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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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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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The Ultimatum by Karen Robards

Bianca St. Ives has spent her whole life running heists with her dad. But this last one has not gone as planned. The money is missing from the vault and Bianca is the only one left of her team besides her getaway driver, Doc. She has to get out before midnight. She manages to escape with the help of a stranger named Mickey. As they race to the meet up point they find a road block. The next thing they know the truck with Bianca’s father and other associates is blown up.

Five months later, Bianca is getting on with her life. She is working at her security firm, Guardian Consulting, in Savannah, Georgia. She isn’t 100% convinced her dad is really dead but she hasn’t heard from him. She has hired Doc to work at the company and to monitor her dad’s secret email that clients can contact him on for jobs. When a job comes up Bianca decides to take even though it could be a trap. While on this job, Bianca runs into Mickey again, who’s name is Colin Rogan and works for the government. It soon becomes clear that this is a trap. Now the good guys and the bad guys are after her because they think she knows where her dad is. But he’s dead, isn’t he?

This was a different route for Karen Robards. It was more a spy thriller than romantic suspense, which Robards is known for. I liked it. It is the first in a new series. The next one due out in 2018 is called The Moscow Deception.

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When a Stranger Calls

Jill (Camilla Belle) has been grounded for going over her minutes on her phone. Not able to go to the big school bonfire, Jill agrees to babysit for a new family.  When Jill gets there she sees that they live in a secluded area in a huge house. The kids are already in bed and the housekeeper is supposedly gone. Jill settles in but soon receives a phone call. No one is there and Jill dismisses it. But the phone keeps ringing all night. Jill calls the police and they put a trace on the phone. When the stranger calls back, the police call Jill as soon as he hangs up. What Jill hears is, “The call is coming from inside the house.”

This is a remake of the 1979 Carol Kane version. The acting isn’t great but it is a good thriller. You don’t know where this stalker is and when he is going to strike. Also starring, Tommy Flanagan, Katie Cassidy, Tessa Thompson, and Clark Gregg. Rated PG-13

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47 Meters Down

Mandy Moore plays Lisa, who is on a tropical vacation with sister Kate, in Mexico. Lisa is down on herself after her recent breakup with Stuart, who she believes got bored with their relationship. Kate and Lisa meet two young men who invite them to go shark cage diving. Although Lisa has never been diving and has never been a risk taker, the men tell her the guy who runs the boat will take them out anyway.

Although highly reluctant and scared, Lisa lets her sister talk her into it, especially when Kate tells her that someone who takes pictures in a shark cage isn’t “boring” like Stuart said. The men go down first and get see sharks circling the cage and then are brought up. Next it’s Kate and Lisa’s turn. They too get to see sharks circling the cage, but after a bit, Lisa has had enough and asks to be brought up. When they go to bring them up, the wench breaks sending them straight down to the bottom of the ocean, trapped in the cage, at 47 meters down.

They only have enough oxygen to last about twenty minutes and cannot communicate with the boat at that depth. To make matters worse, the way the cage landed blocked the entrance to get in and out of the cage.

This movie was extremely intense and offered a few jumps along the way. My one takeaway from this movie was that I sure as heck am never going to go diving, let alone shark cage diving, ever. Rated PG-13

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The Circle

Mae (Emma Watson) is in a boring dead end job. Her best friend, Annie (Karen Gillan), works for a company in the tech world known as the Circle. Annie gets Mae an interview and the next thing she knows she has an exciting new job. At first she is overwhelmed, but she soon excels. She also agrees to transparency. She begins to live stream her entire life. But when a tragic death occurs, Mae starts to rethink everything she knew about this company.

This movie was just okay for me. I did not read the book so I cannot compare the two but I have heard the book is a whole lot better. I didn’t like the characters and there definitely wasn’t enough of John Boyega. Also starring, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Patton Oswalt. Rated PG-13

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Final Girls by Riley Sager

For Quincy and her college friends, a weekend away in a Poconos cabin is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday. Out of the six though, Quincy is the only one to survive the horrific events that unfold. Now, ten years later, Quincy is known as one of three “Final Girls” – young women who are the lone survivors of mass killings. Quincy insists that she’s doing just fine – she’s in a solid relationship, a great apartment, and her baking blog is really taking off. She’s moving ahead with her life, not letting herself fall into the role of perpetual victim. But when Lisa, the original Final Girl is found dead, and Sam Boyd, the other Girl shows up on Quincy’s doorstep, the foundation that she has so carefully laid for herself begins to crumble.

As far as thrillers go, this one is pretty intense. Unreliable characters and pulse pounding action ensure that this is one book that you won’t want to put down until the end.