Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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Kidnap

Waitress and single mother Karla (played by Halle Berry) spends a day with her son at New Orlean’s City Park. What starts as a pleasant day turns into a nightmare when she steps away from Frankie for a moment to take a call from her ex attorney about custody. When she turns back, Frankie is no where in sight. Like any frantic mother, she runs all over the park screaming his name, asking anyone if they have seen her little boy.

At the last minute, she sees a woman shoving Frankie into the passenger side of a sports car. Karla gets in her car and follows it. The rest of the movie is basically a high speed car chase from a mother who will do whatever it takes to get her son back and who isn’t going to wait for the authorities to do what needs to be done.

I didn’t really have high expectations of this movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. Kidnap is a a fast paced and thrilling movie that will keep you on the seat of your pants. The only warning is that you may find it bothersome if you have a hard time with stories involving crimes against children, but, it’s just a movie!

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The Bad Batch

Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) is sent into exile deep in the Texas desert land. In this post apocalyptic world, “Bad Batch”, criminals and other people who don’t conform are sent out to fend for themselves in this bleak wasteland. The exiled have joined into separate groups – one a brutal, cannibalistic tribe, and the other a more peace loving group that is none the less dangerous. Arlen is unlucky enough to meet the first group shortly after entering the desert, and her encounter leaves her changed in ways she’d never imagined possible.

Sigh. I don’t even know where to start with this one. It’s part exploitation, part art house, part hot mess. With all of the money that was obviously spent on getting a big name cast and the effects etc, one would think you might pay a little more attention to the script. I know, I know – don’t get your hopes up too high for a movie about cannibals and finding love in a hostile world. I will say this though – the movie tries, it really does. But I’m not exactly sure what for. Featuring Keanu Reeves, Jason Momoa, Jim Carrey, and Giovanni Ribisi. Rated R.


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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

As the castle comes under attack, Arthur’s parents spirit him away to relative safety by putting him in a boat and casting it adrift. The toddler is found by some “ladies” of the town and is brought up inside of a brothel and the mean streets of the village. Unaware of his parentage, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) learns all the tricks of the trade – shoplifting, pocket picking, fighting, and how to deal with Vikings. He earns the loyalty of his crew and the ladies who raised him, and is fiercely loyal and protective of them. As his crew’s activities attract the attention of the King’s guards, Arthur is gathered up, along with other young men of the same age, and brought to the castle for a test – who can draw the sword from the stone? After so many years spent trying to find young Arthur, King Vortigern (Jude Law) is desperate to dispose of him before he can pose a real challenge to the throne but this may prove to be more of a challenge than he’d bargained for.

Guy Ritchie’s vision of the Arthurian legend is definitely darker and grittier than what we’ve seen in the past, and some of his efforts to bring a modern spin to the tales fall decidedly flat. The casting is great though – Jude Law is phenomenal as King Vertigern, and Charlie Hunnam does a great job as the unwilling king-to-be Arthur. With the great effects and lots of action, it will be interesting to see which direction the sequel takes us. Rated PG-13.

Also featuring: Aidan Gillen, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, David Beckham, and Astrid Berges-Frisbey.


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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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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


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The Wave

In a Norway there is fjord in the town of Geiranger. It is predicted that part of the mountain will eventually fall into the water and cause a 85 meter high wave. That day has come.

Kristian and his family are all set to move. Kristian is taking the kids to a hotel in the city and his wife, Idun, is working at the local hotel. Before they leave, Kristian needs to pick up the rest of his stuff from his job, where he is a geologist. While at the office , he notices something in the readings but no one really believes anything is wrong. To humor him, they check it out. Soon they realize something is happening at the mountain. And then the ground starts to shake. Everyone has ten minutes to get out of the wave zone or end up dead.

I really enjoyed this movie. It was intense and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see if they would survive. Rated R