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So begins the new ANNIE inside a classroom where a redheaded girl wraps up an annoying presentation... and then it's time for the next student, also named ANNIE, played by last year's Oscar nominated Quvenzhané Wallis, who not only trumps this movie's pseudo Annie but the original, Aileen Quinn's iconic orphan, is outdone in one aspect – compared to a haves and have nots opening number inspired by The New Deal, FDR never had such posthumous promotion.
ANNIE, a MR. DEEDS style mainstream comedy with pop culture references galore, introduces each character as if they were cameos in a parody instead of a genuine remake, or in this case... altering from the 1930's into modern day... a reboot.
Wallis sleepwalks through the pains and joys of the title character, and replacing Carol Burnett as the mean orphanage or rather Foster Home den mother is Cameron Diaz. Almost letting her guard down right off the bat, Miss Hannigan seems more like a cranky Aunt than a villain with a hatred for little girls Providing the orphans nothing to really fear. In fact they seem completely at home, and in control: The place ain't too shabby.
Warbucks Unnamed The real heavy is Bobby Cannavale, stepping into the Tim Curry role as a nefarious climber seeking a big raise from his boss, the new Daddy Warbucks in the form of Jamie Foxx as Stacks, a cell phone magnate running for New York City Mayor and, losing in the polls, he takes in an orphan for a needed boost.
During their pivotal field trip bonding experience, Foxx and Wallis have the awkward non-chemistry of two actors who just started rehearsing lines. Stacks isn't very uptight to begin with for his eventual heart-melting transition to matter, while Annie doesn't seem to really need anything, much less a new parent. Songs between the duo border banal and creepy. And as Rose Byrne attempts tying loose ends together, there's just not anything between anyone – even the dog seems bored.
The original hard knocking classics aside, the new tunes lend nothing to an actual story, which isn't an entertaining rags to riches coming-of-age musical but a pointless attempt to bring a famous Comic Strip/Broadway/Cinema character back to life by throwing everything into the pot, hoping something will land.
Here is my honest review.
If you hated the original Annie or if you don't care for musicals, then this may not the movie for you. As a person who was a huge fan of the 1982 version of Annie, I was so afraid that the film would overly mimic the original. Instead, the film was not, as critics claimed, a "black rendition"; It is a 2014 remake containing a multi-racial cast, with an African American lead actress.
The 11 year old Quvenzhane Wallis was just as spunky and memorable as Aileen Quinn was when she played in the 1982 version. Cameron Diaz is not Carol Burnett, so those who compare the two are not being fair to Cameron. Instead, I was surprisingly impressed by Ms. Diaz. She embodied the original role, while making it her own.
Every actress/actor, song choice, story line, etc. gave fans of the original a taste of the old, while presenting the timeless Rags to Riches story of Annie to a new generation.
I truly enjoyed this film. I am thankful for the negative reviews, because my expectations going into the theater were so low. I wasn't the only person who enjoyed the film. The sold out theater, burst into clapping immediately after the show was over. I heard one woman say "It was like seeing a movie and being at a play at the same time". She could not have described the moment any better.
But now, some years later, and 2 daughters later, I find myself watching the older versions of these movies on television. They are tolerable, and the music in the old version of Annie was pretty good. Unfortunately, this version of Annie was the worst "re-master" of any movie or play I have seen.
I will start with the good. Cameron Diaz plays a good drunk. Not sure how much acting there really is to be done there. That is it on the good news.
The bad news: Quvenzhané Wallis (Annie) – Maybe my kids have been spoiled by the Disney Channel, but no amount of auto tune can fix this girls voice. She can't dance, and is basically held together by the other girls portraying orphans. I don't care that she looks cute, has "pretty hair" or matches a demographic stereo type of what we are supposed to think of when we think foster kid. Last I remember she was in 12 Years a Slave. Can't quite remember her role there, but it had to have been better than this. The highlight, well, lets call it the apex of the movie is her solo and it was the hardest 2 minutes of my life. My 5 year old, walked over to me, and asked if we could leave, unfortunately, for the both of us, my 9 year old still wanted to hold on and see if the movie "got better." Spoiler alert it did not. Annie in this movie does not know how to read. I recently saw an interview with Wallis on television, and I think it may actually be true. She couldn't read from the queue cards during the interview either. Overall, this untalented little actress, even with all today's technology, can't even portray a homeless girl, who lives with a drunk, and is adopted by a rich business man. Out of the million or so girls that probably tried out for this role, she had to have been the worst. I will say this she must have dang good connections in order to win, and destroy a role such as Annie.
Jamie Foxx - (who I usually like) portrays a big money business man gunning for mayor. Foxx, previous portrayal of Ray Charles was amazing to me. In Annie however, he apparently would be better off being Ray Charles than Jamie Fox. His voice is auto tuned to high heaven, my two year old has more dance moves than he does, and it is a little hard to portray him as a rich business man taking care of an orphan, when his last great movie had him playing a freed slave who was really good at murdering people.
Cameron Diaz - As stated before, she plays a really good drunk, either from experience, or acting skills, she has that part down. Everything else tanks from there. Her voice is the worst of the cast, only slightly behind Quvenzhané Wallis (Annie) Rose Byrne - She has the dance moves I will give her that but very limited singing skills. Why she is in the movie, I am not sure. If only to break up the terrible dialogue between Foxx and Wallis, I guess it's worth it.
Content: For a movie directed towards kids, there are a ton of alcoholism jokes. Alcoholism is not a joke. I get that there are a percentage of foster parents out there, working solely for the government check, and I understand that the State may not do a good job placing these poor children . But come on, the movie wants me to believe that the State took a ton of ethnically diverse children of multiple ages, and left them with a drunk anglo women, sulking on her "what might have been past?" I don't buy it, neither did my kids.
Music: The music throughout the entire movie seems to be auto tuned to the highest levels technology can provide. The writers tried to "spice it up a bit" by adding some new songs, but each of them was terrible in its own special way. I feel sorry for any and all of the side actors, or even the extra's who had to sit around for hours, while the cast undoubtedly bellowed and belched out their lyrics. If you are going to make a musical, for heaven sakes, find some musically inclined people, and go from there. The Sun never is going to come out, never again, not ever. Frankly, the sun is too embarrassed by the ghetto'd up version this classic song and the destruction of this classic story.
Shove a political message down our throat.
Shove these horrible remakes down our throat with politically correct casts and actors.
From what I understand, the girl that played Annie was an absolute spoiled brat.
Yeah ... she'll go far in that town. The bad ones always do.
If anyone needs me, I'll be bleaching my eyes.
The movie was terrible, the flow of it was all over the place, no proper story build up or background (as for example to why Mr Stacks would in 3 minute space without much convincing even though he did not come across as much of a people person decide to take Annie into his home.)
The songs just came out of the blue and were very irritating to listen to.
The lead Quvenzhané Wallis although not much to her fault but rather the scripts came across as a really loud and annoying brat.
The only reason I gave it a 2 was I found Jamie Foxx's role to be rather enjoyable and humourfull but besides that don't bother wasting your time.
Yet another classic remade to be some sort of "modern" adaptation.
Annie was one of the best movies there was and now the remakes have come out they don't compare. This movie is one of the worst remakes and makes you wanna grind your teeth listening to this dribble. Thousands spent on the movie and yet still not even enjoyable, nothing about this adaption was enjoyable and the lame jokes. What is with Cameron Diaz and acting like she's miss thing? She was nothing but a drama queen who needed a life.
Subtle reverse-racism is at play here. It's a dig on white people being uncool. It's perpetuated in plenty of black comic acts. We are supposed to be promoting acceptance! Shame on them.
Annie, Will Gluck's musical film, and I am using that term loosely, is wrong-headed in concept and execution. After two vain attempts to film the successful Broadway hit, this latest version sucks all the life and last glimmers of hope that was so evident in the original production. Updated to present-day NYC, this new updated version Whereas, the Broadway musical had buckets of charm, a great score sung by talented performers that stressed comedy, and a book that clung to the nostalgic memories of the twenties, this debacle has anti-charm, alters the score with synthesized percussion and bombastic orchestrations, distorts songs so poorly crooned by non-singers (with the sole exception of Mr. Foxx who has some vocal talents and rhythm), and a dumbed-down script that resorts to food-spitting as high comedy (at least three times). It's just awful.
The screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna and the director never finds the right footing. In this Annie, our plucky heroine is not an orphan, but a foster child in search of her parents. She is still living with the self-absorbed Miss Hannigan, now a wash-up singer from the 90's pop group, C +C Music Factory. Daddy Warbucks becomes Will Stacks, a germaphobic businessman running for mayor. They meet and Annie becomes his photo opportunity until his heart is melted by this young ragamuffin. The film uses the original source as an outline, losing all the clever repartee and creating new dialog that is contemporary sounding for all the worse reasons. (Example: When looking for the dog, Sandy, to adopt, Stacks says to Annie: "Don't pick that one! It's licking its own who-ha." Moments of this sophistication just can't express my total displeasure with this film adaptation.)
Gluck's heavy-handed direction is everywhere. No one can escape it. The director can't stage a scene with any musical flair. The dancing is sloppy, the singing merely adequate, and the acting settles into non-stop mugging. The wondrous score from Charlie Strouse and Martin Charnin is as diluted as the filmmakers. Many of the musical numbers are throwaway moments and never build to anything resembling entertainment. (Only one song, It's a Hard- Knock Life, at least, has some energy and fun.)
Quvenzhané Wallis plays the title role and she does look cute enough to play Annie, but she has a limited vocal range and comes off as saccharine and insincere. The aforementioned Mr. Foxx has some style, but is given little to do except look grumpy and bothered until he transforms, due to his love for the little tyke, into a lovesick sap. As Stack's helpful crew, Rose Bryne is wasted and Bobby Cannavale is an embarrassment of riches. Coming off worse of all is Cameron Diaz playing Miss Hannigan. It would be unfair to compare her performance to the legendary Dorothy Loudon. Let's just say Ms. Diaz is just loud and leave it at that. (That she plays this beloved villain as cruel and seriously hateful only shows her misinterpretation of the role and serious miscasting of the part of Mr. Gluck.) Sadly, this film is one-stop- shopping to find these actors' worst performance in their careers.
The film has the New York vibe, but it seems to be in its own alternate universe, gritty but not too gritty, real, but not too real. The production design by Marcia Hinds is dreadful (Stacks' penthouse looks like a modern architecture horror inspired by George Jetson.), the costumes by Renee Ehrlich Kalfus are unflattering and do little to endear the characters, and the cinematography by Michael Grady is bland at best.
Perhaps, I should stop here, looking toward a better tomorrow when the sun will come up once again. But this feel-good movie just made me feel all so bad. So, I will end with this warning: Taking your family to see this film is a form of child abuse. This Annie deserves to be alone. GRADE: D
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As soon as my children (especially my daughter) saw the trailer, she was excited about seeing the movie. I tried to get her to watch the original so she would know what this remake is based on, and she did not like the original. She gave it 30 minutes max...but she loved Annie 2014 from beginning to end. THAT is the reason this movie was redone. Whoever watches it needs to go into it ready and excited about seeing the new Annie or else you will have a problem with it.
Regarding the plot--Ahhh...the movie is so sweet. It tugged on my heartstrings just like the original. It's not a brand new plot, just a modernized one. Only downside for me was that Wallis didn't have the same strong vocals as Quinn (the previous Annie). Wallis's acting was spot on though. This 2014 version also didn't sing "Tomorrow" to death like the first one, but I happened to like the repetitiveness of the song in the original version. This one focused more on Jay Z's version of "Hard Knocks Life". Given the modern feel, that worked. Overall, I thought it was absolutely beautiful.
I feel like I should thank Will and Jada Smith for having the vision to do this movie, despite all the "Annie should be white with red hair and freckles" backlash and recent Sony issues. The casting was perfect. Jamie Foxx stole the show. He's handsome, can sing, and he's funny. Cameron Diaz was perfect too and laugh-out-loud-funny as Ms. Hannigan. Rose Byrne as Grace fit well, and it was good to see the actors I will always know as Adebisi (Oz) and Sgt. Angel Batista (Dexter). I loved the diverse cast.
What made me happiest, above seeing a modern version of a classic I loved, is that my 7 year old daughter and I were able to enjoy this one together. Not only do I get to sing "Tomorrow" with her, but she got to see a child that looked like her on the big screen in a positive role. My generation didn't have that.
The film's messages are so simple and cliché in the Western world as to not worth arguing about(that's a good thing): The love of family(biological and chosen) is more important than material gain. Lonely people are still lonely at the top. Everybody needs love. Greed leads to evil.
It's a children's movie for Pete's sake!
My toddler and middle-schooler-both boys-were hooked from start to finish, but so were my husband and I! The music was catchy and upbeat. Quvenzhane Wallis was a bright shining star and was such a joy to watch. She really was a heart warmer and a convincingly hopeful foster child. In fact, the entire cast was charming, including Carmen Diaz.
Many of the ratings here were questionable until further reading. How does a movie get so utterly slammed before it's even come out? Go home boot leggers! Complaints about Quvenzhane Wallis not being the "real" Annie abound. I've seen the word n**ger tossed about and believe those bitter sentiments are the source of the majority of the negative "audience" reviews. Critics missed the entire point of this film and can safely be ignored.
We live in an upscale part of Boca. It's predominantly white, as was the viewing audience. I'd read the reviews prior to seeing the movie and intentionally watched the audience to see their reactions. I mean, if a movie is a 2-star overall, it should reflect that in a random audience, right? People should be disappointed and bored! But no. Adults and children alike, black, white, Hispanic, and some Asians, were all tuned in and appeared joyfully entertained throughout. A group home for teens with Down's Syndrome were seated in front of us. One of the young men was so excited for Annie that he was standing up and cheering for her along the way. We all were. A middle aged white mother with her two blond haired daughters was seated next to my eldest son, "This is so great, isn't it?", she asked enthusiastically at the movie's halfway point. My son beamed and told her he loved it. Annie received a sustained applause at the end and I knew it would. The audience had fallen in love with her journey and with her.
Annie is cheesy, simplistic, clichéd, redundant, auto-tuned, and almost a full 2-hours long. It's also whimsical, joyfully entertaining, heartwarming, packed with talented performances, groundbreaking in its characterization of Annie as a little black girl, and supports messages about family and love that are virtually inarguable. In other words, it's an excellent holiday film!
Ignore the ratings slam that the movie is receiving, many of of which are from people who are quite obviously racist and others subtly so, and see for yourself. Oh, and if you loved it, please rate it.
30 seconds into the movie, it was clear that a lot of money had been put into this project. The opening credits displayed many large names in the music and film industry, desperately trying to use ethos to appeal to the audience. As a matter of fact, it worked and I was quite excited when I saw names such as Jay-Z, and Will and Jada Smith as producers. Even the cast was loaded with names such as Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, and Rose Byrne. B-listers at best, but still names that were familiar. Visually, the opening 30 seconds were fantastic. If the rating of this movie was solely based on the visual appearance, I would definitely consider an 8 or 9 out of 10 because the editing was fantastic.
After those first 30 seconds, the movie quickly tanked when the first words were spoken. It did not take a movie connoisseur to realize just how terrible the acting was. It was quite unfortunate that so many famous people were involved, and could not even bring in one decent actress. Annie's performance was quite sub-par. Some might say that it was impressive for a child of her age, but still it was pretty distracting from the plot. Jamie Foxx, playing the self-made billionaire "Mr. Stacks" might have been the most believable actor because his character's pretentious attitude seemed to fit his real-life demeanor.
Perhaps the most cringe-worthy performance of all was Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan. So much so that it deserves its own paragraph. The drunken foster mom could not have overacted and exaggerated more than she did. I promise you that my high school "Introduction to Acting" class could have produced a better actress than her performance. Every single word spoken sounded so incredibly forced and scripted. There was not one moment during the movie that I actually believed a word spoken from her mouth. When I say cringe-worthy performance, I am speaking literally and I cringed during every single scene of hers. All I could imagine was the embarrassment felt watching her own performance at the premiere, and the people who had to pretend like they enjoyed it when they ran into her afterwards.
Although Diaz and other actors did not perform well, there was one tragic flaw that really made this movie terrible: the music. The modern adaptation included many of the classic songs from the original musical, and also featured new songs composed by popular artists like Sia. The lyrics of the new songs could not have been worse. It genuinely sounded like a poem written by a 10 year old, not like a song worthy of Broadway or Hollywood. Along with that, not one cast member could sing. I could hear dozens of people physically laughing at the autotune used on the actors in this movie. Furthermore, the arrangement of the music was so try-hard. It was incredibly obvious that the composers wanted to make the music sound more like hip-hop and less like showtunes, but it was still awful. It's been 24 hours, and I still can't get over just how bad the singing was. Again, you would imagine that such a star-studded team of producers would be able to hire at least one singer.
Conceivably the most sense of false hope I had for the movie was when Tracie Thoms appeared on screen. (She is known for playing Joanne in Rent, a phenomenal singer). I finally thought that there would be a song that was pure, and not autotuned through the roof. Unfortunately, Thoms never got to display her vocal talent. Whose idea was it to cast Thoms in a musical and not let her sing? I do not know, and frankly I don't want to know because I don't believe that this casting director should ever work in Hollywood again.
Overall, there is nothing I can advise you more than to stay away from the modern adaptation of Annie. Whether or not you like or have seen the original, I guarantee you that this will still be a bad movie. Many people have asked me, "do you think that you didn't enjoy it just because you're comparing it to the original?" My honest answer is that even if the original didn't exist, this would still be one of the worst movies of the decade. Please do not see Annie (2014). Luckily, I cannot imagine this will stay in theaters for long. To summarize this movie in one word: yikes.
This film, a modern remake of the 1982 classic is rather delightful, the beginning sequence pulled me in immediately and the first classroom scene where ironically a class member with ginger hair, freckles and a red cardigan is giving a presentation before our modern Annie is called up to do hers is hilarious and clever in itself. Also seeing Annie's journey to the restaurant really highlighted the modernness of this film. It's set in 2014. Not the depression.
The modern remakes of the songs are both fun and energetic though i do miss the orchestra feel of the 1982 film. Quvenzhane Wallis (Annie) is very talented and despite the unnecessary auto tune here and there, pulls off Annie amazingly, her take on Sia's Opportunity gave me goose bumps. This film is filled with hilarious fresh one liners especially from Jamie Foxx, who plays the modern and very accurate version of Mr Warbucks.
This film will surely make you laugh, the only downside i have is the fact that they could have done a LOT more Choreographically, for example the choreography in the original hard knock life was astounding whereas this version not so much. I also found one or two of the random song break made me cringe. But the major downfall was the choreography and the fact their are only 5 foster kids, these things are the reason i can't give the film a 10/10.
This is NOT Political correctness, most people fail to realize that 1982 Annie based off a fictional cartoon strip, was set during the great Depression and a time where Irish and Ginger folk, two of Annie's attributes were highly marginalized and carried negative stigma, that's what made Annie special. The fact that she made people see through all of that and love her for the sweet adventurous child she was despite her social class. This modern reboot portrays Annie as a black girl another marginalized group, if you don't believe me, look at all the racist reviews. Annie could be any child, Black, White, Asian, but the fact she was a ginger opened a lot of eyes and hopefully this film will too.
PS. I took my kids who have seen the original to watch this and they loved it, no mention of race, no mention of Annie's hair, so you grown adults complaining do look pathetic.
All in All, GO SEE THIS FILM! And if you like it, write a review.
GO BUY THE DVD OF THE ORIGINAL!
This is a film that celebrates the wonders of childhood: it reminds us of how precious our little girls are. "Annie 2014" will make you laugh, smile, and it will warm your heart. There are some wonderful and touching moments—-those are the moments you look forward to if you watch this film a second or third or fourth time!
Q. Wallis' performance is energetic and genuine. Her singing is stellar. No wonder why Annie has two Golden Globe nominations (best actress in musical and best original song). The way Wallis sings "Opportunity" is breathtaking! Wow!
Our contemporary Annie is authentic and smart. She navigates the streets of New York with the hope that one day the sun will shine upon her and she will find her parents. I love her assertiveness –"I am a foster child, not an orphan." In many ways, Annie is a role model... we should all learn from her! About the other characters: R. Byrne is a lonely sweet and intelligent assistant who finds a friend in Annie. C. Diaz portrays a hopeless/bitter failed-singer who now takes care of the foster little girls. J. Foxx plays a funny, lonely and ambitious Mayor-of-New York candidate. He too sings with passion and heart. I love how Lou, the Latin guy, adds a spicy, funny and sweet twist.
Any flaws with this movie? Yes. Some songs are bad and some scenes are terribly silly. But those flaws do not eclipse the great message, the great music, and the great acting. The more I watch it, the more I love Annie and her quest.
Overall, "Annie 2014" delivers what it promises – music, family comedy, and sentiment.
From the time Little Orphan Annie hit the funny papers 90 years ago, she was a white orphan girl with curly red hair and a shaggy mutt named Sandy as her pet dog. The tradition continued into a 1930s radio series.
This ridiculous new version attempts to co-opt the image and turn the whole thing upside down with a black Annie and a black Daddy Warbucks type character now renamed Will Stacks - a billionaire/politician. Whoever held the copyright should be suing the pants off these people.
The 1977 Broadway musical and its many revivals have thrilled millions - this horrible movie will not.
Annie has been done at least a couple times on film but this urbanized remake is one try too many. It doesn't help when the lead actor is obnoxious and cannot sing and barely dance.
Critics and viewers alike are panning ANNIE 2014. Small wonder it came from SONY PICTURES which gave us December 2014's other film disaster "THE INTERVIEW".