(KCBS) – KCBS Entertainment Reporter, Jan Wahl reviews ‘Sparkle’ staring “Idol” winner, Jordin Sparks and the late Whitney Houston. Jan also reviews Walt Disney Pictures, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” with Jennifer Garner.
KCBS Entertainment Reporter Jan Wahl:
It’s Detroit 1968. Motown is sweeping the nation; girl groups are popular and glamorous. Over their traditionalist mother’s objections, three talented sisters begin to take the music scene by storm.
Sparkle is their songwriter, the older sister is the breakout performer. Jordin Sparks and a charismatic Carmen Ejogo play those roles, with Whitney Houston in her last role, as mother repenting for her wild youth and trying to keep a tight leash on her girls.
Of course, an ambitious manager comes along, as does a very abusive husband – turning triumph into tragedy. Not enough of the joy and fun of show biz, but some good drama and fashion, even though in the early 70′s you couldn’t get away with some of those dresses on TV. Still, showbiz, ambition plus some good music and a chance to have Whitney Houston touch our hearts again.
A couple desperately wants to have a child, prompting the two of them to bury a box in their backyard containing all their wishes for a child of their own. In a mysterious way, a young boy comes to them – sweet, charismatic, kind and extremely unusual.
Peter Hedges wrote and directed this well-intentioned movie, based on a story by Ahmet Zappa. Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton and CJ Adams star, along with some fine characters actors.
It has lovely, witty moments, made more effective if you go with the magic. Once it gets going, there is a feeling of predictability, even for a fantasy. Still, the sweetness of spirit goes a long way, and entire families can enjoy it.
See Right Now: Hope Springs, The Campaign, Moonrise Kingdom
Home Viewing/DVD: The Hunger Games
You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl’s movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)