Monday, July 30, 2007

Talk to Me - Movie Review

Talk to Me (R) 118 minutes B+
Starring Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mike Epps, Martin Sheen, Cedric the Entertainer, and Vondie Curtis-Hall

Sometimes the best films are the hardest to write about, such is the case with Talk to Me. This bio-pic is based on the life of Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene, a Washington DC radio and television personality during the 60's and 70's.

Mr. Greene had an extraordinary life, he dropped out of high school, joined the army, was discharged from the army, and later convicted of armed robbery. He served time at the Lorton Reformatory Prison, and while incarcerated he honed his skills as a DJ.

To say the least, Greene achieved a lot when he got out of prison. In 1978 he was invited to the White House by President Jimmy Carter. This is quite a feat, considering that was then, and I can't imagine someone like Petey Greene being invited to the White House now (in 2007).

Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor are outstanding in this film. Cheadle is already one of the best actors on the planet and Ejiofor is quickly becoming one of my favorites (loved him in Woody Allen's Melinda Melinda & Spike Lee's Inside Man).

Respected Wall Street Journal film critic Joanne Kaufman wrote that the dialogue in Talk to Me is "equal parts uptight honky and jumping jive", and some viewers may agree. But watering down the language/dialogue might take away from the artistic integrity of the film. The language isn't always pleasant but it's the way some people felt during those times... and maybe even now (to some extent).

I thought this was a strong film, and one of the best of 2007 thus far... but it may not appeal to all audiences.

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