Who is that man talking to? The Internet? Wait a minute, podcasts are recorded to two-inch tape? Who has a reel-to-reel adapter for iMacs? Oh: “At a radio station in a time of change…” Martin Sheen, who’s increasingly making that “suckin’ it in” face that the contemporary William Shatner does so well, tells the (always awesome) Chiwetel Ejiofor to turn his station around. And the man to do the turning? Don Cheadle, of course.
He rocks a spectacular Pryor moment, Bustin’ Loose style, as he slaps fives all the way down the line in D block. Then there’s a shot of Cheadle on the radio, and he looks as cool as Richard Roundtree in the afro and sideburns. “Tell ’em Peter Green is on the scene.” And then Talk to Me becomes a black Private Parts, complete with Sheen as Pig Vomit, screaming and yelling and trying to get into the air studio, only to find out that the phone lines are jammed with Peter Green fans. What remainders of the Motown back catalog Dreamgirls didn’t move, this film will. And that’s just fine. Just like hearing a black guy impersonate white people’s uptight voices, some things will never get old.