Daily News header

Sparkle Film Review

By     get stories by email

Singing Siblings Seek Fame in Remake of Musical Morality Play

Emma Anderson (Whitney Houston) didn'twant her daughters to follow in her footsteps by having babies as teenagers whilesquandering their future in the futile pursuit of celebrity and bad boys who wouldn'ttreat them like ladies. That's why the overprotective single-mom feelsfortunate to be able to raise them in a middle-class suburb of Detroit where she keeps them on the straightand narrow path via a steady diet of Christianity and high expectations.

All three siblings have inheritedthe ability to sing from their mother, a blessing they put to good use for theLord in the church choir every Sunday. However, each girl also has her owndistinctive personality yearning to express itself.

Brainy Dolores (Tika Sumpter) has her mind set on attending MeharrySchool of Medicine. Self-effacing Sparkle (Jordin Sparks) is a giftedcomposer who's too shy to perform any of her heartfelt ballads in public. But seductiveSister (Carmen Ejogo) is just the opposite, being a confident extrovert who cravesthe limelight and the attention of men.

Consequently,it's no surprise that Sister might rebel and run away from home, rather thanabide by her mother's restrictive house rules. She's only been back in town fortwo months, but already has a couple of suitors competing for her hand, Levi(Omari Hardwick), a penniless, perfect gentleman, and Satin (Mike Epps), a flashy,silky smooth operator.

GivenSister's materialistic nature, it's easy to guess that that she would opt toentertain the overtures of the latter, a misogynist with a dark side yet toreveal itself. Meanwhile, Sparkle starts dating Stix (Derek Luke) whoencourages the talented sisters to form a trio and take a shot at superstardom.

sparkle
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Sounfolds Sparkle, a modern morality play with a sobering message made all themore telling by serving as Whitney Houston's cinematic farewell. Several of thelate pop diva's lines in the movie induce goose bumps, such as when she matter offactly asks, "Was my life not enough of a cautionary tale for you?"

Thefilm features standout performances by Whitney and Carmen Ejogo, with DerekLuke and Mike Epps appearing at their best as well. Jordin Sparks certainlyholds her own when called upon to sing, but she comes across in this big screendebut as not quite ready to handle a title role, at least acting-wise.

Writtenand directed by the husband-wife team of Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil,respectively, Sparkle is very loosely based on the 1976 musical of the samename, with the point of departure, the timeline, plot developments, and thescore being tweaked for the overhaul, and all for the better. A must-see,between Whitney's sentimental Swan Song and Carmen's coming out party.

Excellent (3.5 stars)

Rated PG-13 for violence, profanity, drug use, smoking, mature themes and domestic abuse.

Running time: 116 minutes

Distributor: Sony Pictures

To see a trailer for Sparkle:

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Kenneth Feinberg's law firm, which had previously handled the distribution of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, was retained at a rate of $850,000/month to handle the BP one also. Although the TV commercials running in the company's hig
Kam Williams says Burns was the director, producer, co-writer, chief cinematographer, music director and executive producer of the landmark television series THE CIVIL WAR.
Prairie Miller stopped by to talk to UK British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and Disneynature Ambassador, Jane Goodall about Bears as well her longstanding concern and caring for endangered animals in their natural habitats
Kam Williams presents his top 10 DVD List for April 15, 2014, including Double Indemnity, Touch of Evil, Jan Svankmajer's Alice and Midsomer Murders: Village Case Files
Movie reviewer Kam Williams reviews the Documentary Film 'The Address'. Williams gives the documentary 4 stars and says it is a current-day, Ken Burns PBS production every bit as moving as any of his nostalgic classics.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams interviews actor Marlon Wayans about his new movie, A Haunted House 2 and shares it with NewsBlaze readers around the world.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site