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I rented 3 tapes, 2 of which are recent releases. I must admit that I hesitated a long time before I finally decided to rent '94 stuff. The quality of porn has steadily deteriorated over the past 2 years (at least it seems so to me): all my favourite stars have slowly faded out of the scene, only to be replaced by mass-produced plastic-boobed blondes. Even Ashlyn Gere, my only recent fave, is not much consolation any more; she is still great of course, but her recent movies have been all invariably unexciting. So I have tried to avoid the "New Releases" rack in my local store; unfortunately one eventually has to face the present, even in porn :-). So I got two Vivid tapes: "Suite 18" and "Starlet".
Both were OK; of course being Vivid tapes they were lukewarm and boring, but at least the production qualities were passable. Both are directed by Bud Somebody (I think Bud Lee); he's already in my black list under the heading "Boring Bastards" (a list headed, as should be expected, by Andrew Blake). The day was saved by the superior cast.
StarletThis stars Nikki Dial (who's after all still in the business), PJ Sparxx, Kaitlyn Ashley, Tianna Taylor and the usual Vivid male leads (these new guys whose name I have never cared to remember). I have to admit that I'm very partial to Nikki Dial and PJ Sparxx, so I was biased in favour. The film did not disappoint me in this respect. First there is a het scene with Nikki, nicely filmed with emphasis on Nikki's gorgeous body. Not bad. Then Nikki and Some Guy inspect Kaitlyn Ashley and Some Other Fella do it on the Kitchen Sink (second only to the Couch in terms of popularity with porn directors :-)). The scene is good. I like Kaitlyn, despite her boob job; her face is very Sixties-ish; like old favourite Chris Cassidy, she looks as if she is fresh out of the commune or something :-). Plus she does anal in this scene, both digital and penile probing.
PJ does Tianna Taylor. Bo-ring! However the film manages to enetertain the viewer in the end with a nice 3some, between Nikki, PJ and one of the fellas (I'll have to start taking notes on the names :-)). As I said, Nikki going down on PJ is enough to get me excited; however the scene has other merits too. It takes place outdoors (hooray!) and PJ (gasp) sucks and fucks the guy. And I thought she had stopped for good. BTW PJ has put on a number of pounds; she is still gorgeous but she now sports the beginnings of a double chin, a looser belly and a bit of cellulite that even makeup couldn't hide. Oh well, one has to eat as well :-). Another problem I had with this scene was Nikki's VERY poor make-up job.
Overall, this is a good movie. Compared with other recent movies it is superior. It still is however rather bland and unexciting, mainly because of the unimaginative sex sequence (the ol' BJ-Cunnilingus-Missionary-Doggy train); the g-g was particularly unispiring. "Starlet" is bit like a curry with not enough spice (warming up for my return to Blighty :-)).
Suite 18The second choice stars Janine, Asia Carrera, Kaitlyn Ashley, PJ Sparxx, Marc Wallice and one of the New Fellas. There are only 3 scenes in this film. They are very long but this is more of a disadvantage nowadays. You see, this is a *Vivid* film. You may yawn; I did. 25 minutes of a lukewarm girl-girl with Janine on Asia does get a little tiring in the end. This doesn't mean that Janine is not doing her best. On the contrary, she is one of very few actresses who really leaves me with the impression that she really likes the female body. In this movie she appeared to fawn over Asia (her scene with PJ was more detached I think); it is really one of the few girl-girl scenes that I would classify as "lesbian". Unfortunately girl-girl scenes do get boring after a while (after the novelty wears off I guess) and Janine is really not one of my favourites.
After this opening scene, Asia does a Fella (TM). I like Asia Carrera a lot. She is a very pretty girl of (partially) Japanese (?) extraction, with a gorgeous body and natural breasts. She is no Kristara Barrington to be sure (not yet, at least), but she may be the new Oriental star. In this scene the Fella rims Asia, and plays a lot with her prosterior hole; no fingers (or other oblong objects) are inserted though. The scene is okay, I guess. Finally there is a group scene (3 couples, not an orgy): Janine does PJ; exciting pairing but I felt it lacked the spark of the Janine-Asia scene. Asia does Marc Wallice; Kaitlyn does the Fella. Not bad, not great either.
If "Starlet" was a curry without the pepper, "Suite 18" hasn't got the curry powder either (this is a silly parallel, I know :-)). And yet it is watchable. Rent it on a day you have to do your taxes or something; I guarantee you it won't be riveting.
I am finally disgusted with American porn and that's final. ALL new releases are boring and full of horrid bimbos with artificial boobs. I am unfortunately rather unfamiliar with that category of American porn that is reportedly doing well, i.e amateur, so I do not risk renting it. And my local store, though well stocked in general, has few tapes from before 1990 (the date when porn started going downhill IMHO). Fortunately they have recently improved their Euro inventory so I turned to that.[Update 5/28/1996. Not surprisingly, Ricaud's below par (by his standards) performance was almost wholly due to self-censorship by the American distributor. The uncut European version of "Beauties in Paradise" includes a very nice mff scene with anal; this was apparently cut because it is mildly NC, plus it features a supposed incentuous BJ at one stage. Bearing that in mind, I have to hike up the rating of "Beauties in Paradise" to 3.45. I haven't seen the European version of "Club Private" so I can't say whether it has been cut as well for distribution in the US.]
[3/7/1995: Review of "Im bett mit Sybille" deleted - see Part 1 of this series]Certainly more accessible [than normal European fare available in the US] is the "Private Film" series. I am not talking about the well known "Private Video Magazine Nr *" but of the parallel line of the same company that comprises Euro feature films, dubbed in English and pre-converted into NTSC.
I have to admit that the "Video Magzines" haven't impressed me so far (I have only seen widely discussed Nr 4 -the one with the twins), but this series is a completely new ballgame. It's the only way American audiences can be acquainted with big European directors and high budget productions in the Old continent.
The two films I rented, Beauties in Paradise and Club Private in the Seychelles are the two final movies directed by the great Marcel Ricaud. Apparently my once favourite director died last summer in the Seychelles while filming the latter flick. It is a big loss to the adult film scene, for he was extremely talented and also capable to combine large budgets with hot sex and brilliant camera work. Admittedly these two films are not his best: the sex scenes are too mechanical. That might be due to lack of editing, particularly so in the latter film, during the shooting of which he died. In any case the movies are still superb: set in gorgeous outdoor locations in the tropical Seychelles, they feature -as usual- extremely attractive people doing extremely raunchy things. EVERY scene has an anal -reverse cowgirl in general- and there are abundant DP's (two in "Beauties" and four in "Club Private").
Both filcks feature Joey Silvera and a very pretty French actress, Valy Verdy. Boy, she takes it up the butt like there's no tomorrow! She is featured rather more prominently in "Beauties" -the finished work- and does a DP in her very first scene.
Overall these films are way superior to the current US crap, though they undeniably have their drawbacks. By far the worst of these is the dubbing; unfortunately the "Private" agents in America decided that the previous use of subtitles -e.g in "Video Magazine 4"- was too distracting. But then again is seeing Valy crying silently "Ah oui" and after 5 seconds hearing a ridiculous groan - by a guy! Ratings: 3.35 for "Beauties", 3.00 for "Club".
This one has a stellar cast indeed: Hypatia Lee (woof), Shanna McCullough(hooowwwwwl), Erica Boyer, Paul Thomas and Mike Horner. It is a cute effort but a bit too much concerned with the weak plot, with the result that the sex scenes are not what they could well be. The Imperial verdict is: waste of resources. Neither Hypatia, nor Shanna are used well; the threesome with PT is particularly disappointing. Still, it is a very decent flick, certainly superior to what we get nowadays (I must have said this phrase five times in this post :-) Must be true!).