Pirate Radio

A DVD review from The Movie Snob.

Pirate Radio  (C).  I kind of wanted to see this 2009 release back in the day; I just never got around to it.  Directed by Richard Curtis (Love Actually), this is a shaggy comedy based on some actual events.  Back in the mid-196os, British radio stations wouldn’t play rock and roll, so these enterprising “pirates” set up ships offshore to broadcast the forbidden and diabolical music to the impressionable youths of England.  Gauging from the level of debauchery aboard the ship featured in this movie, Her Majesty’s Government was right to be concerned.  Kenneth Branagh (Rabbit-Proof Fence) plays the uptight government minister who is trying to shut the pirates down.  The late Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) plays a roguish American DJ who thinks his life will never be better than it is on the pirate ship.  Oh, there’s also a plot about a quiet college wash-out whose mother sends him to intern aboard the pirate ship; it kind of reminded me of Almost Famous.  Anyway, there are a few mild laughs, but it’s a mostly mediocre movie.  A lot of the fun was seeing familiar actors that I didn’t know were in the movie — there’s Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids)!  There’s January Jones (X-Men: First Class)!  There’s Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans)!  Bonus points if you recognize the nerdy guy’s mom behind her giant sunglasses.  In short, it’s a tolerable way to kill a couple of hours.  Oh, and the soundtrack is excellent.


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