Annie: REVIEW

Having lots of money and gadgets and stuff is what we should all look for to be happy!
Right?… Right? Oh well, that’s what Annie seems to think at least.

1982’s Annie is considered a musical classic, so it was only a matter of time before it got the Hollywood reboot treatment. But this Annie is a predictable mess of lazily re-created songs and hokey moments that only grows more insufferable as it goes on. If you want to see talented actors like Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane Wallis shoehorned into awkwardly forced sing-along moments, then Annie has everything you might want.

Despite its well-intentioned charm, Annie plays out as a sluggish, lazy, clichéd and oddly materialistic re-imagining of the popular musical classic. Its heart is in the right place, but not even all of Wallis’ joyful personality can save this Annie.

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Annie is rated PG for rude humor.

© Matt Tory, 2014. 

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This Is Where I Leave You: REVIEW

When their father dies, the Altman family is forced to spend a week together in the same house to honor their late father’s dying wish for them to hold a Jewish Shiva as they mourn his passing.

An incredible cast has been corralled for This is Where I Leave You, which – despite it being moderately entertaining – can’t help but feel like a sort of letdown.  Jason Bateman and Adam Driver are the film’s highlights, but Tina Fey and others’ comedic talents are completely wasted.

But the story has so many moving pieces and storylines that it’s juggling that it’s a miracle it works at all. It does, but barely. TIWILY has plenty of joyful small moments even if they don’t add up to an impressive whole.

Aside from a completely out-of-left-field plot twist towards the end that adds nothing to the story and seems forcibly added in to appeal to a certain demographic, This Is Where I Leave You is pretty entertaining throughout, and its dark comedy adequately tackles this story about how life will never be “perfect,” and how that’s okay.

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This Is Where I Leave You is rated R for language, sexual content, and drug use.

© Matt Tory, 2014.