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I hate summers. I can't stand the heat and the dulling of intellects it brings along with it. I almost wish for September to come along with the legions of the clueless; at least it's gonna kill that confounded "State of the biz" thread :-) (PLEASE get the "re: imp" out of the title - I keep checking it just in case someone is addressing me).
If you haven't noticed by now, I don't have a particular liking for powerhouse VCA. Once a pillar of quality porn, with the rights to most of the classics and the cream of contemporary creators, Dark and Leslie, VCA had IMHO recently taken an unfortunate turn towards blander and more pretentious material. It's not just the "Sex" disaster; it's Leslie's departure; the unending and mind-numbing hyping; the plastic; and, most of all, the spineless self-censorship of anything that might be considered even remotely offensive. I mean, come on. If there is a company that can afford to combat a nuiscance obscenity lawsuit, it's VCA. Wishing to avoid litigation is all fair enough; I can't instruct anybody to take risks they don't like. As far as I'm concerned however, VCA is just concerned about squeezing the last cent out of the fan with minimum risk. They did not withdraw the offensive tapes from circulation after all; they just chopped them abruptly and re-released them WITHOUT ANY WARNING ON THE BOX.
Furthermore, it's not as if VCA is detached about the whole matter of censorship. Their tapes are full of those obnoxious messages (Lincoln, the flag, "the sexual situations depicted herein" disclaimer) about the fans having the moral obligation to defend "their" rights. How about their obligation to us? Why should the fans help support an establishment that won't do anything on its part about the problem? Avoiding litigation will never create the precedent "our side" needs to defeat future attacks. I do remember a certain Alex DeRenzy in the late 60s; a certain Harry Reems and the lawsuits against him; Al Goldstein (who despite being a bit crude for my taste, was far from spineless); and countless others whose determination made our hobby - and their vocation - what it is, or rather, "was" :-).
Finally, people who refuse to participate in the risks should not style themselves as "artistic", or even "erotic". Art and Eros has nothing to do with the sanitized and sterile product we are being offered. Let's also not forget that Vivid, equally large and powerful, has dared to show violence in at least two of its recent releases. Daring PT -doesn't it sound strange? :-)
That said, VCA is no Leisure Time ripoff by any means. The technical aspects of its major productions are as a rule impeccable. Even in the case where the final product is horrid to watch -Ninn, yet again- it is obvious that it is the director's, rather than the producer's, fault. And I am happy to say that their latest endeavour, VCA Platinum Plus, i.e. feature films containing at least 6-7 scenes and over 100 minutes long, shows respect towards the customer and manages to generate a lot of heat.
The primary reason however for this latest surge in quality is, naturally, the girls. VCA has certainly won this round of the exclusive rights battle, for they have managed to secure the rights to the girl I now consider the greatest revelation of the adult scene since Ashlyn's debut: Juli Ashton.
Ms. Ashton is without doubt the hottest item in the contemporary sex scene, and VCA is wise enough to capitalize on her potential. My store is virtually inundated in Juli (not that I'm complaining of course); AVN and HEVG is plastering her face all over their pages; every VCA tape with her has fan club information. Normally I would resent such hype; this however is one of the cases, like Ginger and Ashlyn, where the word "overexposure" has no meaning. Work her relentlessly, VCA. Refuse her even a moment's rest :-). I want at least 100 movies' worth out of this incredible creature, and I want them NOW. Gimme, gimme, gimme.
[drool crisis over, resume customary detached, pompous style :-)]My first experience of her work was her g-g scene in Cameron Grant's "The Dinner Party". Even back then, my attention was drawn to the charismatic blonde with the Bo Derek-like features, the sweet smile, the heartbreakingly beautiful eyes and the gorgeous body; though it must be conceded that Juli's boobs are artificially enhanced (an excellent job, even Peter agrees on that). I was not prepared however for what was to follow.
Butt DetectiveOn Brad's advice I first rented "Butt Detective", a rather silly "comedy" about a private investigator (Mike Horner, in his typical "creepy geek" role complete with that inane grin so dear to Frans :-)) hired by some rich dude (John Dough) to find a particular girl he only met once in his life (the dude, not the creepy geek :-)). Problem is, the only clue our PI has are three polaroids of the girl's butt. So he wanders around town, checking out butts until he finds the owner of the one on the polaroid. Duh. Great plot, I know.
So essentially we have a "hi, let's fuck" premise for some 6 or 7 sex scenes. Thankfully, three of them feature the glorious Ms. Ashton, twice doing anal. For, yes, the angelic-looking blonde is one nasty customer. The only other case I can think of, where looks, star status and raunchy repertoire are teamed to such an extent, is Angelica Bella. Even Ginger was not expected BY DEFAULT to start pumping all holes vigorously at the drop of a hat. One is however shocked when Juli does NOT do anal in a scene :-).
But it's not just the raunch; it's the performance that has led Juli to be banging at the door of the Imperial Top 10. Certainly not as vocal or foul-mouthed as Ashlyn (just as well, for only the masters can handle dirty-talk without sounding inane), nor as hyperkinetic as, say, Tammi Ann, Juli has an incredible sexual presence. She always looks as if she's into what she's doing (usually something shocking :-)), her expressions are delightfully cute and full of variety, and she moves very well. As for noise, she gives us plenty but never of the lame "oh yes, oh yes" variety.
Oops, there I go drooling again. Reviews, right. In "Butt Detective", Juli is supposedly Horner's secretary who literary puts her ass on the line to help her boss in his quest. She's not much of an actress, though certainly not wooden, but she is very cute and bubbly and a major babe, so we'll forgive her :-). Thankfully, VCA is wise enough to avoid the cheesy drama route that Vivid has been lately following (Ninn excepted), with the salutary result of not exposing the thespian limitations of its stars.
In order for the fan to be immediately sated, Horner does Juli straight away in the flick's first scene. Good scene, with excellent doggie action while Mike pulls Juli's hair with his teeth. Missionary anal closes the sequence. Juli also does anal in a good threesome with TT Boy and Rebecca Bardoux (who, of course, does anal on her own behalf), but not in her last b-g scene, an orgy. This orgy is very notable for showing Jordan Lee doing DP and even some moments of that rarest of treats, a DAP. "Athletic" to say the least :-). The rest of the video's plethora of anal drills include Tammi Ann twice (what a shock, I know :-)), Lamont's love:-) Vanessa Chase, and (again no surprise) Arianna. There is a good locker-room 3 girl scene with Juli, Vanessa and Nicole Lace, with lots of oil (which I like) and toys (which I hate :-)).
The Imperial Verdict: I'm in love :-). Oh, the movie...right. Well, it's good and plentiful raunch, but there are two grevious drawbacks that bring its rating crashing down. First of all, all but one of the anals are from the missionary position. This SUCKS. The whole point of the anal is to see the buns. Missionary is all very nice, but there is no point in putting the poor girl through the whole bloody ordeal when the result is not visible! The canonical anal order of merit is: girl face-down and completely flat on bed (i.e. not doggie); doggie (good, but not as great); spoons; RAC; missionary. I have spoken :-). In any case, any position (yes, even RC) gets boring if you see it all the time.
The second drawback is less subjective and infinitely more serious. VCA has still not ditched the pretentious air. Interleaved with the normal video shots (which are BTW crystal clear) are long moments of the same action, shot in a fuzzy, badly focused, MTV-type visual effect shot. It's terrible, migraine inducing and spoils the fun. Why is it there? This alone has chopped 0.50 off the rating, which as a result drops to:
Rating: 2.75. Let this be a lesson to you all :-)
Devil In Miss Jones 5: The InfernoMy poor opinion of VCA therefore persisted when I finally managed to grab a copy of the eagerly expected -and heavily hyped- latest installment of the Dark vision of porn: DMJ5.
Let me cut the very long story short. This video rocks. It's an incredible non-stop smut fest, brilliantly shot and edited. The action is so frenzied that even the viewer gets exhausted in the end. The movie is effectively in vignette format, with Rip Hymen (idiotic alias) playing the Devil and going through a long, rather cheesy, and eventually quite annoying tirade against the preconception that sex is "dirty". There are a lot of cheesy visual effects as well, of the usual VCA/MTV/pretentious ass variety, but thankfully not during the sex.
And the sex is hot. Juli is in every scene, looking gorgeous of course, and even when she is not actually fucked she is cummed upon, or eats the cum generated by the action. She eats a lot of it. Good grief, Juli (or should I say Bon Appetit? :-)). She also masturbates all the time, so I guess this is a Frans-alert :-).
When she does get around to be fucked (only 2 out of the 7 scenes sadly) the result is scorching. One of the scenes is a multi-g-g, featuring among others the always lovely Felecia and Kelly O'Dell. I personally found this scene the weakest of the lot, but its probably because I'm not a fan of what passes for good g-g these days (i.e. toys and anal drilling). YMMV as usual. The other scene is decidedly hotter: Jeanna Fine (looking mighty cute) and three Fellas (Nick E., Cal Jammer and another) grab Juli and shag her HARD, including anal, dildo anal and dick-and-dildo DP (dick in ass). She gives a great performance with quite a bit of sweat (yay!) and looks lovely. Yum.
Virtually every girl in the cast does anal. Nicole Lace does it during some excellent mmf action; Vanessa Chase does it, as well as DP with Tom Byron and (if I remember well) Jon Dough. But the film's crowning mercy is the final orgy. Sadly, Juli does not participate (apart from eating most of the cum :-)), but Barbara Doll, Rowan Fairmont and Arianna end up doing three side-by-side DPs - wow! I like Barbara Doll a lot, and screw those viruses, they're not gonna stop me from enjoying her performances; I have suffered enough from being spooked every time I see a Megan Leigh scene. Rowan Fairmont is a very cute brunette, with a standard, though not very bad, boobjob and (yuck) a pierced tongue.
The Imperial Verdict: Excellent work, well worth the wait. It's not as great as #3 (#4 is very bad IMHO), but it's one of the year's best so far. Technically it's impeccable, with crystal clear picture, excellent camera angles and impressive editing. No four second shots before transition here and no position changes after 5 seconds of sex. The action is long in duration and the heat appears to mount as the scene progresses, exactly as I like it. The sound is also very good despite the complexity of the scenes that sometimes include up to 10 people. The only real disadvantage is the weakness of the plot, though it's certainly not unbearable. I would have liked to see more Juli b-g, but that's subjective of course. Overall, a must-rent and even a possible purchase if you can deal with the hefty price tag.
BTW Tammi Ann is in the flick for a whopping 10 seconds. She does manage to shove a huge dildo up her ass of course in this interval :-).
Follow this link to the Director's review...
New Wave Hookers 4Greg Dark's attempt to prolong his other saga is unfortunately not as successful. "New Wave Hookers 4" is produced by VCA Labs; this means only 6 scenes. The pretense of a plot is rather dumb and only serves to introduce the vignettes - a far cry from NWH3. The archetypal Dark Bros silliness is still there, stupid costumes and all, but this time it's not funny, just dumb. The action gradually deteriorates to a rather average level, and it's a shame for it starts with a bang (yes, literally too :-)). First scene is a Juli Ashton mmf (yippie!!!) that of course includes anal, unfortunately mostly from the missionary position (again!). The flick's best scene is the second one: Chasey Lain, Vixxen and 3 Fellas. Chasey appears rather inspired, or at least she's constantly kept busy and so we don't get to see her Savannah impersonation :-). She's pretty allright, though the boobs are a disaster and she IMHO spends too much time in the tanning booth. And she wears those terrible fake eyelashes all the time...ugh. Spoils the effect of her fine eyes. I also never really liked Vixxen and here she's wearing way too much makeup.
The rest of the scenes are only average in heat, and rather poorly shot in terms of full-bodied shot percentage; yep, it's the attack of the 50' dick (TM) once again. And it's a shame, since the raw materials are there:
Overall, Greg Dark wasted a wonderul chance to make another scorcher to go along with DMJ5. I'd like to believe that this, rather poor by his standards, outing was either an aberration or a "dress rehearsal" for the infinitely superior DMJ5. As it is however, I can only recommend NWH4 as an ordinary rental, definitely not a purchase. Don't get your hopes too high for this one, for you may be disappointed. It seems that Greg performs better when the sequel number is odd (DMJ3&5 and NWH1&3 were great, DMJ4 amd NWH2&4 disappointing).
- Tammi Ann and the very cute Nicole Lace do side-by-side bg's - Tammi does anal of course, but the camera work is terrible.
- Jewel (Veronica Sage) and Sandy Beach follow in their steps next; not bad, yet not great either.
- Barbara Doll (I don't care about no stinkin' viruses!) does a mmf that culminates in a face-up DP, but the action is horribly shot and the "seal" suits the fellas wear only serve to obscure the picture.
- Finally there is an "orgy", in reality three groups screwing in the same staircase (ouch! they couldn't have picked a more painful spot). Misty Rain, looking a bit too thin here, even for my tastes does Chasey Lain; lots of rimming/toys in orifices, no breast play of note, i.e. waste of time. Yvonne, a supposedly British blonde, is some steps lower than the girls and does a lot of RC/RAC that is shot from about 2 inches from her crotch. Resources wasted. Meanwhile, at the top of the staircase two different pairs of Fellas, one of them wearing a birdcage on his head (Greg is getting a bit strapped for ideas I guess :-)) take turns shagging and DP'ing Marilyn Martin. Again the excessive closeup spoils it.
Adult AffairsThe last of the current VCA crop reviewed here is "Adult Affairs". It is cute spoof of TV's dreaded "Hard Copy", with a great cast and some very hot sex. Unfortunately there are no picture credits this time so, apart from Nina Hartley, Rocco, Juli Ashton and Randy West, I couldn't realy recognize the rest of the cast. There are two more girls credited, Kristy Waay and Petra but I couldn't put names to faces.
I liked this a lot. The girls are all very pretty, and Rocco indeed seems to get them worked up. Surprisingly enough, his mff scene with Juli does NOT include anal. Not to worry though, Juli atones for this (from the missionary position AGAIN! :-( ) in her scene with (if I remember well) Cal Jammer, and so does...Nina! That came out of the blue. I really didn't go through the blurb in the store (I don't as a rule), but I remember no particular hype about this. Anyway, this is a welcome surprise, but the treat soon turns sour. Once again, the resources are wasted. The anal is from, you guessed it, the missionary (with Nina's buns at hand...are you kidding me???), and the camera seems proped about 5 inches from her asshole. I guess we'll keep on waiting for that elusive well-shot Nina anal.
The Verdict: Not as hyped as the other three, "Adult Affairs" is much better than either NWH4 or "Butt Detective". An excellent rental.
While hostilities were still going on, I felt it that my objectivity (the little that exists :-)) as a reviewer would be compromised when it came to Brandy's work. So I lay off it. Now that peace has happily returned, I faced the risk of being too positively biased - that wouldn't work wither. Fortunately I save all my old posts to asm, and a lot of other interesting stuff from other members. Reading a few of Brandy's posts from late December, April and May are the guaranteed method to ensure that this positive bias would die at birth :-).
Best Butt(e) in the WestSo I rented the "Best Butt(e) in the West". This is, I believe, Brandy's last adult feature, and she tries to pull and Orson Welles, i.e. she has produced, directed, written and starred in the thing. The cast is very good: whatever one thinks about Brandy's appearance (in my book she's in the "unconventional" category, led by Summer Rose and also including Tamara Longley -that's a compliment BTW :-)) she has undoubtedly a nice figure, particularly when it comes to boobs. Believe me, it is hard to comment on a lady's appearance in her presence, but I have to be honest with my fellow fans. Brandy is no Angel or Ginger Lynn looker, but she's definetely no dog either. There, I said it, let the flames begin.
Also starring are Tiffany Mynx, Flame and the late Alex Jordan, all natural ladies with personality though also IMHO no stunners. This does not mean that I enjoy their performances any less. Tiffany in particular has a superb body and it is to the director's (shouldn't that be "directrix"? :-)) credit that we get to see it for long, hot moments.
But I'm skipping ahead. "Butt(e)"'s plot is the "troubled bar/small business saved by some sort of sexually oriented special event". Hmmm, we've seen that in what, 100 other porn flicks? This doesn't mean that it is particularly annoying in this case. Again to her credit, Brandy has taken her time with the "plot" (the flick is quite long) and has not emphasized it to the detriment of the sex. The pace is leisurely and allows us to see the ladies in skimpy clothing for a while before they get down to business. Also, the competition for the Best Butte is very nice: the butt(e)s :-) are all very shapely, including those not belonging to the porn stars, and the competition goes on for a while before we get back to the plumbing.
There is a little bit, near the start if the picture, where Brandy (playing a sassy New York based PR agent) goes around Butte, Montana commenting on the hilariously punning billboards there. That is almost like a page from Buttman - I feel it would be better to follow that route, rather than the trodden and tired device of the "troubled bar".
There are 6 sex scenes as I remember. Brandy is in the first and last, with two and one fella respectively; Tiffany Mynx does a mf and a mmf; these scenes are IMHO the best in the movie. In the first one we get some excellent full bodied shots of Tif, while she's being eaten, and also a memorable, supposedly NC, facial. Remeber, I don't care for facials, so that's a big compliment :-). Tif's other scene (with Marc Wallice and Jerry Butler) is unfortunately plagued by too much close-up and rather choppy editing, particularly during the anal (with a condom BTW). Waste of resources there. Resources are also been wasted in Brandy's mmf scene, since there is no breast play and all the action is on the doggie.
Flame's and Alex's b-g's are ok, but IMHO nothing exceptional. There is predictably no g-g, since the boss of the movie is not a friend of the genre :-).
The Imperial Verdict: My store had this tape on the "anal" rack; the title does fool people into expecting an anal feast, but apart from Tif's scene there is none. I don't think this is a worse case of misinformation than the usual stuff we get from the industry. I find the title cute anyway, particularly since there IS a town actually named Butte :-).
Technically, the video is again ok, yet not exceptional. The picture is clear and the sound fine, but there is way too much closeup for my taste; the editing also left something to be desired at times. Heat-wise this is a nice little item: all the girls are natural, smile a lot (hey, they even LAUGH now and then, if you can believe that) and look as if the shoot is not an ordeal (the impression one gets from, say, Sunset, Savannah or Chasey); overall there is a nice carefree air that I appreciate.
Certainly rentable. Rating: 2.80