Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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The weirdness of this movie starts at the very beginning where none of the characters in this movie have names.  Jennifer Lawrence plays the young wife of a renowned poet (Javier Bardem), who has not written in years and suffers writer’s block. They live in an old house in what looks like a rural location. A man played by Ed Harris unexpectedly drops in, as he confuses their homestead as a bed and breakfast.

Bardem invites him in and allows him to stay, much to the wife’s chagrin. Then, Harris’ wife, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, arrives and is also invited to stay. The couple have a blatant disregard to Lawrence’s requests about her house, smoking when she has asked them not to or visiting Bardem’s home office, which she has said is off limits. Then the couple’s two grown children show up and an altercation over the father’s will ensues.

The movie only gets weirder from there, with Bardem finally able to write his next poem. The reaction from the public is bizarre, with them treating him like he is some sort of God and Lawrence the ultimate sacrifice. This movie isn’t for everyone, and you’ll be left baffled and confused unless you understand the deeper meaning, which went way over my head. Rated R.


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Home Again

Alice Kinney (Reese Witherspoon), daughter of a famous screenwriter and producer, moves back to LA to her childhood home after recently separating from her husband (Michael Sheen). It’s her 40th birthday, and she goes a little crazy with her friends where they end up dancing the night away with a group of twenty-something guys.

One of the guys, Harry, ends up in Alice’s bed while his two friends crash on the couch. The three guys (Harry, Teddy and George), who moved to LA in hopes of making it in Hollywood, are like homeless puppies, so Alice agrees to let them stay in her guest house until they can get back on their feet. They form a bond with Alice’s two daughters, and Harry and Alice embark on a flirtatious romance, even though she knows that it’s just a fling.

When Alice’s ex, Austen, drops in unexpectedly, he is not too happy with his family’s current living arrangement. Alice must learn to balance single motherhood in her unconventional new family.

Reese is always cute, but the whole premise was unbelievable and the acting just bad. If you can suspend belief and enjoy the requisite happy ending, then this movie is for you. Rated PG-13.

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The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) is the world’s best hitman. Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is the world’s best bodyguard. When Kincaid makes a deal to testify against a dictator (Gary Oldman) to get is wife released from prison, Bryce is asked by Interpol to take Kincaid from Manchester to the Hague in 24 hours. Bryce has for the last two years been trying to get his reputation back after a botched job. Now these two are stuck together and must outwit the bad guys and try not to kill each other in the process.

This movie was great.  It was full of action and humor. And who doesn’t love Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds. I would love to see them in another movie together! Also, starring Salma Hayek. Rated R

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LEGO Ninjago

In this new addition to the LEGO franchise, Lloyd is your average school kid by day, but Lloyd and his friends turn into Ninja warriors whenever villain Garmadon and his hench people show up in an attempt to take over Ninjago City. But there is more to the story than simply trying to defeat Garmadon, as Garmadon is Lloyd’s father. As if being a Ninja warrior isn’t enough, Lloyd struggles knowing that his father doesn’t care to be a part of his life.

Despite a warning from Ninja master Uncle Woo, Lloyd releases the “ultimate weapon” on the city to stop Garmadon, but this time it has endangered everyone. There is an “ultimate ultimate weapon” that Lloyd and his friends need to find to save the city. It will take a trek across a dangerous jungle where Lloyd learns not only about becoming a true Ninja, but also about his past and his father.

Loved this movie! I am not a super LEGO fan by any means, and took a friend’s five-year old son to see it and enjoyed it more than the kid. Enough hilarity and action ensue to entertain anyone of any age. Rated PG

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The Beguiled

Strict and conservative Martha (Nicole Kidman) runs a home for girls in Civil War Virginia where she in charge of six girls of varying ages. One of the younger girls, Amy, is out collecting mushrooms when she comes across a solider who can’t walk because of a leg injury. Not wanting to leave him stranded and injured, she helps Corporal McBurney (Colin Farrell) stumble back to the house.

The stranger’s good looks aren’t lost on Martha and the older girls, who definitely take notice. Martha tends to his wounds until he can walk again. He is mostly confined to the music room while he is healing, so as to avoid temptation. As he is getting better, the Corporal realizes he has nowhere to go and hopes that he can stick around the house to help with the gardens. He even confesses his love to the oldest girl, Edwina (Kirsten Dunst), who he promises to meet in her bedroom later that evening.

Instead, he goes to the bedroom of the younger Alicia (Elle Fanning) and Edwina can hear their giggling outside her room. When she goes to confront him, a scuffle occurs which causes the Corporal to take a tumble down the stairs. Now his leg is injured beyond repair.  Martha, aware of his rejection of her and Edwina in favor of Alicia, takes advantage of the Corporal’s new injury to exact revenge.

This dark movie takes a bit to build to the inevitable conclusion, which happens abruptly, and may not appeal to everyone. Rated R

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Girls Trip

The Flossy Posse is being reunited. It has been five years since these four best friends have all been together. And what could be better than a free trip to the Essence Festival in New Orleans? Ryan (Regina Hall) has a speaking engagement at the festival with her husband. She invites Sasha (Queen Latifah), Dina (Tiffany Haddish), and Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) to reconnect. Almost immediately the women find out the Ryan’s husband is cheating. They rally together to help Ryan out but find out she knows and is sticking it out for their reputations. But the women help her realize that there is more to life and happiness than work and reputation.

This was a funny, if sometimes over the top, movie. A lot of great cameos and Tiffany Haddish is hilarious. Also starring, Kate Walsh and Lorenz Tate. Rated R

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Ingrid Goes West

Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) has a problem. She becomes attached to a person on social media and starts stalking them, trying to be their friend. The last one end with Ingrid in a mental institution. Now Ingrid is out ready to change her life. Once back home she starts her lonely life. But soon she is sucked back into her old ways and becomes obsessed with Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen). Ingrid ends up going to California and soon finds Taylor. She becomes friends with her but her obsessive ways come out and Taylor is done with her. Will this finally be the wake up call Ingrid needs? Or is she doomed to this behavior forever?

I really ended up liking this movie. It was crazy to see how one person can get so fixated on another person and the lengths they will go to be friends with their obsession. Also starring, O’Shea Jackson, Jr and Wyatt Russell. Rated R