The reviews are in for Sony's remake of the Broadway musical, Annie, which opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, Dec. 19.
Calling Annie 2014 "visual ugliness", Hollywood Reporter writer David Rooney wrote that director Will Gluck (with the blessings of producers Jay Z and the Will Smiths) pulverized "every ounce of charm out of the musical in a strained effort to drag it into the social-media age."
In the original 1977 Broadway musical (based on a comic strip), little orphan Annie and the other orphans sing for their supper at a big city orphanage.
But in noting that the film's star, 11-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis, can't sing a note, Rooney compares her to "those overconfident children of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith."
The overwhelming impression from this very loose remake — directed with a stunning lack of musicality by Will Gluck (Easy A, Friends With Benefits) — is that the creative team doesn't actually like the material much. If not for gushing testaments in the press notes, you might be tempted to think they're embarrassed by it. Source
Rooney did go easy on actor Jamie Foxx, who can sing.
Of the cast, Foxx escapes most unscathed, despite having to do more spit-takes than Danny Thomas. He's also the only one of the principals who can actually sing, though on his solo, "The City's Yours" (a distinctly minor addition to the canon of Big Apple anthems), he goes for an embarrassing sexy-soul-daddy sound that's out of character. Even in a movie Auto-Tuned to within an inch of its life, Wallis clearly is no singer. And Byrne, who can usually be relied upon to add some sparkle, is as wan here as her feeble vocals. Source