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"TALK TO ME"
(2007) (Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Minor Heavy Mild Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Extreme Minor Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A radio program director and an ex-con forge an unlikely friendship and business relationship when the latter talks his way into a deejay position and becomes popular with the listeners.
PLOT:
It's 1966, and Dewey Hughes (CHIWETEL EJIOFOR) is a successful program director at WOL-AM in Washington, DC. While visiting his brother, Milo (MIKE EPPS), who's serving time in prison, he hears the charismatic voice of inmate Ralph "Petey" Greene (DON CHEADLE) as the prison's unofficial deejay. Knowledgeable about Dewey's position, Petey tries to talk his way into a job, but the company man wants nothing to do with him, jokingly offering him a chance whenever he gets out of the joint.

Unbeknownst to Dewey, Petey legitimately arranges for just that, and shows up unannounced at the station with his flamboyant girlfriend, Vernell (TARAJI P. HENSON). Station owner E.G. Sonderling (MARTIN SHEEN), who's more used to deejays such as the silky-voiced ladies man Nighthawk (CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER) and veteran smooth talker Sunny Jim (VONDIE CURTIS HALL), doesn't want anything to do with this outspoken player.

Yet, Dewey manages to get Petey on the air, and while he ruffles many feathers, he's an instant hit with the listeners. From that point on, and through various personal and public crises such as the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, the two men forge an unlikely friendship and business relationship.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast, talk radio, or the history behind the story, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For pervasive language and some sexual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DON CHEADLE plays the ex-con turned popular radio deejay who speaks his mind and calls it as he sees it. He uses strong profanity, smokes, drinks, and cheats on his girlfriend while also serving as a calming but activist voice during the riots of 1968.
  • CHIWETEL EJIOFOR plays the station's hardworking and straight-laced program director who gives Petey his first break on the air, uses strong profanity, becomes hooked on living off Petey's success, and drinks.
  • TARAJI P. HENSON plays Petey's girlfriend who uses strong profanity, wears revealing attire, and apparently has sex with Nighthawk as revenge for Petey earlier cheating on her.
  • MARTIN SHEEN plays the station owner who's initially reluctant to give Petey an on-air job, not only because of his past, but also due to not knowing what might next come out of his mouth.
  • CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER plays the silky-voiced deejay who's known to make many a woman's heart go aflutter, including Vernell's. It's implied that he has sex with her.
  • VONDIE CURTIS HALL plays the smooth-talking, veteran deejay who isn't pleased when upstart Greene is given his time slot.
  • MIKE EPPS plays Dewey's brother who's in prison and first enlightens the radio producer to Petey's on-air talents.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 54 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered, as is sexually related dialogue (some of it explicit).

    There's a partially seen sexual encounter (movement and sounds), followed by the man being fully nude (the only explicit thing we see is his bare butt, no longer in a sexual context), and others are heavily implied (including that of a threesome), while a woman shows a lot of cleavage.

    Violence consists of some brief fighting, as well as footage of rioting and related aspects of that. Some of these scenes may be unsettling or tense for some viewers, and various bad attitudes are present. Various characters drink and/or smoke (some quite a bit of both), there are two vomiting scenes, and some behavior might be enticing to imitate

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some brief, and thus a bit shaky, handheld camera footage from time to time in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see a drink by Nighthawk.
  • Petey has a drink by him on a billiards table, while Dewey comments on the whiskey Petey has had.
  • Petey, Vernell, and Dewey have drinks.
  • On the radio, Petey says he's a recovering alcoholic, hasn't had a drink in a few hours, and mentions something about no needles for several years.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks in a bar where Dewey has one as well.
  • We see wine on the table by Dewey and his date.
  • Petey is drunk after Vernell kicks him out for cheating on her. Dewey then trips on some bottles and then picks them up, indicating that Petey consumed all of them.
  • Petey arrives for a concert drunk and later vomits from that state.
  • Petey holds a drink while doing some standup comedy.
  • Petey does a standup comedy routine commenting about drinking four bottles of Cold Duck and then "pissing" on the stage.
  • After a flub doing some TV intro recordings, a comment is made that maybe Petey should stop drinking.
  • We see bottles of liquor in a TV dressing room, and Petey moves over toward them. Later, and on the air, he appears a bit intoxicated.
  • E.G. and Dewey clink glasses of champagne together.
  • Dewey pours liquor for Vernell and himself.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear the sound of Petey vomiting from nerves before going on the air for the first time (after rushing from the booth appearing as if he might vomit at any moment).
  • Petey arrives for a concert drunk and later vomits from that state.
  • Petey does a standup comedy routine commenting about drinking four bottles of Cold Duck and then "pissing" on the stage.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A prison warden wants his guard to shoot a prisoner who's up on top of a tower, but the guard says he can't as that wouldn't be a good idea.
  • Some viewers may take offense at the repeated use of the term "nigger" (said many times by Petey and other black characters).
  • Petey complains that Dewey is just a white man with a tan (meaning he's black, but acts "white"). He later states that Dewey "is in bed with the man" (meaning the white establishment).
  • When we first see him, Petey is in prison for an unspecified crime.
  • Jokingly talking to an uptight, middle-aged receptionist at the station, Petey asks her if she ever lets anyone eat her "p*ssy."
  • Petey cheats on Vernell by having sex with another woman.
  • We see Vernell in a very short dress, and it's implied she had sex with Nighthawk after coming out of his office and telling Dewey that now they're even.
  • After news of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., we see miscellaneous people rioting in the streets, including one burning an American flag.
  • We see Vernell hitting on Petey in frustration (presumably for cheating on her again).
  • Introducing a guest on his TV show, Petey refers to the elected city official as a pimp.
  • Thriving on the associated fame, Dewey starts to push Petey more than he wants in terms of public appearances, etc. and gets mad when Petey doesn't want to cooperate.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • After news of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., we see miscellaneous people rioting in the streets, including setting fires (one with a Molotov cocktail, throwing things through windows, bashing cars, etc.). Some black men chase a lone white man, but Petey races after and stops them from doing anything more. We also see white cops beating a black rioter.
  • There are angry crowds at a concert who confront armed national guardsmen.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Prison guards aim their rifles at a prisoner up on top of a tower who's staging a protest. The warden wants one to shoot him, but the guard says he can't, as that wouldn't be a good idea.
  • Some radio station guards or police officers wear sidearms.
  • During and following riots, we see national guardsmen carrying rifles in several scenes.
  • Following some riots, Vernell opens the door holding a handgun.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Because you f*cked up," "Don't do me no f*cking favors," "(A lying/A bad) M*therf*cker," "All f*cked up," "Right the f*ck on," "F*ck you," "Shut the f*ck up," "F*ck it," "What the f*ck /is going on/was that?" "I f*cked up," "I don't give a f*ck," "Get the f*ck out," "Get the f*ck away from me," "The whole f*cking world was yours," "You just f*cked it up," "Don't need sh*t," "I like that sh*t," "Sh*t-talking," "Bullsh*t," "Trying to talk a little sh*t," "You ain't sh*t out here," "Oh sh*t," "You gotta be sh*tting me," "That's some stupid sh*t," "I didn't see sh*t," "Loud-ass sh*t-talkers," "You make me so hot," "Pimps," "Whores," "I use my d*ck to make love, not war," "What is it? Free p*ssy day?" "Wake up, G*ddamn it," "Jack" (man), "Nigger" (said many times by black characters), "Fine-ass frog's hair," "You're a miscreant," "Shut up," "Get your ass in that room," "Ain't this a bitch?" "Some tight ass shoes," "Have no fear, the hawk is here," "Oh, hell no," "Get on the horn, sugar," "What in blue blazes is going on out here?" "Right on," "Have you lost your mind?" "A white boy with a tan" (what Petey calls Dewey for acting "white"), "You're G*ddman right," "Sidney Poitier ass nigger," "Suck" (written), "Go straight to hell," "Pigs" (police), "Chump," "Mr. Tibbs," "Dumb ass nigger," "Oh, for crying out loud," "My ass is on the line," "Field nigger," "Black ass," "Sucker," "Bitch," "Fine ass," "Shut the hell up," "Knucklehead," "Peckerwood," "Can kiss my ass," "A hell of a day," "Be cool, ya'll," "Pissed off people," "Crackers," "Are you nuts?" "One hell of a deejay" and "Funny as hell."
  • Petey stages growing protests outside the station to convince Dewey to give him a job.
  • Petey belches (from intestinal distress brought on by nerves).
  • Dewey locks people in their offices and others out of the deejay booth to give Petey a shot at going on the air without any interference.
  • After news of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., we see miscellaneous people rioting in the streets, including one burning an American flag.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 54 "f" words (9 used with "mother," 2 used sexually), 39 "s" words, 17 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck," "snake" and for some, "p*ckerwood"), 3 using female ones ("p*ssy"), 24 asses, 18 hells, 3 damns, 15 uses of "G-damn," 2 of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "God," "Jesus Christ," "Lord have mercy," "Oh God," "Oh Lord" and "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Vernell shows varying amounts of cleavage throughout the film (sometimes a lot).
  • Upon seeing Vernell visiting Petey in prison, a person comments on that being the "booty line" in reference to conjugal visits. Vernell then removes her bra from under her clothes, hands it to Dewey who's leaving, and tells him to give it someone else, adding that there's no padding (referring to her breasts).
  • In the background of a shot in prison, we see a photo of a woman in a sexy pose (the image is small).
  • A shirtless male prison up on top of a tower taunts others below for having little "d*cks," including the warden. When the latter asks Petey if he can help (the situation), Petey jokingly replies that what the warden has in his pants is God's doing.
  • Upon her first visit to the station, Vernell rushes back to see Nighthawk. We then hear her pleasured sounds coming over the radio broadcast, and then see her giving Nighthawk a long and passionate kiss (after telling him, "You make me so hot").
  • Vernell pulls money from the breast area of her halter-top.
  • Taunting Petey at a pool hall, Dewey tells him that the cue stick he's holding isn't some inmate's "d*ck." Then, when Petey says he's going to drop a certain ball (in pool), Dewey replies that Petey couldn't "drop your drawers to f*ck the Supremes" if they were lying naked on the table.
  • Jokingly talking to an uptight, middle-aged receptionist at the station, Petey asks her if she ever lets anyone eat her "p*ssy."
  • Petey states that some of his best friends are pimps and whores.
  • A caller to the station asks if they saw Petey down at the strip club, and he mentions shake dancers, adding that Vernell was one.
  • Petey says that something reminds him of trying to get some foxy coed to rub oil on him.
  • We see a brief montage of Petey and Vernell dancing around (her somewhat sexually) in their underwear (nothing explicit). She then jumps up on him, wrapping her legs around his waist as he stands.
  • We see a head and shoulders shot (with thrusting movement and related sounds) of Petey having sex with who we believe is Vernell, but then see it's another woman. A bottle then cracks on Petey's head and Vernell holds the broken bottle to his face and neck (in anger for him cheating on her). She then makes him leave, fully nude (we don't see anything then). With nowhere else to go, he then shows up at Dewey's place, still fully nude (we see his bare butt), and he talks of Vernell catching him "f*cking" some other "broad," and mentions not passing up on some "p*ssy." Dewey says Petey should have thought about the repercussion before letting the "snake" out, with Petey then commenting on the "snake" and that all he'd been doing was "jerking off" in prison. Dewey's date sees all of this and then leaves.
  • We see Vernell in a very short dress, and it's implied she had sex with Nighthawk after coming out of his office and telling Dewey that now they're even.
  • The camera pans up a woman's bare legs to Petey there by her, asleep and bare-chested. We then see that there's a second woman, also asleep in bed with them (implying a threesome).
  • Petey states that he uses his "d*ck" to make love, not war.
  • When Dewey enthusiastically tells Petey he's not going to believe something, Petey asks, "What is it? Free p*ssy day?"
  • SMOKING
  • Petey smokes throughout the film (more than 20 times, even when sick, presumably from lung cancer or a similar ailment), Vernell smokes a few times, Dewey smokes once, and a miscellaneous person smokes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Dewey visits his brother in prison, the two obviously don't get along, and Dewey says he's only visiting because he promised their mother he would.
  • On the radio, Petey says his parents are in prison.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy and/or artistic license taken with the real story.
  • Talk radio and radio personalities.
  • The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the riots that followed that in various cities.
  • Ex-cons turning their lives around.
  • We see some archival, Vietnam war protest footage.
  • Petey complains that Dewey is just a white man with a tan (meaning he's black, but acts "white"). He later states that Dewey "is in bed with the man" (meaning the white establishment).
  • Petey stating that being a deejay is the only thing he's good at that doesn't involve breaking the law.
  • On the radio, Petey says he has an 8th grade education with a PhD from the streets. He also mentions both his parents are in prison.
  • The comment that the measure of a man is how he acts in a crisis, not in everyday calm.
  • Thriving on the associated fame, Dewey starts to push Petey more than he wants in terms of public appearances, etc. and gets mad when Petey doesn't want to cooperate.
  • We hear that Petey died at the age of 53 from cancer, and had the largest attended funeral ever in Washington, DC for any non-elected person.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Upset that he's there, Dewey pushes Petey down a hall at the radio station.
  • We see a head and shoulders shot (with thrusting movement and related sounds) of Petey having sex with who we believe is Vernell, but then see it's another woman. A bottle then cracks on Petey's head and Vernell holds the broken bottle to his face and neck (in anger for him cheating on her).
  • Petey punches Nighthawk, who hits him back, following by struggling and Petey is pushed to the floor.
  • After news of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., we see miscellaneous people rioting in the streets, including setting fires (one with a Molotov cocktail, throwing things through windows, bashing cars, etc.). Some black men chase a lone white man, but Petey races after and stops them from doing anything more. We also see white cops beating a black rioter.
  • We see Vernell hitting on Petey in frustration (presumably for cheating on her again).
  • Mad that Petey didn't do any jokes on The Tonight Show, Dewey punches him. The two then struggle, with security guards getting involved and one is punched.



  • Reviewed June 4, 2007 / Posted July 13, 2007

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