The Biopic has to be the most mundane genre around; another actor playing a caricature of a famous person in the hopes of an Oscar. The vast majority of them are plodding films that don't tell you enough about the person for me to care. However, when they are done well, they are often very informative and highly entertaining. It helps when making a biography to have top quality actors like Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor in the main roles; a couple of great actors can hide a multitude of sins elsewhere in the film, as is the case with `Talk to Me'.
`Talk' is the biopic of Petey Green, a man I have to admit to never having heard of. He is seen as one of the first shock jocks, but also as an important person in the civil rights movement. The film is as much about Dewey Hughes as it is Green. Hughes discovers and nurtures Green's talents, and as Green is constantly going off the rails, this is no easy task. Both Cheadle and Ejiofor carry this film brilliantly. I am a huge fan of both actors and they are able to take a by the numbers scripts, average direction, low budget and still make `Talk' a great film to watch.
Director Kasi Lemons falls deeply into the biopic trap of making the film feel like it was made for TV e.g. unambitious shots, few locations etc. At times the film feels like an extended episode of `Quantum Leap'. The main reason the film works is the chemistry between Cheadle and Ejiofor - two actors on top form. Ejiofor is perhaps playing more to type, but it is good to see Cheadle getting his chops into a seedier role. A biography worth watching for the acting and perhaps not much else.
As mentioned the direction is of a pretty mundane standard so the BluRay version is not needed. Included on the disc are some interesting documentaries about the real life characters and America of the 50-70s.
The bones of this story have been written below by other reviewers. I have watched this several times and every time I am amazed at the fine acting of the lead actors. The weaving of essentially a true story set at a time of the Civl Rights upheaval in the USA, with Martin Luther Kings death being the main event set the time-line. Two very diferent black men who become friends, trying to "make it", one by "conforming and not rocking the boat", and the other by "whatever mean necessary".
My husband had a "guys night" in and this was the movie all the brothers viewed. As they generally were all young men at the time this move was set, it was very emotional, hilarious and humbling for them. The music is essestial soul of the time, pulsating and rhythmic yet frustrating as no tune gets played completely but hey..
This is a great film lost &neglected in the mega bucks world of distribution. Buy it and watch it again..I know I will watch it again and again.
I saw this film on a flight home from the far East, and was totally absorbed into the story. Basically it is about a con who is a DJ in prison, and gets a break in a local radio station. The film focuses around this one guys DJ antics in an attempt to make the station more streetwise and to increase ratings to the station. Frasier meets Shaft. This film also links to the MArtin Luther King assisination and how this DJ calms the local town through music and a concert with James Brown. I am not sure if it is based on a true story or not, but the soundtrack works well with the film and brings out various emotions whilst watching. Laughter at the antics of this streetwise, con come DJ , sadness on the impact of MLKs death, and encouragment for this guy making it as not only a DJ but as a TV host. Definately worth seeing - only released on Region 1 so far, hopefully it will get a UK release. Brilliant!
Superb acting comes from Don Cheadle, British talent Chiwetel Ejiofor and Taraji Henson in this biopic of a down-on-his-luck ex con who defies the odds and goes on to achieve the unimaginable and become a television personality and unlikely cult figure.
The film is set in the 1970s and is a low-key and a cozy account of the decade that really gives you a realistic feel for the times. I love everything about it -the music, the outfits- not to mention the jive-talking, which is good fun and hilarious. Yet at the same time the movie manages to be touching and nostalgic and really goes deep into the essence of the characters, the friendships and partnerships in addition to the racial turbulence of the time, which manages not to overshadow the enjoyment of the movie. This is definitely an underrated piece of art work by Kasi Lemmons as most quality and substance-based movies are these days, which is unfortunate. I've watched it over and over and still manage to be touched by characters and the acting.I would definitely recommend it. Especially if you enjoy black period dramas in general- such as Ray (based on the story of Ray Charles).