Release Date: December 19, 2014
Thoughts: I’m not totally opposed to remakes, reboots, reinventions, what have you…but I want them to have some sort of point of view. I’ve been dreading seeing the first trailer for a modern day version of the Broadway musical that opened in 1977 and was already made into a film in 1982 and it turns out I wasn’t wrong to live in fear. It looks absolutely dreadful, a wise-cracking and sassy version of a story that once had a lot of heart. I never knew what was so bad about the original film which was raked over the coals by critics and considered a bit of a flop, so perhaps I’m holding that movie too close in my memory. With new songs from Jay-Z, it was originally planned as a vehicle for Willow Smith (because, of course, her parents are producing it) with a script from Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks). Thompson’s script looks to be a distant memory now that the new Annie is Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Oliver Warbucks, sorry, Benjamin Stacks (ugh) is none other than Jamie Foxx (White House Down) who chews scenery almost as bad as he chews food. Though Rose Byrne (Insidious, The Place Beyond the Pines) seems like a nice choice for Grace, one look at Cameron Diaz (What to Expect When You’re Expecting) glammed up as the boozy Miss Hannigan and I knew it was all downhill from there. I’m sure this will make a killing at the box office…but good golly…I hope it’s somewhat better than the trailer makes it look.