Andre Benjamin , aka Andre 3000 - Disney/ABC Winter TCA Tour held at the Langham Huntington Hotel - Arrivals at The Langham Huntington Hotel, Disney - Pasadena, California, United States - Saturday 9th January 2016
John Ridley, Andre Benjamin and Andre 3000 - 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards - Arrivals at Tent on the beach, Independent Spirit Awards - Santa Monica, California, United States - Saturday 21st February 2015
Exploring a year in the life of Jimi Hendrix just before he hit the public consciousness is a fascinating idea, but this biopic misses every opportunity to say something interesting. The filmmakers certainly invest this movie with plenty of stylish period detail trying to make up for the fact that they didn't secure the rights to use Hendrix's music. With a better sense of character or story, they might have got away with it. But this movie feels all wrong.
It opens in 1966, when Jimi (Andre Benjamin) is quietly working in a New York bar as a member of Curtis Knight and the Squires. One evening, he's spotted by Linda (Imogen Poots), Keith Richards' girlfriend, who thinks he should be a star. Linking him with manager Chas (Andrew Buckley), a former member of the Animals, Linda takes Jimi to London to record an album and build his reputation. Over the next year, Jimi hones his sound, puts together his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience and hooks up with local girl Kathy (Hayley Atwell). And it starts to work: the band breaks into the UK pop charts with a series of hit singles. On the other hand, across the Atlantic the Americans seem to be rather apathetic. And the organisers of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival hesitate before inviting him to perform.
The rest is history. And it's not in this film. But then the story here centres on Hendrix's pre-fame year, which allows writer-turned-director John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) to dig further into the artist's motivations than most biopics do. Hendrix's stroke of genius was to fuse rock instruments with the blues, creating all new sounds with his guitar. But then these aren't in the film either. Instead there are just sound-alike tunes, plus one audacious performance on a London stage: singing Sgt Pepper just after it was released, with the Beatles in the audience. Whether it actually happened like this is anyone's guess; like much of the film, this scene feels mythical.
Continue reading: Jimi: All Is By My Side Review
Scroll for the trailer and some pictures from the movie
Andre Benjamin, better known by his Outkast pseudonym, Andre 3000, bleeds cool in the new trailer for ‘Jimi: All Is By My Side’ in which he plays the legendary musician before worldwide fame caught up with his awesome talent.
Andre Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix
The film sees Hendrix navigate London in 1966, a year fuelled by drugs, guitar music and national pride derived from England’s solitary World Cup win. We watch as he battles the cynicism of the music industry while simultaneously taking it by storm, and how his relationship with Kathy Etchingham (Imogen Poots) begins to fall apart as his star becomes known.
Jimi Hendrix started earning money from his musical career as a simple backing guitarist at the Cheetah Club in New York City. Soon enough though, he was brought to England by former Animals member Chas Chandler where within a year he blew up into the legend that everyone sees today; the man who spectacularly set his guitar alight on stage at the Monterey Pop Festival. Within that year he began dating Kathy Etchingham, who stuck by him throughout his rise to fame despite the immense pressure it put on their relationship as he struggled to make it as the world's greatest guitarist. His journey was tough for everyone around him, but unbeknownst to him, it was only going to get tougher as he decided to break America too.
Continue: Jimi: All Is By My Side Trailer
Battle in Seattle is a high-octane depiction of the World Trade Organization riots in Seattle, Washington in late November 1999, where motives and duties are contradictory, confused, and unsettled. The non-violent protest groups end up embroiled in the very violence they abhor. Seattle Mayor Tobin (Ray Liotta) wants to appeal to the law-and-order police and to the protestors. (The night before the demonstrations he shows up both at a rally for the WTO and a rally against the WTO.) The law enforcement officials attempt to maintain the peaceful protest while at the same time chafing at the bit and waiting to crack heads. When violence erupts at the WTO protests, all the groups scatter and run blindly in all directions, and the National Guard appears to mop it all up.
Continue reading: Battle In Seattle Review
The funnyman's stable of petulant and grossly overconfident buffoons grows with the addition of Jackie Moon, owner, coach, and starting power forward for the Flint Tropics, a fictional ABA basketball squad hoping to survive the 1976 merger with the NBA.
Continue reading: Semi-Pro Review
It's only a mild heresy to turn a beloved children's book and animated film into a star vehicle for the wee Miss Fanning, the go-to child actress who has become Hollywood's only A-list star under the age of 13. The only real surprise is that she doesn't have her own production company yet.
Continue reading: Charlotte's Web (2006) Review
You don't need to have heard a single song by Outkast to appreciate Idlewild's brilliance. The film has a life - at times almost fantastical - that springs from the screen and pounces and coos in your lap as though it's wooing you. Barber was a video clip director, he cut his teeth on three minute commercials for bands like Outkast, and he's got the polish down so tight it's almost part of the celluloid. At times it can be distracting. Sometimes there is so much happening on screen that you eyes overload and your brain shuts down. You just can't catch it all. But the music - that snaky (perfectly used) synth bass line, that flapping guitar work, the sugary gut punch of the horns - pulls you back into the film like a musical whirlpool.
Continue reading: Idlewild Review
Here's Revolver: Jake Green (Jason Statham) is being chased by Macha (Ray Liotta). They have a sordid history but the main reason is because Green walked straight to Macha's table in his swank casino and took him for a big wad of dough. To survive Macha's onslaught, Green agrees to give up every cent he owns to two lone sharks, Avi and Zach (Andre Benjamin and Vincent Pastore, respectively) and on and on goes the little plot.
Continue reading: Revolver Review
The story is a balls-out revenge tale, opening with the violent death of kindhearted old mother Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flanagan) during a convenience store hold-up. Evelyn's funeral brings home her four adopted sons: mercurial bruiser Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), military man Angel (Tyrese), entrepreneurial Jeremiah (Andre Benjamin aka Outkast's Andre 3000), and semi-famous rocker Jack (Garrett Hedlund). Being back home together brings back memories of the "only woman who ever loved us," but also brings back their thuggish ways, especially when they find out mom's tragic accident may have been murder. That's when the fast-based, Charles Bronson-esque vigilante part of this tale kicks into high gear.
Continue reading: Four Brothers Review
Mark Wahlberg is perfectly cast in "Four Brothers" as an angry, scruffy Detroit greaseball who returns home for the first time in years to avenge his foster-mother's murder during a convenience store robbery.
While not an actor known for his emotional range, here his soft-featured scowl embodies resounding heartbreak without giving an inch on the kind of toughness and bravado that makes his character a loose cannon. How loose? He even tells the investigating cops (one an old friend played by the sublime Terrence Howard) who come to pay their respects that "I'm not here for the funeral."
Reunited with his three brothers -- fellow former delinquents adopted by the kindly but adamant Evelyn Mercer (Fionnula Flanagan), and played by Garrett Hedlund ("Troy") and talented rappers-turned-actors Andre Benjamin and Tyrese Gibson -- it isn't long before they're literally beating a path through the ghetto toward any suspects they can get their hands on. And it isn't long after that before a conspiracy begins to emerge (the details of which are never entirely clear) involving bankruptcy and insurance money, connections to the mob, and crooked cops and city councilmen.
Continue reading: Four Brothers Review
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