The first, Leon Ichaso's El Cantante, scrubs away crucial details when recollecting the life of salsa singer Hector Lavoe, leaving an empty shell that begs for further insight. But Talk to Me takes the opposite approach, constructing such a complete image of proud and passionate radio host Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene that we immediately understand why the deep flaws in his personality could only have led to his downfall.
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Lee's initial target for censure is the crooked corporate culture that fosters brazenly greedy and duplicitous companies such as Enron and Worldcom. Jack Armstrong (Anthony Mackie) is a vice president at a pharmaceutical company whose new HIV cure has been rejected by the FDA. When he discovers a conspiracy orchestrated by the corporation's arrogant, racist CEO (Woody Harrelson) and his ruthless Martha Stewart-ish boss (Ellen Barkin) to cook the books and keep employees and shareholders in the dark about the new drug's ineffectiveness, Jack rats out his superiors to the SEC, and the price for betraying "the family" is immediate dismissal. As luck would have it, though, a new money-making venture falls directly into his, ahem, lap - his ex-fiancé Fatima (Kerry Washington), who left him for another woman, now wants to pay him $10,000 to impregnate her and her Dominican girlfriend. Before long, Armstrong - in some sort of filthier version of the Patrick Dempsey '80s cult classic Loverboy - is occupying his time spreading his seed through NYC's upper-crust lesbian community (which includes Monica Bellucci as a Mafioso don's daughter) for wads of cash.
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Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.