Friday, August 24, 2012

Movie Review: "Sparkle"

I apologize for the delay in getting this review to you. I usually try to do these the first weekend the film opens, since we know that those box office numbers are the ones that really can make or break a film.

However, I waited for a couple of reasons. One, I wasn't sure I was ready to see Whitney Houston so soon. It just felt "odd" thinking about seeing her on-screen when she only passed away a few months ago. Maybe it just felt too final. Two, I wanted to experience the movie with my daughter and I wanted her to see the original version (which starred Lonette McKee) before she saw the remake.

Of course, she had never heard of the original version. And, it wasn't available on Netflix. None of the remaining video stores in my area had a copy and I had to wait for my Amazon order to arrive.

Cut to the chase. We watched the original. Two nights later, we went and saw the new movie starring Jordin Sparks in the role of "Sister."

Jordin Sparks is pleasant enough and her she's quite talented. The reported "break-out" star of this version is Carmen Ejogo. My favorite was Tika Sumpter. Why is it that the dark-skinned girls always get the least attention? I'm not saying anything - I'm just saying.

Mike Epps character "Satin" showed a side of him I had not seen before and really emphasized his acting range. I despised Satin which means Mike Epps got the job done.

Salim Akil (a Bay Area native) did a great job with putting a new spin on an old movie and he's quite the director. I hope he and his wife Mara Brock-Akil continue to make great movies and TV ("The Game").

Now, Ms. Whitney Houston's performance showed her at her middle-aged best. She's a good actor and when she sang "His Eye Is On the Sparrow," I was reminded of why even when people thought she was not at the top of her game, she sounded better than 99.9 percent of people who are singing professionally today.

Last word - the movie was enjoyable, sometimes funny, often painful and definitely worth seeing.

If you haven't seen it, go this weekend. We need to support our own.

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