09/18/2014  
Frontline: Losing Iraq on DVD Oct 7The Calling on DVD Sep 232 Broke Girls: The Complete Third Season on DVD Sep 30Found on DVD Sep 23Beyond Borders & Faces of Israel on DVD in SeptemberAfter on DVD Sep 23Transformers: Age of Extinction on DVD & Blu-ray Sep 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton get epic in 'Tonight Show' ...
Frontline: Losing Iraq on DVD Oct 7...
The Calling on DVD Sep 23...
Julianna Margulies and Jimmy Fallon Perform Musical Mor...
Rosie O'Donnell: "Who is Charles Krauthammer?"...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

FOCUSfilm Entertainment presents
Talk to Me (2007)

"I'll tell it to the hot, I'll tell it to the cold. I'll tell it to the young, I'll tell it to the old. I don't want no laughin', I don't want no cryin', and most of all, no signifyin'. This is Petey Greene's Washington."
- Petey Greene (Don Cheadle)

Review By: Dan Heaton   
Published: February 01, 2008

Stars: Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Taraji P. Henson
Other Stars: Martin Sheen, Mike Epps, Cedric the Entertainer, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Martin Randez, Todd Schroeder
Director: Kasi Lemmons

MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language and some sexual content
Run Time: 01h:58m:30s
Release Date: October 30, 2007
UPC: 025193330420
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ A-B+A- C+

DVD Review

We're currently immersed in the awards season, where critics and other experts choose their favorite movies and performances from the past year. A forgotten gem within this discussion is Kasi Lemmons' Talk to Me—a moving, energetic film depicting the rise of D.C. radio and TV star Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene (Don Cheadle). The story begins with Petey in jail and serving as the charismatic DJ at Lorton Reformatory. After using his charisma to help reduce his sentence, he tries to catch a break in the world of commercial radio. His opportunity comes through a chance meeting with Dewey Hughes (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who wants little to do with him at first. Hughes works at WOL, a calm AM station playing old-style soul and losing its hold on the youth market. Petey’s fresh outlook gives Dewey a chance to make his mark and increase WOL’s audience.

Don Cheadle has proven his diverse talents with memorable turns in wide-ranging films including Hotel Rwanda, Out of Sight and Crash. His sedate persona might not appear to make him the best choice to play Petey, but Cheadle delivers a confident, exciting performance. The film's pivotal moment involves the Martin Luther King assassination, which led to angry riots in the streets. Petey taking to the airwaves afterwards is some of the finest work in Cheadle’s career. It's also intriguing to see his progression from a bumbling host to a finely tuned machine. Cheadle could easily have taken his performance way over the top, but he maintains the believable side of the magnetic DJ. Equally formidable is Ejiofor (Children of Men, Serenity), who plays a rising professional trying to succeed in the world of white producers. Dewey initially appears to be totally immersed in the mainstream culture, but he retains memories of his difficult youth. Ejiofor is so good that he nearly hijacks the picture from Cheadle and makes his story equally riveting. Their relationship's development and eventual difficulties take this picture beyond the standard biopic.

The most effective aspect of Kasi Lemmons' (Eve’s Bayou) direction is the authentic feeling of the entire production. The locations, costumes and overall atmosphere stay rooted in the 1970s and make Petey's journey believable. A highlight is the free James Brown concert that immediately follows the Martin Luther King riots. The images look as if they were transported from the '70s and don’t resemble the sloppy recreations of many historical movies. This genuine environment increases the success of the energetic first hour, which delivers consistent enjoyment as Petey becomes a star. It's hard to take your eyes off both Cheadle and Ejiofor. Additionally, solid performers like Cedric the Entertainer, Vondie Curtis-Hall and Martin Sheen offer first-rate support to the lead actors.

Talk to Me shines when presenting Petey's beginnings on radio and his rise to prominence, but it falters a bit during its final act. The fault shouldn't rest entirely with Lemmons and screenwriters Michael Genet and Rick Famuyiwa, however. As Petey grows irritated with his career progression, the life seeps out of his performances, and affects the film in the same way. The plot structure grows a bit jumbled during the conclusion and lacks the power of the early sequences. One other issue is with the Vernell Watson character, played by Taraji P. Henson with her typical energy. Petey's girl remains present during the later scenes, but her role becomes less clear. These are minor concerns, however, as the overall picture remains effective. Cheadle and Ejiofor's chemistry and top-notch performances earn this film a strong recommendation.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Washington, D.C. in the 1970s is depicted believably in Talk to Me's 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The colors are sharp and help to deliver the energetic atmosphere of Petey's surge to fame. There is some minor grain on the picture, but it mostly helps to create a historical feeling of observing a bygone era.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The numerous soul and R&B hits from renowned artists like James Brown and Sam Cooke leap from the speakers of the 5.1-channel Dolby Digital transfer. The melodic audio provides an excellent backdrop for Petey and Dewey's story and moves smoothly throughout the sound field.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring Reservation Road, Balls of Fury
6 Deleted Scenes
2 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Snapper
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Talk to Me includes a disappointingly small collection of extras that give worthy background within a brief running time. Who Is Petey Greene offers a 10-minute collection of interviews and clips that contains a few good insights but too much fluff. The main negative is too much footage from the picture that doesn’t relate directly to the cast and crew's comments. Kasi Lemmons does provide some intriguing comments about Dewey that make this an interesting piece. Recreating P-Town is more engaging with its look at re-creating '70s D.C. This 11-minute featurette includes comments from production designer Gersha Phillips and other crew members that depict the complex design process. They quickly discuss the film’s key events like Petey's appearance on The Tonight Show appearance and the James Brown concert. The only other supplement is eight minutes of deleted scenes that are mostly throwaways. The most notable moments involve the dress rehearsal for the last-night show and Petey's speech at Walt Whitman High School.

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

Talk to Me did receive a few Independent Spirit and Satellite award nominations, but it's generally been eliminated from the conversation. It may not be the year's best film, but impressive performances and an engaging script lead to good entertainment. If you missed seeing Petey Greene's story in the theaters, I recommend giving it a second chance on DVD.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, reality, tonight show, late night talk, nbc, gwen stefani, blake shelton, jimmy fallon, spike jones and his city slickers, documentary, drama, julianna margulies, the tonight show, saugarties high school, taylor swift, shake it off, abc, daytime talk, the view, rosie o'donnell, charles krauthammer, whoopi goldberg, nicolle wallace, music, rihanna, thursday night football, run this town, jay z, kanye west, canceled, cbs, don cheadle, sean mcmanus, comedy, rosie perez, kristen chenoweth, robin thick, vicodin, alcohol, blurred lines, paula patton, paula, horror, movies, box office, foreign, movie, dolphin tale 2, harry connick jr., winter, nathan gamble, cozi zuehlsdorff, kris kristofferson, ashley judd, morgan freeman, saturday night live, weekend update, michael che, cecily strong, colin jost, sasheer zamata, action, u2, songs of innocence, worldwide giveaway, itunes store, bono, joey ramone, raised by wolves, series, sons of anarchy, charlie hunnam, danny trejo, theo rossi, katey sagal, nicki minaj, new york fashion, alexander wang, anaconda, i saw the light, hank williams, tom hiddleston, shelton hank williams iii, move it on over, wheatland music festival, adventure, marvel, guardians of the galaxy, sci-fi, fantasy, superheros, celebrity, joan rivers, johnny carson, atlantic city, edgar rosenberg, 2010 documentary, joan rivers: piece of work, hack attack, rupert murdoch, news of the world, good night and good luck, sony pictures entertainment

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact