|I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.|
Simply put, I found the remake of the 1976 film Sparkle to be good but not great nor an any way outstanding. Let me be honest and admit that I found the original to be just okay as well so my expectations were not soaring. For those unaware, Sparkle is about three sisters living with their strict mother in 1968 Detroit. Sparkle is the writer, Sister (the eldest) is the bombshell and Dee is along for the ride while waiting for her acceptance to medical school to kick in. For those of you who were strongly attached to the plot in the original, some surprises await you in the rebooted version.
Sparkle at its core is a good musical with entertainment value. Here's what truly resonated-
1. Whitney. She held her own and made a part that wasn't fully sketched out into a full-bodied character. Unfortunately, we were only given peeks at her backstory so we never completely understood her attitude. There was a spooky moment when as Emma, the mother of the three singing sisters, Whitney glared them all down and uttered, "Was my life not cautionary tale enough for you?" The entire audience held our collective breath for a minute. It was just a little too real. And watching Ms. Houston sing "His Eye is On The Sparrow" was tough. Say what you will about her voice in the last decade but she still knew how to deliver a song.
2. The dudes - Derek Luke, Mike Epps, and Omari Hardwick play second fiddle to the sisters and it shows. We don't know a lot about them or what makes them tick so we just kind of take them at face value and keep it pushing.
3. Jordin Sparks - I have to admit not to paying a lot of attention to Ms. Sparks before this. I knew she was an American Idol winner and I liked her No Air song with the Bow-Tied Boy Wonder but I kind of wrote her off as a pop sort-of star who was kind of cute. Well, she showed me something. She's far more talented as a singer than I realized and there's something about her that's just likable.
4. Carmen Ejogo - In my opinion, this actress who played Sister stole the film. She's a gorgeous vibrating force on film and any time she entered a scene, your eyes stayed on her. Besides being physically blessed, I thought she added some depth to what could've been a shallow character.
Long story short, I didn't find it to be an instant classic. It was just nice. The music was well done (particularly the use of the great Nina Simone's Feeling Good) and the plot was as expected. But for a movie set in 1968 Detroit, I didn't get the feeling (with the exception of the makeup and clothing) that we were really immersed in that time and place. Especially with as much turmoil as 1968 brought to bear? I expected to feel more of that setting. At any rate, I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.
Thoughts, comments, questions? No spoilers in the comments, please!