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Talk to Me
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Wow

10/10
Author: debby-10 from United States
7 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I laughed, I cried, I loved this movie! This movie tells the story of Petey Greene, a Washington DC DJ in the turbulent civil rights era of the 1970's. Petey was an ordinary guy, a truth-teller from the hood who got his stage on radio and made a difference in his community. Don Cheadle is a genius playing Petey Greene. But the story goes to Dewey Hughes, the guy behind the voice. It's a story about all of us who focus on others and drive for their success and when they let us down, or don't want what we want for them, we have to find what we want for ourselves. This movie is so good and so deep and so brilliant on so many levels. The writing, the directing, the acting, the story, the times, the history, the parallels. I'm so glad I went to see this film tonight. I was also in the music business for years and want to say that this movie is spot on to the music business, and the music is amazing! Thank you Kasi Lemmons!

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This Was A Great Movie!

10/10
Author: leighabc123 from Portsmouth, Virginia
18 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Directed by Kasi Lemmons (the fly girl who dissed Spike Lee in School Days), this movie was based on the true story of the controversial Washington D.C. dee jay, Petey Greene. Was it ironic or was it creative licensing when Petey was caught cheating on his girlfriend with another young woman. She was going to cut him with a bottle. But she got revenge instead and cheated on him with Cedric the Entertainer's character in the radio station. During the middle of the fight, the owner notified everybody that Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. The tone of the movie changed in the drop of a dime! Overall, Don Cheadle and fly Taraji Henson made this movie interesting.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This Movie Should Have "OSCAR" Written All Over IT.

10/10
Author: comeback_kid13 from United States
8 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With the combination of a great mind of director Kasi Lemmons, great script, and a solid cast of epic proportions, "Talk to Me" is a movie like no other this year. The climax will keep you in your seat with a face full of enjoyment from beginning to end, that you'll be leaving the theater saying to yourself "This is one hell of a masterpiece", and think of that shining, little golden statue called Oscar.

As we all know, this movie is focused on life of Ralph Waldo Emerson "Petey" Greene. From his early life in the joint, to his first day on the job, and to one of the most darkest day in America... The Death of Dr. Martin Luther King". Petey Greene, not only spoke for the people, but he inspired thousands of people to speak their minds out, and after King's death, he showed them that sharing your, and being in pain was OK. Greene's life was cut short, but to those who lived with him, and spoke by him will always treasure the memories, and will never forget who Petey Greene was, and for what he stood for. Don Cheadle gives but a performance of a lifetime with such a stellar supporting cast. He does such a great job in becoming Petey Greene, and shows that he is Oscar worthy, and that his name deserves to be on the list of five come February 2008. Not only did Cheadle steal the show, but so did the supporting cast that did such an amazing job. My hats goes of to Kasi Lemmons who brought back the legacy of Petey Greene, and did such a phenomenal job. If it's one movie that deserves best picture nod, it's certainly should be "Talk To Me", and it's certainly one of the best films that i've seen in 2007.

My overall rating: 10/10.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

excellent film

10/10
Author: golay-1 from United States
11 August 2007

Great acting, interesting character development, good music. The re-creation of MLK's assassination, and the outpouring of stunned sadness, almost disbelief, then outrage, and destruction, was totally accurately portrayed (as I remember the event in Chicago). It was so realistic that I found it difficult to relive through the movie.

This film should receive millions of awards. I hope that instead of just focusing on the dress styles and music of this era, people will get an idea of the actual historical events and the impact it had on people then.

It was interesting to me to know that it based upon actual people in D.C.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Cheadle and Ejiofor are excellent in this biopic of Petey Greene

10/10
Author: ninjacatprincess from United States
9 August 2007

Don Cheadle and C. Ejiofor are excellent in this biopic of Petey Greene, a Virginia con who transformed himself into one of the most influential radio talk personalities of the '60s and '70s. Their chemistry together is unbelievable and worthy of an Oscar.

For those who have been depicting this as "a black movie" - it simply wasn't...just like "Selena" was a Latino movie, "Joy Luck Club" wasn't an Asian movie and "The Godfather" isn't an Italian-American movie (all of these movies are so good they transcend race and ethnicity). I watch them over and over again because they're GOOD - not because I believe to one of the ethnic groups. All of this being said, you'll be pleasantly surprised. The dialogue is a bit spicy at times but I felt it was appropriate because the dialogue was authentic (men drink and swear in pool halls and life doesn't always have squeaky clean, neatly packaged moments).

In 2008, I'll be cheering for Cheadle and Ejiofor to get an Oscar!

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Don Cheadle is the only reason to see this bland bio

6/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
13 September 2007

Don Cheadle plays Ralph Waldo 'Petey' Greene and ex-con who became a DJ in Washinton in the 1960's who was known for "telling it like it is".

Thats about it. Thats about the excitement level of the film. To be certain the film deals with social change and the relationship between Petey, his girl, the station manager and the world, but its completely uninvolving. I didn't care what happened mostly because I kind of could guess where it was going. Cheadle turns in his usual note perfect "why doesn't this man have an Oscar" performances, but thats all there is. Its Cheadle and only Cheadle in this totally forgettable biopic.

Wait for cable

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

'Talk to Me' could say more

8/10
Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California
23 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the late Sixties a populist DC radio station called WOL was losing its audience when a newly released ex-con, Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene Jr. (Don Cheadle), who had done a radio show for the prisoners, talked himself into a gig and became a local icon at a time when black was beautiful and the black local audience had to have somebody who could keep it real. Petey became such a notable figure--he probably influenced many who followed--because he couldn't do it any other way. He's a natural, and his roughness came when it was the voice people needed to hear.

The middle man in this transformation of DC radio is the black program manager Dewey Hughes (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who sees Petey in prison when visiting his own inmate brother. Hughes is initially scornful, but Petey wins him over and he overrides the trepidations of the white station owner, E.G. Sonderling (Martin Sheen).

Talk to Me is lively and hilarious in its early segments when Cheadle is almost all ghetto schtick. Even if the essence of the gate-crashing episodes was already blown for anybody who saw the trailer; even though it's not much more than spiced-up sit-com material (Ella Taylor wrote, "I felt as though someone had trapped me in a time-warped episode of 'The Jeffersons'"), it's still outrageous fun, and as a straight man, Ejiofor is fine because he gives Dewey Hughes such authority. It's a laugh, maybe a relief, to see the staid and gentrified Don Cheadle--the African humanitarian; the college roommate of Adam Sandler; the boon companion of Clooney and Pitt and Damon--get a chance to act down and dirty, rude and black. But the movie works at this point because of foils, starting with Dewey. Ejiofor and Cheadle are great together. The early scenes are all sharp and well paced.

If only the movie could have maintained its opening level of energy and outrageousness, but it can't. At the center is the radio talk, and Petey's message is so simple that it doesn't go very far, not the way his on-the-air lines are written. Then Petey's story turns tragic. He's a small man whose rough life brought him down: he smoked and drank too much and despite his cockiness he had serious self doubts. Whether it was "being real" that led him away from rising beyond the radio station to become a national figure or just the same fear that hit him the first time he went on the air at WOL, Petey is no Richard Pryor. Why the comedy turns to a tragedy is a complicated internal story that might be developed better in a simpler, more articulate format--in a play. Cheadle does the decline of Petey Greene almost as well as he did the opening street-hustler schtick. You can hardly look at his face at times toward the end: its defiance has so clearly turned to defeat. But the movie feels lacking in unity.

Did this even have to be a bio-pic--does it contain enough material for one? If the director, Kaci Lemmons, and the writers, Michael Genet and Rick Fumuyiwa, had had something more particular to say, things might have gone differently. Instead the movie, despite some strong scenes and consistently good acting, is uneven in tone and focus and style. The cinematography is a jumble of clumsy crowd scenes, fake video, sit-com style interiors, and extreme close-ups. The tone, as suggested, rambles from cocky and outrageous to earnest and maudlin. As a biography Petey's story is shallow and anecdotal--and the historical background, despite the strong emotional passage on the assassination of Dr. King--Petey's moment of true leadership--lacks depth and specificity too. Mostly it's history through clothes and hairstyles.

As is the way of bio-pics, Petey's downfall is defined through a single episode, when Dewey Hughes gets him a chance to appear on the Johnny Carson Show and he completely blows it, embarrassing everyone. Petey almost runs off in the half hour before he's to go on camera, and we suspect he'll just get drunk, as he did before opening a James Brown concert right after the M.L. King assassination and DC riots he helped quell. When Hughes later declares that when he was growing up he learned everything from the Carson show about the world beyond the projects he lived in as a youth, that's another dead end in character development. And surely the downfall of Petey Greene was more complex than this.

Cheadle's versatility is impressive of course, but Ejiofor is more interesting to watch after a while. As Petey's manager it's he who goes through the biggest changes, tonsorially and as it were morally: aside from changing moustaches and hair styles he goes from Oreo twerp to manipulative ass to full-fledged mensch. He socks Petey after the Carson debacle and they have a falling out, but they get back together and, though it's shown only in a single shot, we understand that he reconciles with his incarcerated brother too, whom he had treated rudely in an opening scene. A fine actor, Ejiofor is stunning in this movie. Even if her booty-shaking struts are standard issue, as Vernell Watson, Petey's faithful girlfriend, Taraji P. Henson (of Hustle and Flow) displays exceptional panache, especially in the early scenes. Cedric the Entertainer and Vlondie Curtis-Hall do good work as the other two black disc jockeys on WOL. But it can't be said that the movie itself has any particular distinction. This is yet another movie that comes down to a few good performances, and, as A.O. Scott has noted, "a fair number of funny, dirty jokes." As several writers have said, this is a potent reminder of a time when people listened to radio and when media voices talked back to power instead of being its mouthpiece. But you'll get a lot more of those funny, dirty jokes and insight into those times if you listen to a Richard Prior record.

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