Our heroes are mostly men (and one woman, who happens to be a lesbian) of Pirate Radio, a station whose headquarters is a tanker anchored in international waters. As they rocked out to the Kinks, the Who and one-hit wonders, the government - led by minister Sir Alistair Dormandy (Kenneth Branagh) scowls.
This culture war works mostly as a backdrop to loony, outrageous behavior by the DJs, led by two rivals - the Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Gavin (Rhys Ifans). There is a subplot about a young man named Carl (Tom Sturridge) searching for his father, but mostly Curtis ("Love Actually") is content to celebrate the music and give the audience a good time.
His casting gives the whole enterprise a boost. Besides Hoffman and Ifans, who play their parts with rambunctious zeal, there is the always amusing Bill Nighy as the station's boss. Emma Thompson has a sharp cameo as Carl's mother, as does "Mad Men's" January Jones as a heartbreaker.
Curtis also enjoys his musical jokes, naming two of the characters Marianne and Elenore so he could add Leonard Cohen's "So Long Marianne" and the Turtles' "Elenore" to the soundtrack.
Keep in mind"Faces of America" is a four-part series about family ancestry from Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. that ran on PBS in February.
In the series, Gates, who has recorded two previous series about African-American genealogy, investigates the roots of some famous people including Eva Longoria Parker, Meryl Streep, Mike Nichols, writer Malcolm Gladwell, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Stephen Colbert, chef Mario Batali, Dr. Mehmet Oz and the figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.
For those of us fascinated with such things (and more of us are than we admit), the results are sometimes surprising (Ma and Longoria Parker share a similar ancestor), discomforting (Gladwell, whose mother is Jamaican, finds out a past relative was a slave owner) and even moving (Yamaguchi finds out her grandfather was a war hero).
New filmsPirate Radio $29.98 / Blu-ray $36.98
The Slammin' Salmon $29.98 / Blu-ray $34.98
Love the Beast USA - Two-Disc Special Edition $19.95
Older filmsApollo 13 (15th Anniversary Edition) Blu-ray $26.98
A Nightmare on Elm Street Blu-ray $24.98
The Best Man $19.98
The Glory Guys $19.98
The Offence $19.98
Garbo Talks $19.98
Essential Art House: Kapo $19.95
Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr. $24.99
Dallas: The Complete Thirteenth Season $39.98
Emergency!: Season Six $39.98
Alias Smith and Jones: Seasons 2 & 3 $49.98
Of special interest2010 Winter Olympics $24.98
For kidsThe Great Mouse Detective $19.99
Dora the Explorer: Explore the Earth $16.99