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Annie Review


Weak

A solid cast bodes well for this unnecessary remake of the 1982 movie (based on the 1970s musical), but the filmmakers' decision to turn the catchy songs into bland pop numbers is the real mistake. It leaves the entire film feeling empty, highlighting director Will Gluck's clunky direction, which includes coaxing Cameron Diaz to a squirm-inducingly over-the-top performance. Young children probably won't mind, but as the movie lurches awkwardly from one messy set piece to the next, the lack of a decently arranged musical number makes everything look dull and witless.

In Harlem, 10-year-old Annie (Quvenzhane Wallis) is an orphan living in a foster home with four other girls, run by the greedy Miss Hannigan (Diaz). Smart and quick-witted, Annie longs for a day when she can be reunited with her parents. Then she has a run-in with Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx), a workaholic mobile phone executive who's running for New York mayor. Will's advisor Guy (Bobby Cannavale) suggests that he take Annie in temporarily to boost his poll numbers, and once settled in his spacious penthouse apartment she immediately charms Will's assistant Grace (Rose Byrne) and driver Nash (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). And she begins to work her way into Will's heart as well.

From here, Gluck completely misses the point of the play, trying desperately to crank up a ridiculous scam subplot into some big final-act action mayhem. But this never gains any traction at all because it's clear what has to happen in the story. Indeed, the best thing on screen is the strong chemistry between Foxx and Wallis, who find moments of genuine humour and connection even in the silliest slapstick. And they seem almost reluctant every time they have to dive into yet another insipidly revamped song. Pop star Sia worked on them, but loses all the charm in the attempt to turn each one into a chart-topping clone. Fans of the original music will enjoy the brief riffs of the originals audible here and there, and they'll leave the cinema wanting to revisit the old numbers instead of these Frankenstein versions.

Continue reading: Annie Review

Lily James Finds Her Prince Charming In The Latest 'Cinderella' Trailer [Trailer + Pictures]


Lily James Cate Blanchett Holliday Grainger Sophie McShera Helena Bonham Carter Disney Kenneth Branagh Aline Brosh McKenna Chris Weitz

Finally, Disney has unveiled the first full trailer for Kenneth Branagh's live action rendition of one of the world's most beloved fairytales: Cinderella. And it looks to be one of the most visually stunning fantasy flicks of the coming months.

Lily James and Richard Madden in Cinderella
Lily James stars as the troubled Cinderella

The movie industry has been going crazy with its throwback Grimm adaptations, and it doesn't look like anyone's had enough of it yet. While many movies have opted for the spin-off, original stories - such as 'Sleeping Beauty' adaptation 'Maleficent' and 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves' comeback 'Snow White and the Huntsman', not to mention forthcoming fairytale omnibus 'Into The Woods' - director Kenneth Branagh and screenwriters Aline Brosh McKenna and Chris Weitz have gone for the more traditional approach with 'Cinderella'. 

Continue reading: Lily James Finds Her Prince Charming In The Latest 'Cinderella' Trailer [Trailer + Pictures]

Cameron Diaz Is Miss Hannigan In Will Smith And Jay Z's 'Annie'


Cameron Diaz Carol Burnett Jamie Foxx Will Smith Jay Z Sandra Bullock Quvenzhane Wallis Emma Thompson Will Gluck Aline Brosh McKenna Rupert Everett

Sony have confirmed Cameron Diaz will be starring in Will Smith and Jay Z's musical re-envisioning of the hit Broadway musical Annie. Diaz has landed the role of Miss Hannigan, the cruel manager of the orphanage Annie initially lives in. Sandra Bullock was previously linked to the role and was involved in talks with Annie producers. However, it has been confirmed Diaz has the part.

Annie, initially a comic strip, was turned into a musical, opened on Broadway in 1977. The musical was turned into a film just five years later (1982). Carol Burnett played Miss Hannigan in this version, although her performance was slated by critics (as was the film in general which is still considered one of the worst in film history).  

Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz at the 2013 Met Gala, New York

Continue reading: Cameron Diaz Is Miss Hannigan In Will Smith And Jay Z's 'Annie'

Sandra Bullock In Talks For Jay-z And Will Smith’S ‘Annie’


Sandra Bullock Carol Burnett Quvenzhane Wallis Jay Z Will Smith Jamie Foxx Will Gluck Emma Thompson Aline Brosh McKenna

Sandra Bullock is in talks with producers of the upcoming Hollywood remake of ‘Annie,’ according to The Wrap. Rumours of Bullock’s involvement started circulating in March, although it is believed talks have since reopened with Sony and Overbrook Entertainment.

The musical, first shown on Broadway in 1977, was made into a film in 1982. Should the studio’s plans come into fruition, the actress would be playing Miss Hannigan: the abusive overseer of Annie’s orphanage. As such, Bullock will be competing with Carol Burnett’s performance.

This role would mark a change for the actress who has previously appeared as the heroine in the majority of her films including The Blind Side, The Proposal and All About Steve.

Continue reading: Sandra Bullock In Talks For Jay-z And Will Smith’S ‘Annie’

We Bought A Zoo Review


Good
There's a terrific story inside this well-made but bloated movie, as if director-cowriter Crowe simply couldn't figure out which elements he most cared about, so he included everything. It's engaging enough to keep us watching, but never finds any real focus.

After his wife dies, Benjamin (Damon) is struggling to keep his kids - 14-year-old Dylan (Ford) and 7-year-old Rosie(Jones) - happy, mainly because he has lost the daredevil storyteller within himself. So against the advice of his goofy-but-sensible brother (Church), Benjamin buys a run-down zoo and moves there with his children to get it up and running again. Zookeeper Kelly (Johansson) and her team (including Macfadyen and Fugit) don't think he'll stick it out. And indeed, it's more of a challenge than he ever imagined.

Continue reading: We Bought A Zoo Review

I Don't Know How She Does It Review


OK
There are plenty of skilled people behind this female-empowerment movie, but the film badly botches its core message. The script may reflect a certain reality about the sexes, but it also misses the point.

In Boston, Kate (Parker) has a loving husband, Richard (Kinnear), and two adorable children. Everyone watches her in wonder as she juggles her responsibilities as a wife, mother and high-powered investment banker. But the constant business trips are taking their toll, especially when she's required to work regularly in New York with investor Jack (Brosnan). It's a struggle, but Kate keeps everything running. The question is whether anyone is actually happy with the situation.

Continue reading: I Don't Know How She Does It Review

Aline Brosh McKenna Sunday 7th November 2010 The World premiere of 'Morning Glory' held at the Clearview Cinemas Ziegfeld Theater - arrivals New York City, USA

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Aline Brosh McKenna Movies

Annie Movie Review

Annie Movie Review

A solid cast bodes well for this unnecessary remake of the 1982 movie (based on...

We Bought a Zoo Movie Review

We Bought a Zoo Movie Review

There's a terrific story inside this well-made but bloated movie, as if director-cowriter Crowe simply...

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