Movie Reviews: Sparkle




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     TriStar Pictures (1 hr. 51 min)
     A musical prodigy struggles to become a star while overcoming issues that are tearing her family apart.
     Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Carmen Ejogo, Omari Hardwick, CeeLo Green
     PG 13
Bottom Line:

Samantha Ofole-Prince

It’s a movie which has been in the making for over 12 years and stars Whitney Houston in her last onscreen performance.

For “Sparkle” which finally arrives in theaters Aug. 17, 2012 to much fanfare, the burning question is: Is it worth the hype?"  And the answer is: No. It's no serious knock to say that this remake based on the 1976 version starring Irene Cara and Philip Michael Thomas is lack luster.

With big name stars, including Platinum recording artist Jordin Sparks, Mike Epps, Carmen Ejogo, Derek Luke and Houston, the movie tells a simple story of perseverance and triumph that borders on generic.

It circles around 19-year-old Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), an innocent, bubbly, but ambitious young woman growing up in late 1960s’ Detroit, who forms a girl group with her two older sisters Delores (Tika Sumpter) and Sister (Carmen Ejogo), but as the trio climb up the celebrity ladder, fame becomes a challenge and the close-knit family begins to fall apart.

Although it is well-acted and solidly directed, “Sparkle” is a dully predictable product with vast expectations and is almost lost in its own hype.

Houston makes the most of her big moment, although she mainly growls and glares, as her character, Emma, is a former singer who became a teenage mother and eventually left the industry. Now a staunch Christian, she isn’t thrilled to discover the path her girls are on. Ejogo is the heart and soul of “Sparkle.” She gives a sharp, sexy performance as the sultry rebellious one and when she's on the screen, the movie shines. When she's not, she’s severely missed.

To its credit, there are a few enjoyable moments and you want to love it, but ultimately, it just has lot of razzle-dazzle but very little sparkle.



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