‘Annie’ Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz Odd Choices in Remake (Review/Trailer)

‘Annie’ Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz Odd Choices in Remake (Review/Trailer)

The original Annie came out in 1982 and starred Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks and comic legend Carol Burnett as Mrs. Hannigan, this remake has made a couple of odd choices in their replacements where Jamie Foxx is in the Warbucks role, as Will Stacks and Cameron Diaz is in the Burnett role. Granted, Finney was also an odd choice back in the original film but he did, at least, look like the comic book character. To be fair, the real star of this re imagining of an old favorite, is the young actress playing the lead role, Quvenzhané Wallis, who is stepping into the tap shoes of Aileen Quinn. This 11 year old possessor of a huge amount of talent, fills the shoes of the original Annie with relative ease and it is her performance which impresses the most.

‘Saturday Night Live’ Cameron Diaz: Yawn

‘Saturday Night Live’ Cameron Diaz: Yawn

Saturday Night Live had Cameron Diaz as the guest host on Saturday and it was, sad to say, pretty much a yawn fest for the entire show. This was the Annie star’s second time on SNL, the first was back in 2005 when the Sex Tape star was at the peak of her career with Charlie’s Angels, Shrek, and Vanilla Sky as the follow up to her breakout performance in There’s Something About Mary. Time is a harsh mistress and while Diaz is still a great performer, given the right scripts, that young sexy package has been replaced by an older, more mature version of Cameron. The 42 year old actress looks fantastic, but forty something has to work harder to be cute and funny.

Carol Burnett is Getting the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour

Carol Burnett is Getting the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour

Just my thoughts on this lifelong favourite.

The Pact (2012) It’s Not What It Looks Like

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Don’t let the trailers fool you. I was expecting something completely different after being bombarded with misleading trailers; first in the cinema and then on the internet. Despite my false expectations, the film surprised the hell out of me and I really enjoyed it.

Written and directed by Nicholas McCarthy The Pact is actually a “lengthening ” of his short film of the same name. The short starred Jewel Staite and I don’t mind going on record saying I think it’s a shame she wasn’t used in this version of the film.

Nicole (Anna Bruckner) is alone in her mother’s house. Mom is dead and the funeral is the next day. Nicole calls her sister Annie (Caity Lotz) and demands that she come over. Before Annie can get there, something happens to Nicole and she vanishes after going into a dark room in the hallway.

When Annie arrives, Nicole cannot be found. But according to Annie this is not unusual for her sister. After the funeral (Nicole is not there) Annie’s cousin Liz (Kathleen Rose Perkins) and Nicole’s daughter Eva (Dakota Bright) come to the house. Annie has a nightmare and when she wakes up, Liz is missing and some real scary shit is going down in the house.

It is unusual in films for an area of “occult” activity to take place in a “cracker-box” two bedroom tract house. But this movie uses this suburban setting masterfully. I will admit to jumping almost out of my skin at least three and a half times watching the events that unfolded in this little house.

I expected a completely different film. The trailers were misleading and I thought it would be like a Paranormal Activity rip-off and it did put me off a bit. I finally decided to give it a go after watching the trailer yet again and reacting to the Skype call where Nicole is talking to her daughter and she asks, “Who’s that behind you mommy?”

The was not so much a horror film as it was a supernatural thriller/mystery. The main protagonist was, once she pulled in that outthrust lower lip, someone you could warm to. She also convinced the hell out of me when she got frightened. So although I was disappointed that the lovely and talented Jewel Staite was not in this film, I did discover the considerable acting talents of Caity Lotz.

The only real problem I had was with the blind “medium/clairvoyant” character Stevie (played by Haley Hudson). The filmmakers seemed to go out of their way to make this character as strange-looking as possible. She might as well have had a sign around her neck stating, “Look! I’m weird-looking/acting and not normal! Of course I can talk to the dead!”

It was not big, nor was it clever. It was, if anything, just annoying and it detracted from the film. But despite this drawback, I still jumped like a Mexican jumping bean on speed several times and I swear that my heart stopped at least once. Pretty good for a film that is not really a horror film in the “classic” sense of the term.

So at the end of all this discourse, I have to say it’s a definite 4 out of 5 star film for me. It scared me in all the right places and it introduced me to Caity Lotz whom I don’t recall ever seeing on film before.

Put a lid on your popcorn bowl while watching this film or it will wind up all over the floor and the furniture.

Ouija believe this is actually pretty scary?
Ouija believe this is actually pretty scary?