|year: 2014 rating: *|
So begins the new ANNIE inside a classroom where a redheaded white 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.
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.
Not to jump on the breaking news bandwagon, but SONY PICTURES scrapped the wrong film!
|1982 rating: ***|
Although this big budget extravaganza’s loaded with great actors like Albert Finney as bald millionaire Daddy Warbucks, Tim Curry as a con artist and Carol Burnett as the bearer of the quote above, Aileen Quinn’s ANNIE steals the show.
Displaying an everygirl persona mixed with a dynamic musical talent, Quinn provides the essential energy for the iconic redhead without lacking pathos and vulnerability.
Even when given a dream-week to stay with Daddy Warbucks for his publicity, her true aim is having a real family. Determined to find her original parents, Warbucks makes a radio campaign with a hefty reward – perking ears of the wrong people.
|Albert Finney with Quinn|
Although one particular overlong scene, as Warbucks (constantly regarded as a greedy Capitalist) is talked into the New Deal by President Roosevelt, distracts from Annie’s personal adventure, we sporadically return to the orphanage where Miss Hannigan and her nefarious brother's plot to recover the reward: providing the audience – especially the younger ones – a constantly suspenseful edge, making ANNIE a kid's movie with just about everything: including a heroine with everything to gain or lose.