Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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Wish Upon

Clare’s dad, Jonathon (Ryan Phillippe), finds a box with Chinese writing on it. He thinks Clare (Joey King) will like it and gives it to her on her birthday. Clare and her two friends are always getting bullied at school, especially by the most popular girl, Darcie. Frustrated one night, Clara is holding the box and wishes that Darcie would rot. The next day, she finds out that Darcie is in the hospital actually rotting. Clare thinks it is a coincidence and keeps making wishes. But every time she makes a wish, someone she knows dies. Now Clare has to find out how to break the curse before it is too late.

I actually really liked this movie. It had a good concept and it kept me wondering what was going to happen next. And if you are a Stranger Things fan, Barb is in it! Rated PG-13

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Happy Death Day

A sorority girl wakes up in the college dorm of a nerdy kid and can’t remember what happened the night before. She goes about her day (and she isn’t a very nice person, by the way). Although it happens to be her birthday, this is not a day she wishes to celebrate, as this is also the birthday of her mother, who died a few years earlier. At the end of the day, she is murdered, but she doesn’t know by who.

The next day, she wakes up in the same dorm room, and it’s the same day, and again she gets killed by the end. She keeps having the same nightmare of a day (Groundhog Day style) but is determined to find out who her killer is, and she learns a little bit about herself along the way.

You’ll find Happy Death Day to be not overly gory but still contains an intriguing premise for a horror flick. I also enjoyed the elements of mystery and humor. Rated PG-13


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The Mountain Between Us

Ben (Idris Elba) and Alex (Kate Winslet) are both stranded at the airport and are in desperate need to get back to their respective lives. Alex decides to charter a plane and invites Ben along. Once in the air, we find out that Ben is a doctor and Alex is a journalist. As they are flying, the pilot has a heart attack. They next thing they know, they have crashed into a snow covered mountain. As the days go by and rescue hasn’t happened, they decide to embark across the mountain. They have to depend on each other to survive. Will these two strangers make it or are their fates already decided?

I think I would have liked it better if I hadn’t read the book first. There were differences between the two that irritated me.  Of course, it was still enjoyable because Idris Elba is in it. Rated PG-13


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Better Watch Out

Seventeen-year old Ashley shows up to babysit twelve-year old Luke one more time before she moves. His parents are out at a Christmas party, and Luke has a plan to capture Ashley’s attention. He has been in love with her for some time, and tonight he will make his move. However, everything goes awry when they are confronted by a break-in and need to find a way to escape.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so that’s all I am going to say. This might have been a straight to DVD type movie, but it actually was a decent horror flick. Not too gory with a good twist viewers won’t see coming.

Also, if you are a fan of Stranger Things, be on the lookout for a small role from Dacre Montgomery who plays Billy Hargrove in Season 2 of ST. Rated R.


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Mother!

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