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Since it appears that a representative from the company we love to hate, Vivid, is gracing our group with his presence, and at the same time wondering why his company has got such a bad name here, let me begin with 3 Vivid tapes. To show that I am a fair fellow I will choose 3 Paul Thomas ones, by far the best of anything that Vivid can show. Bud Lamer is no contest, he sucks so incredibly it's not a review any more, it's a slaughter :-) Monsieur Vividude claims (rather defensively one might add, but I can understand this) that Vivid caters to the "couples" market and that, by implication, all of us hoary raincoters should stick to Pussyman instead. For this reason I will only examine some of the pornies I have watched with either female company or after consultation with a lady unattached to me (yes, I have such liberal acquaintances :-); the particularly lady is shortly getting married to a friend, but she still discusses porn with me). And I will make an effort to judge the Vivid efforts among these tapes by using the standards appropriate to this celebrated (and mysterious) "couples market"; you can rest assured that I will not complain about the absence of DPs.
Trouble MakerThis is a recent release, starring Celeste, Asia Carrera, Tammi Ann and a load of Fellas (rhymes with "a load o' bollocks", rather appropriately I might add ;-)). You can see that PT is genuinely trying to create some erotic atmosphere, and I appreciate this. I am also impressed that Celeste is hacked to death a la Nicole Brown in this one; old Paul has some guts - I guess he shall be hearing from Ms. MacKinnon on this affair :-(. That said, the "drama" simply fails to work. It's no good; the talent ain't good enough and the direction is ponderous and pretentious, complete with long pauses between lines reminiscent of daytime drama. I eventually FF'ed through the plot (as did my female acquaintance in her own viewing).
The raison d'etre for the film is of course the sex. I can hear people groaning; PT is rather notorious for his lukewarm efforts in this area. Once again however it's not horrible. The initial 3some between Celeste, Asia and a Fella does have some spark; the ladies are pretty, the camera angles very correctly chosen, the positions and locations have some imagination. But Celeste ruins it; she desperately tries to become a major ball-drainer in Ashlyn's mold: she talks the dirty talk, she makes the grimaces, she tries a variety of moans. It's no good. She reminds me very strongly of those adolescent girls with the reputation of "squares" trying to appear slutty to become accepted. Plus she SPITS. A lot. A whole, gross lot. Yuck. Not even Jeanna Fine or Crystal Wilder emit so much saliva. Someone tell her to stop.
From that point it's all downhill. Tammi is as cute as ever but she can't carry it. BTW none of the ladies I know particularly enjoy seeing Tammi getting drilled from behind with a rather sizeable dildo. Perhaps Vivid should do some market research rather that presume what couples like.
Anywat to recap. Honest effort, with some merit. Its failing is IMHO the same with most Vivid efforts; failure to communicate with the fans. They have a pet theory on what the consumer likes but it's never based on actual consumer opinion. And sales figures don't cut it as an argument. Vivid has slick boxes, pretty actresses and good production values. The inexperienced renter will get hooked more frequently than not. It's our purpose in asm however to educate the consumer so that he doesn't ;-)
BTW Bud Lee is an exception in this theory; it is my belief that he sucks on purpose. I bet he refers to the fans with some variant of "raincoaters".
The CovenThis was my first Janine movie; I watched it in late 1993. I don't know if it was the first dazzle from seeing her (I have since become sick of her, so I wouldn't know any more) or something else, but I remember enjoying this. Krysti Lynn, Brittany O' Connell, Nikki Shane, Tianna Taylor and a bunch of Fellas succor the efforts of Ms. Lindemulder. It works; at least the Janine g-g part is quite sexy. She does have some chemistry with Krysti. There is a lot of outdoor stuff as well, which I always appreciate. The b-g stuff (that includes anal on Ms. O' Connel and a mini-gb on Ms. Taylor) is bad. Badly shot, choppily edited and un-hot. I won't even go into the stupid, pseudo-pagan shit that masquerades as a plot. It has "wannabe" written all over it.
The Coven, Part 2Yep, they had some more footage and they made a part 2. Why bother? This one takes the cake for having the cheesiest special effects in the history of film. Only one scene really works: Krysti Lynn with 2 fellas in a waterfall. That said, there is shameless looping; the same action is captured from 2 different cameras and then joined back-to-back. Sheesh. You think we're blind? The editing is also odious in Laurie Cameron's anal scene. Janine's scenes don't work either. The outdoor shots are the only redeeming aspect of this little horror.
Rating: 2.40. Avoid.
Brief AffairIf Mr. Vividude honestly wishes to produce good "couples" films I suggest he watches "Brief affair". This 1983 production must have cost less than either of the Coven films. PT and Loni should know, they starred in it ;-). Though there are no exterior shots or other fancy tricks, this one is a classic. Why? For once there's the cast: Annette Haven, Lisa DeLeeuw (heavens what a name!), Bridgette Monet, Nicole Black, Loni Sanders. Did I hear the cry "Yummy" echoing across the wires? :-). And the guys are decent, not just Fellas. There is PT, Joey Silvera and Mike Horner, always a welcome sight when guys are concerned. Good actors (well, perhaps not Joey :-)) and nice, non-threatening personalities that let us concentrate on the gals.But perhaps I'm being unfair. "Brief affair" is still a major filming effort despite the absence of fancy shots. So, let's pick a couple of recent videos by legendary directors. All these are cheapos that should certainly cost less to produce than any of the standard Vivid stuff floating in the market.
The plot is cute (a takeoff from "Fame") but nothing to write home above. Loni's character and the little gag with Silvera is fun. But everybody is acting so naturally, they actually give the film a nice, carefree atmosphere I appreciated a lot. And Annette doing the voiceover...mmmmm, still gives me goosebumps.
The sex is blisteringly hot. Nothing wild from a pervert's point of view but hot, hot, HOT. Annette gives the best head ever of course, but Loni is giving her a run for her money here. Bridgette and Lisa in a g-g, yummy! Then Nicole (body as smashing as always) does a great 3some with Horner and another guy. And the b-g between the Cannons (Dave and Dana) not bad either; now, why couldn't Raquel pick a decent fella like Dave instead of the rather gross Derrick Lane? :-)
The Imperial Verdict: Run, elbow your way, queue up and beg, BUY THE THING. A classic in the Silver Age, "Brief affair" is far from perfect but still a brilliant effort throughout. Always a great success with the ladies ;-).
Sam's FantasyLet's begin with Henri Pachard. The man is adaptible; he shot "DMJ 2" and "Between Lovers" when budgets were in vogue, now he shoots cheapos. Still, he mostly dishes out good product. I have already reviewed his excellent "Life and Loves of Nikki Charm", "New Barbarians 1&2" as well as a couple of less successful endeavours (one can't be perfect all the time, unless his name is Alex DeRenzy ;-)). "Sam's Fantasy" is one of the better videos of the recent Pachard crop. The cast is mouthwatering: Samantha Strong, Sabrina Dawn, Victoria Paris, Lauren Brice. Of the fellas there is Silvera, Dough and Butler; OK guys but certainly not qualifying as "mouthwatering" :-)
This is a typical one-day wonder in the typical "4 g-g's and a lezzie" scene format. But the lezzie is arguably the best Victoria has ever done; she's paired with yummy Sabrina -great tits- and there is quite a bit of heat generated. The camera angles are perfect; I have never seen Victoria Paris utilized so successfully. Lots and lots of breastplay too. All the b-g scenes are nice. Sabrina keeps her bra on during hers, which is a waste of resources, but that about sums the movie's bad points. The first-scene with Jerry B. and Victoria has some foodfight stuff; I normally like these, but I would generally go for jello, strwaberries and cream rather than roast turkey, Mr. Pachard :-). Still, it's "original", to put it mildly ;-).
For some, the piece de resistance should be Sam's anal scene at the end. Some people have expressed dissatisfaction with the use of resources here, but I have to disagree. I like the setting. Sam is just bent over a bar counter, skirt is lifted and butt is reamed (no, it's NOT NC, thanks for asking ;-)). Nice and businessslike ;-), makes a difference from the usual anal scene "protocol": Guy: "Do you want it up the ass?"; Girl (obviously terrified at the prospect) " Yes, I want it up my ass. I love it" (spoken with all the emotion of a dead fish).
The Verdict: Good. I can't give it a huge rating, since it's a cheapo and I can't condone shooting cheapos. Still it's as good as a one-day wonder can get.
Victoria's SecretMore Pachard-directed Victoria Paris, this time with a supporting cast that includes Sharon Kane and Brittany. This is arguably Brittany's best outing. It still is not anything exceptional. Good, solid rental, but that's about it.
Rating: 2.60. BTW, you get no marks for guessing that the g-g scene takes place in a toilet, ON the bowl. Henri has an obvious thing for toilets, a bit like Holliday and nurses :-).
Two WomenI mentioned DeRenzy (also known as "God" :-)) above. He has also shot some movies recently (before his Rex Borsky incarnation), but they are "feature films" rather than one-day wonders. All the more important for our dear Vivid to pay attention ;-). "Two Women" is a 1992 Rosebud production. It's a major filming effort. The cast is top of the crop. Ashlyn Gere, Victoria Paris, Bionca, Dominique Simone, Tom Byron, Randy Spears, Joey Silvera and a TON of others (check Ron's dbase for a full casting). One word: brilliant! Ashlyn gives her best performance ever: she looks hot and is incredibly sexy. Other people have ranted before on how her anal with Tom Byron is the best she's ever done. I'll agree. The action is hot, sweaty, loud, and PERFECTLY filmed. Awesome. Also tremendous is her scene with Randy Spears in a lavatory (oops, some Pachard influence there? Great minds come to meet?;-)). And of course, there is the -brief- Victoria Paris DPP. It takes place during the final orgy. This particular scene is actually the film's only drawback: it's VERY poorly edited and (I must admit) directed as well. It's a mess. A previous orgy halfway through the film is much better.
The Imperial Verdict: Great fun. Perfect for the raunch crowd, good for any viewer. It has been a success with at least one lady of my acquaintance. There are some flaws, but overall this film is a -marginal- keeper.
Pretty Peaches 3More DeRenzy: Keisha, Tracey Adams, Victoria Paris, Jamie Gillis, Rachel Ryan, Woody Long, Lynn LeMay and more. DeRenzy still got it. The tale of the ingenue revisited with great success. Keisha makes a good choice for the ingenue. She's not as dumb as Desiree in the original, nor as ravishingly edible as Angel in "Too Naughty to Say No", but she's good. This film actually manages something almost unheard of in the porn of the last 10 years: the actual buildup to a sex scene is far more erotic than the scene itself. I particularly enjoyed seeing voluptuous Tracey working out in her nighty while her daughter's boyfriend tries not to drool too visibly. Also great is the scene between Keisha and mad physician Rachel Ryan. Keisha receives a vigorous anal fingering in this one.
The Verdict: yes, YES, YES, as Meg would say :-). It's not very sexy, being erotic instead. A subtle distinction perhaps, but a meaningful one IMHO.
Pretty Peaches (the original)Let me close this 200+ line monster by briefly mentioning the original "Pretty Peaches". Desiree Cousteau plays her typical dumb, buxom lass, journeying through a world of perverts. In the process she is raped while lying unconscious after an accident, receives an enema, is raped once again by a load of people using all sorts of oblong objects (fleshy or not) to violate her and finally ends up in quite a sizeable orgy.
Always something of a jarring experience, "Pretty Peaches" remains a brilliant classic. I'll give it a 3.35 rating, and will consign any flames about my being a male chauvinist pig who condones rape to my recently very busy /dev/0 :-).