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Pirates: Collector's Edition (HD DVD)


Studio: Digital Playground » Review by The Mooninite » Review Date: 9/25/05


XCritic's Advice: Highly Recommended

The Movie:

 

The hype machine has been rolling on this Adam & Eve/Digital Playground co-production for quite some time. The biggest adult feature ever to be made so far in the history of adult cinema, Pirates has been on the radar's of porn fans everywhere ever since it was announced. Why? Well, it seems that the film is a return to storytelling, something often lost in the wide world of smut films. The producers promised lavish production values, ornate costumes, and plenty of special effects in an attempt to make a very 'Hollywood' adult film. Did it work? Surprisingly well, actually. Joone's direction is extremely competent and the cinematography is actually very, very professional looking. While the digital effects used throughout the movie aren't on par with, say, Star Wars, for a XXX feature they are fairly impressive.

Without wanting to spoil the story, lets just say that Janine and Tommy Gunn are bad pirates out to rob and pillage and who are involved in some arcane rituals. Evan Stone is a world famous pirate hunter with a taste for the ladies who would love nothing more than to put Tommy behind bars where he feels he belongs. When pirates board a ship containing Carmen Luvana and her boy-toy and kidnap her, Evan will have to get to work and save the day.

The most important aspect of what makes Pirates work, however, is the script and how the cast handle it. No one in this film is going to be taking home an Oscar any time soon but the acting in this movie is head and shoulders above anything else that has come out in a long, long time. Joone assembled a powerhouse of a cast, using some of the biggest male and female names in the business and wrote a script (well, technically Max Massimo wrote the script, Joone came up with the story) that plays to their skills rather than try and push them beyond their abilities. This is a story ripe with some very effective humor, some interesting and fun plot twists, a nice sense of epic adventure, and of course, ten scenes of steamy and genuinely erotic sex!

Here's the required breakdown of who fucks who in this film, and a few random screenshots to give you a feel for the production values, costumes, and slick look of the film…

Scene One: Carmen Luvana And Kris Slater: A little kissing leads to some necking which leads to him working his way down to her breasts. After he sucks on her breasts he heads south and goes down on her for a bit. She returns the favor for him and starts to blow him, and then she rubs her tits all over his member, going back and fourth using her breasts and then her mouth on him. Soon he gets her on all fours and does her doggy style from behind, soon turning her over and doing her while she rests on her side. After that she's on her back and he's in her missionary style, he pulls out and shoots on her belly and ends the scene by kissing her on the mouth. The first sex scene in the film, this one is quite tender and very restrained – there's no stunt fucking or anything out of the ordinary here, just a man and a woman enjoying one another.

Scene Two: Jesse Jane And Scott Nails: When this scene begins, the action has already started! Scott and Jesse are locked in a sixty-nine position, sucking one another off. The switch up and she starts blowing him without being eaten for a little bit, then they switch spots and it's his turn to go down. He puts her on her side and fucks her, her white corset still on with her tits heaving out, then she rides him cowgirl style. He pulls out and can't take anymore so he spurts into her open mouth, she sucks on him for a bit, then spits some of his come onto his prick. A pretty decent scene, with Jesse stealing the show by delivering a fantastic blowjob, which makes this a pretty solid effort from both parties.

Scene Three: Evan Stone, Teagan Presley, and Devon: Some light kissing and foreplay leads into a fine double blowjob sequence in which both girls, wearing pirate hats, suck on Evan's prick. First one of the girls rides him reverse cowgirl style, and then she gets fucked by him doggy style, the other girl kissing her lips and breasts. They switch up a bit, Evan can't take anymore, and then he pulls out and spoots on their pretty faces. You'd think that the two girls would have been more into one another, making this more of a three way than it really is but that doesn't happen so much and this is more or less Evan's show from start to finish. It's a good scene, but it could have been hotter.

Scene Four: Jesse Jane And Steven St. Croix: When this scene starts Jesse is already riding him cowgirl style, quite aggressively. The camera gets some great footage of her plush ass bouncing up and down on him before she hops off and starts to give him head, again, very aggressively, spitting on him and deep throating him. He gets her on all fours and fucks her doggy style for a bit, then she starts sucking on him again. After that it's reverse cowgirl time, then they finally settle on the missionary position and that's how he finishes, opting to pull out and give her the money shot right on her cute little belly. This is a nice sequence here, again with Jesse stealing the show. The girl really knows how to move for the camera, and this scene provides an excellent example of the skills that she's used to put herself at the top of the industry.

Scene Five: Carmen Luvana And Jenaveve Jolie: Carmen is bound and tied up in front of a gang of male pirates and Jenaveve decides that she's going to have her way with her and give the guys a show. She pulls her tits out of her white blouse then spreads her legs, burying her face in Carmen's muff while the guys watch on and say things like 'arrgghh' and 'ahoy.' The girls get to kissing and Carmen starts warming up to Jenaveve's forbidden love, as Carmen moves south and works on her tits for a bit. She lays her on the ground and spreads her legs, slowly eating her pussy out, rubbing it and licking it and kissing it some more. She bends her over and gets her on all fours eating her out and finger fucking her, then making Carmen taste her own cum. After that it's Carmen's turn to get to work – she spreads her opponent's legs and fingers her pussy while she lays on her back, bending down to kiss her and suck her breasts. She makes Jenaveve taste her own come and then the two lovely ladies lock legs and grind one another to a mutual climax as the onlookers yell out 'huzzah, God save the wenches!' This scene is hot, plain and simple. Carmen's initial reluctance which soon turns to carnal pleasure is what makes it as interesting as it is, with Jenaveve directing the action and taking the initiative to dominant Carmen just enough to get her going, and not so much as to turn this into a BDSM scene (which would have been fun, but very out of place in this film which is obviously and fairly successfully geared towards couples).

Scene Six: Evan Stone And Austyn Moore: As the ship is on fire, Austyn gets in the mood and Evan is just the man to help her out. He sucks on her breasts to get things started, then spreads her legs and fingers her clit. Once he's got her warmed up he starts to eat her pussy, going back and fourth with his tongue and his finger while she works her clit at the same time. She gets on her knees and starts sucking his cock, then he lays her on her back and does her missionary style. He turns her over and fucks her from behind for a minute or two, then pulls off and comes on her face. A pretty decent scene made more interesting by the fact that the fires are raging up around the two as the go at it. This adds an interesting dramatic effect that provides for some seriously cool visuals that make this a stand out moment in the film.

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Scene Seven: Janine And Tommy Gunn: Tommy decides he wants a piece so he throws Janine against the bed and starts to go down on her. After he eats her pussy and fingers her, she stands him up and starts sucking him off, flicking her tongue on the head of his prick and working him with her hands and her mouth. She sits on him and rides his condom clad member cowgirl style, and she wiggles her ass nicely on his dick, spreading her cheeks and showing off her nice back tattoo. He bends her over on the table, she knocks everything off of it in the throws of passion, and he fucks her doggy style. Once he's good and ready he pulls out and shoots it all off in her mouth, ending the scene. Janine is fantastic in this sequence, giving one hundred percent here and showing a lot of enthusiasm for her work, which makes the scene all the better. As a big fan of her work, it was an absolute pleasure to see her doing her thing as well as she does here and in an environment that takes full advantage of her skills. This scene is very well shot and even quite dramatic in spots.

Scene Eight: Jesse Jane And Carmen Luvana: Now that Carmen's character has had a taste of female flesh, she and Jesse take it below deck for some womanly love fun. Jesse gets her warmed up, spits in her face, and pulls her hair and then grabs onto her tits and sucks on them. She spreads her legs and starts to finger fuck her, while Carmen works her own clit at the same time. Jesse bends Carmen's legs way back over her head and fingers her from above until she starts to get off, then puts her tongue back down in there to finish the job, licking her ass while Carmen's fingers do the walking while down on all fours. Next it's Jesse's turn to receive, and Carmen warms her up by rubbing her pussy up then fingering her. She puts a finger in Jesse's ass while rubbing her pussy, causing her to start to really get into it. Jesse throws Carmen back on the bed and they start grinding cunts, and they both finish each other off in what is definitely the most aggressive scene in the film, girl girl or girl guy. These two gals go at it like they haven't been fucked in a year and they do a very fine job of keeping the heat on.

Scene Nine: Carmen Luvana And Kris Slater: Carmen wastes no time getting up on him and riding his dick cowgirl style. She turns around and rides him reverse cowgirl for a little while, just to change things up and to give the camera better access. She hops off of him and sucks his cock, and he comes all over her pretty, eager face, sucking as much out of him as humanely possible. This is the weakest scene in the film in that it's not lit as well as the others and it just isn't as interesting but it's still not a bad scene, per se, just not a stellar one.

Scene Ten: Jesse Jane And Janine: Ah, the big finish! The two blonde bombshells find some time alone to bring the movie and each other to a riveting climax in their first girl-girl scene together. Some soft kissing starts things off in the right direction, then Janine exerts her dominant side and throws Jesse down on the bed to suck her tits and eat her out. She goes down on her for a while, causing Jesse to wiggle and writhe around quite a bit, then they play with some tongue kissing and teasing. Janine thrusts her fingers down Jesse's throat, then slides her tongue back into her pussy, her legs behind her head for wider access. Jesse flips Janine onto her back, then licks her snatch while Janine fingers her own ass. Jesse puts two fingers into Janine and fucks her pretty hard, then slides her onto all fours for some more finger fuckin' fun, showing off just how damn fine Janine's legs are. Janine manages to flip Jesse over and then puts her fingers back into her slit, then gets her on all fours for the big finish! Janine lights a candle and slides it into Jesse's pussy from behind, then follows that up by lighting another candle and sliding it into Jesse's ass. She fucks Jesses in both holes with the candles for a little bit, then lays back so that Jesse can finish her off, each girl fingering the other while kissing on the mouth. They come, they kiss, the end. This is an excellent scene – it's aggressive enough that it has a bit of kink, but tender enough that it shouldn't really put anyone off. The lit candles are a nice touch and the visual aspect of seeing Jesse's body take two lit candles from an equally beautiful and heavily tattooed Janine is a very cool sit indeed.

Pirates doesn't try to strive for historical accuracy. There are condoms used in the film, and there are all manner of minor goofy inaccuracies as far as what existed when and how the performers look compared to how people from that day and age would appear. But none of that matters, quite honestly. Janine, Jesse Jane, Carmen Luvana and Evan Stone are the stand out performers in this one, with Evan doing an exceptionally good job with the comedic elements of the script and Janine actually pulling off the act of portraying a tough pirate woman and doing it with style. The production values are all top notch, with obvious care and an eye for detail showing in the costumes, sets, and effects work.

Whether or not porn will ever cross over into the mainstream the way it looked like it would in the seventies or not remains to be seen, but films like Pirates are definitely making that day look closer and closer. Make no mistake, this is definitely a sex film first and foremost but it has better production values, performances, action and humor than half of the crap that comes out of the big Hollywood studios these days. Pirates is a breath of fresh air in the adult entertainment industry and hopefully its success will inspire other adult movie production companies to explore this route. When the movie doesn't focus on the sex, it still manages to you're your attention – there's enough story and enough interesting stand out set pieces, including a fun battle with some skeletons and some nice Aztec style sets, to keep things moving and to keep viewers involved in the movie – you actually want to find out how this one ends.

The DVD

Video:

Pirates was shot on high end digital video and is presented in two formats – 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen (on disc one – interlaced, unfortunately), and in high definition 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen (on disc two). If you've got the hardware to handle the playback, the high definition transfer is definitely the way to watch this film as it does a pretty good job of bringing the movie home. On the standard transfer, the black levels get a little bit jittery and you'll see some compression artifacts dancing around in the darker scenes. The high definition version still has this problem but on a much smaller scale and it isn't nearly as noticeable.

Which ever version of Pirates you end up watching, however, you should find yourself pretty impressed with the quality of the image on this release, as aside from the mild compression artifacts, there are virtually no flaws with the image on this release. Skin tones look lifelike and natural, there's a very impressive level of fine detail both in the foreground and the background of the image, and there aren't really any serious edge enhancement or line shimmering issues to note. Reds look nice and strong and don't bleed into the surrounding colors (a common problem on DV productions, it seems) and there aren't any major haloing issues either.

While some of the CGI scenes look a little goofy, this isn't so much a problem with the DVD authoring as it is just a shortcoming of CGI in general and I've got to give Adam & Eve/Digital Playground credit for putting as much care into making this production look as good as it does. If only all adult films could look as good as Pirates does, the world would be a much happier place for horn dogs everywhere.



Sound: 

There are two audio tracks available for the feature, one in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and the other in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. There are no closed captioning or subtitle options. If your gear can handle it, definitely go for the 5.1 mix as, while it doesn't make a difference really during the sex scenes, it brings the action scenes to life very, very nicely. The completely original score composed for this production fits the bill quite perfectly, adding an element of suspense to the action scenes and softening up appropriately enough for the more erotic moments in the film. There are plenty of instances where the surround speakers are used very nicely in the mix, and the subwoofer comes alive in a few spots too. Seeing as dialogue is actually important in this film, a rarity in the world of adult features, it is to the DVD's credit that you'll have no problems understanding any of the actors and actresses in the film – everything is very, very clean and very, very clear sounding on this release.

Extras: 

Well, seeing as this is a three disc set, it goes to reason that the supplemental materials are spread across three discs, right? Right! Here's what you get and where you'll find it:

DISC ONE:

Aside from a web-link that takes you to the film's official website, there's a full length commentary from director Joone who is joined on the track with the stars of the film, Janine, Jesse Jane, Tommy Gunn and Carmen Luvana. For some reason, Joone's voice is distorted through some sort of effects box and it sounds really ridiculous and at times, this gets pretty annoying. At any rate, this is a very playful commentary. Joone tries to fill the track with some background information but the girls have a tendency to get off track fairly easily. A lot of the track consists of the performers giving their thoughts on specific scenes and on some of the specific special effects used in the movie. The commentary between performers during the sex scenes tends to be rather amusing as they discuss what they did and didn't like about the scenes and how they turned out. Joone talks about what was shot where (the boat shots were done in Florida and the majority of the rest of the material was shot in California) and how the created the illusion that the ocean was as massive as it is in real life. Most of the girls have fun things to say about Evan Stone and his performance, how he has a tendency to make the other performers laugh on the set and how he does goofy impressions between takes. There isn't a lot of dead air on the commentary but there are a few spots where there's really not much being discussed and most of what we hear is giggling and laughing but whenever this happens, Joone thankfully brings things back on track and does try to provide an informative discussion on the making of the film. Tommy Gunn and Janine provide some interesting insight into their scene together where he fucks her from behind on the table, while Carmen points out that Janine had her finger up her ass through most of the scene, which she explains is to prevent herself from farting during the scene! Jesse and Janine talk about some of the details of their girl-girl scene that hits at the end of the film, and how fingernails came into play during this scene and some of the little details that you might not pick up on if you're watching it for the first time, and why it's important not to fart while you've got a lit candle in each orifice.

DISC TWO:

Here's where the bulk of the extra features are on this release….

First up is an extensive Behind The Scenes featurette that features a wealth of candid footage of the girls on set, relaxing with the cameras not requiring them to perform. A very relaxed interview with Jesse Jane starts things off nicely as she talks about her role, and the rest of the female stars soon follow suit. Steven St. Croix (who plays Marco) is also on hand, as is Janine (who comes off as extremely intelligent here and actually adds some legitimate insight into her work). Evan Stone shows up and wags his dick around a bit, joking around with some of the girls. Seeing Tommy Gunn gets his make up done is one of the more interesting aspects of this supplement, as he had to go through some fairly serious efforts to get his look down right. At 19:37 there's a fair bit of footage compiled here, although most of it is of the candid sort and to be honest, I'd hoped for more technical information. But, hey, if you want to watch porn stars goofing off on the set, there's plenty of that here and there is enough worthwhile material in this segment to make it worth looking at.

Up next is the Blooper footage. There's 6:37 minutes worth of material in here, most of which consists of the performers flubbing lines or messing up stunts and choreography, though there is some brief hardcore goofiness in here as well, most of which involves Evan Stone getting his cock sucked. Most of this stuff is moderately humorous, and it's worth a peek.

The third segment on this disc is called Inspirations To Pirates. An awkward sounding title, to be sure, but what this is, basically, is a short film that was made in Bora Bora while Island Fever 3 was being made. This short film in turn inspired the feature length Pirates film. All it really happens to be is Evan Stone wandering around on a beach in a pirate outfit, hoisting a box around and then burying it. It's pretty quick, at 2:54 in length, but it does give you an idea of the thought process behind the genesis of the film.

Moving right along, next we come to the photo gallery section. You're given the option of watching this one on manual or auto play. For review purposes I chose the auto play function, and found that it was 5:28 worth of still photographs set to music. Most of the shots are candid and behind the scenes type material though there are a few nude shots of a few of the actresses in here, some of which are formally posed some of which are obviously not. The manual play feature, for those who don't already know, simply gives you the option of checking out the same set of photographs using the 'next' button on your remote to control the speed at which they playback.

The Trailers section is up next, and here you'll find previews for other Adam & Eve and Digital Playground releases. The complete list of trailers is as follows: Jack's Playground, Jack's Teen America, Virtual Sex With trailers for Janine, Teagan, Jesse Jane, Devon, Tera Patrick, Rocki Roads, Briana Banks, Jenna Jameson, Jill Kelly, Julia Ann, Nikki Tyler, Taylor Hayes, Chloe Jones, and Teri Weigel. We also get previews for Posh Kitten, Teagan – All American Girl, Devon – Decadence, Teagan – Erotique, Devon – Erotique, Story Of J, Contract Star, Island Fever 3, Slave To Love, Mind Reader, South Of Eden, Repo Girl, Loaded, Sex In The Valley, Hit Man, Jesse Jane – Erotique, Three Timing, Beat The Devil, Sinful Creations, Island Fever 2, No Limits, Rush, Stripped, Forbidden Tales, Island Fever, all twenty-five volumes of Jack's Playground, all seven volumes of Jack's Teen America, University Of Austyn, Black In White, The Headmaster, Dirty Girlz, and finally, The Perfect Secretary.

After you make your way through all the trailers, you'll find a Behind The F/X featurette. This is exactly 2:02 in length and it's a bunch of rough footage from the computer-generated effects process set to music. It shows you the difference between the rough versions and the finished version of the effects that the Digital Playground FX Team created for the feature. Some narration might have been nice to put it all into context, but this is interesting material none the less if you're at all interested in the role that computers played in making this movie.

The Trailer To Pirates is next, it's here solo not bundled in with the other previews, and it runs 1:46 and it does a fine job of touting this as the 'biggest adult production in history' and it's a nice blend of sex, action, and adventure sure to whet your appetite for the feature if for some reason you decide to watch this one before the actual movie itself.

Text biographies are next, and we get written pieces detailing the background information on the following performers: Jesse Jane, Devon, Teagan Presley, Janine, Carmen Luvana, and the director of the film, Joone.

Last but certainly not least on the second disc is a reel of Audition Videos for a bunch of the lesser male performers that wound up in supporting roles in the film. There's about 3:28 worth of footage here and it's kind of amusing to see these guys read for the parts, then compare how they look here to how they look in the final version of the movie itself.

DISC THREE:

The third and final disc in the set contains the high definition version of the film, and a high definition version of the same Behind The Scenes documentary that is on the second disc.

I'd also like to make mention of the packaging for this release. All three discs are housed inside a gatefold casing that sits inside a very nicely designed parchment replica slipcase housing. Not only does this give the whole package a nice element of class, but it provides a fairly sturdy way to keep your discs safe as well as they fit right in on the spindles very nicely. It would have been nice to see a booklet included inside, detailing the scene breakdowns any maybe with some biographies of the performers but overall in terms of extra features this set definitely delivers. The movie is broken up into twenty chapters and the set also features some nice animated menus.

Final Thoughts:

Impressive production values, splendid costumes, and surprisingly good performances from a handful of the x-rated entertainment industry's biggest stars makes Pirates one of the most accessible adult features I've ever seen. The humor works very well, the scenes are well photographed and actually erotic in spots and this is definitely a good couples film. Adam & Eve/Digital Playground have gone all out on the DVD release, jam packing this set with plenty of supplemental material that will raise your blood level a little bit where it counts and maybe teach you a thing or two about the industry at the same time. This one easily comes highly recommended.



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