Sparkle 1975 Vs. Sparkle 2012, Classy beats Assy!

1975I finally had a chance to watch Sparkle 2012 last night.  I did a brief tribute to Sparkle 1975 on February 12 this year after Whitney Houston passed on 2/11/12:

https://learnbellydancewithshalimarali.com/2012/02/12/singerdancer-tribute-21212-irene-cara-bronx-ny-what-is-your-favorite-scene-in-the-movie-sparkle-or-song-by-irene-cara/

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Whitney Houston!  And I LOVE that she made it possible to reboot Sparkle, one of my all-time favorite movies!

My sister hated the revised Sparkle movie.  And like many critics of the movie online, I can understand why.  The movie is a beloved African American classic.  And sometimes, it is best to leave classics alone.

Sparkle Cast 2012The movie ending was HORRIBLE!  I can see why my sister hated the movie so much.  I was watching from home, but the last 3 songs made me want to leave the theater, so to speak.  If I did watch it in a theatre, I may have left at One Wing.  R Kelly IS NOT Curtis Mayfield!  The final 3 songs by R Kelly completely ruined the ending.  It took the movie from being “Sparkle” to being an episode of any reality singing competition.  Take your pick, American Idol, The Voice, etc.  Even through Jordin Sparks may have been comfortable with the ending, as winner of American Idol.  Please, no music videos for the end of my beloved Sparkle.  Why, oh, why not just end it like the original with Sparkle singing Loving You Baby and Look Into Your Heart?

Sparkle Cast 1975Speaking of music soundtracks, allow me to go back into time to my 1975 bandwagon and complain about ARETHA FRANKLIN!  I LOVE Aretha, but why oh why did they let her sing the 1975 soundtrack songs INSTEAD of Irene Cara, Lonette McKee and Dwan Smith?  I had no choice but to buy it, since I loved the movie so much.  I could see why they chose Aretha over 3 “actresses” as she is a legend.  Very bad decision, as Irene, Lonette and Dwan KILLED those songs in the movie!

CASTING:  Tie for both movie versions.  Great casting for both!

MUSIC SOUNDTRACK:  The background music in the new Sparkle is the bomb!  What a great selection of oldies to listen to during the music.  The song focus in the 1975 version, were the actual songs while being performed, which made them stand out more than a “flood” of music.   But it did breathe a breath of fresh “old song” air into the new version.

Sparkle2012PLOT:  It was stupid to bring Sister back from the grave and waste her “life” with prison.  Mara had a chance to really, resurrect Sister.  Why not let her 3 years go by and let her perform the final number with Sparkle?  This was a wasted opportunity to have a group reunion with Delores?   I love the new empowerment having Emma own a dress store.  Not that there’s anything wrong with being a maid, like Effie in the 1975 version.  Why did they make Satin a comedian in the new version?  That was just dumb!  It would have been more realistic to make him a drug dealer.

SCRIPT:  The new script was awesome!  The dialogue was fresh.  Kudos to Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil!

COSTUMES:  The 2012 costumes did not totally outshine the 1975 version.   I give a special kudos to the 1975 version released on DVD with the cool blue dresses on the cover that I did not see in the original film.

Sparkle1975DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY:  My brother is not a dancer, but he COMPLAINED about the dancing and costumes in the 2012 version.  The 1975 dance choreographies by Lester Wilson were sensuous and classy.  I usually LOVE choreographies by Fatima Robinson, but the 2012 dance choreographies tended to go overly sexy, trying to hard to look sexy, not appropriate for the 1960s, Raunchy, Lap Dance, Bump & Grind and Assy!  I am a Belly Dancer, so thought I would never say this about choreography, but the dances had too much BELLY DANCE!  Too many ummies, shimmies, undulations, etc.  Sort of LAZY choreography.  Please watch both versions of “Hooked on Your Love” to see what I mean.  Lonette McKee did not have to resort to a Lap Dance to kill that song.  Take notes  Carmen Ejogo!  The 1975 Sparkle had better costumes for Sparkle and Dee while performing that same song.  I can see why the 1975 Sparkle group won the contest against Doreen (Norma Miller); while the 2012 Sparkle group should NOT have won the contest, as the Girl Group before them (with Fatima Robinson and Goapele) should have won.  They were hands down way better than the Sister & Sisters!  I wanted to see more of them!!!

SPARKLE SHOWDOWN! 1975 VERSION 2012 VERSION Winner
Casting: 10 10
Music Soundtrack: 10 9
Plot: 8 9
Script: 8 9
Costumes: 9 9
Dance Choreography: 10 6
TOTAL 55 52 Sparkle 1975

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparkle_%281976_film%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparkle_%282012_film%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mara_Brock_Akil

WHICH DID IT BEST?
SPARKLE 1975
SPARKLE 2012

Coming soon:

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2!

Chapter 4:  Michael Jackson Dances back from the Grave!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Vampire-Dancer-Saga-Shalimar/dp/1477142177/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344040118&sr=8-1&keywords=the+vampire+dancer+saga
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Dancer Tribute 12/24/11: Fatima Robinson (Little Rock, AR)

Remember the TimeDancer Tribute 12/24/11: Fatima Robinson (Little Rock, AR)
I am a HUGE fan of Fatima!  I first found out about her back in 1992 when the “Remember the Time” video was released by Michael Jackson.  And being a belly dancer, of course I loved the Egyptian theme of both the song and video.  My sister Brenda loves that video so much, she said that our dance troupe (The Scheherazade Dance Company) needs to perform the drum solo in the video.  I can’t imagine a dancer being so young, so gifted, so talented like Fatima.  Like Michael Jackson, that does not happen very often.  Fatima was the 2nd African American dancer to choreograph at the Academy of the Arts Oscar Awards telecast (Debbie Allen was the first).  Fatima’s choreographies have also been featured on So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars and many top TV commercials spots and for most of the music videos for the top music artists today.  All I can say is WOW!  I can only dream of such glory.  Fatima has achieved such dance glory and beyond!  I think about Fatima every time I attempt, ahem — TRY, to do the Remember the Time dance on The Michael Jackson Experience on my XBox and Wii consoles.  Hint, hint, for some reason the Wii version is a lot easier to do than the XBox version.  I usually have to drunk first to get enough nerve and courage to try it on Xbox with the Kinect.  Well, me, Brenda and my Brother Ben will try.  Then the next day we wake up we are all sort from being old folks trying to dance to songs choreographed and performed by young folks and have a sore throat from trying to sing along with Michael.  LOL! And trust me, I have done it both drunk and sober and the results are still the same, I can’t keep up with Michael or Fatima’s great choreography to Remember the Time, but hey, at least I tried.  Check her out at:

http://www.fatimarobinson.com/fatima.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remember_the_Time

For more dance gossip & goodies, check out my book, "Learn to Belly Dance Textbook" available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble :
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005SFPN6I/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_g351_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=121QKD526S21XAKBP0T2&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

Remember the Time1