Jordin Sparks‘ first feature film “Sparkle,” which opens today, received mixed reviews, with 53 percent of critics giving it a thumbs up on Rotten Tomatoes, which compiles such data.
The summary: “While undeniably melodramatic and old-fashioned, Sparkle transcends its formulaic trappings thanks to Salim Akil’s empathetic direction and strong performances from a committed cast.”
That doesn’t surprise me, having screened the film. It’s neither a bad film, nor a great film and certainly has its moments. And Jordin does a fine job while Whitney Houston evokes weight and sadness that may extend beyond her character. But it’s so easy to compare it to “Dreamgirls,” which is vastly superior.
General audiences liked it more. It has already received 77% positive rating, probably based on screenings.
The plotline of the film, a remake of a 1976 movie of the same name:
Musical prodigy, Sparkle (Jordin Sparks) struggles to become a star while overcoming issues that are tearing her family apart. From an affluent Detroit area and daughter to a single mother (Whitney Houston), she tries to balance a new romance with music manager, Stix (Derek Luke) while dealing with the unexpected challenges her new life will bring as she and her two sisters (Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter) strive to become a dynamic singing group during the Motown-era.
Here are some critics’ thoughts:
” “Sparkle” isn’t blindingly original but it delivers solid entertainment, and despite the clichés I was never for a moment bored.” – Roger Ebert.
” Anyone who has seen Dreamgirls, What’s Love Got To Do With It? or even The Doors will find themselves in familiar (if inferior) territory here.” – Courtney Shea, Toronto Globe and Mail
“It’s nice that “Sparkle” honors the memory of Motown’s heyday; if only it could have lived up to those standards.” – Tom Long, Detroit News
“Often seems like a flat, straightforward Supremes biopic in its adherence to seemingly pointless scenes and exposition.” – Sara Stewart, The New York Post
“”Sparkle” trafficks in the same gorgeous Motown style — sonic and visual — that made the original film, and “Dreamgirls” after it, such delectable fun.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
“Generally improves on the source material as much as possible while still succumbing to some of the same hoary showbiz beats.” William Goss, film.com
“Rather than a sing-along, consider this film a ’say-along,’ with lines so clichéd that you might find yourself reciting them in perfect sync with the flat characters.” Kimberly Gadette, Doddle
- “So You Think You Can Dance” tour comes to Atlanta but for the first time, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Dec. 1. Tickets go on sale August 24. It has in the past gone to the largest Gwinnett Arena.
- Phillip Phillips will squeeze an Atlanta date on an off-day of the “Idol” tour: the Bud Light/ 680-The Fan Labor Day concert on August 31 at Centennial Olympic Park, 6:30 to 7:20 p.m. So he’ll be playing a lot longer than he does on the “Idol” tour. It’s free! I’ll be there!
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk