Film Review: Joyful Noise

With Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton heading up the cast of a film which revolves around a choir competition, viewers should have a good idea of what to expect. Joyful Noise offers entertainment one would anticipate, although there is some unevenness.

Wealthy G.G. Sparrow is surprised with the appointment of Vi Rose Hill as the new choir director. Hoping to win a national competition, the two women clash over the direction the choir is taking. Things get more complicated with the arrival of G.G’s grandson Randy…

Joyful Noise primarily concerns itself with a church choir hoping to win a competition as the underdogs. However there are numerous strands that feature in addition to this overarching narrative. While the plot would have been rather weak without embellishment, there is a lot going on in the film. As well as the strained relationship between G.G. and Vi Rose, there is the blooming romance between Randy and Olivia. In addition to this, there are strands occupied by the recession, the impact of a disability, marriage and relationship problems, bereavement and a tumultuous mother-daughter relationship. All in all, therefore, there are a lot of different dynamics at play.

Due to the sheer amount of strands at play, some never feel fully developed or satisfactorily resolved. In spite of this, Joyful Noise is still an enjoyable film to watch. The dialogue is priceless at times, feeling quite authentically of its Georgia setting. The songs featured in the film are also good, although some more gospel would have been welcome given that it is a church choir competition.

Dolly Parton brings her regular charm as G.G. Sparrow. It is welcome that the film makes light of Parton’s cosmetic surgery. Queen Latifah delivers a powerful performance as Vi Rose. Keke Palmer and Jeremy Jordan are suitably cast as Olivia and Randy.

The narrative of Todd Graff’s film could have been a lot tighter. Nevertheless, Joyful Noise should leave viewers with a smile on their face. The film will not appeal to everyone, but should entertain those who give it a go.

Stuff To Look At

Some delights for the eyeballs with Frankenweenie, Monsters University, The Expendables 2 and Pitch Perfect.


With these images, you are really spoiling us, Disney. Not content with releasing the first image of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent at the beginning of the week, Disney have also furnished us with new images from Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie. Obviously, I am choosing to share the image of Sparky, the hot piece dog at the centre of the film. Frankenweenie is due for release on 17th October 2012.

Monsters University

I have a terrible confession to make. I have never actually seen Monsters Inc. I know, shoot me down. Many centuries ago, in my brief stint as a ‘Cast Member’ for The Disney Store, we used to sell all kinds of Sully-emblazoned merchandise. Thus, I am aware of the characters and the general happenings of the film, even though I have never watched Monsters Inc. The follow up, prequel Monsters University, is due for release next summer so I have plenty of time to see the original.

The Expendables 2

Of the films out this summer, The Expendables 2 is one I am really looking forward to. With the inclusion of Jason Statham, Jet Li and others, The Expendables 2 is not really an eighties action star reunion. Nevertheless, the film does feature Norris, Stallone, Lundgren, Schwarzenegger and Willis. Not exactly a bad cast. The Expendables 2 is out in cinemas on 16th August and I cannot wait.

Pitch Perfect

What’s this? Another Glee-inspired film about a singing competition? Yes and no. Like Joyful Noise, it is unlikely that the success of Glee did not impact Pitch Perfect being green lit. However, the film seems to have more of an attitude than the television show, so hopefully amusement will trump saccharine sentiment. Pitch Perfect is out in UK cinemas on 19th October 2012.

Trailer Round-Up

New trailers for The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus were released earlier this week. With the latest trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man being released last night, this has been a bumper week for blockbuster trailers. All we need now is something from new James Bond movie Skyfall

Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom is the eagerly anticipated new film from Wes Anderson. The film boasts a stellar cast that includes Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Bruce Willis and Tilda Swinton. Moonrise Kingdom is about two children who fall in love during the summer of 1965. The film is released on 25th May 2012.

The Amazing Spider-Man

The third trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man was released last night. The trailer reveals more of an emphasis on Peter Parker’s parents than the previous run of Spiderman films. Although the trailer looks good, The Amazing Spider-Man has been sandwiched between two superhero behemoths; Avengers Assemble has already done record-breaking business while The Dark Knight Rises is due for release two weeks after Spider-Man. Notwithstanding, given the popularity of this character, The Amazing Spider-Man is sure to bring in the crowds when it opens on 4th July 2012.

Magic Mike

I am not sure what Magic Mike is supposed to be, other than based on Channing Tatum’s former career as a stripper. Steven Soderbergh’s film could have been a male version of Showgirls, but instead seems to have a strong romantic string to the story. Channing Tatum showed off his comedy chops in 21 Jump Street, so hopefully these will shine through in Magic Mike. Also starring Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConughey, Magic Mike is out in cinemas on 13th July 2012.

Joyful Noise

The only thing you need to know about this film is that Dolly Parton in it. But if you want to know more, the film is about church choir group who enter a competition with new director Vi Rose (Queen Latifah) at the helm. The arrival of Randy (Jeremy Jordan), the grandson of G.G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton) shakes things up. Joyful Noise is released on 29th June 2012.