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
Remake of the 1976 film about sisters Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), Sister (Carmen Ejogo) and Dolores (Tika Sumpter) who decide to try and make it in the music business even though their mother (Whitney Houston) objects to them doing so after her life was ruined by an attempt. The original movie was quite predictable but it was still very much worth watching because of the performances and the music. I'm really not sure why we needed a remake and especially since this one here takes place in the 1960s just like the previous ones. Either way, for the most part this is a mildly entertaining film but there's still no question that it falls short of the original. There are actually quite a few things that do work here including the performances but especially Ejogo as the troubled sister whose decisions are going to cost her and her sisters. I thought she was incredibly believable throughout the picture no matter what the story was calling for. It could be for sexiness in the music or the downfall of the drug addiction. This here was actually the first time I had seen Sparks in anything and I thought she was fine in the role, although, like the original, her character is pretty much in the background. As for Houston, she's not too bad in the film but I must admit that I think her death somewhat hurt the movie, which is strange to say because I doubt anyone would have gone to this had it not been her final film. Hearing her character talk about drug abuse, bad choices and other things just makes you think of Houston and her death. This really has a negative impact on the film that it might not have had if the actress didn't die during the post-production. Derek Luke, Mike Epps and Curtis Armstrong are all extremely good in their parts. Another negative thing is that the majority of the music is pretty forgettable with none of the songs really jumping out at you. This includes Houston's one number, which is just pretty weak. Still, SPARKLE manages to have enough in it to make it worth sitting through even if the end result isn't nearly as good as most would have hoped for.
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