Salim Akil

Sparkle

Just to be clear, Sparkle isn’t a ripoff of Dream Girls. It’s a remake of the 1976 movie that Dream Girls ripped off, and there’s a different. Sort of. Featuring Jordin Sparks, Cee-Lo green and, of course, Whitney Houston‘s last film performance, the movie tells the story of three sisters who have the gift of song and decide to share it with the world even if their mother isn’t too keen on it. As expected, the big bad world is a bit more complex and dangerous than sitting at home. If you avoid laughing too loudly when Sparks introduces herself as Sparkle, you’ll be able to hear some stirring music and enjoy a production design/shot style that does, in fact, look like a ripoff of Dream Girls. Enjoy!

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If, for whatever reason, Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls didn’t strike you as a shiny enough spectacle, here comes Salim Akil‘s remake of Sparkle, which tells essentially the same story as Dreamgirls, though the film’s first trailer resembles a glossy music video devoid of any of the top-notch performance or actual drama that made Dreamgirls even remotely watchable. Alas, the film does feature a number of interesting actors (including Jordin Sparks in her first feature, Mike Epps, and Derek Luke), and what will likely end up the film’s big selling point – the final performance of Whitney Houston. The original Sparkle hit screens in 1976, thanks to director Sam O’Steen and writers Joel Schumacher (really) and Howard Rosenman, with music composed by Curtis Mayfield and no less than Aretha Franklin singing the songs for the film’s soundtrack. The film was loosely based on the story of The Supremes, featuring singing sisters who hit it big in the 1950s, until they fell prey to all the VH1 Behind the Music stuff like drugs and internal strife. Oh, yeah, and Sparkle is one of the most direct inspirations of the Broadway musical that went on to become Dreamgirls. But this is all pretty evident in the film’s first trailer.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr grabs his codpiece and cape, then gets hammered in the cineplex with Thor. He also suffers from wedding overload with two new movies, Something Borrowed and Jumping the Broom. Though he probably should have put his shirt back on before seeing all the chick flicks. Finally, he takes a more esoteric and educational look at the Spanish Civil War drama There Be Dragons. Spoiler alert: There are no dragons in the movie.

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