On Jimi: All Is By My Side And The Rest Of This Weekend's Wide and Special Releases.

Jimi: All Is By My Side.
Director: John Ridley.
Writer: John Ridley.
Cast: André Benjamin, Imogen Poots.
Playing At: The Magnolia, Angelika Film Center (Plano).

Jimi: All Is By My Side had been in development hell for a long time. The Hendrix Estate would not release the rights to the iconic guitarist's music for the movie unless they could have full creative control. After a few back and forth of Fuck yous, the filmmakers decided to make the movie without Jimi's music, which is just bonkers. Somehow, though, writer and director John Ridley (12 Years a Slave writer) made it work. If the end result is watchable, I can't tell you at the moment, but I will be catching this weekend. Hendrix songs or no, the idea Outkast's André Benjamin in the title role really peaks my interest.

Believe Me.
Director: Will Bakke.
Writer: Michael B. Allen, Bill Bakke.
Cast: Alex Russell, Zachary Knighton, Johanna Braddy.
Playing At: Highland Park Village Theatre, AMC Grapevine.

Believe Me is a story about four broke college seniors who start a fake charity to raise money for their tuitions. Funny things happen. It's directed by Will Bakke, whose previous experience in film is a documentary on four college kids and Jesus, but I can't tell you if this has a biblical message. However, I can tell you that it's a movie and it stars actors (Nick Offerman pops in, somewhere).

The Boxtrolls.
Director: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi.
Writer: Irena Brignull, Adam Pava (screenplay); Alan Snow (novel).
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan.
Playing At: Wide Release.

Based of Alan Snow's novel Here By Monsters!, The Boxtrolls is another celebrity-voice stuffed animated film that's going to sweet your heart right up and put it in its pocket. The film follows an orphan, trash-collecting friends and their adventures of battling bad-guy exterminators.

The Equalizer.
Director: Antoine Fuqua.
Writer: Richard Wenk (screenplay); MIchael Sloan, Ricahrd Lindheim (TV series).
Cast: Denzel Washington.
Playing At: Wide Release.

A more accurate title for The Equalizer really is Denzel Washington Slays Russian Gangsters Violently. It's a story of good versus evil, good prevailing, but when Washington starts to do his thing, heads are cracked and the blood flows. Interested in seeing it? Read my full review here.

Good People.
Director: Henrik Ruben Genz.
Writer: Kelly Masterson (screenplay); Marcus Sakey (novel).
Cast: James Franco, Kate Hudson, Tom Wilkinson.
Playing At: AMC Mesquite.

Good People has a stellar cast (Tom Wilkinson, most notably) but is on a very limited release — in mesquite, here — so chances are you'll never see it. Should you find yourself browsing Video On Demand and come across this feature, at some point down the road, though, you should really give it a shot.

Hector and the Search for Happiness.
Director: Peter Chelsom.
Writer: Maria von Heland, Peter Chelsom, Tinker Lindsay (screenplay); François Lelord (novel).
Cast: Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Jordan Schartner.
Playing At: Angelika Film Center (Dallas and Plano).

Based on French novel Le voyage d'Hector ou la recherche de bonheur, Hector and the Search for Happiness hides nothing. It's about Hector (Simon Pegg) and his adventures on finding a rarity — happiness. Read what our very own Kip Mooney had to say here.

The Song.
Director: Richard Ramsey.
Writer: Richard Ramsey.
Cast: Alan Powell, Ali Faulkner, Caitlin Nicol-Thomas, Danny Vinson.
Playing At: Wide Release.

It doesn't take a scientist to figure out this movie is about music. This one, in particular, is about an up-and-coming musician who writes a hit song about his wife and the how his life starts to crumble once the fame and money start pouring in. Sounds really inspiring — let me know how it is.

Take Me to the River.
Director: Martin Shore.
Writers: Rick Clark, Jerry Harrison, Julie Janata, Martin Shore, Zac Stanford.
Cast: Terrence Howard, Snoop Dog, Mavis Staples, and more.
Playing At: Angelika Film Center (Dallas).

Narrated by Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow), Take Me to the River is a documentary that goes into the heart of American music and, more specifically, the somewhat miraculously interracial nature of Mississippi's highly influential music scene of yore, despite the racial tension that's historically plagued the area at large.

Tracks.
Director: John Curran.
Writer: Marion Nelson (screenplay); Robyn Davidson (novel).
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Lily Pearl.
Playing At: TBD.

Of all the films I missed attending the press screenings, Tracks is the one I'm most bummed about missing. Adapted from Robyn Davidson's memoir of the same name, Tracks is about her nine-month, 1,700-mile hike across the deserts of West Australia in 1977. Her only help? Four camels and a dog. Mia Wasikowska (Alice from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland) embodies the writer for this big screen adaptation and Girls' Adam Driver costars.

Two Night Stand.
Director: Max Nichols.
Writer: Mark Hammer.
Cast: Miles Teller, Analeigh Tipton, Jessica Szohr .
Playing At: AMC Stonebriar Mall.

Miles Teller has the face and skills to live long and prosper as a leading man in Hollywood (see: The Spectacular Now) — he's a really likable guy — so he needs to stop starring in these bullshit rom-coms. For every great film he pumps out — Whiplash, coming soon — there's three dumb teen movies. I would say he's doing it for the paycheck, but this is one dude I'm rooting for and comes off way better than that. Miles: Quit your shit and stay away from those brainless scripts.

Good Morning Vietnam.
Director: Barry Levinson.
Writer: Mitch Markowitz.
Cast: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker.
Playing At: Strauss Square.

There are many great roles performed by the late, great Robin Williams — who died early last month of an apparent suicide — but one of his most memorable is as fast talking radio DJ, Adrian Cronauer, in Barry Levinson's Good Morning, Vietnam. Williams won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award for this performance. You can enjoy this terrific movie with friends at Strauss Square on Sunday evening — for free, no less.

Lewd & Lascivious.
Director: Jallen Rix.
Writer: Jallen Rix.
Cast: Herb Donaldson.
Playing At: Texas Theatre.

As a selection of their LGBT series, the Texas Theatre and Cinewilde are screening Lewd & Lascivious, a documentary about straight ministers in 1965 — a time when being gay was almost forbidden — that teamed up with the gay community to take a stand against abuse and change laws.

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