ANNIE Review

by     Posted 21 hours ago

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The story of Annie, whether it’s in the comics, the stage play, the 1982 adaptation, or Will Gluck‘s new, updated version, requires relentless positivity to combat its cynical message.  Annie must devote an entire song to the power of optimism because the story basically celebrates the lottery and the benevolence of the wealthy while also trying to show that love is the most valuable treasure of all.  One way to handle that conflict is to put on the biggest smile possible.  The other is the route Gluck has gone with his version, which is to be constantly clever, charming, and embracing a modern twist on the character even if it requires new songs that may not be quite as memorable as “Tomorrow” or “Hard-Knock Life”, but still channel the fun and upbeat attitude of the character.  Filled with great performances from most of the cast, Annie is a funny, joyous update that keeps the musical’s upbeat attitude intact while still dancing to its own tune.

Cameron Diaz and Bobby Cannavale Talk ANNIE, the Fun Shoot, Collaborating with Will Gluck, the Songs, and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

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Opening this weekend is Will Gluck‘s modern reimagining of the Broadway classic Annie.  The film stars Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) in the title role as a young, happy, street-tough foster kid living with the mean Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) who is taken in by New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) in a thinly veiled campaign move.  The film also stars Rose ByrneBobby CannavaleAdewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and David Zayas.  For more on Annie, watch the trailer or these five clips and eleven minutes of behind-the-scenes footage.

At the recent New York City press day I landed an exclusive video interview with Cameron Diaz and Bobby Cannavale.  They talked about collaborating with Will Gluck, contemporizing the film, the new songs, if a lot of friends that wanted to visit them on the set, how much fun they had making the film, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Watch 5 Clips and 11 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Footage From ANNIE

by     Posted 13 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released five clips and more than ten minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from Will Gluck‘s modern reimagining of the Broadway classic Annie.  The film stars Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) as the spunky, street-smart title character, a foster kid living with the cruel Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) until she’s taken in by the hard-nosed New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) in a thinly veiled campaign move.  There’s an undeniable cheese factor to Annie, but there’s also no doubt Quvenzhané Wallis can carry a film, and it’s nice to see Jamie Foxx loosen up a bit.  As someone who grew up on the original I’m excited to hear what they do with play’s poppy musical numbers, especially given Jay Z‘s involvement as producer.

Hit the jump to check out the new clips from Annie and get a behind-the-scenes look at the on-set hijinks.  The film also stars Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and David ZayasAnnie opens in theaters December 19th.

New ANNIE Trailer featuring Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale

by     Posted 45 days ago

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Will Gluck’s rendition of Annie looks cheesy to the max, but there’s just something about that story and those songs that’s undeniably appealing and packs the power to put a smile on your face regardless of flat humor and tacky dialogue.  Plus, this latest trailer has little to no Cameron Diaz in it and that definitely works to the piece’s benefit.

We’ll get to see what Quvenzhané Wallis is capable of post-Beasts of the Southern Wild when Annie hits theaters on December 19th.  The film also stars Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and David Zayas.  Hit the jump to check out the new Annie trailer.

The ANNIE Poster and the GOOD KILL Poster Have One Thing in Common

by     Posted 101 days ago

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The color red.  Sony Pictures has released a new Annie poster that features the film’s cast (after a teaser poster a few months back that only displayed the tagline).  The film stars Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) in the title role as a young, happy, street-tough foster kid living with the mean Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) who is taken in by New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) in a thinly veiled campaign move.  The film also stars Rose ByrneBobby CannavaleAdewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and David Zayas.  Annie opens on December 19th

You can also check out the teaser poster for Good Kill, the new film from writer/director Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, Lord of War) starring Ethan Hawke.  I didn’t love Niccol’s last film In Time, but I’m a fan of most of his other work so I’m really pulling for this one.  Good Kill premieres tonight at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Hit the jump for the posters.

New International Trailer for ANNIE Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Diaz, and Jamie Foxx

by     Posted 249 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released a new trailer for director Will Gluck’s new musical adaptation Annie.  The film stars Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) in the title role as a young, happy, street-tough foster kid living with the mean Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) who is taken in by New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) in a thinly veiled campaign move.  This international trailer has a few bits of new footage that show Foxx playing things a bit more comedic and loose than some of his past few roles, with one scene in particular evoking his In Living Color days.  I’m still not crazy about the overly auto-tuned nature of the songs, but Gluck’s last two films (Easy A and Friends with Benefits) have been pleasantly surprising, so I’m interested to see how the full feature plays out.

Hit the jump to watch the new Annie trailer.  The film also stars Rose ByrneBobby CannavaleAdewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and David Zayas.  Annie opens in theaters on December 19th.

CinemaCon: Posters for SPIDER-MAN 2, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, TF4, THE BOXTROLLS, EXPENDABLES 3, and Many More

by     Posted 271 days ago

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Continuing our coverage from CinemaCon 2014 (Comic-Con for theater owners), I snapped a ton of pictures of the many posters and theater standees on display today.  Included in this article are The Expendables 3, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Annie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Boxtrolls, Transformers 4, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Earth to Echo, Edge of Tomorrow, From the Rough, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Deliver Us From Evil, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Purge: Anarchy, Neighbors, and many more.  Hit the jump to check them out and look for a lot more updates from CinemaCon all week.

And click here if you missed the first posters for director Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer, Brett Ratner‘s Hercules, Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold.

New Images from SEX TAPE Starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel and ANNIE Starring Jamie Foxx

by     Posted 282 days ago

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Sony Pictures has unveiled new images from two very different Cameron Diaz films slated for release this year.  First up is director Jake Kasdan’s (Bad Teacher) comedy Sex Tape, which stars Diaz and Jason Segel as a couple who, after discovering that their three-hour intimate video has been stolen, set out to recover the tape and ensure that their reputations aren’t ruined.  These images give us a first look at the ensemble beyond Diaz and Segel, as we see Rob Lowe, Ellie Kemper, and Rob CorddrySex Tape opens in theaters July 25th.

The other Cameron Diaz film is director Will Gluck’s (Easy A) musical redo Annie, in which Diaz takes on the role of the mean Miss Hannigan.  The young Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) takes on the title role as an orphan who is taken in by a New York mayoral candidate (Jamie Foxx) in a thinly veiled campaign move.  The film’s first trailer promised a few full musical numbers, and these images tease just that.  Annie opens in theaters December 25th.

First Trailer for ANNIE Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, and Cameron Diaz

by     Posted 289 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released the first trailer for director Will Gluck‘s (Easy A) new musical adaptation Annie.  The redo stars Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) in the title role as a young, happy, street-tough foster kid living with the mean Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) who is taken in by New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) in a thinly veiled campaign move.  The film is very clearly a modern day update of the story, as it bears little resemblance to the 1982 film adaptation of the same musical.  Wallis appears to be sufficiently charming in the lead role, and Diaz puts an interesting spin on the mean Miss Hannigan sans drinking habit.  Some of the music is rather heavy on the auto-tune, but all-in-all this looks to be a fairly entertaining musical aimed squarely at families looking for an agreeable holiday movie outing.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  Produced by Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jay-Z, the film also stars Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and David ZayasAnnie opens in theaters on December 19th.

Trailer Teaser for ANNIE Starring Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, and Cameron Diaz

by     Posted 289 days ago

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The first trailer for the remake of the musical Annie will be headed our way very soon, and a sneak peek has just landed online.  For those unfamiliar with the classic musical, it centers on the eponymous orphan who is adopted by the wealthy Daddy Warbucks.  Quvenzhane Wallis is set to lead the film, and Jamie Foxx will play the Daddy Warbucks character, now called “Benjamin Stacks” and a NYC mayoral candidate in this updated version.  From this brief footage, I like what they’ve done with Annie’s look by translating the original character’s curly red hair to a wild and frizzy style.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of the movie even at the risk of having the songs “Tomorrow” and “Hard Knock Life” stuck in my head for the rest of the week.

Hit the jump to check out the preview, and check back later today to see the trailer.  The film also stars Rose Byrne and Adewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeAnnie opens December 13th.

First Poster and Synopsis for ANNIE Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz & Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje; Trailer Debuts Tomorrow

by     Posted 290 days ago

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The first teaser poster for Will Gluck’s Annie adaptation comes in advance of the film’s first trailer dropping tomorrow.  The poster doesn’t provide a look at Quvenzhané Wallis in the title role, or any of the supporting cast that includes Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, but it does remind us that it will hit theaters on Christmas Day.

Be sure to pay us a visit on Wednesday at 7:00 pm ET / 4:00 pm PT to watch the film’s first trailer.  Hit the jump to check out the first poster for Annie along with the film’s official synopsis.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Talks POMPEII, the Special Effects, Getting to Sing and Dance in the ANNIE Remake, and More

by     Posted 301 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director Paul W.S. Anderson’s disaster epic Pompeii.  The film stars Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) as an enslaved Celtic gladiator named Milo who falls in love with a noblewoman (Emily Browning) on the eve of a massive volcanic eruption that destroys Pompeii, an event that also brings him face-to-face with the man (Kiefer Sutherland) who slaughtered his family years earlier.  The film also stars Jared Harris, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Carrie-Anne Moss, Sasha Roiz, Jessica Lucas, and Paz Vega.

At the Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who plays a fellow gladiator and friend to Milo.   He talked about his reaction to the finished film, the special effects and how they couldn’t have been done a few years ago, how Anderson likes to beat up his actors, the way he prepared for the role, getting to sing and dance in director Will Gluck’s Annie remake, and how his next project is the NBC pilot Odyssey.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Jason Bateman’s Directorial Debut BAD WORDS Set for March 21, 2014 Release; ANNIE Remake Shifted to December 19, 2014

by     Posted 1 year, 85 days ago

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Focus Features has slated Jason Bateman’s directorial debut Bad Words for a limited release on March 21, 2014, followed by a wide expansion on March 28th where it will square off against the futuristic thriller Divergent, the sequel Muppets Most Wanted, and Joe Carnahan’s action comedy Stretch.  Bateman stars in the very R-rated comedy as a man who, through a loophole, enters a nationwide 8th grade spelling bee and proceeds to the finals—much to the dismay of the parents and organizers.  I caught the film at TIFF and it’s really funny, but Bateman does not hold back when it comes to his character saying terrible, terrible things to his fellow child contestants.  Read Matt’s review here and watch Steve’s interviews with Bateman here and co-star Kathryn Hahn here.

Additionally, Sony has shifted the release date of director Will Gluck’s (Easy A) musical remake Annie from December 25, 2014 to December 19th.  The Quvenzhané Wallis-fronted pic will now square off against the third and final (?) entry in Peter Jackson’s trilogy, The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

Kurt Russell Confirmed for FAST & FURIOUS 7; Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Signs on for ANNIE; Geoffrey Rush Joins GODS OF EGYPT

by     Posted 1 year, 86 days ago

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Here’s today’s casting update:

Hit the jump for more on each project.

Rose Byrne Talks INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2, Returning for the Sequel, Working with James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the Diversity of her Career, ANNIE, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 98 days ago

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Opening in theaters this weekend is James Wan’s Insidious: Chapter 2.  The follow-up to the 2011 surprise hit picks up exactly where the first left off.  Josh (Patrick Wilson) has returned from the Further feeling not quite himself, and when Renai (Rose Byrne) begins seeing familiar signs of the paranormal the Lambert family is thrust once more into a world of psychics, demons and ghosts.  Insidious: Chapter 2 also stars Barbara HersheyLin ShayeLeigh WhannellAngus Sampson, and Ty Simpkins.

During a recent New York press day I hopped on the phone for an interview with Byrne.  She talked about what brought her back for an Insidious sequel, working with James Wan, and acting alongside screenwriter Leigh Whannell.  She also talked about the diversity of her career, her recent work in comedy, Annie and more.  Hit the jump to see what she had to say.

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