Review by Tres
I took my wife and youngest 2 to see the newest version of Annie.
The best known version to date has probably been the 1982 with Albert Finney and Carol Burnett.
Then in 1999 there was one more based on the play with Victor Garber and Kathy Bates.
I felt like these versions and the stage play circled around each other with slight changes here and there.
Then there was the more obscure Annie a Royal Adventure from 1995 where you had some of the same characters, but totally different story line.
So when I saw that there was going to be an Annie 2014 I was worried that they were going to try to duplicate the movies and plays and repeat what we have already seen. A little red head with giant hair and freckles and a bald white rich man that was running business and country from his home office during the depression. Well, first off… Quvenzhane (Annie) does not have red hair!
Some people have been in an uproar about Annie being played by a black girl, as well as Oliver Warbucks; I guess I get that. (I just saw an article where Captain America is black. Not sure how I feel about that. I need some background info on that.) Taking a different approach to Annie didn’t bother me a bit, though. I’m here to tell you, this little lady was just AMAZING in her role. She has a bright future ahead of her if she can keep the Hollywood garbage out of her life.
My fears of a duplicate remake were quickly done away. I was pleasantly surprised with what I was seeing on the screen. This was a fresh new look on this story. The Hooverville and FDR story lines have been totally removed and we are focused on Mr Stacks (stacks of money) [similar to Mr Warbucks] who owns cellular phones that never drops calls and he has decided he wants to be mayor of New York. He is on the campaign trail and work consumes him. He is either discussing phones or figuring how to raise his positions in the polls.
Annie has been removed from orphan status to foster child status. Hannigan is a foster mother to 5 girls. Still a drinker and an uncaring person.
Many of the original songs in this movie from a different approach. New and nicely done songs that are a welcomed addition to the score.
I grew up on the 82 Annie and the play: I can sing and quote it and I’ve passed that love on to my children. One surprise for me in this movie was the removal of Rooster. I wasn’t sure how they would introduce him seeing that Annie is black and Hannigan is white and Rooster played Annie’s fake dad, but Rooster doesn’t exist in this version and the change in how they unfold this story line is nicely done.
I enjoyed seeing Cameron Diaz back singing and dancing, her first movie was singer and dancer Tina Carlyle in The Mask.
Foxx brings a great performance as always. He is a germaphobe. He doesn’t like being around people. He doesn’t like kids. He doesn’t like physical contact. However, saving Annie leads him to an opportunity for photo shoots to raise his numbers in the polls. He just really doesn’t want to be touched during the pictures.
(notice the second head)
Seeing Jamie Foxx back as a singer was also enjoyable. My Logan was shocked… a little Electro joke there…that he could sing. Tying the three singers together; all three of them sang a song closer to the end of the movie and they all blended together amazingly.
He is truly a versatile actor and in this movie it really allows him to pull those sides together. You see the serious side, then the soft side being pulled through, as well as the occasional silly side.
Watching Stacks begin to open his heart to Annie and realize that his life is empty and what a dad really is, allows me to open the door to my life. I have a step-dad that chose to look at me in no other way than as his son. When my wife and I married, I had a daughter and she had a son. They became our children no matter what. I have never looked at my eldest son as my “step-son”, nor has my wife looked at our eldest daughter as her “step-daughter”. It takes so much to be a parent. It goes beyond genetics. [I am in no way saying I have been a perfect parent. I am sure all four of mine would tell you that I have made at least 1 mistake… at least 1.] Some people, such as Stacks, choose to open their homes and take in children.
When we open our Bibles, people often don;t think about Jesus and his life when it comes to step-families and foster families. However, Jesus had a step-father.
Matt 1 tells us…
“18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But when he thought on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us. 24 And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took unto him his wife;”
At the end of his physical life, Jesus gave his mother a foster son to care for her since he would be gone.
John 19: 26-27
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold, thy mother! And from that hour the disciple took her unto his own home.
Wrapping up, If you want to see a new cast with the original story of Annie, this movie will disappoint you.
HOWEVER, if you want a good, wholesome, family friendly movie with good music, good acting, and fun characters, this is a pleasant surprise.
I loved this movie.
My wife loved this movie.
My children loved this movie.
We are giving it our highest ranking.