Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


Leave a comment

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.


Leave a comment

Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

A woman has been arrested for shoplifting at a grocery store. She tries to talk her way out of it but the police are called. There is no way she telling them her identity because there is no way she is going home. While she is trying to get out of this, she remembers the story of Rebecca Winter, the sixteen year old girl who went missing eleven years ago. This girl decides to try a see if she can convince them that she is Rebecca because they look a like. The next thing she knows, she is on her way to Rebecca’s house and family.

Rebecca’s family welcomes her and “Rebecca” knows that she can’t stay but she hasn’t had a family like this before and she loves it. Until she starts to notices that they seem a little off. She starts to investigate what really happened. But what she finds out shocks her. Will she be able to escape this situation she created?

This was a pretty good psychological thriller. I was surprised at the ending when it is revealed what really happened all those years ago. What a great start for this debut novel!


Leave a comment

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


Leave a comment

Crazy For You by Rina Gray

Overworking her body, Charlotte Jones passes out at the nonprofit where she teaches dance. Yankees playboy pitcher Jake Ross happened to be nearby admiring her moves and rushes to her side. At the hospital, Jake poses as her boyfriend so the staff will let him in.

With a multi-million dollar endorsement on the line from a family-oriented company, Threx isn’t sure they want a notorious ladies man to represent their brand. His publicist Gina suggests Jake and Charlotte continue the “relationship” ruse so Jake can secure the contract. In return, Jake offers to be Charlotte’s personal trainer so that she loses the weight the right way. Although she is protective of her heart, Charlotte is falling hard for Jake even though she knows it is not forever.

When a stalker, who may be one of Jake’s former lovers, threatens Charlotte, Jake finally realizes he will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he loves.

In this series finale, Gray’s (It’s Been You) romantic set up starts strong but falls flat with a predictable and cliched subplot (the stalker uses cut-up magazine letters to draft the threats), and the readers will figure out the culprit early on. This is standard fare that most readers have seen before.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | May 19, 2017


Leave a comment

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


Leave a comment

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapeña

28815474New York suburbanites Ann and Marco leave their six-month old baby alone in her crib to attend a dinner party next door. The sitter cancelled at the last minute, and Marco convinces Ann to go, and they will check in on baby Cora every half hour.

At the end of the night, after much wine and Cynthia openly flirting with Marco, Ann comes home to find that Cora is missing.

The detective assigned to their case is suspicious of Marco, and for good reason, as the reader soon realizes he has something to hide. And much to Marco’s chagrin, they are forced to go to Ann’s wealthy parents to pay up the ransom demand. Carefully laid plans begin to unravel as time passes with no one able to locate Cora, that is, if she is even alive.

This excellent psychological thriller will appeal to readers looking for a dark novel that reads fast and will keep you guessing.


Leave a comment

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