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This is a great, fun, enjoyable movie. It has everything: great lines and killer comebacks, wit, excitement, suspense, drama, charged emotions, great acting, a good story, beautiful cinematography, and of course, the music rocks. It is way, way, way better than the original. let me say that again in caps: IT IS WAY, WAY, WAY BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL. I was actually surprised it was so good, given the reviews. I really did not want the movie to end. Afterwards, I found myself wondering what the sisters would be doing 3 years later, and it's been a long, long time since I've cared enough about any movie character to think about them even 5 minutes after the movie. Sparkle delivers on every level: script, cinematography, realism, acting, and singing.
On the acting front, Whitney Houston delivered a powerful, raw and completely revealing performance. She was Emma. Her figure, bearing, and presence are completely transformed from "legend," "Whitney Houston," to a bruised and weary woman who is determined that her babies will not lose their way as she did, and who is fighting with every ounce of her being for their futures. When you know how funny and filled with energy Houston could be, then you see her as this world-weary mother, fighting for her kids, you see how great an acting job she does. She fills the role completely. Her song, His Eye Is On The Sparrow, is the showstopper and anchors the movie perfectly. I cannot think of any singing/song scene in any movie that comes close to what Houston does here. This performance alone is more than worth the price of admission.
Mike Epps is another standout as Satin: he delivers a memorable, slick, cool, and lethal performance. All of the sisters are excellent! Tika Sumpter was really great, as was Carmen Ejogo, and though Jordin Sparks' character is the quiet sister, she works the role and is believable. There are no weak performances on the screen. And, it goes without saying that the music works perfectly. The three sisters are really smokin' hot on the stage, with Carmen Ejogo oozing sensuous sex-appeal.
Yes, this is a remake, and yes, its a popular theme, but just like fairy-tales that we enjoy listening to and telling over an over, you want to hear this story retold because it is so well done. There are strong male rolls, and lots of testosterone-driven tensions, and, of course, strong female roles. So, this movie works as a good date night movie, a good movie to see with friends, and as a good movie to see on your own.
This is not The Godfather and it's not Shakespeare, but it is a well done, enjoyable, emotionally satisfying movie. I highly recommend it. Thumbs way up!
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