Armed with laser guns and wit, Pete Winning and his rag-tag crew navigate a flooded earth in the not-too-distant future. Braving mutants, pirates and the seas, they search for the self-crowned evil Queen's coveted maps of the new world.
Written By: James Christopher,
Mike Donis, Aaron Tsang
Directed By: Jason Leaver,
Mike Donis, Navan Ramaswaran
Grab your laser doohickey, your swash buckling spirit and get ready for adventure! Pirates will never be the same again! Or will they? Having watched a few episodes of "Pete Winning And The Pirates" as a casual viewer; that wasn't doing a write-up, I'd be lying if I said the thought of a film didn't have me excited. What's not to get excited about? The few episodes I had seen were pretty damn awesome! Visualize your favorite pirate adventure, add in a dash of "Doctor Who" styled personalities and on-screen banter, before finally wrapping it all up with lasers. Pretty damn awesome right? Enter the motion picture which is essentially a combination of the web series mashed into a feature film. Still sound fabulous? Yes and no. "Pete Winning And The Pirates: The Motion Picture" does suffer some slight lag and a few jumpy segments at times. What worked as a series didn't always translate perfectly into a feature, for me anyhow. Still, with that written I gotta say I had one hell of a time watching. Getting to see it all unfold at once, in the form of a full feature has it's perks. If you're into adventure, pirates, lasers and something a little different, Pete Winning has your number with a side of style.
Now we get into the technical aspects of the film. If I were to base this review on the last act of the movie alone, we'd have a different number. No doubt about that. One of my issues with the "Motion Picture" is the quality difference from the start to the end. I totally get it. It's a compilation of the episodes and naturally by the end of season 2, everyone was in character and the production was simply... better. We can all relate by watching our favorite TV show that's in season 5, then going back and watching the pilot episode. A lot of differences including the general pacing. Let's be clear though, I'm not saying the start sucked and the end rocked. I'm simply writing that things at the beginning were a little different. As a series, a lot of what worked in serial format just didn't work all that well as a collective film. Characters coming and going with a sweeping transition and a little slow-down. As a series, I imagine this was all done between episodes and made perfect sense. As a feature it just didn't always work. My feeling as a viewer is that it should have been edited a lot tighter; some tough choices needed to be made. Even a 12-15 minute cut to the film, in the right places would have easily solved the slow-down issues, and still been totally long enough to label itself a feature. Some scenes in the show just seemed to scream that it was pieced together from a series. Moving away from the conversion issues, it's a really safe bet to write that the majority of "Pete Winning" looks fantastic! Some really nice lensing and a total attention to detail is present and accounted for. The fact it doesn't take itself all that seriously pushed the adventure to the fun side of things, most times leaving the viewer with a smile. The characters themselves are represented by a cast that seemed to have some real fun in their roles. At times cheesy (on purpose) and simply a delight to watch. I can totally understand why more cutting wasn't done to reduce the run-time, simply put, what would the editor cut? The actors all did such great work I imagine it was simply really hard to decide. The last words from me on the technical nature of "Pete Winning And The Pirates: The Motion Picture" is simply to write that it's quite pleasing on the eyes, and at times downright hilarious. At it's heart, this is a fun adventure most of us can dig... with pirates and lasers.
"Pete Winning And The Pirates" is a winner any way you want to slice it. Even with the conversion issues we still end up with a fun and damn fine production. I completely enjoyed my time with the gang and can't wait for something new from the crew. The potential for a serious brand totally exists here. All the pieces are in place just waiting for a larger table to put them together. "Pete Winning" easily has a future if the producers, directors and cast choose to stay the course. When you can, have a look at what's to offer and I'll almost guarantee you'll be wanting more. This is easily a title, no... a brand I expect to hear a lot more about in the future.
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