Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Annie (2014)

Directed by Will Gluck

Starring Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale

Author

The focus here is not on the story or characters or performances, but on being updated and fresh and pretty. It doesn’t have the charm, warmth, cohesiveness, and naturalness of the 1982 film.

Along with the modern-day references and jokes, there are updated lyrics, and new songs. The biggest problem is that these musical numbers and vocals are overproduced and auto-tuned. Wallis can barely speak properly, making it laughable when she breaks into a perfectly polished rendition of “Maybe”.

Foxx is actually OK. Diaz channels Burnett and barely pulls it off. Bullock was considered for the role, and in my mind she would have been better. Really wanted to see cameos from Quinn or Burnett or Finney.

In general, I’m against the movement to “re-imagine” classics with people of a different gender or race. They’re usually just a heavy-handed point of political correctness, and they’re usually dishonorable to the original work. Can you name one case where a re-imagining like this was an improvement on the original? First this one, then Ghostbusters. We still have Oceans 8, Road House, and Splash to look forward to.

Why not make an an entirely new movie with an original story and original characters? This is perhaps a greater service to the given gender or race than trying to recycle something that has already been done, and done well.

Then I started to think that maybe these gender and race swaps aren’t motivated by political correctness. Maybe they’re just an attempt by the studios at some easy money. Take a movie that was successful, and recast it with different genders and races, and maybe we’ll appeal to the original fans AND the newly casted genders and races. This might be what’s happening, and it’s really too bad.

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