Remember when music was about breaking down the walls of conformity, being an individual and sticking it to the man? Neither do I, but the word is that at some point in time music wasn’t a bunch of suit and tie record execs deciding what we should all listen to. It wasn’t about selling mass produced t-shirts to Tweens who think they just bought the same badge as all of their friends and all it says is, “We’re all the same; unique.”
Before our downloaded, spoiled, leaked and cloned, hyped and jaded brains could be tainted, there was just good music. The sixties carried it’s innocence, or the beginning corruption of the innocent mind onto boats off the coast of the UK and broadcast, pirate-style for the people to hear. This is Pirate Radio.
While the government tries to find ways to shut down these free speaking and radical voices, these cats just try to pump out the best tunes they can. This is the British “Almost Famous“, only better. Philip Seymour Hoffman is the coolest cat he has ever been and the coolest cat anyone is likely to be as the pimp radio DJ, “the Count”. So cool is Hoffman that many will wonder why he doesn’t just BE that guy. It would most likely make the world a better place to live in. Nick Frost (Shaun’s buddy from Shaun of the Dead) was fulfilling to see him stretch into a more sincere character displaying the broad range of an English Robin Williams. Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans and future Thor director Kenneth Branagh join the cast delivering stand out performances.
As good as the movie is, as good as the music is, any really disturbed movie fan will be more concerned with the special features package than the actual movie itself. To that end, it should be noted that this movie has some of the most worthy extras ever. If not supreme in quantity like the Lord of the Rings flicks, these features have a compelling honesty to them that makes them infinitely better than ninety eight percent of featurettes out there. The additional hour of deleted scenes not only carry worthwhile footage but some of the best scenes never before seen. Each specific seen has an introduction by the legendary Richard Curtis. Unlike most other intros, Curtis takes his time and makes a real effort to tell you something worthwhile.
Pirate Radio, known across the water as “The Boat That Rocked” is a true gem and is not to be missed. Enjoy.