Friday, November 13, 2009


Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branaugh and January Jones

Story: Broadcasting live 24/7 from an old tanker anchored in the middle of the North Sea (just beyond British jurisdiction), Radio Rock sends out a vibrant and unifying signal to millions across the nation, ranging in age from wide-eyed pre-teens secretly tuning in long past their bedtimes to everyday people in need of a musical pick-me-up. The Radio Rock roster, overseen by unflappable station owner (and ship’s captain) Quentin, includes a risk-prone American known only as The Count; mystic deejay royalty Gavin; slyly amorous Dave; idiosyncratic New Zealander Angus; the rarely seen Bob; the aptly named Thick Kevin; lovelorn Simon; ladies’ magnet Mark; shy Harold; reporter News John; and lesbian ship’s cook Felicity. One night in 1966, Quentin’s teenaged godson Carl comes aboard. While Carl harbors romantic aspirations that he hopes will be fulfilled during one of the biweekly visits by Radio Rock’s prettiest fans, he also hopes to find out more about his long-absent father. (Focus Features)

Rated: R for language, and some sexual content including brief nudity

Bottom Line: There’s a great, character-rich story to be told here and the energy of the cast makes the voyage enjoyable but it all still kind of feels like nothing more than a keg-less frat party at sea with a really good mixed-tape. These PIRATES walk the plank…but thankfully never jump off.

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