action, it will be interesting to see which direction the sequel takes us. Rated PG-13.

Also featuring: Aidan Gillen, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, David Beckham, and Astrid Berges-Frisbey.

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Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

After the brutal murder of their father in a home invasion, the Locke family moves across the country to his family home in Lovecraft, Maine. As the family settles in, odd things begin happening in Key House. Nina is wrapped up in her grief after her husband’s death, and doesn’t take much notice of the strange happenings around her. Teens Tyler and Kinsey just aren’t paying much attention to their little brother as Bode discovers the magical keys to the house and what they can do. As they soon find out though, there’s a demon who wants the keys, and he’ll stop at nothing to get them.

If you’re looking for the perfect October read, this 6 volume series, plus the 2 prequel volumes, is just the ticket. It’s got the perfect blend of magic, horror, and adventure. Plus Joe has built some really great characters – maybe he took some lessons from mom & dad (Tabitha & Stephen King)? The artwork by Gabriel Rodriguez sets just the perfect tone, and I really hope that Mr. Hill & Mr. Rodriguez will collaborate on other projects. This series is in development for TV by Hulu, and will feature Danny Glover and Nate Corddry.


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Everything, Everything

Maddy has just turned 18 and has never been outside. She has a rare disease were her immune system is basically non-existent.  Her dad and brother died in a car accident when Maddy was a baby, so it is just Maddy and her mom. But everything changes when Olly moves in next door.

This movie is based on the book by the same title by Nicola Yoon. I did not read the book but I did enjoy the movie. It was a good story with likable characters. Rated PG-13

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The Circle

Mae (Emma Watson) is in a boring dead end job. Her best friend, Annie (Karen Gillan), works for a company in the tech world known as the Circle. Annie gets Mae an interview and the next thing she knows she has an exciting new job. At first she is overwhelmed, but she soon excels. She also agrees to transparency. She begins to live stream her entire life. But when a tragic death occurs, Mae starts to rethink everything she knew about this company.

This movie was just okay for me. I did not read the book so I cannot compare the two but I have heard the book is a whole lot better. I didn’t like the characters and there definitely wasn’t enough of John Boyega. Also starring, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Patton Oswalt. Rated PG-13

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Before I Fall

Sam and her three friends are the most popular girls at school.  After leaving a party, the girls get in a car wreck. When Sam wakes up she thinks maybe it was all a dream but soon realizes that she is reliving the same day all over again. Not sure what is happening she doesn’t change anything and needs up in the car accident again. Sam wakes up again and it is the same day again. Determined to change her future, Sam starts to slowly change. After a week, Sam might finally have figured it out.

For the most part I enjoyed this movie. I did not like the ending. But other than that it was a pretty good movie. It is based on the book by Lauren Oliver, which I did not read. Starring, Zoey Deutch, Jennifer Beals, and Halston Sage. Rated PG-13

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The Mountain Between Us By Charles Martin

Dr. Ben Payne is trying to get home. His flight is delayed and then canceled because of the weather. He needs to get home because he has surgeries to perform the next day. Journalist Ashley Knox also needs to get home. She is getting married. Ben finds a small charter plane that is willing to fly in this weather. Ben having met Ashley and hearing her dilemma, invites her to share the plane.  Soon they are in the air, making small talk, when the pilot has a heart attack and the plane crashes.

Ben and Ashley survive but Ashley’s leg is broken. And they are in the middle of a mountain in the wilderness. Luckily, Ben is a doctor and a mountain climber. In the beginning, they stay close to the plane but soon realize that help isn’t coming. The only way out is to walk. As they make there way out of the wilderness, they grow close. If they make it out alive, how will this experience change them?

The main reason I picked up this book is because it is being made into a movie starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet. I am glad I read it. It was exciting to find out how they would survive. I definitely recommend this one and you should read it before the movie comes out in October.