Good natured Reverend Henry Biggs finds that his marriage to choir mistress Julia is flagging, due to his constant absence caring for the deprived neighborhood they live in. On top of all ... See full summary »
Courtney B. Vance
When Madea catches sixteen-year-old Jennifer and her two younger brothers looting her home, she decides to take matters into her own hands and delivers the young delinquents to the only ... See full summary »
Taraji P. Henson,
Pop star Jordin Sparks stars alongside Whitney Houston (in her final performance of what was supposed to be the second wind of her acting career) in Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 cult hit among black audiences. Conversely, the 2012 version, centred around a trio of sisters who hit the big time in 1960s Motown before being crippled by the lures of fame, is entirely devoid of any personality or soul, playing out like every other African-American themed shambles this side of Tyler Perry's repeated disasters.
Director Salim Akil (an apparent prodigy of Perry's stylings) breaths plastic life into the cardboard cut-outs he calls characters. Almost every stereotype conceivable in the dram-rom genre is on full display, including the preachy reverend, the tough girl, the abusive husband, the heavy-handed mother and her introverted daughter.
The performances across the board are sound, but a practically non-existent screenplay renders any interaction between characters essentially worthless. Even at a touch under two hours, Sparkle severely overstays its welcome. Given the similar plot frame and emphasis on glitz-and-glamour music, comparisons to Aussie crowd-pleaser The Sapphires are to be expected, but where the local production made its intentions clear from the outset, Sparkle rambles and labours, pleading with its audiences to maintain an unwarranted sliver of attention in the lead up to a drab and bitterly predictable conclusion.
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