Thursday, December 18, 2014

ANNIE (B+/B+/A+/A+/A+)

Bottom Line: From colored ink-bleeding comics to Broadway to the big screen, America’s favorite little red-headed orphan has entertained families for decades – and I’m happy to say (despite the lambasting that most hard-headed, dead inside critics are giving it) this updated, urbanized version is no different!  Annie colorfully, confidently and whimsically bops into the jam-packed, holiday movie going season with a melodic spring in its step and a feel-good breezy charm on its sleeve.  A handful of catchy and memorable tunes plus an impressive cast that’s game for selling the candy-coated goods ensure that you and your family are in for a film built for fun.  It’s a toe-tapping, heart-warming and refreshingly fluffy experience that my family (a father, a mother and three sons ages 9-, 7- and 4-years old) enjoyed immensely!  Let the naysayer critics live the hard-knock life and get stuck with a day that’s gray and lonely – while we stick out our chin and grin and see this festive flick today (not tomorrow)!

Starring: Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale
Directed by: Will Gluck (FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, EASY A and FIRED UP)
Rated: PG
Running time: 1 hr. 58 min.
Studio description: A Broadway classic that has delighted audiences for generations comes to the big screen with a new, contemporary vision.  Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who's also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they'd be back for her someday, it's been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). But everything's about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) - advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Rose Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy (Bobby Cannavale) - makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. Stacks believes he's her guardian angel, but Annie's self-assured nature and bright, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow outlook on life just might mean it's the other way around. (c) Sony

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