I actually enjoyed the 2014 remake of the movie Annie. I laughed and giggled with great amusement even though I went to the preview listening to Notorious B.I.G’s “Ready To Die”. My bad! I should have been listening to something softer – like something by executive producers of the movie Jay-Z or Will Smith – to smooth my edges.
This latest interpretation of Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie (1924) – that later turned into a Broadway show and a movie in 1982 – is the new of the newest remake of the popular comic strip written during the Great Depression. Yes, this goes that far back.
Here are some of the subtle changes the movie introduces other than being in the present (2014). The Comic strip’s Daddy Warbucks, played by Jamie Foxx, is now Will Stacks – a Bloomberg type of billionaire that is disconnected with the community but still runs in the mayoral race for New York City. Annie is not an orphan, she’s a foster child (Little Foster Child Annie doesn’t sound like a blockbuster hit so they just left it as Annie). Foxx’s character Stacks is an IT mogul that is always looking to create a more powerful cellphone and yet finds time to run for mayor.
You can’t get cuter than a little girl with a halo of hair, a winning smile and an infectious positive attitude that will captivate you throughout the movie. Quvenshané Wallis – who is the youngest person to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress (for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild) was extremely adorable (not cheesy adorable, but ‘oh, she so adorable’) in her portrayal of Annie. Her singing impressed me more than some of the songs, which were surprisingly not that great especially coming from Grammy Award winning executive producers, the Fresh Prince and Hova.
But what was really surprising was Cameron Diaz’s not-that-bad singing. I mean it wasn’t great but it was not that bad. Especially in her solo “Little Girls”, which its rock-style interpretation doesn’t come close to the mellower singing of the great Carol Burnett, but yet it was entertaining to say the least.
Trendsetter Award winner David Zayas, who played the lovable conspiracy driven bodega owner, was the glue that helped the movie stick together for an entertaining two hours of singing, dancing and dramedy. This is not a date movie but it’s a movie that your little ones will enjoy. Just don’t let them listen to Biggie before the movie or until they’re 18.