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The Boat That Rocked [DVD] (2009)
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Richard Curtis writes and directs this ensemble comedy set in the world of the pop music and pirate radio stations of 1960s Britain. Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as The Count, a larger-than-life American rock 'n' roll DJ who - along with fellow broadcasters Dave (Nick Frost), Simon (Chris O'Dowd), Midnight Mark (Tom Wisdom), Wee Small Hours Bob (Ralph Brown), Thick Kevin (Tom Brooke), On-The-Hour John (Will Adamsdale), Angus 'The Nut' Nutsford (Rhys Darby) and Gavin (Rhys Ifans) - takes the airwaves by storm via Radio Rock, a pirate radio station operating from a boat in the middle of the stormy North Sea in order to escape the confines of stuffy British law. Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh co-star.
Richard Curtis turned his talents to telling the story of 1960s pirate radio with The Boat That Rocked. And while the film may not have scaled either the commercial or critical heights of some of his earlier work, there are still plenty of reasons to commend the film.
Chief among them is the excellent cast. The Boat That Rocked brings together a welcome collection of British talent, including Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost and Gemma Arterton, and then they’re joined by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Between them, they effectively recall the Radio Caroline story, as a pirate radio station is set up on a North Sea cruising yacht, broadcasting to England. Said broadcasts become wildly popular, making celebrities out of some of those concerned. Yet naturally enough, the authorities, led by Branagh’s Sir Alistair Dormandy, aren’t best pleased.
Curtis then laces The Boat That Rocked with plenty of comedy, and a killer soundtrack. But he loses his focus when editing the film down, as it’s a movie that, try as it might, still manages to outstay its welcome by a good 20 minutes. It doesn’t help that he’s simply trying to cram too much in here, and contrasted with the tight screenplays of some of his earlier films (take the script of Notting Hill as an example), it’s curious that he chooses to do so.
Yet quibbles aside, The Boat That Rocked is still a fine comedy, with a real love for its subject matter. It arguably works best in the home, too, over the big screen, and with many laugh-out-loud moments, and some memorable characters, it’s ultimately hard to resist the film’s many charms. --Jon FosterSee all Product description
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English, the language that---seemingly---seperates The Americans from The British confounds THIS American.
Ironically, Americans say the movie was too SHORT, the British think it was too LONG. I liked this movie, and, as
a bonus, the soundtrack was wonderful!
The sets were flawless. You CANNOT tell the difference between, on-board, stage-sets, and the ones in the studio.
What a tremendous pay-off the climax of the film was!
However, there are several flaws with it. The story is anaemic to the point of almost being nonexistent. Essentially the radio station is threatened with closure and that is it. The balance of japes also drifts too far into the adult humour that means a huge proportion of the potential audience is lost. I also felt that the different segments of the film felt very disjointed as if it was a series of sketches for a sit-com rather than a complete whole. It would not surprise me if the film was originally designed to be a set of 6 half hour TV episodes.
In terms of direction Curtis does a decent job making the confined set of a ship entertaining, without ever threatening the genius of someone like Wes Anderson or Wolfgang Petersen. The BluRay looks nice, but is probably uncalled for as the DVD would suffice. In terms of extras the 45 minutes of deleted scenes are a must see. They are introduced by Curtis and he explains that they could have been in the movie, but they were easy to cut as they were self contained and did not move the `story' on. I would have preferred a lot more of these segments in the film that upped the comedy and just have a fleeting reference to the `plot' at the end.
Takes me back to my Radio Caroline days. A great cast and fantastic music, I'm watching it over and over again because every time I watch it I see something I hadn't noticed before. If you only buy 1 DVD this year make it this one.
Just going to listen to a Touch of Velvet....
Maybe it's something to do with my age, I grew up with pirate radio and loved it, the 60s were such an exciting time for music.
The music used in the film is excellent, and is matched by a perfect cast. If you enjoy the Richard Curtis films like 4 Weddings, Notting Hill and Love Actually then this film is for you, if you hate that sort of film then probably better to give it a swerve.
My only slight problem with the film is that I'd like to have seen a lot of the deleted scenes in it. If you get this then make sure you watch them straight after as they make a great film even better.
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