What in the name of cheeky British humor are we doing talking about a romantic comedy written by Richard Curtis, the guy who penned Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones's Diary? Well, besides the fact that Curtis also wrote the suck-less rom com Love, Actually, Pirate Radio tells the story of rock 'n' roll DJs broadcasting from ships off the British coast in 1966 to get around tight-ass political censors. Plus, it stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and funny men with funny accents Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), Rhys Ifans (the only reason to watch Notting Hill), and Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords). Admit it, it sounds kinda cool. Keep reading for 5 things you need to know about the film and to get our verdict on whether it's worth copping, renting, or watching at all...
#1: SHIT IS REAL! KIND OF!
• The film is fictional; the British government never banned rock from the radio and many offshore broadcasters were actually pretty conservative, unlike the balls-to-the-walls characters. Nonetheless, Pirate Radio is inspired by actual radio rebels like Tony Blackburn and Emperor Rosko and the ships they broadcast from, just played up for entertainment value. Honestly, we don't give a shit if our history isn't historically accurate. As far as we're concerned, Braveheart is a documentary.
#2: IT'S ABOUT THE MUSIC, MAN!
• There are historical inaccuracies as relate to the music, too—several of the film's songs weren't released until years after 1966. We highly doubt you'll be too put off by it, though. Not while enjoying a soundtrack that features The Who, The Kinks, Dusty Springfield, Jimi Hendrix, The Beach Boys, Cream, and many more.
#3: PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN, EXCLAMATION POINT!
• The Hoff plays Radio Rock's scruffy American DJ "The Count," who's loosely based on real-life American DJ Emperor Rosko. From Boogie Nights and The Big Lebowski to Capote and Doubt, the man simply isn't capable of a wackness. OK, Along Came Polly was a little wack, but we enjoyed his White Chocolate!
#4: IT'S THE NEW REBEL YELL!
• Like Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Pump Up the Volume, and Good Morning, Vietnam, Pirate Radio reminds us how youth music and dance shake up eras. Rock and even hip-hop have both long since sold out, but a flick like this reminds us that there will eventually be some form of expression that makes us loathe our kids.
#5: DJ PREMIER CO-SIGNS!
• DJ Premier only fucks with the realness, and he gave Pirate Radio and Britain's version of the "street DJ" about 35 shout outs at the end of his R.I.P. Malcolm McClaren Tribute Mix. That alone makes it worth fitting into your daily operation.
BUY, RENT, OR AVOID?: Rent
Click here to buy the Blu-ray now at Amazon.com for $23.99.
Click here to buy the DVD now at Amazon.com for $18.99.