Pirates of the Plain (1999)
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The plot involves a boy by the name of Bobby who spends most of his time imagining himself in different adventures instead of concentrating in the real world. He's left alone at his Nebraska house while his mother and grandfather are away. It is then that a real adventure comes knocking on his door. An infamous pirate by the name of Jezebel Jack (Tim Curry) escapes the clutches of his crew-mates who just declared mutiny on him. Somehow, he winds up in the present day outside of Bobby's house and he struggles to fit in with the modern lifestyle. Meanwhile, Jack's shipmates follow his trail into the modern world and Jack forms an alliance with Bobby to defend his home against Jack's former crew. It's as ridiculous as it sounds. As long as you're able to not take it seriously, there is some fun to be found in this film.
With that being said, it's safe to say that Pirates of the Plain is a carry job by Curry. Without him, the film would have collapsed under its own ridiculousness. He brings credibility to something that otherwise would have failed miserably. I'm convinced that he is incapable of a bad performance. Whether it's big budget pictures, cult classics, Broadway shows, or direct-to-video stuff like this, you can always count on Curry to deliver the goods.
As I stated earlier, Pirates of the Plain is not for everyone and will mostly appeal to children. At the very least however, Curry is always fun to watch and should offer enough reason for the casual viewer to give this one a try.
It looks like they had a ball making it too.
I am one of the few lucky Tim Curry fans to have seen "Pirates of the Plain" in an actual theater. In January 2000, USA Film Festival hosted KidFilm 2000. Two movies wrapped up the weekend of kid & family oriented movies: the classic "Wizard of Oz" and the new "Pirates of the Plain".
The audience was made up mainly of boys (go figure), a handful of girls, and a bunch of parents. I can honestly tell you that EVERYONE in the theater was entranced! Pirates is a genuinely exciting film!
A kind of "Home Alone" meets "Muppets Treasure Island", there was something for everyone. The entire audience, including adults, laughed and were amazed throughout the movie.
Nutshell: a young boy's hyper-active imagination, a storm, a ship, an audacious pirate, a fight, and a treasure? AND they save the family farm in one afternoon! Who can beat that?!
This is also the best movie that I have ever seen Tim Curry in. He and the young boy are stellar together. The boy is such an amazingly talented young actor as well. This is definitely a kid movie, and the stunt work is amazing. So, if your child loves adventure, this is one of the best movies around to fire their imagination.
Pirates of the Plain was on one of my cable channels at 6.30am, and l just left it on while l had my breakfast this morning (8th)April.....
I am glad l did, l am a great fan of Tim Curry, and it had everything that a good film should have, a great family film, and for someone who likes all action films this was a real treat, yes there is action but it is done with family in mind.
It was also nice to see Charles Napier in an non "baddie" role...
If you get a chance to see Pirates of the Plain see it, and enjoy...
It may not be such a great idea to equate the developers ability to manipulate the laws with that of a pirate to rob and steal, but if then again, if the shoe fits ~ children know truth when they see it.
I loved this movie. It was true to life but extremely creative, and empowering to children who have been abandoned by so called adults who indulge their sensations at the expense of extreme vulnerabilities of mothers and their children.
It is his performance as Jezebel Jack that holds 'Pirates of the Plain' together, one that could either have floated or sank depending on execution. Luckily, Curry is simply terrific and clearly having a whale of a time, while not one of his best performances it is a fond reminder as to why he is such a favourite.
Seth Adkins matches him beautifully, with his chemistry with Curry being as prominent as it is it was crucial for it to work and work it does. His character is one that a lot of youngsters can relate to, with his imagination and such, and Adkins gives an adorable, warm-hearted and playful portrayal that contrasts perfectly with Curry's. Their true-to-life and genuine bonding scenes in the first half is where 'Pirates of the Plain' really shines and where most of the fun and charm is.
Dee Wallace and Charles Napier also support them well, in fact there's not much that can be complained about with the cast. The scenery is beautiful and in no way looks cheap, while there is a made-for-TV look to the photography at times it still doesn't cheapen the scenery and the rest of the production values.
'Pirates of the Plain's' script is funny, playful and high in wit, with many scenes that are often humorous and sometimes even hilarious (the best of them with Curry), in the first half, and with its fair share of heart and charm. Pacing is efficient, as is the direction.
Where 'Pirates of the Plain' isn't so good is in some of the second half. This is where things go overboard with the ridiculousness and feels agreed like a tamer and more cartoony re-tread of 'Home Alone', a tone that is too far removed from the bonding between Adkins and Curry in the first half and it just feels like a different film altogether. Some of it this said is creative and entertaining though.
As said, the miniscule (or so it seems) budget does show at times, and while the rest of the pirates are played competently enough they're a bit forgettable and not as fun as Curry.
Overall, didn't expect much but surprising really enjoyed it. Children will absolutely love it, but adults by all means should not find it a long haul. 7/10 Bethany Cox
Plot synopsis: an oh-so-precious little boy has an overactive imagination about alien invaders, cops and robbers, etc., much to the dismay of his hardworking, farm-running single mother. Daddy ran away and left them both, boo-hoo. The bank wants to foreclose on the mortgage (but for no good reason), Grandpa's trying to help out, the simple folk at the town general store are fond of dear little Bobby -- name a homespun movie cliché dating back to the silent era, and you're likely to find it here. When an eighteenth-century pirate drops from the sky into the middle of the wheat field, is it Bobby's imagination, or is it real? Will it mean disaster for Bobby, or salvation for Mom, Bobby and the farm? Think of the most predictable and hackneyed outcome imaginable, and you'll be on the right track.
Don't waste the kids' time on this. Pop "Toy Story II" or whatever into the DVD player for the 500th time, instead.
Also notice the similarities between DeGroot here and Pintel in PotC and the also other pirates. Note how PotC uses the monkey ("Jack") instead of the witch doctor. It would be interesting to know how much this movie influenced the writers and actors who did PotC. There's not a copyright case here, but there are too many similarities for it to be simply a coincidence.