November 18, 2016

The Fantasy Project, from Bright Desire

★★★★½

Time: 1:15, Director: Ms Naughty, Date: 2015

Screenshots: On our Tumblr

On the web: Official Site

Cast: Kara Dasha, Devon, Vivienne L, Max, Harley Jay, Marina Lee, Xavier Steele, Rob Paulson, Jack Locker, Steel, Aeryn Walker, Rex, Madison Missina, and Ryan James

Source: 1920×1080 MP4 downloaded from Bright Desire

Review

Kate Eden (Madison Missina) is researching women's sexual fantasies, which she gathers by email and interview. But she seems to have become so obsessed with the project that it is straining her relationship with her fiancĂ© (Ryan James). They haven't had sex for three weeks, and then she forgets to meet him for brunch—probably because she is so turned-on that she can barely function. When he returns home, she is fast asleep, exhausted, and he starts reading some of the fantatises himself...and masturbating. She discovers him and....

The story just described is only the barest frame for the five sex scenes that comprise the movie (not unlike in the JoyBear movies). No more than a few minutes, really, are spent on it. It is perhaps best to think of it as an extended introduction to the last scene.

So this is really more a collection of vignettes than it is a movie. As such, however, it is still terrific. The first two sex scenes are fantastic, and the other three are excellent, as well. The first four come from Kate's research, and we really appreciated the voiceovers, in which the women describe their fantasies, and how they feel about them, as we watch them being enacted. All of these fantasies are at least a touch kinky, and they are handled with care and compassion, in a way that seems true to them. In that respect, the last scene comes as a bit of an anti-climax, though it's still very hot.

As one would expect, the camera work throughout is very good. Ms Naughty makes a special point of not cutting the men out of the scenes, which we appreciate. To be honest, though, she does not have the cinematic talent of an Erika Lust or an Ovidie, though she does try, and there are some nice shots now and again. For the most part, though, Ms Naughty shoots sex scenes in a fairly documentary way, without commentary, and the emotion is left to be conveyed by the performers themselves. Fortunately, they all do a very good job of that.

This film was nominated for a Feminist Porn Award in 2015. It is available from Lust Cinema, as well as from Bright Desire.

November 15, 2016

Cherry 2, from Kay Brandt and Digital Playground

★★★☆☆

Time: 2:26, Director: Kay Brandt, Date: 2011

Screenshots: On our Tumblr

On the web: IAFD

Cast: Andy San Dimas (25yo), Jiz Lee (31yo), Dana DeArmond (32yo), Evelin Rain (24yo), Missy Martinez (22yo), Zoey Holloway (45yo), Brooklyn Lee (22yo), Diamond Foxxx (38yo), Kimberly Kane (28yo), and Tuesday Cross (24yo)

Source: 1280×720 MP4 downloaded from Digital Playground subscription site

Review

Although this is a sequel to Cherry, there are not as many continuities with the first movie as you might expect. The owner of the club, Cherry (Judy Thompson), is of course still the same. But, with a few exceptions, none of the really central characters from the first movie return.

There is a story here, but it only really emerges at the very end of the movie. Indeed, until very late in the movie, there's never more than a few minutes in a row that are devoted to the story. As far as the story goes, however, there is a mysterious woman (Tuesday Cross) who appears at the club and grabs Cherry's attention, and there's some intrigue about her that is spread through the movie. We eventually learn that she has some kind of history with Cherry. But that storyline is totally disconnected from everything else that happens. Harlow (Riley Steele), Cherry's latest toy, does reappear toward the end, reprising the central drama of the first movie, but she has not been mentioned at all to that point. As far as we knew, she'd been forgotten long ago. And if not, what happened to Winterlynn and Devon? Our general sense is that the storytelling here got lost. There is an idea for a story, but it never gets enough attention to be developed.

And, unfortunately, the generally aren't that great, either. The second is terrible, and the third just doesn't make a lot of sense, though it goes on for 50 minutes. The first is the only one that is very good at all, and even it is only all right. Some of the acting is pretty bad, too, such as the interaction between Avery and Katherine before Dana and Evelin fuck. And the photography is not nearly as good as in the first film, feeling much more pornish.

There are also several issues with the filmmaking that we would call continuity problems, except they aren't quite that. Dana and Evelin keep talking about all the other people who are around, for example, but there is absolutely no sign of anyone else in the club. Something similar happens when Amanda is talking with Cherry. Couldn't they have had some extras milling about? There are extras in other parts of the film.

It's just weird how great the first movie was and how utterly mediocre this one is.

November 11, 2016

Cherry, from Kay Brandt and Digital Playground

★★★★½

Time: 2:50, Director: Kay Brandt, Date: 2011

Screenshots: On our Tumblr

On the web: IAFD

Cast: Lux Cassidy (26yo), Riley Steele (24yo), Judy Thompson, Celeste Star (26yo), Sinn Sage (28yo), Nina Mercedez (32yo), Ash Hollywood (22yo), Raylene (34yo), Ann Marie Rios (30yo), and Vicki Chase (26yo)

Source: 1280×720 MP4 downloaded from Digital Playground subscription site

Review

The first movie from Kay Brandt, Cherry is largely set in a strip club run the by epponymous Cherry (Judy Thompson). The story revolves around Cherry's failing relationship with one of the women who works there, Harlow (Riley Steele), and the "new girl" Winterlynn (Sinn Sage). It seems to everyone as if Winterlynn might be about to replace Harlow, but it ends up seeming as if the most likely successor is actually Winterlynn's roommate and lover Devon (Celeste Star).

A reasonable amount of time is spent on the story, about forty minutes, but the plot line we just mentioned is not really developed. In fact, we are not sure the movie really has a coherent plot. There are, however, some truly fantastic sex scenes. The best are the third, with Sinn Sage and Celeste Star, and the last, with Ann Marie Rios and Vicki Chase, but the fourth, with Nina Mercedez and Ash Hollywood, is also very good. The last two are both "first times", and the women all do an outstanding job staying in role, which adds a lot to the scenes. A lot of the sex is slow and soft and playful, but it is no less hot for that. In fact, there's a lot of slow buildup and anticipation that really had us squirming.

There is great camera work throughout, with a terrific mix of closer and wider shots that keeps it varied and interesting.

Overall, then, we very much enjoyed this movie and strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys watching women who love to have sex with other women have sex with other women.

This film was nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Screenplay at the 2012 AVN Awards, where Kay Brandt was also nominated for Best Director. She was nominated for the same award at the 2012 XBiz Awards, where the film itself won for All-Girl Release of the Year.

November 2, 2016

XConfessions 4, from Erika Lust

★★★★½

Time: 1:54, Director: Erika Lust, Date: 2015

Screenshots: On our Tumblr here and here

On the web: Official Site

Cast: Zazel Paradis, Kendo Ortiz, Lady Mai, Juan Lucho (27yo), Selina Ak, Alexei Jackson (38yo), Ian Grey, Dido Wend, Mark Sanz, Amber Nevada (25yo), Julia Roca, Marc Morato, Carol Vega (22yo), Samia Duarte (28yo), Dean Van Damme (37yo), Poppy Cox, and Dean van Damme

Source: 1920×1080 MP4 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 have about the earlier 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.

There are three really fantastic scenes here. The fourth, Pansexuals, is a foursome that features every combination, including male-male intercourse. It's sexy and hot, and beautifully shot. The eighth, "Mad Men Porn", wonderfully illustrates why Erika Lust is one of the best erotic filmmakers out there. The details are just so right, and the sex is so hot. And the last, "A Talk Too Dirty", is all about teasing, and the way they talk to each other is wonderful.

Most of the other scenes are also very good. But note that there are three very 'artsy' scenes here, two of which we did not find terribly sexy: The third, "Carnival Hustlers", and the sixth, "Power Pussy". The seventh, "Spectrophilia", is also very artsy, but it is a lot sexier. All of these are enjoyable and, as always, beautifully shot.

October 20, 2016

Lesbian Romance 2, from New Sensations Tales From the Heart

★★★★★

Time: 2:17, Director: Jacky St James, Date: 2016

Screenshots: On our Tumblr

On the web: New Sensations Catalog, IAFD

Cast: Kira Noir (22yo), Sara Luvv (23yo), Dani Daniels (27yo), Karla Kush (25yo), Anikka Albrite (28yo), Bree Daniels (25yo), Abigail Mac (28yo), and Aubrey Star (21yo)

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

Review

Like the first movie in this series, this one consists of four vignettes involving lesbian couples, all introduced by stories with romantic themes. This one, however, is much better. In fact, it is absolutely fantastic.

There are two truly outstanding scenes here. The story in the first is really sweet. Carolyn (Sara Luvv) met Jessie (Kira Noir) online, and now they are meeting in person. But Carolyn didn't know that Jessie was a woman. As they get to know each other, though, Carolyn realizes that she her feelings for Jessie transcend gender—something we have ourselves seen happen with friends of ours. And the sex is amazing. We really appreciated how they slowed down for a bit at one point, then started up again. It was almost as if it gave us, too, a chance to catch our breath.

In the second scene, Karla Kush plays Dani Daniels's live-in assistant. Dani eventually realizes that Karla hasfallen in love with her and hops into the shower with her. They do a great job carrying the story into the sex, and the sex itself is off the charts hot, as good as we can remember enjoying.

The third scene takes us through a series of disastrous dates that Anikka Albrite and Bree Daniels have had, but for some reason Anikka never gives up on Bree. It is an extremely long scene, with nearly 43 minutes of sex. But somehow it works. They are totally convincing as first-time lovers. There is a lot of kissing and caressing at the beginning, with no genital contact at all for over ten minutes, which means there is a lot more variation in this scene than there would have been had the pussy eating started sooner. And the sex is varied in other ways, too. Still, we thought the scene could have been a bit shorter.

The last scene features Aubrey Star as a masseuse who has fallen in lust with one of her clients, Sarah (Abigail Mac). We really liked the way Aubrey described what attracted her to Sarah and what she thinks about when she fantasizes. The sex itself is very good, too. We liked how much they talked to each other, but sometimes felt it was a bit too much. But it's still a very good scene, just not as good as the other three.

The photography overall is very, very good, and there are just some good ideas that help keep it visually interesting. We really liked the change of scenery, for example, in the second scene, when they move from the shower to the bedroom. It not only chages how they have sex but also changes the way we see them.

So, well, we highly, highly recommend this movie. It shows, once again, what a knack Jacky St James has for presenting lesbian sex. It also shows how much a good story, even a short one, can add to a scene. The romantic context for the first three scenes, especially, makes them all the hotter.

October 5, 2016

The Invitation, from JoyBear

★★★★☆

Time: 1:37, Director: Justine Mii, Date: 2015

Screenshots: On our Tumblr

On the web: Official Site, IAFD

Cast: Sienna Day (24yo), Max Deeds, Amber Nevada (25yo), Ryan Ryder (22yo), Ava Austen, Carly Rae (22yo), Luke Hotrod, Lola Gatsby, Dean Van Damme (37yo), Emma Leigh (23yo), and Alexei Jackson (38yo)

Source: 1920×1080 MP4s downloaded from the Joy Bear website

Review

Jane (Sienna Day) and Tom (Max Deeds) have gone away for a romantic weekend, to try to rekindle the flame. Their car breaks down, and they seek help at a nearby house. Stella (Amber Nevada) and Bill (Ryan Ryder) are on their way to a swingers party, for which they just happen to have two extra tickets. They invite Jane and Tom to go with them, and they do, but not before having sex in an upstairs bedroom. The rest of the story concerns what happens at the party.

As with the other movies from Joy Bear we have seen, there really is not much to the story. No more than about 10 minutes is actually spent on it. So this is really more like a series of connected vignettes, and it has to be judged almost entirely on the quality of the sex scenes. We did appreciate, though, how it was the men who turned out to be the most nervous.

The sex scenes are somewhat mixed. In the last two, the sex feels quite routine, though it's not so passionless as to feel performed. There are two very good ones, though. The way Stella takes the initiative in the second scene is terrific, and the third (Ava Austen, Carly Rae, Luke Hotrod) is one of the rare porn threesomes that actually works. Our main complaint with all of the scenes concerns the camera work. It is not bad, but, as with the other JoyBear movies we have seen, the men are very often out of frame once the fucking starts.

We also thought the sex scenes ended too abruptly. It would have been nice, for example, to see Emma and Jonathan reunited at the end of the fourth scene, perhaps with her giving him a sly, teasing look, or something like that, and perhaps with some later indication of where she would get hers. And it would really have been nice had Jane and Tom has some kind of discussion of their first swinging experience, so that we might have some sense of how they felt about it.

Overall, then, we did like this movie, but the mediocre quality of the last two sex scenes was a bit of a let-down.

September 21, 2016

TS Beauties, from Nica Noelle's Transsensual

★★★½☆

Time: 1:44, Director: Nica Noelle, Date: 2015

Screenshots: On our Tumblr

On the web: IAFD

Cast: Aubrey Kate (25yo), Connor Maguire, Gina Hart, David Chase, Nina Lawless, Nick Capra, Riley Quinn (28yo), and Brock Avery

Source: 1920×1080 MP4 downloaded from Gamelink

Review

This movie is in some ways similar to Secret Desires and Forbidden Lovers, the two movies Nica Noelle made under the "TransRomantic" label. This one is instead made under the "TransSensual" label. We're not sure what the reason was for the change.

In any event, the way in which the movie is similar to the earlier ones is that it quite consciously strives to present transwomen as women and as people, not as fetish objects. Each of the vignettes is introduced by a short (sometimes very short) story, focused upon romantic themes. We do greatly appreciate that aspect of these movies, but the problem is that the sex just isn't very good. Except in the last scene, none of transwomen ever have orgasms or even seem to get very close to doing so. It really did not feel to us as if much attention was really paid to their pleasure.

The men who perform in this movie almost all work primarily in gay male porn. It honestly did not feel to us as if they were terribly used to having sex with women, be those cis- or transwomen. And that made it feel to us as if the women weren't necessarily being treated as women, sexually speaking, as opposed to being treated as women in the stories.

While the movie avoids the worst stereotypes associated with transsexual porn, then, it really does not live up to the standard set by the earlier movies. So we were quite disappointed by it.

(We'll mention in passing that the subscription website also does not manage to avoid terms that many transwomen find offensive.)