59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
I went to see this movie because I wanted to see Whitney Houston's last performance.
Sparkle tells the story of three sisters, raised in a nice home by a strict mother, played by Whitney Houston who used to be an alcoholic, but has found the Lord and wants to keep her daughter on the narrow path.
As you watch this movie you will begin to notice this strategy has limited success.
It's also framed as a cautionary tale about the bumpy road to fame.
One daughter is a beautiful talented singer, another Sparkle is a talented songwriter who has always been in the sister's shade but prepared to sacrifice for the good of the group. The other one is simply brainy and attractive.
The pitfalls of music and life are explored as the girls form a group and the singer gets into a relationship with a tv comedian and experiences a fall from grace. The movie explores themes of drugs and violence. Will she manage to retieve herself or will tragedy ensue? Rifts occur which threaten the family itself.
I found the movie enjoyable. I loved Whitney Houston's singing solo. The quality of songs were pretty good with a mixture of gospel music and 60s motown type pieces.
After I saw this movie I watched the original Sparkle with Philip Michael Thomas of Miami Vice, Irene Cara of Fame, and Lonette McKee.
I highly recommend you check out the original. If you happen to be an Amazon Prime member as I write you can watch it for free. While the production values of the current movie are better, the original movie definitely has its moments. It features songs by Curtis Mayfield, a funk master, and I loved the singing performances of the girls with their delicate close harmonies. It also has an organised crime element. Events do differ between the two movies.
The original is set in Harlem while the remake is set in Detroit. Judging by the reviews the original seems to have achieved a cult classic status with people claiming to have seen it a hundred times. I prefer the original but you may feel differently particularly if you are a Whitney Houston or Jordin Sparks fan. It really is a vehicle for her talent.
I think most people will like it and trust this was helpful.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
This Movie is a musical and a drama combined, and I could not wait until it was released. I have been a huge fan of Whitney Houston from the very beginning of her career, and watched her move up to fame. I had great respect for her, and Love all of her music. 'The Bodyguard' is one of my favorites for her music and acting. In Sparkle, her Performance was outstanding. Her own music, I will forever Treasure. In this Movie, Jordin Sparks struggles to become a star. She is troubled with issues that are tearing her and her family apart. The story portrays an affluent Detroit area as a daughter to a single mother, Whitney Houston plays the mother, must face many challenges. Sparkle tries to balance a new romance with her music manager, while dealing with the unexpected issues of her new life as she and her two sisters strive to become a dynamic singing group, during the Motown Era. The story is based on success, family relationships, and the Musician's life. I loved the movie, Acting Performance is Stunning and the memories from 'the Motown era' was delightful and Enjoyable. The music was fantastic, and the Memories of 'Motown' was mesmerizing. Her own music will live on, and all she contributed to this world. Once again, she was Amazing. My thoughts on Whitney Houston, "I Will Always Love You!"
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
There is so much that many people have said about Whitney Houston through the good and the bad. When she planned on making a remake of the film Sparkle, a film that she had watched when she was a teenager, she never thought she would plan to remake the film. Sadly, she made the film and finished it shortly before she had passed away, earlier this year. No one ever thought that this would be her swan song. Nevertheless, loss was all around the film when she originally planned the film remake. The late singer Aaliyah was tapped to play the lead role in Sparkle in 2001, but because of her untimely death in a plane crash, the film was placed on the back burner for nearly a decade. The film which was released earlier this year was a somber farewell to the most important female singer in the world. With Jordin Sparks taking on the lead role, the question is could the chemistry work here. Well, it did just that.
The 2012 remake of Sparkle stands tall, telling the tale of a inspiring singer Emma, raising her 3 kids, and surprised about seeing them drive into the world of stardom. Jordin, Carmen, and the cast had a lot to learn on the film, and drive not just through Whitney Houston, but also the shadows of the people who did the original film and the music. They did it nobly well. The film showcases a inspiring mother, but also wants her children to be bigger than the wastes of life with fame. Carmen takes that lead, but sadly hides her scars well from physical abuse and drug abuse from her family. Jordin shows that she can deliver well in acting, but had more to deliver in voice. Whitney's presence in the film is the real showstopper overall. When she did her number, His Eye On The Sparrow, it really brought me to tears, and showed regardless of the personal pain Whitney Houston went through and all the years she was treated as a joke, and not looked upon as a person that she could not only still sing and act, but thrive as a beautiful swan. Jordin Sparks and the cast had to thrive in voice from the shadows of Curtis Mayfield and Aretha Franklin and sold it to a whole new generation, but could've brought more into the songs.
Overall, I promised myself that I would go see Sparkle when it came out the opening day, even before Whitney Houston passed on, and I kept it. I am so glad she made this heartwarming film, and reintroduced it to a whole new generation that really has forgotten what voice and song has meant to film and even music. The film did put a deep tear in my eye, and a real guilty pleasure for a new era. If you have just recently heard Whitney Houston from the impact of her death, or are a die hard fan of the original Sparkle, than you'll definitely love this film.
Story: B 1/2+
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2012
I had the pleasure and opportunity to see "Sparkle" this past weekend and I loved it. I can't wait for the DVD to be released. I will probably watch it over and over...
The whole cast was magnificent. Whitney did a marvelous job with the song, His Eye is on the Sparrow, and Jordin did an excellent job with the song, One Wing.
The movie was a little bit different from the original version. I love both versions.
27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2012
There were several wonderful moments in the movie. The musical numbers were especially thrilling. But nothing and I do mean nothing can replace the original cast or movie. I'll say the same thing I told my friend when we left the theatre. "They would have been better off giving the movie a different title..." I love Whitney and think the rest of the new cast was great. But I don't even see this movie as a "tribute." It was just a rather good movie with the wrong title behind it.
I recommend purchasing both the original and the remake, forming your own opinion, and developing your own appreciation for each.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Whitney Houston finished this movie only three months before her untimely death in February, 2012. A remake of the 1976 film of the same name Whitney plays a mother to three girls who strive to make a name for themselves as a group in the early 1960's during the Motown era (obviously this story was based on "The Supremes", but with added dramatic elements). Jordin Sparks plays the lead in the film starring as Sparkle who, more than anyone, is determined to make it in the music industry while facing many obstacles that stand in her way.
The performances are flawless, especially that of Carmen Ejogo who plays the role of Sister who is married to a violent man named Satin. Some critics have gone so far as to say that come Oscar time Ejogo will probably be nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
Despite a wonderful and haunting soundtrack, a first-rate cast (featuring Whitney's last movie role) and an extremely sensitive and compelling story "Sparkle" failed to bring in good box office coming in at only #5 with $12,000,000 the first week of release on a $14,000,000 budget.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant VideoVerified Purchase
Different story line to the characters. Sister going to jail rather than dying different, even the songs were different would have like to see more from the original film. This wasn't a good remake in my opinion. Original was much better. I enjoyed seeing Whitney in her final film.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2013
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I didn't like this new version of the movie Sparkle. The original version was 100% better. I can deal with a little variation from original versions, but this movie was way off. I didn't think it was worth my money. I liked the songs in the movie and the wardrobes, and I was a fan of the late, great Whitney Houston. I love Mike Epps, but I didn't care about the way the Satin Strothers character was portrayed. I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone because to me it was a flop.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2013
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
This movie appeals to the new generation but for those who were around for the original this was not a remake. It was a different movie all together.
In the original movie one of the primary reasons that Sparkle and her sisters tried so hard was that they wanted more out of life than their mother who was a domestic and had to struggle her whole life.
In this movie they were privileged brats. Also, Mike Epps played a comedian joking about subject matters that were not talked about in front of mixed audiences.
The background music was supposed to reflect the period. Most of the music was five years behind.
You can tell that the person who chose the costumes did not do their research for the late 1960's. There was no way that they would have been on stage with the black see through dresses much less on television. The cut out dresses did not become a thing on television until Jenifer Lopez's green cut out dress and she got a lot of flak even in 2000.
Come on this was a time when the censors prohibited Barbara Eden from showing her belly button in her harem custom in the I Dream of Jeannie show.
I think most people gave the movie extra stars because it was Whitney Houston's last performance.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2013
with no disrespect to whitney houston but, this movie sucked! some movies aren't meant to be remade. this version lacks the emotions and passion that of the original... i suggest skipping the remake and watching the original instead.