Movie Review by Kristin: Netflix’s BRAIN ON FIRE


Holy shish kabobs!

I saw the trailer for BRAIN ON FIRE on Netflix a while ago, and I finally had a chance to sit down and watch it this week.

For the most part it was pretty slow-moving, but seeing as this movie was based on the real life story of Susannah Cahalan, it was also pretty terrifying.

SYNOPSIS: Susannah Cahalan is a promising writer at the New York Post. She’s young, she’s happy and she’s living her best life in NYC. When she begins exhibiting unexplained erratic & violent behavior, her parents & doctors race the clock to correctly diagnose her condition and to bring Susannah back.

The first half of the movie, as I mentioned, was pretty slow-moving. This is no action movie, but it’s the telling of the real Susannah Cahalan’s experience with a rare condition called anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. So, the slowness is just us watching a normal day in Susannah’s life before experiencing any symptoms. Once she begins experiencing symptoms, it’s a downhill battle because no one knows exactly what’s causing her behavior and none of her doctors know what her diagnosis is just yet.

It was interesting to watch the movie and watch this person go through something as terrifying as basically being trapped inside of your own body, and then to read the facts about how many people go through this unknowingly.

If you want to watch the movie for yourself, you can catch it on Netflix now, and you can also read the memoir by the real Susannah Cahalan, also titled Brain on Fire.





IMG_1825Directed by | Nicole Holofcener
Written by | Nicole Holofcener
Produced by | Anthony Bregman, Stefanie Azpiazu, Nicole Holofcener
Starring | Ben Mendelsohn, Edie Falco, Thomas Mann, Elizabeth Marvel, Bill Camp, Charlie Tahan, and Connie Britton

SYNOPSIS: Writer/director Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said, Friends with Money) brings us a drama about parenting, loss and the consequences of our self-destructive behavior.  The story features a deeply flawed male protagonist whose tragic mistakes impact and inform the complex relationships in his life.  Far from a recognizable tale of a middle-aged rake in crisis, this is an emotionally resonant portrait of a fractured family explored by one of our most keenly observant directors.

Feeling trapped in the stifling, wealthy enclave of Westport, Connecticut, Anders Hill (Ben Mendelsohn) retires from his job in finance and leaves his wife (Edie Falco) in the hopes that it will renew his lust for life. However, he’s quickly faced with the startling reality of his choices; he spends his days looking for things to decorate his empty shelves, sleeping with strangers and feeling terribly lost.

Missing his ex-wife and on the outs with his troubled 27-year-old son (Thomas Mann), Anders befriends a drug-addicted teen (Charlie Tahan), sending him down a path of reckless and of deeply regrettable behavior. His shameful actions cause him to question who he is as a father and, ultimately, who he is as a person.

Adapting her screenplay  from Ted Thompson’s 2014 novel, The Land of Steady Habits also stars Connie Britton, Elizabeth Marvel and Bill Camp.

Watch The Land of Steady Habits on Netflix starting September 14!


Movie Review by Mike ‘The Movie Guy’: BARELY LETHAL

Barely Lethal

Wasup movie fans! I had the chance to check out the action, comedy flick…BARELY LETHAL. It’s currently available on DirecTV and On Demand.

BUT WAIT! There is more…

TODAY…it opened in select theaters. In Houston (where I’m from) – you can check it out at the AMC Gulf Pointe – – which I’m still trying to rack my brain on why it’s at that AMC location – but…maybe they have their reasons. You can always check out the full theater list there. ~> click here.

Barely Lethal

Now…lets talk BARELY LETHAL…it stars Hailee Steinfeld, Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba, Sophie Turner, Dove Cameron, Thomas Mann and FUNNY MAN Dan Fogler. Ya know something – to be honest with you. This movie has a great cast. The names you just read – just the tip of the iceberg. If you watch BARELY LETHAL (and I think you should) – you’ll recognize a lot of folks! Great job on the casting 🙂

Now…what’s BARELY LETHAL about…well…It’s about this teenage girl (Hailee Steinfeld) who from a VERY young age – was trained to be a lethal assassin. On one of her secret assignment’s – she realizes ‘something’ – that ‘something’ happens to be…a normal life. She fakes her own death…cuz that’s the only way she’s going to get it – – – assumes the role of an exchange student – – finds a family to live with – – and becomes a teenage girl…in HIGH SCHOOL!!! There…she uses all her assassin skills to get her through cheerleaders, bullies, mean girls and more!

Oh…and avoid getting killed by Victoria Knox (Jessica Alba). I know…it sounds crazy. But like I said before – it’s worth a watch.

Barely Lethal

Now…what did I think of BARELY LETHAL?!

I reallllllyyy liked it. I really did. I’m not going to lie – – I normally ‘curve’ away from movies like this. The ones that seem like cheesy, teen flicks. BUT…this one – – the cast got my attention.

Hailee Steinfeld – she’s just great in everything she does…TRUE GRIT & ENDER’S GAME (my favs), Jessica Alba…I mean…come on…it’s Jessica Alba. (lol) I loved her sarcastic ways in this movie. (lol) Sofia Turner…ahhh Miss Sansa Stark!!! I just love her AND she kicks some serious ass in this movie. I hope she does the same ‘kicking ass’ in GAME OF THRONES soon. I can’t stand that Bolton guy!!! (lol) Now – – this Dove Cameron. She’s new to me. I really liked this chick. I thought she was great. Her chemistry with Hailee Steinfeld – like ‘peas & carrots.’ I hope to see more of Miss Dove – she looks good on the big screen. Dan Fogler – he’s just a funny dude. Him and Jack Black are my favs. I bet Dan had everyone laughing on set.

Now for the serious stuff…I even enjoyed Samuel L. Jackson’s performance. I used to be a fan of his – – then he did SNAKES ON A PLANE…then he lost my love. BUT…after seeing him in BARELY LETHAL…I think we’re friends again. He was funny and ass at times. (lol)

Barely Lethal

BARLEY LETHAL is a funny movie. It’s got eye candy for the girls and the guys. It’s got action. It’s got some cool fight scenes. It’s got everything. Like I said before – it’s worth the watch. It just sucks that it’s opening in select theaters. Find it and go see it…ORRR see it on DirecTV and On Demand. 🙂

I give BARELY LETHAL… 5 out of 5 popcorns. If you like movies like SIXTEEN CANDLES and MEAN GIRLS – you should check this one out. I thought the director and writer(s) did a great job of capturing some of the 80’s-90’s feel and bringing here to 2015. High 5!