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Pirate Radio (aka The Boat That Rocked) - The new film from Richard Curtis - November 13th


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Nicholas Vargo

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Posted October 26 2009 - 01:06 PM

Didn't see a thread for this movie, so I thought it was fine time for one. So here we go....


Originally set for release on August 28th by Universal until given to the Independent division of Focus Features and rescheduled for release in just a couple of weeks, The Boat That Rocked was one of my most anticipated movies of the summer, and despite a change of title, studio, release date, and an article that stated it would be trimmed here in America, the film (now known as Pirate Radio) still remains one of my most anticipated for the year.

Even though I myself have already seen what International audiences have been enjoying for the last few months (thanks to a Blu-Ray I've imported from the UK. How I love region-free playback discs!), I'm still willing to pay admission to see the film on the big screen. Trimmed or not trimmed, this is undoubtedly one of the best times I've had with a movie this year and if for nothing else, the amazing soundtrack is the biggest reason behind it, featuring a lot of classic tunes (and some old ones I'll admit I've never heard of until this movie).

The cast is uniformally excellent, whith Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, and Tom Sturridge bringing in the best performances. The only slight fault I can find with the movie might be the script, which is just a little too episodic for my nature, but knowing that that was the intention (Richard Curtis has even stated in interviews that the biggest inspirations for the movie were Animal House and M*A*S*H, and it follows that formula quite well). Still, the execution of the material is so good that the script problem is just a minor hiccup.

It's hard to resist this movie. It fluctuates from being a very funny comedy to a very bittersweet film at times, and also has a finale that is just terrific. However, this is a film that will most likely split audiences down the middle You'll either love it or it will get on your nerves. Much like Love Actually did six years ago. Like I mentioned earlier though, the soundtrack is the only thing that might put it in between for some.

Which brings me into something else: The marketing Focus Features has created for the film. False advertising is the order of the day here it seems. First off, Philip Setymour Hoffman is not the ring leader. That's Bill Nighy's character. Jack Davenport's character mentions Hoffman's character is "the most famous broadcaster ever" which is not true. That reveal is for a different character entirely. and the biggest is that this is "inspired by True Events." The big problem there is not really that, but the way it exploits that information. The British government never actually banned rock 'n' roll on the radio. The truth was that BBC Radio only played about an hour or two of pop music a day (And these do not spoil anything, so I don't want to hear that I gave away anything because I really didn't). And while were at it, I feel bad that Universal/Focus is opening this as counter programming to 2012. Everyone will see that. Who know how many will actually see this? I know I will, but that might not be enough.

So....anyone else looking forward to Pirate Radio on November 13th?


"...so here we go." --"Punch-Drunk Love"

Last 5 Blu-Rays Purchased: Notes on a Scandal (2006), The Big Chill: Criterion Collection (1983), Schindler's List (1993), Casper (1995), The Fault in Our Stars: Little Infinities Edition (2014)

 


#2 of 14 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted October 26 2009 - 02:11 PM

Look, I have always been a Richard Curtis fan.  Anyone who has spent that much time with Rowan Atkinson gets a huge thumbs up from me.

This is his second directing effort (the first "Love, Actually" is a surprisingly effective film, IMHO, and I love it).  But as a writer, he is one of th best comedy and tragic comedy writers of our time, who unfortunately doesn't get enough pub here in the US.  I have always felt as though "Black Adder Goes Forth" is maybe one of the greatest comedy achievements as a series.. ever.  The final episode to that is amongst the best ever filmed.

I've seen the trailers and the snippets for this, but the moment I saw him as both the writer and the director I was on board.  I will absolutely be there on opening day.



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#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted October 26 2009 - 03:48 PM

One thing that I don't get: The avertising makes it sound like the Hoffman boat was the only offshore broadcaster out there. If I recall my History of Media Arts class correctly, there were numerous pirate broadcasters on boats and oil rigs. I think some of them took control of an old WWII-era Maunsell sea fort off the coast of the UK and declared themselves a sovreign nation: Sealand or something.


#4 of 14 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted October 26 2009 - 04:03 PM

I believe it was one of the last ones going, though.. many had been shut down by the end of 1965 as being within the territory of the UK

http://www.sealandnews.com/category/pirate-radio/

I just looked over the cast list.. it looks almost like the whole cast of "The IT Crowd" is in it.  And January Jones?

Great cast all around: http://www.imdb.com/...ullcredits#cast

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#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Nicholas Vargo

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Posted November 06 2009 - 05:20 AM

So if theatre websites are to be believed, then I can confirm that Pirate Radio has in fact been recut. The new runtime is listed at most sites at 115 minutes.
"...so here we go." --"Punch-Drunk Love"

Last 5 Blu-Rays Purchased: Notes on a Scandal (2006), The Big Chill: Criterion Collection (1983), Schindler's List (1993), Casper (1995), The Fault in Our Stars: Little Infinities Edition (2014)

 


#6 of 14 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted November 06 2009 - 05:39 AM

^ Not to say that it hasn't been recut but I wouldn't use the running time listed on the theater's website as a basis. I've seen website running times be very wrong.

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Jose Martinez

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Posted November 09 2009 - 07:51 PM

There was a sneak peak this past weekend.  I really liked the film.  Very funny. 

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#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Nicholas Vargo

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Posted November 10 2009 - 12:48 PM

Well, Robert Wilonsky just published his critique, and he has confirmed that the film has excised certain scenes, and in his case, it is for the worst. I'll still see it though at midnight Thursday evening, but here's the link to the article if you want a view:

www.villagevoice.com/2009-11-10/film/pirate-radio-hits-us-from-uk-with-best-parts-excised/
"...so here we go." --"Punch-Drunk Love"

Last 5 Blu-Rays Purchased: Notes on a Scandal (2006), The Big Chill: Criterion Collection (1983), Schindler's List (1993), Casper (1995), The Fault in Our Stars: Little Infinities Edition (2014)

 


#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Nicholas Vargo

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Posted November 10 2009 - 02:13 PM

However, a postive review from James Berardinelli

www.reelviews.net/php_review_template.php
"...so here we go." --"Punch-Drunk Love"

Last 5 Blu-Rays Purchased: Notes on a Scandal (2006), The Big Chill: Criterion Collection (1983), Schindler's List (1993), Casper (1995), The Fault in Our Stars: Little Infinities Edition (2014)

 


#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Nicholas Vargo

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Posted November 13 2009 - 11:50 AM

Saw it last night and thought it was awesome. They got the American version right for the most part. Like the UK cut, this is the most fun you'll have at the movies this year. It doesn't matter which cut you watch. It will satisfy your craving for fun.
"...so here we go." --"Punch-Drunk Love"

Last 5 Blu-Rays Purchased: Notes on a Scandal (2006), The Big Chill: Criterion Collection (1983), Schindler's List (1993), Casper (1995), The Fault in Our Stars: Little Infinities Edition (2014)

 


#11 of 14 OFFLINE   PatH

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Posted November 21 2009 - 07:14 PM

 Any chance to get a director's cut of this when it comes to DVD, preferably with all the deleted scenes edited back in in their proper order.
Probably not, of course.  And how much will the soundtrack we have be altered for the DVD release because of music rights?  There's already no Beatles, as noted in a review linked somewhere above, but at least that was apparently never there in the first place.  I worry, though, that Universal, with its history of dropping music at the slightest hint of extra cost, won't even let us have the music we got to hear in our theaters.

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#12 of 14 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted November 22 2009 - 12:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatH View Post

I worry, though, that Universal, with its history of dropping music at the slightest hint of extra cost, won't even let us have the music we got to hear in our theaters.

 

I'd say there's about zero chance that they didn't license the music for home video as well as the theater.

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted November 25 2009 - 06:01 PM

Saw this today: what a mess!  It starts well but really goes astray before too long.  The scene after Simon's wedding night is what loses me.  The filmmakers can't decide if they should play it as comedy or drama, although it's a cruel, heartbreaking sequence.

The characters are paper-thin, and the movie can't focus on any subject for very long - it's a mish-mash of loosely connected threads.  Crud, they couldn't even get the MUSIC right much of the time, as musical anachronisms abound.

The cast's good - especially Branagh - but the flick's just rambling and a serious case of diminishing returns.  The first 30 minutes are pretty good, but then it gets more and more tiresome.  The "climax" is awful, and the movie feels like it's about four hours long.

Major disappointment! /img/vbsmilies/htf/frown.gif

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#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted November 29 2009 - 01:11 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Jacobson View Post

Saw this today: what a mess!  

 That's what I've been hearing a lot of.
Darn shame, I was really excited about this when I saw the trailer.
There is a lot of radio in my history, and some of it was pirate.
I'll probably rent this down the line so I can check out the movie plus the deletions.
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