August 23, 2016

Off Limits, from Wicked Passions and Stormy Daniels

★★★★½

Time: 1:35, Director: Stormy Daniels, Date: 2015

Screenshots: On our Tumblr

On the web: Wicked B2B, IAFD

Cast: Krissy Lynn (31yo), Small Hands, Keira Nicole, Seth Gamble, Cassidy Klein (24yo), Ryan Driller (33yo), Dahlia Sky (26yo), and Brendon Miller

Source: 1280×720 MP4 downloaded from Wicked Pictures subscription site

Review

As the lead singer for a popular local band, Jessie (Small Hands) has the oportunity to sleep with a lot of different women, and he makes the most of it. But there are signs that he's missing something, and when he meets Katelyn (Keira Nicole), he falls desperately in love with her. The only problem is that she has just moved to LA with his best friend Matt (Seth Gamble), who has just returned from college in Connecticutt for his first job. Everyone from Matt to Jessie's bandmates is worried about what is about to happen, and it doesn't help that Matt and Katelyn are staying with Jessie while they look for a place to live.

If you're thinking, "Well, this is porn, so it's obvious what happens", then you have not watched enough of Stormy Daniels's movies. It's become almost a trademark for Daniels to set up these seemingly predictable stories and then to develop them in ways that are anything but predictable but somehow still seem absolutely right. This is one of those movies, and, as far as the story is concerned, it's probably the best of Daniels's movies we've seen. Ultimately, the story isn't just about Jessie's struggle with temptation but about the price he now has to pay for his past—and the price his past exacts from his friends.

A lot of time is spent developing the story, too, about 45 minutes, which is about half the movie, though some of that is devoted to two songs Jessie's band plays. (Let's just say that there isn't a piano on the stage but there is one in the music.) And a big part of what makes it all work is how incredibly good the acting is, by everyone. The two leads, Small Hands and Keira Nicole, are especially good, but Seth Gamble and Brendon Miller are also terrific in supporting roles, too. There is a wonderful comedic cameo from Stormy Daniels.

The only thing that holds this movie back is that the sex scenes are a bit mixed. There is only one really good scene here, the third, with Cassidy Klein and Ryan Driller. But that one feels almost gratuitous: Klein plays Katelyn's sister, whose only role in the movie is to receive a phone call she doesn't have time to take because she's about to have some sexy time with her partner. The fifth scene, with Dahlia Sky and Brendon Miller, also has no real role in the story.

All five of the sex scenes are also very brief: All of them are eleven minutes or less, and three of them are less than ten minutes. As regular readers of our reviews know, we often complain about scenes that are too long, especially in movies with stories, where they have a tendency to break up the flow. But scenes that are too short make it difficult to connect with the lovers and can feel choppy and unrealistic. For example, in the first two scenes, there's an almost symbolic bit of cunnilingus that lasts maybe five seconds. What is the point of that? We think it might have been better to have fewer scenes but have them be just a little bit longer. And relevant to the story.

Another issue is that the camera work in the sex scenes is also mixed. In some of the scenes, it is very good, and in all of the scenes there are interesting and creative shots that help keep it visually interesting. But there are a lot of pornish angles in the second scene, with Keira Nicole and Seth Gamble (that is otherwise a very good scene), and the men are too often out of frame.

As we said, though, those are just the reasons we find ourselves unable to give this movie our highest rating. We nonetheless recommend it very highly, especially for people who like plot-based porn. You'd be hard pressed to find a better story in porn than the one told here (maybe Le Baiser [The Kiss], maybe Marriage 2.0, review still to come). And the acting really is fantastic.

Asa Akira on How Porn Saved Her Life

On Role Reboot: http://rolereboot.org/sex-and-relationships/details/2016-08-starring-porn-saved-life/

July 12, 2016

How To Train a Hotwife 2, from Tales From the Edge

★★★★½

Time: 1:55, Director: Jacky St James, Date: 2016

Screenshots: On our Tumblr

On the web: New Sensations Catalog, IAFD

Cast: Cassidy Klein (25yo), Ryan McLane, Aria Alexander (21yo), Toni Ribas (41yo), Kasey Warner (21yo), Ramon Nomar (42yo), and Van Wylde (26yo)

Source: 1920×1080 downloaded from the New Sensations subscription site

Review

Cassidy (Klein) and Ryan (McLane) work hard to keep their sex life interesting, but one night he dares her to text a picture of her ass to a co-worker, which she does. It leads to an extended shared fantasy of her having sex with this guy. Initially, Cassidy is worried about Ryan's reaction to her being turned on by another man and "takes to the internet" to see if there are other men with the same fantasy. She quickly finds forums and the like devoted to "hotwifing". And it turns out that Ryan's best friend Logan (Robby Echo) and his wife Sarah (Kasey Warner) have been "hotwifing" for a while. Eventually, Cassidy decides she'd like to give it a try herself, and she does: with the same co-worker, Van (Wylde) to whom she originally texted the picture of her ass.

The acting is generally very good, though there are some lesser moments. And it's not a bad story. But, as with the other releases in this series that have been coherent movies, not much time is spent on it: about twenty minutes. That's not any more time than might be devoted to story-telling in a collection of vignettes. And there is a bit of a glitch in the story, too. Cassidy says at one point that a story about hotwifing she read on the web was "an endless source of arousal", and she then talks about Ryan's persistence with the fantasy. But shortly thereafter he talks about her texting her co-worker "last night". That seems rather too soon. It's not a big deal, but it was noticeable and distracted us a bit.

On a more positive note, there are some really fantastic sex scenes here. The first, in fact, would have to go on our list of the hottest scenes we've ever had the pleasure of watching. We absolutely loved how Cassidy and Ryan shared the fantasty of her fucking Van, and they do a great job portraying two people who love each other and are hot for each other. The short scene in which Ryan encourages Cassidy to masturbate with a dildo while fantasizing about Van is equally hot. The final scene, with Cassidy and Van, features sex that is playful and fun, and they again do a great job with their roles. Our only complaint is that this scene is a bit too long. We also loved the scene in which Sarah has her first hotwifing experience with Damon (Ramon Nomar), while Logan watches and occasionally gets up to hold her and kiss her. It's amazing how the scene manages to be focused on them as a couple even as she's fucking someone else. The only mildly disappointing scene is the second, with Aria Alexander and Toni Ribas. Her husband (Michael Vegas) is once again present, and we again appreciated the chemistry between the husband and wife. But the sex just wasn't very passionate.

Perhaps our favorite thing about this movie, though, is that, in stark contrast with many of the recent releases in this series (which, for this reason, we haven't even bothered to watch), the photography is overall pretty good. There are too many times, especially once they start fucking, when the men are out of frame, but there are not a lot of pornish angles and close ups, except in the second scene.

We can't close, though, without echoing a couple of complaints that one of our readers made in a comment on our review of How To Train a Hot Wife. First, the title is just really patriarchal. Why does Cassidy need "training"? And second, it's at least a missed opportunity not to have made this film be about something other than Cassidy's willingness to fulfill Ryan's fantasy. As party king put it: "Imagine if the story was presented as her being the one that wanted the freedom to explore, and he had to talk to a friend to come to grips with it? What if it wasn't about a wife finding that place within her that wants to fuck because that's what her husband wants, but instead was about her husband finding the place where his wife's personal fulfillment and sexual enjoyment means more to him than his petty jealousy, feelings of ownership, and the like?" Can we at least suggest that sort of story line for the next movie in this series?

Despite those flaws, we enjoyed this movie. It is a good deal better than How To Train a Hot Wife. As we said, there are some really amazing scenes here. So if you're at all into the "hotwife" fantasy, we think you'll like it a lot.

June 21, 2016

XConfessions 3, from Erika Lust

★★★★½

Time: 2:17, Director: Erika Lust, Date: 2014

Screenshots: On our Tumblr

On the web: Official Site

Cast: Samia Duarte (27yo), Clarke Kent, Amarna Miller (24yo), Ryan James, Samantha Bentley (27yo), Luke Hotrod, Maria Agrado, Pau Pappel, Irina Vega, Fenyx Santos, Sicilia (28yo), Sean, and Zoe Geovanna

Source: 1920×1080 MP4s downloaded from Lust Cinema

Review

Feminist porn legend Erika Lust created the XConfessions series in 2013. She solicits stories and fantasies from her fans and chooses two each month to make into short films. It's a tremendous idea, to give cinematic vision to the imaginings of ordinary people. And it has been extremely successful. It is utterly different from stereotypical porn imagery.

Each DVD in the series features ten of these short films. There is great variation in the themes of the various scenes.

As we said about the first and second collections, many of these scenes are as interesting intellectually and visually as they are erotic. Lust is extremely tender with the fantasies that have been offered to her, and she tries very hard to bring out what is special about them.

That said, compared with the first two collections, we found this one mildly disappointing. There's certainly nothing bad here, but there's only one really oustanding scene here, the third, "Take Me Drunk, I'm Home", with Samantha Bentley and Luke Hotrod. They both play their roles very well, and he is very tender with her.

There are a number of other very good scenes. We particularly enjoyed the second, "Romance Bullshit", partly because it features the wonderful Amarna Miller, but also because the way the story is told features a really striking little twist. There is something similarly clever about the sixth, "Cinema X (Pigalle)", which mixes various fantasies into a lovely montage. The seventh scene, "Fräulein O", with the lovely Sicilia and her frequent partner Sean, is also inventive, featuring a lot of ice, and sweaty sex, on a hot summer day. And, interestingly, although the last scene, "Rush of the Forbidden", is one of the shortest, it is also one of the hottest. Samia Duarte and Clarke Kent play two complete strangers who fuck in the woods near a campground, though they don't even speak the same language. Their nervousness and excitement are palpable.

We also appreciated the very feminine perspective that is featured in many of these stories. This is especially true of the first four, which are very focused on the woman's experience and pleasure. However, while we know that orgasm isn't the be-all and end-all of sex, we do rather like it when women have them, especially since there are very few scenes (and none here) in which their male partners don't.

The photography is its usual incredible, and there are more wonderful little moments that Lust manages to capture than one could possibly catalog. So, overall, we certainly do recommend this collection. But, as we said, it isn't quite as good as the first two.

June 6, 2016

The Submission of Emma Marx: Exposed (Part 3)

★★★★★

Time: 2:37, Director: Jacky St James, Date: 2016

Screenshots: On our Tumblr

On the web: New Sensations Catalog, IAFD, Rich Moreland's Website, Rich Moreland's Website, Rich Moreland's Website

Cast: Riley Reid (25yo), Van Wylde (26yo), Penny Pax (26yo), Richie Calhoun, Samantha Hayes (21yo), Sara Luvv (23yo), Aidra Fox (21yo), and Ryan Driller (34yo)

Source: 1920×1080 downloaded from the New Sensations subscription site

Review

This is the third, and final, installment in the Emma Marx series.

Mr Frederick and Emma have moved to Atlanta and, she says, have fallen into a pattern that allows them to explore their D/s relationship, but also to have some "normalcy" on their "days off", on which he insists. But she has started to feel frustrated that he will not share his fantasies with her, and she encourages him to pursue having sex with another woman. He tells her about what happened when he and Audrina (Sara Luvv) acted on that fantasy, and why that makes him unwilling to risk his relationship with Emma for his own "selfish" desires. Still, she says, she hopes that one day she will be able to prove to him that she is "open to everything", that his fantasies are her fantasies.

We won't say what happens next. But both the story and the acting are wonderful. Penny Pax and Richie Calhoun are completely natural in their roles, and the sense of connection between their characters, bodily and spiritually, is palpable.

The highlight of the movie, for us, was when Emma got her turn to be the dominant—at Mr Frederick's instruction, of course. It leads to one of the most extraordinary sex scenes we have ever had the pleasure of watching, which is all the more surprising given that it is very long, and it is a threesome. (Compare the second scene from Voilá, though.) There are two other extraordinary scenes, the second and the third. But the first and last scenes are merely good, the main problem being that they are just too long.

As in the first two movies in the series, we thought that the initial scene, with Nadia (Riley Reid) and Ray (Van Wylde), was much too long, and that it felt as if it delayed the real start of the movie. But there is something playful about the scene, and the couple moments when they snap back to reality was worth a chuckle or two.

Maybe the most striking scene, though, is the third. This is the scene in which Mr Frederick has sex with Audrina's friend Rebecca (Samantha Hayes), while Audrina watches. It is a strange and somewhat disturbing mixture of sexy and tragic, and we honestly still do not know quite what to make of it.

The camera work, here done by the great Eddie Powell and his sidekick Paul Woodcrest, is once again spectacular. This is especially true during the non-sex parts of the movie—something that might seem surprising if you'd not seen the other movies in the Erotic Stories series. It can also be excellent in the sex scenes, but there are times that it feels a bit pornish. In particular, there are too many times that the men are out of frame, especially when they are fucking. That is really the only shortcoming in the movie.

There have been a handful of pornos in the last few years that have utterly transcended everything porn is usually thought to be: Safe Landings, Marriage 2.0, and Le Baiser [The Kiss]. This movie isn't perfect, but it belongs in that category. And it was richly rewarded at the awards shows, too. Penny Pax won for Best Actress at the 2016 AVN awards, and the movie itself won for Best BDSM Release and Best Editing. It won that award, too, at the 2016 XBiz awards, where Riley Reid also won for Best Supporting Actress.

You can find our reviews of the first two movies here and here.

Pandora Blake WINS!

OK, Blake's appeal of the action against Dreams of Spanking was upheld on a technicality. But it's still good news for her, and for all of us. Read a story about it on Broadly and HuffPo and XBiz.

May 13, 2016

A Lesbian Romance, from New Sensations Tales From the Heart

★★★★☆

Time: 1:52, Director: Jacky St James, Date: 2016

Screenshots: On our Tumblr

On the web: New Sensations Catalog, IAFD

Cast: Mia Malkova (24yo), Shyla Jennings (31yo), Penny Pax (26yo), Riley Reid (25yo), Jenna Sativa (24yo), Kenna James (21yo), Kleio Valentien (30yo), and Skin Diamond (29yo)

Source: 1920×1080 MP4s downloaded from the New Sensations subscription site

Review

Four vignettes, all "romantic" scenes involving lesbian couples.

The stories are all very sweet, and the sex is romantic and loving. We really appreciated the way the relationships between the women were made the focus, and all the performers did a good job carrying the stories into the sex. But, overall, the sex just wasn't as "hot" as we would have liked. The first scene, with Mia Malkova and Shyla Jennings, is fantastic, and the second, with Penny Pax and Riley Reid, is very good, too, except for the fact that it is just too long. The last scene is also pretty good, though it also may be a bit long. But the third scene feels very restrained. We had the sense that many of the performers were kind of holding themselves back. This is meant to be a "romance" movie, which in practice means that the sex has to be a bit more vanilla than the performers themselves might prefer.

The camera work is overall pretty good, but it too is a bit mixed. There are more pornish angles than we would prefer, and the second scene contains more closeups than we would like, too.

So we thought this movie was promising, but it is not as good as the "lesbian" movies that Jacky St James did in the Tabu Tales line, for example, "A Mother Daughter Thing" and "Sisterly Love".