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Corporate Bonding (2015)
Erotic pantomime sidesteps its "Team Building" premise
Structured around a photogenic outing at a posh resort for the staff of a British company, "Corporate Bonding" is yet another of the rather dwindling output of releases from vanity distributor JoyBear Pictures. Other than a loyalist like myself, I'm not sure who watches these relatively archaic productions.
I do admire the JBP honchos Dos Santos and Larke who continue on the merry way of porno panto, eschewing both wings of the Adult Cinema party - storyline vs. gonzo. Instead they hire a voice-over artist (on this occasion named Monica Vox) to tell us what's happening, while a cast of attractive Brit Porn stalwarts go through their f & s paces.
Main character is played by newcomer Amber Nevada, who made a good impression in DiSanto's "Pretty Little Playthings" for rival label daring! Media. She comes off as way too young but looking good as the youngest lawyer of the company. Courtesy of the BTS short subject on the DVD we hear her thick European accent, but it hardly matters, since all her speaking consists of the aforementioned Monica narrating.
Five standard sex vignettes mix and match the employees, with ringer casting of American star Tyler Nixon as (take your pick -with these pantos all manner of characters and action can be rewritten any number of times for voice-over or DVD liner notes) the resort's grounds-keeper or whatever.
One of the busiest XXX Brits Luke Hotrod once again trots out his guitar and shows off his musical ability singing a song, further indicating how director Jesse Black has strayed from screenwriter Jesse Black's script about some sort of bonding exercise. Pairing lucky Luke with Hannah Shaw lays the tattoos on a bit thick, but perhaps Jesse is anticipating a new video series titled "Tattooed Lawyers".
Cute Amarna Miller plays Bella, the organizer of the event which is called "The Force of Life" for no reason other than to evoke New Age b.s. JoyBear is hard-pressed to emphasize its Couples/Romance niche in today's virtual video store, but this one borders perilously on what the rack jobbers like to abbreviate as "All Sex". With attractive women like Sienna Day and stalwart Tamara Grace rounding out the femme cast, the notion of all sex isn't as negative as I'm making it out to be.
Desperate Fat Wives (2014)
Strictly for fans of huge ladies
Fans of the BBW genre (also known as Plumpers) could watch this mish- mash, which has intentional ambiguity as to nationality (legal recordkeeping is listed as in Netherlands, typical of Euro porn) and age (miscellaneous segments don't look fresh). I had finding the key to enjoyment.
My interest stemmed from the mixed-combo participation of Omar Williams, a British porn star of a decade ago. It is quite doubtful that his segment was shot in 2014, as he looks and acts the same as circa 2000 when he was at his peak. He engages in breast worship with massive mammaries of a blonde cover star, and then attempts to hump her, even having a rather precarious "woman on top" interlude by the overweight actress.
Other segments are routine, with "utility porn star" Christian X showing up as a workman who satisfies a lounging around housewife's need for a big dick. The word "fat" in the title is certainly laying it on the line, and as niche porn proliferates (and becomes ever more popular, though mainly via internet rather than a DVD like this one) this one hits the target audience.
Baby Got Boobs 12 (2013)
Lengthy and satisfying Brazzers dose of big knockers
Clocking in at 255 minutes, this 12th edition of a popular series is obviously value for money, and I enjoyed a couple (out of six) segments devoted to Brit imports.
LouLou is an unsung leader in the New Brit Porn movement, a game trouper who rarely gets headliner status but always gives an energetic performance. Here she's the only character given a fictional name -Lisa, as for some reason "LouLou" must have been considered too strange -go figure. The redoubtable Manuel Ferrara picks her out of the crowd at a party and humps the English Rose into next week in a vignette named "The Wedding Slammer".
Paige Turnah is always delightful, here given an American daddy but retaining her posh British accent as the daughter of a big-shot who likes to hold poker parties. She humps one of his employees, Brazzers regular Keiran Lee, and though the old coot playing daddy was uncredited and remains anonymous, a fellow poker player in a bit role turns out to be Kyle Stone, a couple of decades after his heyday.
Juelz Ventura and Kagney Linn Karter team up for a crowd-pleasing threesome with Keiran, notable for some effective POV photography. Oddest segment is included as the bonus, with Jacky Joy out on the street (in a suburban setting) soliciting Mick Blue for handyman (woman) work around his house, and turning out to be a prostitute who charges him $1,500 for services rendered. This vignette was intentionally in poor taste, and even her use of blackmail ("Pay up or I'll tell your wife") was thrown in rather carelessly. I guess the danger of my sampling these borderline- gonzo videos is that I am subjected to the lowered standards of contemporary porn and the distinct condescension felt by the anonymous hacks on the "creative" end regarding their customers.
Delicious Tits (2015)
Good cast redeems typical Brazzers offering
I suspect many Brazzers fans have churned their way into other diversions, perhaps giving it up to some of the newer websites or DVD purveyors. I still watch these paeans to big breasts out of inertia, and "Delicious Tits" is merely another dose of exactly what we loyalists know and love. Nothing adventurous here.
Of the six vignettes, including a fine Romi Rain bonus showcase being serviced by the inevitable Keiran Lee, my favorite brought back to the screen the team of Alektra Blue and Kirsten Price, who a decade earlier as Wicked contract girls enlivened many a storyline feature. Biggest difference is the absence of condoms, as they team up for a threesome with none other than Keiran Lee (who else?).
Breast in show is likely Summer Brielle, who has found a niche in these near-gonzo exercises, after her acting talents were found wanting (or nonexistent) in a number of story features. I suspect that as she hits the big 30 her career will return to those bondage tapes from whence she came, as she perfectly fits the profile (literally) of a tied up & busting out damsel in distress.
Top billing goes to Christy Mack, riding the ongoing wave of interest among younger porn fans in tattoo artistry. Hokiest segment has to be Destiny Dixon playing a larger than life Destiny Dixon on a motorcycle who picks lucky Danny Mountain as winner of "a date with D.D." TV contest.
Rather classy, given the title
Unlike standard American gonzo porn, Bluebird Films' "Gangbangs" operates at a higher level, almost respectable (in context). These top- heavy British porn actresses entertaining several guys at a time are good at what they do, while somehow remaining glamorous in the process.
Of course, the jury (of audience's pocket books) has already reached its verdict, and extreme down & dirtiness (think of Belladonna as the poster child) has won the battle in 21st Century porn. But these cheap to buy remainders of Bluebird's vast product line are worth checking out for contrast.
Heaviest up top of the beauties is Danielle Derek, a blonde performer whose breasts are modeled after those of the legendary Pandora Peaks. In a segment with pink as the color scheme, she provides the show's most extreme sex, expertly performing d.p.'s standing up and maintaining deep throat while 3 guys go at her at once.
Other standouts include Gabriela Glazer and Cyprus Iles in a cast overlapping with another Bluebird offering "Faceparty". The studs all wear strange masks, but are fortunately credited -identifying the usual guys from UK central casting of the last decade. One of them, Keni Styles, made the move to Chatsworth more recently and is probably the leading Asian porn actor in recent history.
Excellent example of "locked room" mystery
Mystery story fans love the classic "locked room" mystery gambit, where Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot has to solve a murder which occurred in a locked room with seemingly no way in or out.
This unusual "NCIS" episode adapted the ploy to suspenseful effect by having all three suspects locked (necessarily) in a divers' decompression chamber with the dead victim for days, which had me guessing and was resolved satisfyingly with a topical and credible deus ex machina explanation of both motive and whodunit. On the basis of this assignment, TV writer Brendan Fehily strikes me as ready to script a feature film, perhaps in the heightened suspense and/or paranoia genre associated with Larry Cohen in such films as "Phone Booth" and "God Told Me To".
The lawyer character who effectively blocked our hero Mark Harmon's vaunted interrogation techniques was well written and made for a wonderful gotcha when Harmon eventually puts the pieces together.
Another interesting aspect of this offbeat episode was its willful failure to hand out crumbs in order to get every team member involved. Both Rocky Carroll and Brian Dietzen were given the week off and I much prefer this policy rather than the often artificial "let's give everyone exposure" mode that dilutes the power of so many TV episodes. Let's face it: sometimes Kobe needs to keep the ball and do all the scoring for the team to win. Also, the "St. Valentine's Day" tie-in to the show's air date was handled as fun diversions without getting in the way of the story as so often happens with Christmas or Thanksgiving cornball television salutes.
Now the big issue remains: how will the writers deal with the finale for Michael Weatherly's beloved (and integral to the series' success) character Tony DiNozzo? I'm hoping Robert Wagner will be involved one last time in some capacity in the send-off, certainly a challenge to maintain the proper tone. As far as successor, I wouldn't be surprised if they merely promote an actor from one of the farm teams, either L.A. or New Orleans. Ted Danson is unavailable. Or how about reviving good old Meg Ryan's career with her becoming the go-to agent on the team, in honor of her co-starring so long ago in Harmon's one big shot at movie stardom: "The Presidio".
Tits n' Tats (2015)
Ho-hum, as Brazzers treads water
The only difference between this assembly-line Brazzers video and its predecessors is that the guys at the Canadian-headquartered outfit decided to deny screen credits to the studs whose dicks toil in these exercises. Not to worry - I was able to identify the familiar faces (though even their dicks are familiar by now due to a very limited talent pool).
Brazzers' latest main squeeze Peta Jensen toplines, with generally lesser known actresses on view than is usually the case, except for Yurizan Beltran putting out in the bonus vignette for Mick Blue.
The theme is of course tattoos, but they are hardly a novelty anymore. And the queens of tattooland lately, namely Bonnie Rotten and Christy Mack, are nowhere in evidence.
Lela Star is the seasoned pro in the bunch, while the new girls beyond Peta seem headed for brief and uneventful careers grinding out mindless gonzo filler. If this is the best that Brazzers can come up with after 11 or 12 years of practice, it might be time for the Canucks to put a sock in it.
Office Booty (2015)
Routine workplace porn vignettes
I've liked Brazzers features for many years now, but the quality level is erratic. This year-ago release is nothing special but at least it isn't insulting crap like so many of their "post-merger" releases have been of late.
Despite the title, this is not a John Buttman Stagliano inspired effort. It's merely the usual 6 burlesque sketches highlighting top-heavy women vs. the usual Brazzers studs (plus a couple of new male faces).
The bonus segment is the most offbeat, introducing big-dicked Jared Grey, seduced on a very cheap set by newcomer Sandee Westgate. She displays admirable deep-throat technique and notably every scene ends in a facial.
Elsewhere Julia Ann and Tanya Tate team up with overworked Keiran Lee; overrated Tasha Reign takes on Johnny Sins; the wonderful Rachel Starr is saddled with humping James Deen (wearing a bow-tie sloppily, no less) to earn her Brazzers paycheck; Asa Akira and Tyler Nixon do a domination thing - these two are ringers in the Brazzers world; and Madison Ivy gets tied up by Deen, popping up unnecessarily again.
Any video with over an hour of Deen doing his corny routine is a loser for me.
Voleuses Cochonnes (2016)
One order of generic porn; hold the maple syrup
True aficionados recall the late '60s heyday of soft porn films in Quebec, known as "films cochons" (pig films) upon which this feature's title puns. Taking the name of a defunct distributor Quebec Productions from 70 years ago, a new outfit has been churning out dozens of amateurish (but slickly packaged) XXX porn features since 2013, of which "Slutty Thieves" is representative.
It's a curious development, since a very large percentage of Chatsworth porn production is currently given Canadian nationality (as listed in IMDb for instance), since the distribution companies for Sweet Sinner, Sweetheart Video, Gamma Entertainment, Digital Playground and Brazzers are now all headquartered in Quebec. But "Cochonnes" is actually proud of its "made in Quebec" with local talent credentials.
The soundtrack, with minimal dialog, is in French, sans subtitles. Repetitive vignettes merely show 4 attractive young women criminals plying their trade: cat burglars, a pickpocket and a corporate spy taking photos of documents in an office after hours with cell phone camera instead of the clichéd tiny little camera of old espionage movies.
It's strictly about the sex, filed under "All Sex" in the virtual video store. Two of the burglars are clad in identical rubber/latex black jumpsuits with handy zipper up the front, sort of Montreal's answer to Diana Rigg's Mrs. Peel of '60s TV.
The guys are strictly creepy -they look like a modern update of the studs who once appeared in stag films 70 or so years ago. One of the girls is the untalented Roxy Lane who I had seen with her sister in a couple of poor Marc Dorcel French porn films years back. She has another video for this label whose title translates as "Not Without My Sister", contradicted by her ho- hum solo performance here.
There's no imagination, no technique, basically nothing of interest in this video. These folks hump just as other porno actors do, and likely learned how from watching porn in the first place. The girls are so much alike, give or take a few tattoos, that the video provides no variety whatsoever and is a total bore. First segment featuring Leena Rey has a hint of kinkiness, with a passive guy (looks as if he were injured or something) blindfolded when the femme burglar has sex with him, goes nowhere.
Music track tries to emulate a '60s James Bond feel but is merely ersatz. Montreal locations could have been filmed anywhere (Budapest for example given current porn trends). It's hard to believe this drek is competitive with big-name porn in the marketplace.
Wicked Weapon (1998)
Unusual XXX intl. co-production w/okay results
Made in a period when actor Brad Armstrong was moving up in the ranks towards directorial pantheon status, "Wicked Weapon" is not among his best sci-fi films but more interesting as to its pedigree. Wicked Pictures was distributing many of Marc Dorcel's French features, at a high point in that company's history, so it was apparently natural for the two firms to join forces for this title.
As usual with co-productions, talent is shared, so Dorcel's top star Laure Sainclair is prominent in an otherwise all-Chatsworth lineup. Unfortunately, she looks great in sci-fi/fetish costumes but has little characterization - better to watch her in a dozen or more terrific French shows instead.
Jenna Jameson, in even spiffier outfits, is a vigilante on a motorcycle in this futuristic tale which I'm sure Brad would have patterned after "Blade Runner" had he the budget to do so. Instead we get low-budget action scenes, and blessedly brief but frequent (compared to today's no-editing practice) sex scenes. Jill Kelly as a cop is beautiful as always and provides memorable lesbian sex with Jenna. Jill also has a d.p. with big-dicked fellow cop Eric Price and Laure wielding a strap-on dildo.
One surprise is the sex scenes performed bareback -apparently Wicked had not yet gone safe-sex with condoms at the time of this project. Poor production values are a problem in the poorly lit, disappointing final shootout, which has a silly aspect to villainess Laure as "Ice" melting into a puddle.