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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Split

I watch quite a bit of horror and thriller flicks and most disappoint, but Split is a standout guaranteed to give you the creeps. This comes as no surprise since it was written by The Sixth Sense’s acclaimed director and creator, M. Night Shyamalan.

James McAvoy plays Kevin, a man with dissociative identity disorder (aka split/multiple personality disorder) who sees psychiatrist Dr. Fletcher.  She believes that her patients are extraordinary in that the different personalities can change the body’s chemistry, where one personality might have diabetes and the others don’t.

Unbeknownst to Fletcher, the controlling personality of Dennis, who possesses dark and immoral tendencies, has abducted three young women in a parking lot and are holding them captive down in the maintenance area where he works.

As the girls try to escape, they are confronted with Kevin’s other personas: Hedwig, a nine-year old boy, Miss Patricia and others. Unlike the other girls, Casey comes from an abusive past and tries to befriend Hedwig in hopes he will help convince the “others” to let them free. Unfortunately, the stronger personalities seem to be in control and have other plans for the girls.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so just watch Shyamalan’s latest, which will keep you on the edge of your seat. You’ll realize that the darkness of the mind is far scarier than any kind of supernatural element. Rated PG-13


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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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Rings

Typically horror sequels and the subsequent movies aren’t very good, and Rings proves my point.

When Julia’s texts and phones from her boyfriend Holt, who has just started college, go unanswered, she drives to his school to find out whats going on. Holt is part of an experiment headed up by one of his professors (played by The Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki), who had found an old VCR with the “ring” video at a flea market.

If you watch the video, which features a creepy girl crawling out of a well, you receive a phone call that you will die in 7 days. The only way to escape death is to copy the video and have someone else watch it. Only then you are safe, but then the person who watched it is confronted with the same problem. To save Holt, Julia watches the video. Not wanting to give a death sentence to the next guy, Julia and Holt begin researching the origins of the video.

This movie was the worst! It was not scary at all, and it was so boring that midway through, I had to fast forward to the end.  Also, if you didn’t enjoy watching Naomi Watts’ character from the first The Ring (2002) coughing up hair, you won’t want to see it again in this one either. Rated PG-13


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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


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Allied

As Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) parachutes into the Sahara desert for an assignment, he’s probably not thinking that he’d meet the love of his life today. In fact, when he meets Marianne (Marion Cotillard), a member of the French Resistance and his partner for their top secret mission, he’s not quite sure what to make of her. But, as they play the roles of man and wife for their mission, they get to know each other well, and by the end, they’ve fallen in love. Once back in England, the two marry, and Max continues to work for the military. Despite the war raging all around them, everything seems to be going well for the young couple – a beautiful home, a new baby. And then Max receives a phone call that may change all of their lives forever – Marion is suspected of feeding information to the enemy. Now, in a mad rush for time, Max becomes desperate to prove her innocence.

I really wanted to like this movie much more than I did, but it really fell flat for me. The story line was good, but it felt rushed at times, and I just wasn’t feeling any chemistry between Pitt and Cotillard. It seemed like the director was trying (and failing) to capture the look and feel of an older classic film, but with modern special effects. It’s not a horrible movie – the story is compelling, but overall the movie is just kind of blah. Rated R.