I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Monday, July 30, 2007

Talk To Me (2007)

Petey Greene (Don Cheadle) has his own radio show, and he's good at it. Problem is, he's in prison while he's doing it. A fellow convict, Milo Hughes (Mike Epps), invites his brother Dewey (Chiwetel Ejiofor) to come up to the prison to hear Petey. Dewey is an executive at a Washington D.C. R&B/Soul radio station. Dewey is not impressed, even after he meets Petey in person. Due to a favor to the warden, Petey is released from stir early, and he goes to Dewey for a job.

Petey's first foray behind the mic is less than spectacular. The station manager, Mr. Sonderling (Martin Sheen), wonders if Dewey has lost his mind by bringing Petey in. Dewey wonders that himself, but he sees talent in Petey. Under Sonderling's nose, he gives Petey another chance, ruffling the feathers of Sunny Jim (Vondie Curtis Hall) the DJ whose spot Dewey gives to Petey. Positive audience response to Petey's "tell it like it is" attitude changes Sonderling's mind.

Cheadle (Ocean's 11, Hotel Rwanda) is a joy to watch as Greene, who in real life, was a beloved radio DJ and community activist in the 1960s and 1970s due to his "keeping it real" style. Ejiofor (Kinky Boots) does a great job as a seemingly button down exec who is lot closer to Greene's street background, than Greene believes. Taraji P. Hensen (Something New) is a hoot as Green's sassy girlfriend, Vernell, and she rocks a mean Angela Davis afro. Cedric The Entertainer (The Original Kings Of Comedy) is featured as a smooth talking "love" DJ. Martin Sheen, himself a long time activist, has many credits including TV's "The West Wing" and Apolcalypse Now (1979).

One of the best uses of a song I've ever heard in a film -- Sam Cooke's "A Change Goin' Come" has been used in other films including Malcolm X (1992). Here, it's used to represent a change in Petey's life when he leaves prison, and a song of hope after scenes depicting how Greene helped calm things in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King's 1968 assassination.

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