The final Weekend Movie Preview for the month of September highlights four new films that are landing in the nation's movie houses.
Denzel Washington is back in action in The Equalizer, LAIKA returns with their third film -- The Boxtrolls -- and Jimi Hendrix gets the biopic treatment with Jimi: All Is By My Side. Oh, and we would be remiss to leave out the stunning journey that is Simon Pegg's announcement of dramatic talent in Hector and the Search for Happiness.
Let's break it down...
The Equalizer: Washington is astounding in this origins story that tells how a former black ops military man, who now toils at a Home Depot-type place, rises to the occasion of helping a young Russian girl break out of the mob-owned chains that bind her. The film is based on the '80s TV show, but really only uses the lead character's name and the title. Other than that, it is a completely different feel and message.
As we stated in our The Equalizer review, Washington and director Antoine Fuqua have done it again. The two made Oscar-winning greatness with Training Day and have done that kind of work again with this action flick.
The Boxtrolls: The people who gave us Coraline and ParaNorman have done it again with their latest stop-motion animation tale. The story of trolls that live beneath the city of Cheesebridge is told with such heart and humility that it is a true family film with everything that that means.
The voice cast is astounding, particularly an unrecognizable Ben Kingsley -- our The Boxtrolls review points out -- and Elle Fanning is also completely and utterly charming as the wise-cracking Winnie. When it comes to movies to see with the kids, you cannot lose with The Boxtrolls.
Jimi All Is By My Side: Hendrix is a rock icon, there is no doubt. But, what came before? That is the question posed with this biopic that follows Hendrix in his early days as an R&B band guitarist who is convinced by the girlfriend of Keith Richards to move to London to try to make it as a solo act.
Our Jimi: All Is By My Side review points out that star Andre Benjamin is astounding as Hendrix, and Imogen Poots brilliant as the woman who inspires him. It's just that the film suffers from pacing issues, which is unfortunate for a film about a man that is so enigmatic.
Hector and the Search for Happiness: Pegg blows us away with a turn that is equally as dramatic and comedic. Pegg is Hector and he is a psychiatrist with a wildly successful practice, a lovely girlfriend (Rosamund Pike) and generally what should be a happy life. The one thing is though, he has no idea what makes people happy. That is a problem for a person charged with that duty!
Hector heads out across on the world on a journey to determine what is happiness and along the way, our Hector and the Search for Happiness review reported, we find utter joy as well.