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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Collide

Casey Stein (Nicholas Hoult) is an American who winds up in Germany. He ends up staying and working for drug smugglers and falls in love with Juliette (Felicity Jones). He quits his job and lives happily with Juliette. Until she because sick and they need to get back to the States for an operation. He needs to make money quick and goes to his old boss. He is given a job to steal a truckload of drugs. When he fails, Juliette is kidnapped and now Casey will do anything to get her back, even if it means sacrificing himself.

This was a pretty good action movie. A lot of car chasing scenes that were fun and a pretty decent storyline. Also starring, Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley.  Rated PG-13


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All We Had

Thirteen year old Ruthie (Stefania Owen) and her mom Rita (Katie Holmes) are struggling to keep up their hand to mouth existence, despite the fact that Rita is working more than on job. On the brink of eviction from their apartment, they hit the road, living out of their car.  Their car breaks down, and out of money, they find themselves stranded in a small town. Luckily, they’re able to get jobs at a local diner, and soon, things start looking up for them.  They’ve got an apartment, Ruthie is settling in at school, and she’s even got a best friend – Peter Pam (Eve Lindley), a transgender teen who also works at the diner. And when Rita starts dating Vic (Mark Consuelos), a persuasive mortgage broker, the two buy their first house.  Things are going really well,  but when the recession hits, and business starts to slow down at the diner, they may find themselves right back where they started.

Based on the novel by Annie Weatherwax, and directed by Katie Holmes, this movie is a poignant portrayal of one family’s struggle to stay afloat when everything seems to be going against them. Not rated. Also featuring: Richard Kind, Judy Greer, and Luke Wilson.


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Gridlocked

David Hendrix (Dominic Purcell) is on leave from his SWAT team due to an incident. He has been saddled with a reckless hard partying movie star, Brody Walker (Cody Hackman), who is doing research for a movie. David ends up taking Brody to a police training facility but what they don’t realize is that there is a secret vault of seized items. Soon the facility is under attack and now David doesn’t know who he can trust. But he knows that he needs to protect the vault at any cost.

I actually liked this movie. Usually straight to DVD movies aren’t the greatest but this one was pretty good. It was very action packed and even had Danny Glover! Also starring, Stephen Lang, Vinnie Jones, and Trish Stratus.  Rated R