Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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My Life as a Zucchini

Following the death of his mother, nine-year-old Zucchini is befriended by a kind police officer. After being taken to a foster home, Zucchini meets other orphans his age, and although he has a hard time fitting in at first, soon the kids have formed a tight-knit little family of their own.

Based on the novel “Autobiographie d’une Courgette” by Gilles Paris, and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, it’s easy to see why this film has become such a favorite. The art and animation are beautifully rendered, and the story, while sad, is also filled with hope, courage and humor. The American version of this film features the voice talents of Nick Offerman, Amy Sedaris, Will Forte, and Ellen Page. Rated PG-13.


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The Belko Experiment

It is just another day at the Belko Company, an American business located in Bogota, Columbia. As they go about their day a voice comes over the building’s intercom saying they had half an hour to kill two people. Everyone is confused and thinking it is a joke. Until the building goes into lock down and no one can leave. When the half hour is up and no one has been killed, everyone is relieved. Until the heads start exploding. Now it is a kill or be killed situation. Will anyone survive or will this experiment kill them all?

I really liked this movie. I didn’t know who was going to turn into a killer and who was going to try and keep their humanity. I definitely recommend this one. Starring, John Gallagher, Jr., Tony Goldwyn, John C. McGinley, Sean Gunn, and Michael Rooker.  Rated R


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Manhattan Night

Porter Wren (Adrien Brody) is a newspaper man. He is stilling riding the high of finding a missing girl. With newspaper a dying art, he needs to stay relevant. He meets Caroline Crawley (Yvonne Strahovski), a wealthy, beautiful widow, who wants Wren to investigate her husband’s death. Wren becomes intrigued, not with just the case but also Caroline. He is soon sucked into the bizarre mystery that not only affects Caroline but soon is affecting Wren’s home life. Will he be able to solve this crime before he meets the same fate?

This was actually a pretty good mystery. You never really knew what was going to happen but when you do it was a little shocking.  Also starring, Campbell Scott and Jennifer Beals. Rated R


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The Shack

Mack Phillips (Sam Worthington) is lost in his life.  While on a camping trip with his three kids, his youngest was kidnapped and murdered.  Now he is barely functioning and is mad at God. When his wife takes the kids to visit her parents, Mack finds a note in the mailbox. It tells him to go to the cabin where his daughter was murdered. Mack is convinced it is from the killer and goes. But when he arrives, no one is there. He rages and breaks things and knocks himself out. And then nothing is ever the same again.

I didn’t really know what to expect since I didn’t read the book. I enjoyed this movie. It did drag a little bit for me in the middle but overall this is a pretty good movie. Also starring, Octavia Spencer, Tim McGraw, and Radha Mitchell.  Rated PG-13

 


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Logan

The year is 2029. The X-Men have disbanded, and the mutant population has decreased. Logan (Hugh Jackman) is driving a limo for a living, and has secreted the ailing Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in a location near the Mexican border, where he takes care of him. With his regeneration powers fading, Logan has turned to alcohol to cope. Reluctantly, he agrees to drive a young girl with special powers to the Canadian border. Laura has incredible fighting powers, and is on the run from a dangerous corporation who want access to her DNA to create deadly soldiers.

Dark, and atmospheric, this movie finds Logan in a very dark place, as he struggles with his failing health and his own demons. Based in part on the X-Men story lines “Old Man Logan”, “Mutant Massacre”, “X-23”, the film doesn’t follow any of the other X-Men timeline, but is meant as more of a stand alone story. Even if you haven’t followed the X-Men franchise, I think you’ll find “Logan” easy to follow and entertaining. Rated R. Also featuring: Stephen Merchant, Eriq La Salle, and Dafne Keen.


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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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The Take

Michael Mason (Richard Madden) is a con artist, currently working in Paris. He makes his living picking pockets, taking special orders from his clients. When he steals a bag containing a teddy bear, and not much else, he tosses it. Moments later, the bag explodes, leaving 4 people dead. The next day, Michael’s face, captured on CCTV, is all over the news as a suspect. The CIA assigns agent Sean Briar (Idris Elba) to the case. Briar, never one to play by the rules, captures Michael, but instead of taking him in, takes him to a secret interrogation spot, where he finds out that Michael is indeed telling the truth. Now, they’re not only on the run from the group responsible for the attack, but they’re also trying to track them down before they strike again.

As far as action and suspense go, this movie was pretty good. And while I love both Idris and Richard, unfortunately, as hard as they tried, the chemistry just wasn’t there. I just wasn’t buying into their comic/straight guy routine. Other than that though, definitely worth watching. Rated R. Also featuring Kelly Reilly and Charlotte Le Bon.