Jimi: All Is by My Side (2013) Poster

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Yes it is garbage
kathy-etchingham7 March 2014
The theatregoer hoping to get some insight into Jimi Hendrix and London in 1966/67 will leave the theatre disappointed or duped by the film makers.

Before seeing the film I was apprehensive, as I had been told that my character was portrayed in a derogatory and potentially defamatory manner. I had been told that Jimi had beaten me with a telephone in the film and after I had protested that this was not true the film makers had replied that it was true because they had "thoroughly researched" me.

In other words they were saying that they were telling the truth and I was not.

During the opening scenes I found it difficult to comprehend the way the story was unfolding, or what it was depicting. The editing was disjointed and dialogue was layered on top of alternate dialogue, seemingly from a parallel conversation.

The film progressed in a confusing and dull manner but there was one scene that gave me a momentary lift of anticipation. The scene depicts Jimi playing with Cream at the Polytechnic Students' Union and should have set out to depict an absolutely epic event that I had witnessed. (I had been carrying Jimi's guitar).

I hoped that they would do Jimi justice in their interpretation of what happened. Unfortunately, once the music started, my heart sank. What a disappointment. Not only was it insulting to Jimi's legacy, but I would say it was fairly insulting to Eric Clapton as well because the real Eric Clapton would never have been in awe of the unremarkable performance presented to viewers in this film.

The storyline progressed in an awkward and illogical way and was hard to comprehend.

The basis seemed to be that the dimwitted "Jimi" could not make up his mind between the good rock chick (Linda Keith) and the bad rock chick (Kathy Etchingham) who later goes bonkers and takes an overdose. (If I was the actress having to play this lousy part wearing those ugly clothes I may have taken an overdose too.)

The strange fact that jars with this fictional narrative is that, in reality, the unfortunate Linda Keith ended up in rehab at around this time because Keith Richards, of all people, initiated an intervention that probably saved her life. She was hardly in a position to be advising Jimi on how to play the guitar and do his hair.

Fictional characters were introduced that furthered the deluded political, racial and sexist agenda that John Ridley seemed to be pursuing. In particular Michael X was presented as a saintly black political guru whereas in truth he was a violent criminal con man who was executed for a gruesome murder. An "Ida" character is introduced who never existed in real life.

The biggest disappointment of this film was that after expecting at least some kind of depiction of Jimi's humour and creativity and the amusing and creative times that were happening in London, instead we were shown a gloomy and depressing dark tale that pictured Jimi as some sort of moronic mumbling mystic with no ambition.

Instead of showing Jimi touring the UK and Europe, writing and performing the most innovative music of the century we are shown scenes of banal mumblings, fictitious gratuitous violence and fictitious mental breakdowns and overdoses.

My initial anxiety turned to scorn for the thoroughly bad screenplay and direction. I became bored and impatient for the end of the film.

The fictional nature of the film left me feeling that the events I was watching were more akin to a made for DVD movie than a biopic.

I felt that I wasn't watching an interpretation of the real events from the time, but rather a stiff and poorly depicted mashup of trivia from events described in my book, sprinkled over Ridley's racially driven fictional theme.

Even the imaginary domestic violence, mental breakdown and drug use that my character was involved in did not evoke the emotional response I expected, and I found myself feeling just as I have when watching other bad movies, impatient for it to just finish and spare me the indignity of having to watch another tiresome scene with wooden dialogue and disjointed editing.

A short-sighted and somewhat offensive portrayal of Jimi and those around him at the time.

Final verdict: Fictional Movie – 2/10 Biopic purporting to be based in fact – 1/10 (for spelling all the names right)
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Hendrix without his Mojo or Hey Joe
steve-131-45883512 October 2014
Jimi: All Is By My Side starts in June 1966, when Jimi Hendrix was just a young struggling R&B musician trying to make it in New York. It ends moments before Jimi leaves London to appear at the Monterey Pop Festival, June 1967.

This was an exciting period in Hendrix's life, but what director/writer John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) offers the audience is a slow-paced drama full of inaccuracies, and not even one note of original Hendrix music. It helps to know a little about the rock star's life before watching the movie, but the more you know, the more fault you find.

The story seems mostly told from the perspective of Linda Keith (Imogen Poots), girlfriend of Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. While Richards is away on tour, Linda discovers Hendrix at a discotheque, introduces him to LSD, and unites him with a producer who has plans to make him a big star in England. Unfortunately, too much of the next 117 minutes focuses on the rivalry between Linda Keith and Hendrix's new girlfriend Kathy Etchingham (Hayley Atwell).

André Benjamin does a decent job of capturing Hendrix's chain-smoking, gum-chewing, cosmic babble persona, but not much of his stage charisma. His lines are a conglomeration of quotes Hendrix said years after this short time frame. The line "When the power of love overcomes the love of power…" was never even said by Hendrix. There are also several uses of current urban slang like "hella" and "fo' real" that easily flow off the tongues of the '60s characters.

The real life Kathy Etchingham has objected to her portrayal in this film from its very start. Etchingham is portrayed as having an instant infatuation with Hendrix but tolerates several beatings from him. Etchingham does admit there was a time when she threw a plate at Hendrix after he made snide comments about her bad cooking, but it was nothing like the bloody scene in the movie where in a jealous rage Hendrix beat her with a telephone receiver until she was unconscious and hospitalized.

Also disappointing was session player Robert "Waddy" Wachtel's take on Hendrix's sound in the studio and on stage. Granted, those are some big shoes to fill, but Wachtel's guitar work falls way below an acceptable line. The scene where Hendrix wins over Chas Chandler (Andrew Buckley)with a stunning guitar solo at the Café Wha? comes off lackluster, as is the version of "Sgt. Pepper's…" which isn't even close to the way The Jimi Hendrix Experience played it on several occasions.

As mentioned earlier, no original Hendrix music was authorized for this movie. Experience Hendrix LLC (run by Hendrix's step-sister) said no to the project early on, so all Hendrix fans are left with are covers like "Wild Thing" and "Killin' Floor." And for some reason, "Hey Joe" was left out. Hendrix's cover of "Hey Joe" was an important motivator for Chas Chandler to bring Hendrix to England. It went to Number 6 in the U.K., but the movie gives the impression that Hendrix wasn't having any chart success.

As the credits role, Benjamin and Wachtel do an odd duet of "Bleeding Heart" in the style of the Hendrix's acoustic version of "Hear My Train a Comin'." The whole experience felt like a low- budget made-for-TV flick that came out in 1974. Jimi Hendrix deserves far better. http://bammagazine.com/hendrix-without-his-mojo-or-hey-joe-2/
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An insult to the man and people who loved him...
ttophaze2 October 2014
I have been an avid Hendrix fan ever since the first time I heard his music back in the sixties. I've listened to all his recordings, watched every video and read most literature written about his life. This film makes Jimi out to be a dull moron who was violent and not interesting! What I would give to have had his talent and beautiful character! He was a lovely human being and the greatest musician to have ever graced this planet! He would have never hurt Kathy as was portrayed in this horrible film! Ridley made it seem that there was no interest in Jimi after he got to London and he lived as a hermit in his London flat... that is so far from the truth! When he played with the Cream, Eric did not walk off stage with anger and jealous envy... he has said in several interviews that he greatly enjoyed the session and had a great time playing with him! I am sad and offended that this garbage was allowed to air throughout the world! I hope that most people agree with me and will not be influenced into believing this trash!
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TIFF Review: All Is By My Side, Night Film Reviews www.nightfilmreviews.com
lucasnochez21 September 2013
When dealing with such an iconic figure such as Jimi Hendrix, sometimes the hardest thing about capturing the essence of a character, the perspectives of a legend, and the workings of a man are the most difficult points to show on screen. Jimi Hendrix is a name that pretty well everyone knows, and a name that many will continue to remember for many years to come. So how does one humanize, arguably, the greatest guitar player who ever lived?

The film itself is an exercise in the practice of subtly and minute brilliance. All Is By My Side is a rustic and antique look at the life of a man; Johnny Allen Hendrix, a man who served the US army and was honourably discharged; Jimmy James, the backing guitarist for the Isley Brother's, Little Richard and Curtis Knight; finally Jimi Hendrix–the experience.

Undoubtedly, first time director, veteran screenwriter and passionate Hendrix fan John Ridley had a difficult time with the production. Relying mostly on passion, Ridley focused on the small instances of Hendrix's career, and navigates through the film with nuanced characters and fragmented events in Hendrix's career.

Its admirable how Ridley, through a slew of obstacles, was still able to delve deep into the world of Hendrix through extensive research. Unable to attain the musical rights from the Hendrix estate, Ridley opted for covers of Hendrix songs and songs Hendrix covered to fill the somewhat hushed void of a musical autobiography. I won't lie in saying that I was quite surprised to see an autobiographical film of one of the loudest and most electric guitarist to be so quiet. The soundtrack is definitely something I will not be rushing to get.

Although Ridley was unable to fill the musical gap of the film, he made up for it visually and in his actors performances. Andrea Benjamin's take on Hendrix will surely be the overlooked performance of the year. Nailing Hendrix's mannerism, voice, passion (or lack there-of) and his nonchalant attitude, Benjamin is spot-on. Not far behind is Imogen Poots and her portrayal of Linda Keith, the woman who was responsible for introducing the world to Hendrix. Poots is an absolute acting force to be reckoned with. Linda's subdue scenes with Hendrix, although somewhat tame and uneventful, give the audience the most auspicious look into the inner workings of the Hendrix psyche.

All Is By My Side will surely be an overlooked film by critics and audiences alike. Substituting thunderous Hendrix stage antics with gorgeous shots of the London landscape, the smokey underground music scene at the time and blurry world of rock and roll, cinematographer Tim Fleming creates an intimate portrayal of a man who was mysterious and misunderstood to others, but to himself as well.

All Is By My Side is a beautiful, quiet and stylistically generous offering to the hardcore Hendrix fan.

Night Film Reviews: 7/10 Stars
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Racist garbage? Try historically accurate.
uberificbrownie6 March 2014
The dude who said this film is racist doesn't understand Jimmi Hendrix's life. He was a complete unknown drifting from venue to venue under a lot of different monikers only to be discovered by the girlfriend of Keith Richards. That was the era he lived in-- as a black musician in that era coupled with his ridiculous dress, he would have never been given a chance otherwise. If you look into his Harlem show, even black people didn't "get" him. If you're a real Hendrix fan, or have read some of his biographies this film aims to stick true to the actual story of his life--not a politically correct version modified for the 21st century.

And borderline autistic? That's how Hendrix spoke. He was incredibly shy and soft spoken unless he had his guitar in his hand. Watch just about any interview on live television where he was talking one on one with the host--it's awkward and clumsy to the point where you think there's something wrong with him. Add on an intense amount of personal substance abuse and you'll be able to understand why Andre 3000's portrayal of Jimi was spot on.

I'd say if you walk into this film with a little bit of historical understanding of Hendrix's life as well as an awareness about the social pressures shaping the man you'll find this film to be a pretty accurate representation on the guitar god.
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An OK movie, and enough with this 'racist' garbage - read his biography.
sigmund_igthorn6 July 2014
The movie was OK. Nor a masterpiece by any means, but a solid entry that shows part of the Hendrix life. I'm not good in writing reviews, in fact I believe that they are pointless, and everyone should base their opinion by seeing a movie. Nevertheless I had to make an entry because of that ignorant 'garbage' and 'racist' review. Do not get me wrong, you are entitled to think about any movie as garbage, and I'm fine with that. But when someone shows his/hers ignorance and calls historic facts racist... That's just sad. Shall we rewrite history? Please read Hendrix biography. If it wasn't for that lady, that was sleeping with Richards, Hendrix would not made a contact with a manager, that helped him develop his career. Sames go with so many (white if that matters - for me not, and if that matters for you, you are the racist... I'd like to remind, that it works both ways..) other people that helped him along the way, e.g. if it was not for McCartney he would _never_ play at the Monterrey Festival... That festival made him well known in the USA, because earlier his hit from Britain did not even enter top 100 in the USA... Similarly with the violence - quite well documented. The guy just couldn't handle alcohol, and changed after it, as so many people do. To sum up - Hendrix would always be a Hendrix (even changing name to Jimi was suggested by a white guy, oops). Great talent, great naivety, and bad life decisions. The point I'm making is, that at that time, without the help of white people, he would not become so famous. Sometimes skills are just not enough, you have to have luck, and met the right people. Do not try to rewrite history... You know also what? These people were so much better than the mindless PC obsessed masses. They didn't care about the skin color, just the talent, the music, the person. Who he was. An that was the late 60s I want to remind you. Not an easy time for people of color (less in Europe, but still). So, people, please watch the movie, read Hendrix biography (or if you are lazy, his Wikipedia page), and stop with this racists BS.
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great rock biopic
Man, I don't know what drugs some of these other reviewers are on. One person seems to be under the impression that the movie claims Jimi didn't play guitar before he came to England. WTF? Another person claims the film is racist because it accurately portrays white people helping Jimi move to London and start his own band. Yet another person claims Eric Clapton didn't walk off the stage when Jimi sat in with Cream because Clapton doesn't mention it when he's interviewed, but plenty of others remember it that way, and Clapton isn't going to go out of his way to bring up something that makes him look bad. Which brings us to Ms. Etchingham. You know, every time you watch a documentary about Hendrix there's an interview with a different woman whose only claim to fame in life is that she slept with Jimi, and they all seem to be self-appointed guardians of his legacy, every one of them was the real true love of his life, and none of them have a single negative word to say about him. But Hendrix was a famous womanizer—how he juggled jealous women is part of the focus of the film—and it is well known that he became angry and violent when he drank. So maybe Jimi beat her and maybe he didn't, but if he did I wouldn't really expect Ms. Etchingham to admit it, and if he didn't it doesn't really bother me that much because the episode can be viewed as a metaphor for a darker side of his personality that really did exist and wouldn't have been explored in the film without that scene.

Artistically I thought the film was a triumph and one of the best rock biopics I've seen. Andre Benjamin NAILS Jimi. He deserves an Oscar nomination for his performance. He obviously spent a lot of time listening to audio of Jimi speaking because he captured the rhythm and inflections of Jimi's speech perfectly. And acting-wise Benjamin was excellent, I thought he got inside Jimi's character even more than Jamie Foxx did in Ray. As an actor he was remarkably in the moment and very subtle. And the female leads are with him all the way, especially Imogen Poots as Linda Keith, she's soooo good. The reviewer who said that the "crazy cuts and directing style" gave him a headache would undoubtedly get a cerebral hemorrhage from a Godard film, the editing was artistically innovative and miles ahead of standard Hollywood flicks like Get On Up and Ray.

As for the lack of original Hendrix songs, in the end it didn't bother me much. In a way it might have worked to the film's advantage, because it forced the director to concentrate more on creating a character study based on dialogue and narrative instead of recreating one performance clip after another, as in Get On Up. And anyhow, two-thirds of the movie takes place before Jimi put together the Experience and started writing songs. I did wonder why they didn't use "Hey Joe" since Jimi didn't write it and he was playing it onstage when Chas Chandler saw him for the first time. But overall, I loved the movie and thought it rocked hard.
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Andre 3000 finally lived his dream of playing Hendrix
bbickley13-921-5866428 September 2014
And he does a great job of capturing the persona of the man.

It's funny, I did not realize how much I knew about Hendrix. Than again, his impact in music was iconic, but his time on the scene was very short, so the info is consolidated. Everything I know about Hendrix comes from second hand accounts from those who knew, or to be more accurate, played with the man. This makes everything going on in the movie feel like Jimi is now telling his side of the story

Comparing this movie to another movie about the guitar god called Hendrix which came out in 2000, which like this movie had no Hendrix music played in it, but All Is by My Side makes you feel like your not missing that.

Andre Benjaminn and the filmmakers really capture the man and make you feel like you hear the music (even though you never do). I been hearing about Andre wanting to play Jimi for 10 years now so he had plenty of time to research the role and it was everything I heard Hendrix to be.

Also, unlike the other Hendrix film, this movie focuses on Hendrix before he became an icon. That year before he broke in America. When he was playing in New York than headed to London and formed the Experience.

It also focus on three woman who had a big influence on his life during this time, this was my favorite part of the film as I had no idea how much I actually knew about Jimi's personal life.

I read one review on this website in which the person who wrote it was upset about racist comments stated in other reviews. This is fitting for a Hendix movie and this part of his career is touched on nicely about how Jimi was not black enough for blacks and should be playing more music for black people, none of them realizing at the time that having a sea of white people worship the ground you walk on is just as good for the cause as James Brown singing a protest song. All Jimi cared about was the music he loved to play and the film was fair about this point.

In comparisons to Get on up, I like this movie way better, but I'm a huge fan of Hendrix. Hopefully one day, we will get a movie using Jimi's music, but it's weird that this movie truly works without it.
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Robert Solheim13 January 2015
I'm a big fan of Jimi Hendrix and his music. I have read many books and watched about every film-bit I have found about him, so I had to really tell myself to take it for what it is, only a movie about a small part of his life.

But seriously? After about an hour into the movie it hit me that many people will maybe only see this film and think that this is how he was.

PLEASE do not take this film seriously. Please, go search for and watch documentaries and read books, this is just too bad to be taken seriously and I see it as a insult, not just to Jimi Hendrix, but to all of the involved artists and other people that was involved in his life.
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Voodoo Child (Shite Return)
martinthered16 July 2014
I agree with Kathy: This film is absolutely laughable... Not worthy of the man, his music, his life and his legacy... I hope that the Hendrix family/estate take whoever made this tripe to the cleaners. Not a story of Jimi the musical pioneer, or even Jimi the man. This is a crass caricature: A hatchet job that plays up to the cliché of the 'wild man of rock' as the 'Badass Troubleman' and all that crap. Wild man of rock he may have been (everybody liked to party in those days), but that doesn't make him a monster. Because Jimi certainly wasn't.

Also the idea that Linda Keith gave Jimi a guitar owned by Keith Richards: and that this 'started Jimi off' is absurd... Richards says himself in his autobiography that he and Linda split long before she met Hendrix (she didn't even leave Keef for Jimi. There were others before him). The guitar credit claim is ludicrous: Every Hendrix fan knows Jimi played guitar long before he came to England. Jimi played his guitar when he was in the army (ask Billy Cox!). Jimi was a guitarist before he knew Ms. Keith existed...

This pile of complete nonsense is disrespectful to Jimi and those who lived with him and loved him... This film about Jimi is similar to Albert Goldman'sbook about John Lennon: Cheap,nasty and attempting to make money out of flinging dirt around. For me this film gets nothing (and I mean nothing!). But seen as there is no zero mark, it will have to be a very reluctant 1...

As for Andre 3000 as Hendrix, It should have marketed as a comedy. What's next? Justin Bieber as Elvis Presley?
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Not that accurate
tetsuwanatom8 March 2014
@uberificbrownie In fact the women featured as Hendrix' friend and lover have come out publicly to declare the film is very inaccurate in several ways. You can read for yourself on the real Linda E.'s web site. She said that Ridley took bits of events that she wrote about in her autobiography and turned them around to fit his modern-day vision. I think she's right in some ways, certainly if you look at Atwell in the movie she's portrayed as being rather common and juxtaposed against Poots' character who is a posh intellectual/romantic.

You see what he's doing right off; Linda E. is the "old" Jimi who played juke joints with few noticing, Linda K helps him find the new Jimi who will be remembered forever. His process going from a back-up blues man to a legend was very likely a lot more complicated than that, and took more than a few notes from a friend to make him what he became.

But that's the Hollywood formula biopic, it encourages simplification of complexities. And sometimes, unfortunately when it comes to observing African American figures, the script may often have a White hand leading the Black hand along (see also 12 YEARS).

The other thing to note is that Ridley does seem to be a political conservative. They tend to observe black and white (not talking about race) more than grey.

It isn't hard to get things right like Hendrix' tone of voice (yes he was soft spoken) or his clothing and hair. Getting the rest "right" is likely harder.
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jimi all is by my side
jjones-173-704430 November 2014
one of the most boring inaccurate bio pics i have ever seen save your hard earned money, very little music, the music scenes that were presented seemed amateurish, Andre's vocals were way off the mark, it would have helped if he could reasonably fake the guitar scenes, but he could not.i thought i was watching Danny Bonaduce and the Partridge family fake it on TV,it was a struggle getting to the end of the movie. Wood Harris at least had Jimi's mannerisms down pat. I think the producer of this movie went for a sensationalist view of the greatest guitar player of all time. It plays more like a soap opera than a biography. As a life long fan of the man and his music, I for one left feeling angry and disappointed at this portrayal, or rather betrayal to the memory of James Marshall Hendrix
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Good acting, poorly told story
mcmusix26 September 2014
I am a pro musician and just watched this in Los Angeles. I've also read many biographies on Jimi's life and seen all the documentaries over the last 30 years about his personal life. It is sad to say that the storytelling is very inaccurate, and mean spirited in regards to Jimi's character. No wonder the estate did not grant musical rights to the director. If I was in charge of the estate, and after watching the film, I would never want to align myself to this production or their staff in any way. It's one thing to work hard and do the best you can do to make a film like this; it is another to defile Jimi's character. I left the screening angry that the filmmakers would do this just to create pathos or something, but have no respect for the artist. My final word to anyone going to view this is: don't believe everything you see in this film.
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Sorry wasted my money on this movie. Acting was good however
Stephanie T22 February 2015
Being a huge Hendrix fan, and studying, researching his life! "Mind you his own words and voice" The direction, writing sucked, the actors were good. Sad the actors were thrown in a bad band meaning the tone and writing were bad! Why? It was not all true ask the real Kathy!!! The film had a depressing tone...André Benjamin did a great job of capturing physical character and hats off for the voice but missed the beat. But hey who the hell could play Jimi 100%. I'm sure André Benjamin could have been greater with an Oliver Stone.

Really all the actors were good, just the band sucked (direction, writing, cinematography, tone, everything) True or not the direction and writing (band) sucked!
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A Golden Opportunity Completely Wasted!
Joe Bloe18 February 2015
I read reports about it long before it was released especially the Hendrix estate refusing their participation and I had the impression, knowing that Janie Hendrix has a reputation for grabbing at every dollar she can out of Jimi Hendrix's legacy, that they were miffed because they weren't given control . So I expected something better than the final outcome which is boring, inaccurate and a waste of time to even the most rabid Hendrix fan which includes me. Ultimately it seems the Hendrix estate made the right decision.

The most accurate thing about this film are the 1 star reviews on IMDb. Whilst the filmmakers might argue this is a dramatic representation of events, they are depicted as factual with the use of sub-titles to identify certain characters and locations, and they could have used a more skillful Hendrix interpreter than Waddy Wachtel. The only thing I thought was good was Andre Benjamin's impersonation of Hendrix from the sound of his speech to the miming of his guitar-playing style.

As a depiction one of the most charismatic and influential musicians of the 20th century, this film was A Golden Opportunity Completely Wasted!
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Inexplicably inept motion picture
lance2423 January 2015
The"2" rating is for Andre Benjamin. It's not his fault if writer/director Ridley wrote the role for an idiot savant guitar player who seemed at best dimwitted and spoke in cosmic idiocies. He played that part quite well. If I didn't know Ridley was involved, and just looked at this film's direction, writing, cinematography, editing and sound mix, I would have said it was an OK effort for a student film. Note to would be filmmakers: if you don't have music rights in a musical biopic--don't make the movie. The notion that we would be interested in competing girlfriends from 50 years ago (NOT INTERESTING AT ALL) and would somehow not notice the absence of scenes from Woodstock or Monterrey, is simply unacceptable. The next time I teach that part of my class in legal issues in the music business which relates to film and TV, I'm going to make my class watch this Razzie-worthy failure and I won't have to say a word about why rights are important.
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Crippled without the assistance of the Hendrix estate, the film is in a disarray...
moonspinner558 August 2015
Failed musical-bio on the career of American rock and blues musician Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970), whose life spiraled out of control at the age of 27, leading to his accidental death from an overdose of barbiturates. André Benjamin was a very fine choice for the leading role: he has the charisma and stage presence needed to play Hendrix, plus his dramatic acting is also good (he broods prettily). Unfortunately, writer-co-producer-director John Riley was unable to get the necessary musical assistance from the artist's estate and, without Hendrix's original music in the film, a hole is left in the finished product. Ridley perhaps panicked, using a messy editing technique to substitute for a narrative. The many chapter stops and starts strand the movie in a kind of 'artistic' past-or-present netherworld. The whole thing would feel like a horrible sham were it not for Benjamin's performance. He rated a better movie--and Hendrix's fans deserved one. *1/2 from ****
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terrible representation of a legend
bryan41522 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
most of the happenings in this film seem to make Jimi out to be a crazed drug addict when in reality he was not. Jimi above all else was an artist and a fashion icon. Kathy Etchingham swears that Jimi never hit her, yet there is a scene in the film that shows jimi beat the crap out of her with a phone.... what the hell are they trying to do to the legend's image? Are they trying to discredit the incredible body of music he created? I don't know, but I've read the memoirs of many who knew Jimi deeply and none of them describe the character that I saw in this film. Period.
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Discreasfully inaccurate and without Hendrix music
pdgrzybowski25 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The film portraits Hendrix as domestic abuser while in real life supposedly beaten woman denies that and sues filmmakers. There are no evidence that Jimi battered a woman. Also filmmakers did not get permission form artist's family and couldn't use Jimi's music and this is just ridiculous. I really hope that John Ridley will have to pay loads of cash for slandering Hendrix and that he will be laugh at for inaccuracy of biopic and inability to put the right music into a movie.

It is sad that performance of Andre 3000 was wasted like that. What a shame. Paying for that movie in any shape or form will mean that basically you gave cash to guy who offended memory of Jimi Hendrix. Please don't do that!
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Feels like out-takes from a better movie
bosozoku20 October 2014
My biggest issue with Jimi: All Is Beside Me is that it's full of scenes that simply don't work and would have been cut from a better movie. In fact, the movie's structure and style completely fail to pull the audience into the story. It's off-putting overall.

Imagine walking into a room with someone holding an interesting phone conversation. You've missed the first part of the conversation, you're only hearing one side of the rest of it, and you want to hear more. You kind of get the idea, but nobody will tell you anything more. You feel excluded.

That's how I felt in the theater. Not enough backstory, incomplete and uninformative situations and dialog, no emotional core, no heart. Just an assemblage of vignettes that don't add to the story and give us no insight of any depth into Jimi's psyche and inner life. I felt excluded, and judging by the whispered comments of other people in the theater, I wasn't the only one.

To make things worse, there isn't even one single great scene. Every good movie needs at least one great scene. The James Brown biopic, Get on Up, had several great scenes (especially the electrifying musical performances.) I kept hoping for a big moment, but it never happened.

There are plenty of other issues with editing, cinematography, and writing. For example: freeze-framing to introduce characters and locations, film-schoolish camera work, occasional terribly written dialog including something to the effect of "I'm the manager of the Rolling Stones ... you're the girlfriend of Keith Richards" even after the freeze-frames with character names.

And not enough, you know, MUSIC. There was plenty of beautiful guitar on the soundtrack, but I wanted more rehearsal and concert scenes. Hendrix was one of the greatest guitarists out planet has ever produced. The film didn't show enough of his creative process or virtuosity.

Now for the good parts: very good performances by all the actors, and art direction that totally nails the '60s look and feel. Unfortunately the acting and art department weren't enough to save it for me (not even with my huge crush on Hayley Atwell.)
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Director Burns Boiled Water: A Ridiculous Sewer Drop Into Nonsense
Andrew Hamilton9 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I watched and watched and watched and watched...and realized that none of the "traumatic" set ups that Ridley put in place were ever going to paid off...not EVER. I knew something was wrong when 2/3s into the movie the Jimi Hendrix character never sang. not once. I am aware that Hendrix had a reticence about singing but began to get over it very early in his career. Not according to THIS dungheap of a movie, according to "All is By My Side" Hendrix was still beedly beedly beedly on his guitar only and everyone was gobsmacked for it and nothing else LONG into his stay in London. This is horrible. I surmised that Ridley didn't get permission to use the actual Hendrix songs and didn't have an actor that could actually sing anything at all (became apparent toward the end with the Sgt Pepper's murdering of Hendrix version of the Beatles version. version) What a catastrophic waste of time to lure fans into a rock biopic without first getting any permission to play, perform, provide renditions for the ACTUAL ROCK PERFORMER!

The second major deflation of this maggot excrement film is the ridiculous confusing attempt at plot lines over and over and over. All failed a perfect 0-20 times! Screwing up the most fascinating life story of the greatest guitarist in Rock history is like taking on the role of "Master Chef" at a gourmet restaurant and then finding a way to screw up boiling water. It would seem impossible, but Ridley found a way. No measurable progression of a blues guitarist slowly coming into his own as a rock blues demi god and slowly destroying himself with drugs: LSD, cocaine, heroine. Nope - there is a MAJOR setup for his introduction to LSD in the beginning and I thought, "OK here we go" and then an hour later - no pay off nothing. It was almost as if Ridley wanted to portray Hendrix as a Mormon who never did drugs at all! The great stories behind Purple Haze (Hendrix most popular song) is never even mention, NOR IS PURPLE HAZE!!!! How can you have a Jimi Hendrix Biopic without mentioning Purple Haze!!?!? You can't and that is why this isn't a biopic its a Suckopic and should never be viewed by anyone except the Director - while in Hell over and over and over (which would be hell in and of itself I think).

And there are set ups with the former drummer of the Animals - (who provided the unique sound and feelof "Manic Depression") but we never learned who the frack this guy is or was and there is no mention whatsoever of "Manic Depression" or the fact that the drummer was formerly of the Animals. Horrible horrible horrible movie. And now the creme de la creme or "burnt boiling water" in Director Ridley's case, Jimi Hendrix was involved for a short time with Janis Joplin who died of a drug overdose and then Jimi himself died of drug overdose. Not according to Burnt Water Ridley - there was no mention of a Joplin friendship and NO REFERENCE WHATSOEVER TO HENDRIX DEATH BY OVERDOSE! How!? How!? How do you burn boiling water Ridley!? Easy, he was lazy and cheap and didn't secure the rights to tell the story as it happened. He tried to retell it in a crappy way that ruined it. SO annoyed that I had to waste my time on this terrible attempt at film makery. Don't bother renting or streaming this stupid film fakery - just watch it on youtube - it has the same quality as a youtube maker's movie.
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Disappointing, ignores the wellspring of Jimi's creativity.
Brian Markle29 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this film at TIFF here in Toronto, and really wanted to give the director a piece of my mind during the audience Q&A (because I was fuming!) but decided to be welcoming and let the reception of the film at the box office give the director the required feedback.

The film focuses on two white women that were instrumental in the success of Hendrix (were they?), and it also portrays Hendrix as a stereotypical black man who abuses his woman. The film also doesn't contain any of Hendrix's own musical compositions.

So this film must have been made by a white man, correct? Probably a racist white man that thought that Hendrix needed to be knocked off his pedestal? Similarly, if the first feature length biopic of Einstein didn't reference any of his works and showed that he was catapulted to fame by non-Jews and he abused his wife, you would think that the film was made by an anti-Semite. Well, surprise, the film was made by a black man. My only conclusion is that this is a case of an Oreo, and that a better film would be to investigate the forces that motivated the film maker to make such a film. On the positive side, Andre Benjamin did an excellent job, given the handcuffs of the script. Hopefully, someone will make a film on Hendrix that does justice to his creative genius.
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eazaudio23 March 2015
This film.....Is a "sensationalized" fabrication of the truth. It claims in the film that Jimi was involved in domestic violence. It claims that he was an abusive male towards women...Of course I did not know Jimi...but I KNEW!!! as soon as I heard it!!! this BULL!!! that it was a LIE!!! A fabrication of the truth in order to create some kinda "buzz" surrounding the film. I even read that the women that was the "claimed" victim is still alive and even SHE SAYS IT IS NOT TRUE!!! outrageous!!! "All Is By My Side" is the name of the film. I was excited to see as were I am sure many others. But with this recent press revealing this LIE!!! I will not see it EVER!!! Andre Benjamin plays Jimi and John Ridley directs it (12 years a Slave director). I really was excited to see it. But now NO WAY!!! in fact what ever this guy (John Ridley) has...is...or will direct I WILL NOT SEE!!! he is finished with me!!!! As i stated early in this post...I did not know Jimi personally(of course) but I immediately KNEW!!! IT WAS A LIE!!! Before I even read the additional media about the female depicted in the "domestic violence" stating that it is NOT TRUE!!! What a SCUMBAG this John Ridley must be!!! SHAME!!! SHAME!!!
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Two Thumbs Up for Andre's Performance
cyorkgo16 December 2014
As a Hendrix fan I have read most of his biographies. So I was excited to see this movie. Actually, as a fan I am excited about anything Jimi Hendrix.

I think most people reviewing the film take themselves as fans too serious. I respect those that are attempting to keep the integrity of Jimi Hendrix legacy intact, but some people are really going overboard.

So, focusing on film itself: Loved it! I think Andre really did a great job at playing Jimi. I also thought the acting was very good. The writers did a great job considering the estate wouldn't work with them. It may not have been 100% historically accurate but it definitely was NOT garbage. It is a very good movie.

So for those of you that have not seen the movie - watch it from a movie lover's stand point. Watch it from a fan's perspective. If you do so, you will appreciate the movie. It you approach it from a critics standpoint, because you "knew" Jimi or you have read every book or you are/where Jimi's biggest fan - you may not appreciate the art.
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Jimi "Almost Famous": Andre Benjamin's performance will floor you
Paul Allaer23 October 2014
"Jimi: All Is By My Side" (2013 release from the UK; 118 min.) brings the story of Jimi Hendrix before he rockets to mega-stardom. The movie opens with a quick scene from London's Saville Theatre, June 4, 1967, where Jim is about to play a gig. We then go back a year, as we see Jimi toiling away in the Cheetah Club in NY as a rhythm guitarist in an anonymous band. By sheer coincidence, in the audience is Linda (Keith Richards' then-girlfriend) and she takes an interest in Jimi. It's not long before Jimi is tempted to come to London, with the promise of headlining gigs and making records. Jimi lands in London on September 22, and that same day still meets Kathy, a beautiful redhead. At this point we're maybe 15-20 min. into the movie. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Several comments: first, this movie is written and directed by John Ridley, best known for his Oscar-winning script for "12 Years A Slave". Second, much has been made about the fact that the Hendrix estate did not allow for any Hendrix-written songs to be featured in the movie. In fact, this may have been a blessing in disguise, as now the movie focuses on Jimi "Almost Famous", and we get a much better insight in the man and the making of the Experience, while still getting some great musical nuggets too (more on that later). Why is it that Hendrix moved to London? How did the Experience form exactly? You'll find it all here in this movie. Third, the performance of Andre Benjamin (better known as Andre 3000 of OutKast) will absolutely floor you. You see him and you absolutely believe it is Jimi. He brings the role with a relaxed but confident flair. At one point, when asked about how he feels, Hendrix responds "We're broke but we're cool", ha! Hayley Atwell (best know for her role as Peggy Carter in the Marvel franchise of movies) is equally up to the task as Kathy (the real-life Kathy, incidentally, has decried the movie as 'pure fiction'). Fourth, so we do not get Hendrix-penned songs, but there is still PLENTY of musical performances in the movie such as his cover of "Wild Thing" (which plays in the movie and again over the end titles), another famous cover that plays in the June, '67 Saville show (I won't spoil...), and of course lots of jamming. Last but not least, if you are a fan of music history, you owe it to yourself to check this out. Sure, a lot if not most is fictionalized, but I couldn't stop marveling at the overall feel of the movie, including of course the 'Swinging Sixties" that was London then. The attention to details is exquisite (at one point, Jimi and Kathy are listening to the radio. BBC? Of course not! Radio Caroline! ah, the memories).

"Jimi: All By My Side" opened without any pre-release fanfare or warning this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. I couldn't believe my luck and went to see it right away. The matinée screening where I saw this at was attended okay but not great, which is a shame. There is a LOT to like about this movie, and I'd suggest you check it out, be it in the theatre, or on DVD/Blu-ray. "Jimi: All By My Side" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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