Archive | 11:10 pm

Welcome to P-Town

12 Aug

It’s really a shame that Talk to Me hasn’t found a bigger audience this summer, but I guess it’s not really too surprising. After all, how can a bio-pic about a Black radio DJ compete with the action of The Bourne Ultimatum or the humor of Superbad? The answer is it should have, because while Talk to Me might not have explosions, it does have an explosive performance by the always reliable Don Cheadle, making this the second great one he’s turned in this year (the other being Reign Over Me).

As noted, Talk to Me tells the story of Petey Greene, an ex-con who worked for a time at Washington, D.C. radio station WOL and became a hero in the urban community for discussing life in an uncensored, unvarnished style — basically telling it like it is. The film describes how Greene initially unsettled his white bosses, but ultimately earned a regular gig when he calmed his listeners following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. It then shows how Greene became a media sensation with stand-up comedy gigs and a regular television show. (Here is a famous clip where Greene described the “proper” way to eat watermelon.)

But the film is more than that, and really, at its core, it concerns the relationship between Greene and his boss/manager/friend, Dewey Hughes (Chiwetel Ejiofor), two Black men coming from different places and points of view. While Greene is a product of the streets and sees himself as a real Black man, he views Hughes as simply a white man with a tan because he has assimilated into the establishment. Hughes views Johnny Carson as a hero, and he tries to make Greene more like him. But more importantly, the two men share a tight bond: one says what the other wants to say, and the other needs the other to say what he wants to say. Ejiofor (Love Actually, Children of Men) paints a sympathetic portrait of Hughes, and portrays him as a seeming polar opposite of the more raucous Greene. It’s a very good performance.

Talk to Me isn’t perfect entertainment; it feels longer than its two-hour running time and were it not for the Hughes-Greene dynamic, it’d be a pretty standard-issue film, with a plot similar in nature to Good Morning Vietnam. But Cheadle, as always, makes the movie worth seeing, and he’s also supported by Cedric the Entertainer, as another DJ at the station, and Taraji P. Henson (Hustle & Flow), who brings laughs and excitement to her role as Greene’s girlfriend. If you can still find it in a theater near you, I’d say the movie’s worth seeing. I’m going to give it a strong B.

Good News for Dice-K

12 Aug

Congrats, Dice-K, you now have some company on my “least favorite Red Sox players” list: Eric Gagne, who may just suck more than you do. He came into today’s game with a 16.20 ERA in Boston — sixteen-point-two!! — and then he gave up a two-run home run to Miguel Tejada in the bottom of the 8th, which tied the game at 3-3. Your teammate has now given up seven runs with the Red Sox, just one less than he had given up when he was with Texas the entire first part of the season, and he hasn’t even pitched five full innings for us yet! And then the Sox end up losing the game — thanks to a walk-off three-run homer by Kevin Millar, of all people. Now the Yankees are just four games behind in second place. Jeez … Who’da thunk this trade would turn out so badly?

Brokeback Entourage?

12 Aug

If you’re as big a fan of the TV show Entourage as I am, you know this video is complete fiction and totally ironic. It’s also really good and very funny. It’s perfectly edited, and uses the Brokeback music so well that you might think this is actually what the show is about. And it’s better than this version, about two different characters on the show. Have a watch.