Dec 18, 2014

Film Review: Annie Remake

Ermahgerd, it's Annie!

Let's review Annie!

In case you don't know (perhaps you're a recently unfrozen caveman), every iteration of Annie, including this latest from director Will Gluck, follows a delightful orphan as she is swept off her feet by a single billionaire who takes her away from her life of orphaning. Songs, laughter, and paternal love follow. It was originally conceived as a comic strip, then adapted as a radio play, a few movies, a musical, and finally the 1982 classic movie-musical starring Carol Burnett as Annie's alcoholic, evil-yet-nuanced caretaker Miss Hannigan and Albert Finney as the rich man who welcomes Annie onto his palatial estate and into his heart. The plot is bare-bones, and many of the musical numbers are regrettable; the 1982 version exists as a great movie mostly for the many stellar performances. This 2014 remake stars Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx in two main roles, which is the very definition of downgrading.

Dec 11, 2014

Film Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Everyone wants you to lead the revolution but you're a big dummy...
What's a beautiful archer to do!?
Oof. I really went into the newest Hunger Games movie with the best attitude I could muster. Sure, the third book is the weakest in the series, and splitting it into two movies seems like a cash grab with no other reason behind it, but I really wanted to like the movie. It's got actors I really love, including newcomer-to-the-series Julianne Moore, and the movie promised some new locales, a meatier role for Liam Hemsworth, and some interesting thoughts about the perils and pitfalls of war. But... oof (2X), this movie is a dreary mess. Its plodding narrative is matched only by its overuse of exposition.  But there are some silver linings on these noxious, money-grubbing clouds. Let's look it over.

Dec 2, 2014

Trailer Dump: 2015 Sequel Edition

Sometimes my brain is tired, and I need to unwind with a good movie trailer. There's nothing like a 2-minute dose of movie wonder to jog me out of a funk. The spectacle! The CGI! The voice over work! The soaring score! The over-explaining of plot to the point that it ruins the movie! Thankfully, in the past few weeks, we have seen the releases of exciting trailers for movies that plenty of people are waiting to see, myself included. 2015, like 2014 before it, will be another year full of sequels, prequels, and reboots of some of the largest film franchises of all time. In an era increasingly defined by unearned nostalgia and Buzzfeed listicles, next year will possibly be the apex of our growing need to mix the new with the familiar. Let's take a look at what the new year has to offer, and judge harshly and preemptively:

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