05/27/2016  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

'Nashville': 12 Best Music Moments From TV Series ...
The Voice Finale: Alisan Porter Wins Season 10 ...
Pink's Hairstylist on Her Billboard Music Awards Look...
Adele's Send My Love to Your New Lover video: Director ...
Bryan Cranston Mesmerizes as LBJ in HBO's 'All the Way'...
Kristin Chenoweth takes on a different kind of role ...
Survivor: Kaoh Rong: And the winner is... ...
Ghostbusters Are Desperately Trying to Save New York Ci...
The Beach Boys' 'Pet Sounds' Turns 50: How Brian Wilson...
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom Pack on the PDA at Cannes ...





Microsoft Store

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, nashville, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, music, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, hbo, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, movie, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked, survivor: kaoh-rong, reality, michelle fitzgerald, aubry, tai, jeff probst, comedy remake, ghostbusters, melissa mccarthy, kristen wiig, kate mckinnon, leslie jones, beach boys, pet sounds, brian wilson, bob dylan, blonde on blonde, cannes film festival, selena gomez, beyonce, crazy in love, lemonade, sorry, donÕt hurt yourself, daddy lessons, dancing with the stars, nyle dimarco, bruno tonioli, carrie ann inaba, len goodman, live! with kelly and michael, kelly ripa michael strahan, beyoncˇ, jay z, rachel roy, cheating, prince, little red corvette, purple rain, linus and lucy, the bourne supremacy, the bourne ultimatum, matt damon, alicia vikander, vincent cassel, tommy lee jones, julia stiles, paul greengrass, game of thrones, sansa, ramsay bolton, theron greyjoy, reek, petyr baelish, cersei, jaime, stephen colbert, hillary clinton, carnegie deli, the late show with stepen colbert, jungle book, disney, neel sethi, bill murray, rudyard kipling, captain america: civil war, captain america, iron man, black panther, scarlet witch, the jungle book, virtual productions, avatar, gravity, jon favreau, fantasy, james cameron, avatar sequels, avatar 2, christmas 2018, movies, tribeca film festival, the first monday in may, andrew rossi, justin bieber, anna wintour, met gala, 38 interactive and virtual-reality exhibits, the bomb, the meddler, j.j. abrams, chris rock, tom hanks, john oliver, elvis & nixon, mtv movie awards, dwayne johnson, kevin hart, warner bros. studios, will smith, suicide squad, jared leto, margot robbie, cara delevingne, kiss, freedom to rock, 35 date tour, july 7, caleb johnson, dead daisies, kiss online, merle haggard, died, okie from muskogee, sing me back, mama tried, the bakersfield sound, country music. willie nelson, waylon jennings, gram parsons, eric church, hungry eyes, jimmy fallon, the boss, brand new key, x gonna give it to ya, miles ahead, don cheadle, miles davis, rock and roll hall of fame, ewan mcgregor, michael stuhbarg, lakeith lee stanfield, house of lies, finding dory, ellen degeneres, finding nemo, albert brooks, hayden rolence, animation

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

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