Pirate Radio – A Movie Review

 Culture, Movies, Music  Comments Off on Pirate Radio – A Movie Review
May 162010
 

In the 1960s a group of 8 rogue DJs on a boat in the middle of the Northern Atlantic, played rock records and broke the law all for the love of music. The songs they played united and defined an entire generation and drove the British government crazy. By playing rock ‘n roll they were standing up against the British government who did everything in their power to shut them down.

Genres: Art/Foreign and Comedy; Running Time: 1 hr. 55 min.; Release Date: November 13th 2009 (wide); MPAA Rating: R for language, and some sexual content including brief nudity.

Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh
Directed by: Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis’ first ‘non romantic comedy film’ is really another romantic comedy film- it’s just that the romantic bit gets swamped within 20 other sub-plots so you try and not notice.

The Boat That Rocked sees Carl (Tom Surridge) go aboard Radio Rock- a pirate radio station owned by Quentin (Bill Nighy) whose DJ’s (Phillip Semour Hoffman, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Chris O’ Dowd, Rhys Darby, etc.) broadcast 24-hour rock and roll music to the UK. They are adored by the populace but hated by the government, including the Minister of Communications and his chief subordinate who aim to shut them down.

If that was the extent of the plot then it would probably be a 90 minute film. However the Boat That Rocked has so many little sub-plots- many seeming like excuses to put in another montage or cameo cast appearance that the time has ballooned out to 154mins and it does tell at times. Furthermore.

But these faults are more than made up for in the performances; all of which are good- and some are outstanding. Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s Count is a lovable character who approaches everything with great gusto, while Chris O’ Dowd’s Simple Simon has a wonderful part in the middle section of the movie which brings a little bit of emotion to what is a pretty emotionally vacant movie. Nick Frost is cheeky as Dr Dave and finally Rhys Darby- fresh from Flight of the Conchords- simply shines in his role as the unpopular and daggy Angus who nonetheless gets arguably the best line in the whole movie.

I have been wanting to see this movie since I saw the trailer for the very first time. We finally watched it as a download a couple of weeks ago. The plot sounded interesting and I was hoping to see a comedy that wasn’t as predictable and forced romantic as a lot of comedies are. I wasn’t disappointed. Sure, this isn’t the most profound story ever told, but I wanted to have fun, and this movie definitely gave it to me. Another bonus is the great soundtrack, which carries the whole movie. After leaving the cinema you will want to listen to the songs featured in this film, just so you can enjoy the feeling of it a little longer. This film is funny from the beginning to the end, and there were moments when I couldn’t stop laughing. If you want to see a feel-good movie with a plot that was, at least as far as I know, not used before, than this is the right film for you.

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Where Did “Rock and Roll” Come From?

 Art, Culture, Music  Comments Off on Where Did “Rock and Roll” Come From?
Apr 292006
 
This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Deep Questions

Famed DJ and concert producer Alan Freed is widely credited with coining the phrase in 1951. Freed led an interesting life, bringing what we now call “rock and roll” to the masses. Unfortunately, he’s equally famous for his role in the payola scandal of the 1960s.

But, hey, let’s focus on the good times, huh? According to several sites, Freed got the term “rock and roll” from a group called “The Dominoes” who used it in their hit song, “Sixty Minute Man.” The song’s rather suggestive lyrics apparently spoke to Mr. Freed. He soon began referring to “rhythm and blues” as “rock and roll” on the air.

But why did Freed bother with a new phrase when “rhythm and blues” was the real deal? The reasons had to with race. In the early ’50s, it was considered taboo for white people to listen to R&B either in person or on the radio. In order to make it more acceptable, Freed gave what was essentially the same music a different name. More listeners meant more money. It’s as simple as that.

Where Did "Rock and Roll" Come From?

 Culture, Fun Stuff, Music  Comments Off on Where Did "Rock and Roll" Come From?
Apr 292006
 

Famed DJ and concert producer Alan Freed is widely credited with coining the phrase in 1951. Freed led an interesting life, bringing what we now call “rock and roll” to the masses. Unfortunately, he’s equally famous for his role in the payola scandal of the 1960s.

But, hey, let’s focus on the good times, huh? According to several sites, Freed got the term “rock and roll” from a group called “The Dominoes” who used it in their hit song, “Sixty Minute Man.” The song’s rather suggestive lyrics apparently spoke to Mr. Freed. He soon began referring to “rhythm and blues” as “rock and roll” on the air.

But why did Freed bother with a new phrase when “rhythm and blues” was the real deal? The reasons had to with race. In the early ’50s, it was considered taboo for white people to listen to R&B either in person or on the radio. In order to make it more acceptable, Freed gave what was essentially the same music a different name. More listeners meant more money. It’s as simple as that.

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