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As Will Gluck's new film version of "Annie" opens, an adorable red-haired moppet stands in front of her class reading a plucky book report. As she finishes, her teacher rolls his eyes and calls on the next student, Annie B. With that very post-modern move, things are handed over to Quvenzhane Wallis, who approaches her first scene the way she approaches literally every single second of the film: big smile in place, bouncing rather than dancing, and sing-talking her way through songs that demand a much better singer. Harsh, perhaps, but from start to finish, "Annie" feels like a movie made by people who are deeply embarrassed to be working on a musical, and that's a problem. Wallis, who is an appealing young performer, simply doesn't have the chops for what has traditionally been one of the more demanding leads in a musical for a young performer, and Gluck, »
- Drew McWeeny
This week, we finally get to see the Jay Z/Will Smith–produced reboot of Annie that we did not ask for but will take anyway, because of our plucky, can-do spirit. (But, you know, we will take it cautiously. Cameron Diaz? No “We’d Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover”? Will Stacks? It’s a tense time to be a fan of Annie.) So how’s about you and your loyal dog hop in my DeLorean Gif for a trip back to the week of May 19, 1982, when the original Aileen Quinn/Albert Finney film adaptation had its U.S. premiere? (The movie went into wide-release the following month.) Was the Billboard Top 40 as bewildering then as it is now? Maaaayyyybeeeee …40. "I Don’t Know Where to Start," Eddie RabbittEddie Rabbitt was one of those early '80s country guys who managed to cross over onto the pop charts in »
- Dave Holmes
With Into the Woods in theaters Dec. 25, we know you’re getting into the movie musical mood. Thankfully, there’s plenty of song-and-dance goodness on Netflix to curb your Broadway appetite before then. From Grease to Rent, and even from-the-vault classics like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, your favorite streaming website has enough flicks to keep you singing for days. Even weeks. Below, we explore 10 movie musical adaptations currently at your disposal. Fill your queue with these gems; we guarantee an almost instantaneous boost in mood (well, for the most part).
[Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures]
The music-heavy film (almost every word is sung) explores the lives and struggles — including, duh, paying the rent— of a group of artists living in New York City’s East Village during the AIDS epidemic. Six original Broadway cast members, including Idina Menzel, reprise their roles for the movie.
[Photo Credit: Buena Vista Pictures]
- Christopher Rosa
The new Annie musical starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis is pretty bad, but let’s be honest: Despite some decent show tunes, the show was pretty bad to begin with, so it’s not worth getting all righteous about the dumb changes.I saw literally the first public performance (a preview) of Annie in the bicentennial summer of ’76 at the Goodspeed Opera House in Haddam, Connecticut. It was an embarrassing shambles — a saccharine distaff Oliver! — but even then I knew I’d be hearing that goddamn “Tomorrow” song for the rest of my life. The show got slicked up for Broadway and became a substantial hit, but apart from endless “Tomorrow” covers it bothered no one for a few years — until John Huston’s putrid 1982 movie with a baldy Albert Finney doing a Huston impression and Carol Burnett a two-hour drunk act. Leapin’ lizards, was the comic strip even »
- David Edelstein
This unecessary reboot is clearly meant to warm the cockles, but boring musical numbers and hammy performances simply leave the viewer with a sugar rush of nausea
There’s been an update to that well-known tune about Annie, the parentless little cutester melting the flinty heart of the scowling plutocrat billionaire looking after her. It’s based on – and basically mired in – the 1970s Broadway musical, which has already had two movie adaptations: the 1982 film directed by John Huston with Aileen Quinn as Annie and Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks, and the 1999 version directed by Rob Marshall with Alicia Morton and Victor Garber.
This new one, on the other hand, is basically like a horrific mix of Lionel Bart’s Oliver, My Fair Lady and Pretty Woman. Did we really need another go-around for Annie, that indomitable little curly-haired moppet, who defiantly sings about how she’ll “love ya tomorrow »
- Peter Bradshaw
Nominees for the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards for outstanding performances in 2014 in five film and eight television categories, as well as the SAG Awards honors for outstanding action performances by film and television stunt ensembles were announced this morning in Los Angeles at the Pacific Design Center’s SilverScreen Theater in West Hollywood.
SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard introduced Ansel Elgort (“The Fault in Our Stars,” “Divergent”) and actress/director/producer and SAG Award recipient Eva Longoria, who announced the nominees for this year’s Actors. SAG Awards Committee Chair JoBeth Williams and Vice Chair Daryl Anderson announced the stunt ensemble nominees.
The 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be simulcast live nationally on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 at 8 p.m. (Et) / 5 p.m. (Pt) from the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center. An encore performance will air immediately following on TNT. The SAG Awards can »
- Michelle McCue
Murder mysteries are so commonplace on TV that each week offers seemingly dozens of them on police procedural series and detective shows. But in the movies, whodunits are surprisingly rare, and really good ones rarer still. There's really only a handful of movies that excel in offering the viewer the pleasure of solving the crime along with a charismatic sleuth, often with an all-star cast of suspects hamming it up as they try not to appear guilty.
One of the best was "Murder on the Orient Express," released 40 years ago this week, on November 24, 1974. Like many films adapted from Agatha Christie novels, this one featured an eccentric but meticulous investigator (in this case, Albert Finney as Belgian epicure Hercule Poirot), a glamorous and claustrophobic setting (here, the famous luxury train from Istanbul to Paris), and a tricky murder plot with an outrageous solution. The film won an Oscar for passenger »
- Gary Susman
Eureka! Entertainment let fly with a volley of announcements earlier today, unveiling their slate for the first quarter of 2015 on both their Masters of Cinema and Eureka! Classics labels.New to Masters of Cinema will be Stanley Donen's Two For The Road, starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney; Fritz Lang's Metropolis gets a 2-disc steelbook re-release that also includes the kitsch classic Giorgio Moroder presents: Metropolis; Claude Lanzmann's epic documentary Shoah arrives alongside 4 Films After Shoah, including Last Of The Unjust; Elia Kazan's Wild River, Sidney Lumet's little-seen cop drama The Offence starring Sean Connery; Raymond Bernard's deeply moving Wwi drama Wooden Crosses; Anthony Mann's Man Of The West with Gary Cooper; and Federico Fellini's Satyricon. On the Eureka! Classics label, Bill Gunn's Ganja And...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
After the marching bands and giants balloon characters parade by on TV… After all the college and NFL football games are played out… After the plates are cleaned of the last turkey drumstick and final piece of pumpkin pie… what better than to cuddle up with our loved ones and watch some good, wholesome family favorites on Thanksgiving!
In honor of the holiday and before you head out the door to catch all the Black Friday sales, check out Wamg’s list of some of our favorite family-friendly movies to watch on Thanksgiving Day.
Wizard Of Oz
For many years this 1939 masterpiece was truly event television. Before home video and cable TV, the only way to see this (outside of revival movie theatres and colleges), was once a year (usually on CBS). Families would gather around the tube for a chance to visit that magical enchanted land (just think of »
- Movie Geeks
By Anjelica Oswald
This year’s best actor race is filled with strong contenders, and if Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Oyelowo and Jack O’Connell all land nominations for best actor, this year could break the record for the most English actors to score a nomination in the same category in the same year.
Redmayne’s incredible portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, based on Jane Hawking’s memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, could result in his first Oscar nomination. Redmayne will receive the Desert Palm Achievement Award at the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala on Jan. 3, whose past seven recipients have gone on to receive Oscar nominations.
Cumberbatch won the best actor award at the Hollywood Film Awards for his portrayal of Alan Turing, who helped crack the Nazi Enigma Code during World War II. (Redmayne »
- Anjelica Oswald
Hopkins will play an ill actor, whose dresser (McKellen) supports him and his theatre company during the Second World War.
As well as The Dresser, head of BBC drama Ben Stephenson has announced the commission of an adaptation of the Len Deighton thriller SS-gb, for which Skyfall writers Robert Wade and Neal Purvis will provide the script.
The series for flagship channel BBC One comprises five one-hour episodes. It is set in an imaginary Britain controlled by the Nazis, if Germany had occupied the country. It centers on a police detective caught between the Nazis and the British resistance.
The slate also includes a new adaptation of “The Dresser,” about life in the theater, starring Anthony Hopkins and Ian McKellen, and directed by Richard Eyre, the former chief of the National Theatre.
The original play was a hit on London’s West End »
- Leo Barraclough
From a poem to a play to a number of high-profile films, 'Annie' has been a very popular orphan.
From a poem to a play to a number of high-profile films, Annie has been a very popular orphan.
Columbia Pictures released a brand-new trailer for the upcoming musical comedy Annie, and in it we get a fun, lighthearted look at the world of orphans who are forced to be political pawns in order for a wealthy man to maintain his grasp on power and influence over the population. But, in a fun way, and also there's a lesson about love in there too.
However, this story goes back over 130 years through a long and complicated lineage of adaptation and interpretation in various forms of media. So let's take a look back at the history of Annie.
First it was a poem by James Whitcomp Riley called "Little Orphant Annie," written in 1885. Cartoonist »
When Albert Finney scored a supporting actor nomination for “Erin Brockovich” in 2000, the conventional wisdom was that the Oscar was his to lose. Yet Benicio del Toro walked off with the prize for “Traffic.”
Many in Hollywood chalked it down to Finney not being around to campaign, but there were many more who are aware of that British preference not to push themselves forward. Plus, says Perry Simon, g.m. of BBC America, “Many of these actors live in the U.K. and don’t have proximity” to L.A.-based campaign stops. With year-round events, BAFTA/La tries to bridge the gap between London and Los Angeles.
“BAFTA’s position is to help level the playing field, make sure Brit players are available,” BAFTA/La topper Nigel Daly says. “We hesitate to promote. BAFTA’s commitment is to screen every contender, Brit or non-Brit, with a whole series of screenings. »
- Shalini Dore
For the concerns in some quarters that Birdman might be too cerebral or idiosyncratic for Oscar, I offer thisfoolproof rebuttal: It's about the theater!
Oscar has a long history of mad love for theater movies from early musicals which were often about vaudeville through biopics about theater giants and on to today's more playful genre hybrids. Even when the Academy doesn't fully commit to its latest greasepaint and footlights suitor, it will often give him a quick kiss in the form of a nomination or three. Some examples: To Be Or Not To Be (1942 & 1983), Being Julia (2004), Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), The Producers (1967), 42nd Street (1934), and The Bandwagon (1953). While it's true there are exceptions that they completely ignore (Stage Beauty, Waiting for Guffman, Opening Night) it's a subject matter that appeals to showbiz people and showbiz people like congratulating their own.
Oscar's 10 Favorite Theater Movies
Why didn't you include Cabaret, Black Swan or Chicago in this list? »
- NATHANIEL R
Susan Wloszczyna cheekily asks which British star is hotter: Benedict Cumberbatch or Tom Hiddleston? She says each of the rising stars has "their own passionate supporters" that stir up deep rivalries among those fans. Maybe it was back in the 1960s for the last such excitement over hunky Brits like Peter O'Toole, Alan Bates, Oliver Reed, and Albert Finney. She offers up dueling video interviews to support her evidence about each man. Cumberbatch recently won an Emmy Award for playing Sherlock Holmes and is a strong Oscar contender for the upcoming "The Imitation Game." Hiddleston is most known as the villain in "Thor," Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," and "The Deep Blue Sea." Thompson on Hollywood -Break- HBO releases a new trailer for the much-anticipated return of "The Comeback." It shows actress Valerie Cherish (Lisa Kudrow) as she "claws her way back to the middle" of the entertainment indus. »
Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch. Say it loud and there’s music playing. Say it soft and it’s almost like praying. Just mentioning these two actors’ names can cause a smile to light up the face of many a film enthusiast -- especially the female kind. Not since the‘60s, when such British acting imports as Peter O’Toole, Alan Bates, Oliver Reed and Albert Finney invaded Hollywood movies, has there been such an excitement over a pair of incredibly talented English chaps. Steven Spielberg helped to initiate the frenzy by casting both Hiddleston, 33, and Cumberbatch, 38, as World War I cavalry officers in 2011’s "War Horse" (their press interview together below). Ever since, these two good-looking, bright, self-effacing, plummy-voiced and highly talented London natives have racked up a slew of memorable performances, caused social media to be flooded with GIFs and clips of their antics (including their dancing ability »
- Susan Wloszczyna
BAFTA’s latest Life In Pictures conversation featured British screen icon Ray Winstone, who proved a big draw despite the unseasonably warm October afternoon. With no new title to stump for (although he did mention his upcoming childhood-focused autobiography Young Winstone), the veteran instead entertained the crowd with a freewheeling look at his four-decade-long career, which includes prominent roles in films such as Noah, The Departed, and Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.
While he had plenty of quips about his adventures in Hollywood – including an uncanny Martin Scorsese impression – Winstone spoke passionately about his work in British cinema.
Famous for playing East End tough guys – “My wife asked me why I always walk in a room looking like I’m going to kill someone” – Winstone waxed lyrical about Gary Oldman’s work directing him in the gritty 1997 drama Nil By Mouth.
That film unflinchingly looks at »
- Ali Jaafar, Special To Deadline
Curious to know what movies and TV shows are coming to Netflix Watch Instantly over the next few weeks? Get a head start and mark your calendars using the list below, just released to us by Netflix. Note: Listed below are just the movies, not the television shows. Avail 10/1 Annie (1982) Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Ann Reinking, Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters, Geoffrey Holder Based on the Depression-era comic strip "Little Orphan Annie," this adaptation of the smash Broadway musical follows America's favorite urchin (Aileen Quinn) as she captures Daddy Warbucks' (Albert Finney) heart with her unquenchable optimism. In the meantime, Annie must try to dodge the treacherous head of the orphanage (Carol Burnett...
John Malkovich photos: How to look like a model, from Marilyn Monroe to Albert Einstein (image: John Malkovich as Marilyn Monroe in Bert Stern's 1962 portrait 'Marilyn in Pink Roses') Whether you found Spike Jonze's 1999 mind-invading comedy Being John Malkovich a pretentious bore or the most innovative motion picture since Georges Méliès' The Man with the India-Rubber Head, you'll probably enjoy Sandro Miller's series of John Malkovich photos, in which the two-time Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominee becomes the real-life characters in some of the most celebrated (and mostly pop, U.S.-made) photographs ever taken. Malkovich's various guises will be featured in the exhibit "Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters," which runs from November 7, 2014, to January 31, 2015, at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago. In Being John Malkovich, the likes of John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, and Catherine Keener discover an escape from their drab lives »
- Andre Soares
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