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Sat, March 23

'Watchman' presents an Atticus Finch who will surprise


Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015) - Kevin James, Raini Rodriguez, Eduardo Verastegui

After six years of keeping our malls safe, Paul Blart has earned a well-deserved vacation. He heads to Vegas with his teenage daughter before she heads off to college. But safety never takes a holiday and when duty calls, Blart answers (IMDb). Thank you, Kevin James, for your efforts in making the Segway look ridiculous. Pro tip: dude chasing you with a Segway? You're probably doing it wrong. It doesn't take much to shake off a dude on a Segway.

• The Longest Ride (2015) - Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson, Alan Alda

After an automobile crash, the lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man, as he reflects back on a past love (IMDb). It's "The Notebook" with a twist, and I write that as a compliment. I really enjoyed this film and the chemistry between the two couples, and any fan of romance will come out of this film pleased.

• The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) - Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy

As the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has only a single remaining vacancy - posing a rooming predicament for two fresh arrivals - Sonny pursues his expansionist dream of opening a second hotel (IMDb).

• Ex Machina (2015) - Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac

A young programmer is selected to participate in a groundbreaking experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I. (IMDb). This A.I. film is quieter than its genre counterparts, with more dialogue-heavy scenes than action. It takes its time to ask questions about artificial intelligence most movies glance over. Sci-fi fans should enjoy this film.

Video Games

• Rory McIlroy PGA Tour (PS4, XONE)

This is the first PGA Tour game from Electronic Arts not featuring Tiger Woods on the cover. EA went as far as to scrap the old engine, adopting the popular Frostbite 3 engine found in gamessuch as "Battlefield." New features include rendering golf courses all at once versus hole-by-hole, creating a more seamless feel for golfers familiar to a course layout.


• Go Set a Watchman - Harper Lee (304 pages)

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some 20 years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch - Scout - struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her. ( Atticus Finch, arguably one of the most iconic father-figure characters in modern day literature, supporting segregation? Perhaps we don't know as much about Atticus as we thought, or we made Atticus into a character Harper Lee never wrote.

• Armada - Ernest Cline (368 pages)

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and video games he's spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure. But hey, there's nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don't get chosen to save the universe. And then he sees the flying saucer. (

• Serafina and the Black Cloak - Robert Beatty (304 pages)

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate. There's plenty to explore in her grand home, although she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate's maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore's corridors at night ( This is one for young adult readers.


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