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Entries in Annie (15)

Thursday
Mar062014

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Annie" and Kneejerk Musical Reactions

"How many 'Tomorrow's until Annie comes out?"
"293, kids!"

Quvenzhané Wallis stars as little orphan "Annie"

That means we just need to get through 294 days of internet hyperbole BEFORE ANYONE SEES IT about how the new Annie (the third filmed version after a 1982 feature and a 1999 telefilm) is the worst thing that ever existed and musicals suck and it's going to kill everyone's career... Give me strength! BUT in fairness to whatever social media hatred happened (I only saw a little but I'm assuming there was more since I wasn't online much last night) the new trailer which is embedded at the end of the post, does ring alarm bells.

Here's the thing. I realize that my own kneejerk defensiveness/love for any and all new musicals before I see them, is, in some ways exactly like the internet's kneejerk distrust/hatred of any and all new musicals before they see them. Both reactions have less basis in reality than in indoctrination. But the reason my indoctrination is superior (heh) is because its self-indoctrination - a connosieur's faith in his own taste and in the possibilites of the genre and not lazy long-since disproven cultural indoctrination that this genre is over or passé. I can blather about this peculiar problem for HOURS but I should probably spare you and we'll get back to "Annie".

After the jump we'll discuss the pros, cons, and "which column do I put this in" beats from the trailer. 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan092014

Wintry Hit Musicals and Anna Kendrick To The Rescue!

This time last year the instant if much-hated hit Les Misérables (2012) was topping Billboard's Top 100 Albums chart, powered largely by Anne Hathaway's belting through hacking fits from freezing pneumonia (or whatever she died of - she certainly wasn't dressed for the snow!). Fast forward one exact year: the instant and much-loved hit Frozen is topping Billboard's Top 100 Albums chart and at the same time it's crossing an incredible $300 million at the box office. That's quite a feat. No Disney toon has topped Billboard since Pocahontas 18 years ago and no Disney toon (sans Pixar) has crossed that box office threshold since The Lion King (1994)... though if you adjust for inflation it's closer to a Beauty & The Beast (1991) level of audience rapture. But still... that's quite a lot of rapturizing!

Fast forward to Christmas/Early January next year. Will it be Annie or Into the Woods moving the most discs/downloads? Both of them are opening for Christmas but -- happy news -- they're not the only movie musicals hitting us in 2014...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov182013

Say What? Trashy Cameron

Amuse us by adding dialogue or caption to this image of Cameron Diaz (from the set of Annie). I'll reveal the winner tomorrow!

AND THE WINNER IS

Sunday
Nov032013

Tomorrow tomorrow I luv ya tomorrow. You're only 411 days away

Quvenzhané Wallis strutting to playback

Sounds tinny? And what do you need that much oxygen for "a (breath) day (breath) a (breath) wayyyyyyyyy" but set footage always looks/sound chintzy so I shan't judge. Things look sound/different onscreen. Annie arrives for Christmas (December 19th to be exact) 2014.

Friday
Sep202013

First Look: Quvenzhané Wallis as Lil' Orphan "Annie"

Classic musical moppet "Annie" may no longer be a brilliant orange redhead but the new film version was savvy enough to still give her a memorable mop o' hair. Here's our first peek at Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis as the singing orphan.

This photo also reveals that the musical is no longer a Depression era fable, but set in the here and now. But it's obviously still not going for realism. Quvenzhané, who turned 10 last month, was biking around Harlem like so in character and CitiBike is not offered up here in Harlem much to the frustration of residents like Harlem Gal Inc and me... I was totally going to sign up but CitiBike currently ends at 59th street. Damn them!

Annie (2014), opening Christmas day next year, will be our first chance to see the Oscar nominee act since she was a five year old since Beasts of the Southern Wild was filmed years before it was released. Yes, she's in 12 Years A Slave but you won't even realize -- mere seconds of screentime!

 

Friday
Jun282013

Cameron Diaz Joins the Cast of "Annie"

Anne Marie here to talk about the latest movie musical news. It’s official: Cameron Diaz will be the Miss Hannigan to Quvenzhané Wallis’s Little Orphan Annie in Will Smith’s Annie remake. Sandra Bullock turned it down so Diaz joins a brassy line of comediennes who've played this role including Dorothy Loudon, Betty Hutton, Carol Burnett, Nell Carter, Kathy Bates, Katie Finneran and most recently Jane Lynch in her Broadway musical debut.

Miss Hannigan History (Partial): Carol Burnett (82); Nell Carter (97); Kathy Bates (99); Cameron Diaz (14)

Accusations of stunt casting have already echoed through Hollywood and Broadway, but how true are they?

While the decision to cast an otherwise musically-untested star like Diaz (Her singing in The Mask was dubbed) may smack a bit of stunt casting, Diaz certainly has the comedic background to fulfill the terrifying-but-hilarious shoes of the booze-soaked orphanage matron. Cameron Diaz has shown all throughout her career the ability to be slapstick funny, lowbrow silly, and recently very, very bitchy. But, like every other Broadway geek, I had to ask: can she sing? I did some digging through past performances, and found three of note: My Best Friend's Wedding (in which terrible vocals were the point), Shrek, and this NSFW moment...

It’s hard to judge her voice quality from any of those numbers. This is usually a warning sign for me, but Miss Hannigan isn’t a musically difficult role. As long as Diaz relies on her comedic chops, she shouldn’t be Russell Crowe in Les Miz bad. I’m thinking more Julie Walters in Mamma Mia - musically acceptable and very funny.

Cameron Diaz’s movie roles have been a bit scattershot since she graduated from the ditz and dirty debutante phases of her career. With a few crowd pleaser comedies on the horizon, as well as this week’s teaser for The Counselor and this news about Annie - it looks like Diaz is finally finding a solid trajectory. (I refuse to use the word “comeback.”)

Thoughts?

 

Monday
Jun172013

Man of Link

Film Studies for Free collects essays on Todd Haynes' 1995 masterpiece [safe]
Advocate Man of Steel as gay allegory?
Scriptnotes discusses The Little Mermaid in depth. For a whole podcast 
Guardian lists the 5 best performances of Kevin Costner. And it's SO bizarre I don't even know where to start. No Bull Durham (which as Tim correctly stated this week is by far his best work) but Robin Hood: Prince of Thi.... no I can't even type the full title out. Blargh!
Pajiba celebrates Men in Tights given that Supes is back in theaters

Cinema Blend Marvin Gaye Biopic starring Jesse L Martin doesn't have funds to finish production. Boo. I need another biopic about a famous singer with drug problems like I need another superhero flick but I like Jesse.
/Film Sandra Bullock for Miss Hannigan in Annie? That could be fun but as always say it with me now... "can she sing?"
In Contention a biopic of Ingrid Bergman? I can deal with that... especially since this possible new one has a tight focus on one moment in her life (the best kind of bio) 

Off Cinema
Salon on the battle over Detroit's art collection. News from my first home always seems to be bad :(
Towleroad Cheyenne Jackson pleads "Don't Look at Me" in his new video. We disobey
Vulture the ten best oral sex faces of the 2013 tv season  

Friday
May032013

Reader Spotlight: Troy Hopper

We're getting to know the Film Experience community with reader spotlights once or twice a week. This may take awhile! Today we're talking to Troy from Maryland.

What's your first movie memory?

My first movie memory is seeing Annie in the theater with my mother, aunt, and cousin. I recall being thoroughly drawn in as everyone's favorite redhead clings to Punjab for dear life toward the climax of the film. I also have a vivid recollection of viewing Pinocchio when it was re-released in the early 1980s. I guess that makes me one of your elder readers.

Aw, we have readers of all ages. It's just the younger readers seem way less shy. When did you start reading TFE?

Oscar race 2001 after a link from Sasha Stone's site. As someone who was not a fan of A Beautiful Mind, I was impressed by your incisive dissection of the movie's glaring flaws. My continued reading of your blog showed me someone whose love, passion, and knowledge of all facets of cinema quickly became contagious.

You have a goddaughter, right? How do you plan to educate her cinematically.

My oldest is nearly seventeen, so unfortunately, my time has passed with him. As for my two goddaughters, if they learn nothing else from me, they will at least be taught that the medium is too broad in scope for them to be myopic in their taste. They will also realize that Tyler Perry is an enemy whose total annihilation is essential for the progression of blacks in film.

LOL. Okay, three favorite directors?

Aw, man! I was hoping to get the actresses. Ha. With the one-two-three punch of The Fountain, The Wrestler, and Black Swan Darren Aronofsky unquestionably earns a place on that list. Too much of Spike Lee's filmography is indellibly imprinted in my mind for him not to be included as well. I also wish that Jonathan Demme worked a great deal more, especially considering how adept he is across genres.

If Troy ran Hollywood, they'd all get more work!

If you ran Hollywood what would you greenlight?

Because of my background in musical theatre, the intial order of business would be the production of more musicals with the stipulation that Rob Marshall, Adam Shankman, and Bill Condon have absolutely nothing to do with them. In addition, I would grant Angela Bassett approval for any project of her choosing, provided it would give her a chance at another meaty starring role. Any talented auteur hoping to get his or her film made would have to find quality parts for Sharika Epps, Nicole Beharie, and/or Christina Hendricks. Finally, there would be a mandate for intelligent, adult thrillers and horrors that harken back to the time when studios didn't merely perceive them as an easy, relatively cheap way to make a quick buck.

Does "background in musical theatre" mean "actor" and if so, any dream roles?

I am indeed an actor-singer trying to finally break free from his day job. I've already taken on so many good roles -- Jimmy Early in "Dreamgirls," Mitch Mahoney in "Spelling Bee," Benny in "RENT," Belize in "Angels in America: Perestroika" -- that it's difficult to say what I would like to do next. I'd love to tackle something else non-musical, maybe an August Wilson piece, and I wish there were a role in "August: Osage County" for me.

Troy and Ron Giddings performing "I Don't Do That Anymore" this past November

!!! Your voice is so good. Okay, final question. You live in Maryland which begs the question: what's your favorite John Waters movie?

I have honestly never seen a single John Waters movie in its entirety. Though the man himself is quite the character, his aesthetic as a filmmaker has never truly appealed to me. And with that revelation I will probably be banished from Charm City forever!

previous reader spotlights