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New on DVD: 'Pirate Radio' washes ashore

PIRATE RADIO (R) 2.5 stars

PLOT In mid-1960s England, official British radio was under the monopoly of the BBC, which played precious little of anything anyone actually wanted to hear. In response, enterprising broadcasters set up offshore radio stations that would spin the latest tunes around the clock.

Dubbed Radio Rock, the floating station's on-air talent pool includes headliner Gavin (Rhys Ifans), a prototypical Howard Stern, and a lineup of colorfully nicknamed characters, including the Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the station's lone American, who lives to see how many profanities he can get on air. Radio Rock is pretty much as the priggish cabinet minister Alistair Dormandy (Kenneth Branagh) describes it: "a sewer of dirty, irresponsible commercialism and low morals."

What's not to like? It's "Animal House" on water, with Branagh playing Dean Wormer. Contains a steady stream of obscenities, sexual humor, partial nudity and drug references.

EXTRAS DVD has a commentary from director Richard Curtis, producer Hilary Bevan Jones and actors Nick Frost and Chris O'Dowd, and deleted scenes. Blu-ray has those, plus several featurettes.

LIST PRICES DVD: $29.98; Blu-ray: $36.98

- The Washington Post

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