Top 10 Blu-ray Porn of 2008
While it seems like an eternity has passed since the beginning of last year, one of the most notable advances for the industry was the end of the format wars when Blu-ray finally ascended to the top spot, the less supported HD-DVD that had been the de facto standard until that time wiped out thanks to the mainstream intervention of Hollywood. This left many companies scrambling to find a replicator for their high definition releases, limited pressing capacity along with greedy sellers more than doubling the cost of such titles for the fans that wanted to see the best picture possible. As the year progressed, 1080p resolution became increasingly common and some companies stumbled when offering truncated versions of their hits sans the original extras or with some undetected mastering problems. Other websites did not catch these issues but Xcritic pointed them out to become a leading proponent of offering consumers the choice to see porn in all its glory, Digital Playground becoming the industry leader thanks to years of preparation and a desire to make the market rather than follow the pack. With this in mind, here is the 2008 Xcritic Top Ten High Definition Porn list as prepared by our team of informed experts:
1) Pirates 2 Stagnetti's Revenge
: Make no msitake about it, P2 was the biggest movie of the year with the hugest package of unique extras, the biggest selection of top notch talent available, and the high definition version was hailed as a big upgrade for fans properly equipped to enjoy seeing hotties like Jesse Jane, Stoya, Belladonna, and Sasha Grey in full costume before they went at it. The Blu-ray version of this epic tale was the first dual layer double disc porno with all sorts of wonderful enhancements that made the movie larger than ever before. The special effects, the Hollywood premiere, and the months of devotion took their toll on the company employees but it resulted in many rivals skipping a big budget title altogether since the common knowledge was that this would be sweeping all the award shows. Regardless of the marketing hype though, this second romp in high seas harlotry proved to have what it takes to show the world a porno could be more than a pair of people fucking on a couch; it could provide significant entertainment worthy of high definition at the same time.
If ever there was a theme that sold adult movies, this would be it; the late Jim Holliday making it almost a cottage industry with his scores of similar titles. Perhaps as an homage to the man, Director Robby D. set forth to make a very solid all sex movie starring not just the company contract hotties of the day but also some of the best ladies available, one scene including the heated rematch of Stoya and Brianna Love that had fans talking for months. With lesbian orgies, chemistry filled pairings, and the kind of devotion that earned the director the top spot in last year's Xcritic Awards, Cheerleaders showed Digital Playground could make something of an event out of an otherwise dated concept, turn it around a bit, and provide one of the best looking movies available on the Blu-ray format. Fans of Best New Performer Stoya are particularly in for a treat but Jesse Jane and the others also came through in such a way that none of it was fast forward fodder!
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3) Not Bewitched XXX
Winning best comedy of the year was a no brainer for the folks at X-Play, Will Ryder and Scott David, as their parody pornos have proven to go the extra mile time and again. As always, the casting was key here, Mike Horner playing the husband and Jenna Haze as the gifted wife, lovely Teagan Presley as daughter Tabitha, and a diverse cast including Nina Hartley & Ron Jeremy showing a nod to the established players in the industry. The story about Tabitha magically aged to legal status was something right out of the series too but the sexy fun showed no sign of prudishness on the part of distributor Adam & Eve. The comedic elements a given, this is the type of feature that gets positive mainstream press and draws in new fans at just the right time for the industry suffering from cutbacks and economic distress. As with the Bradys series, this has the potential to become a wildly successful franchise by itself and the high definition version will surely show Director Ryder getting even better with time.
4) Alexis Texas is Buttwoman
: Alexis Texas is the Texan native that has what most people consider a Texas sized ass, just jiggly enough and certainly one that received a lot of positive accolades in the last year so it makes sense that she star in one of the most popular Elegant Angel series to date that focuses on such heated posteriors. The company pulled out all stops this time to make it a double disc offering too, providing great extras and a visual upgrade of the fine work done by award winning directors William H. Nutsack & Mason, the title part of the reason the company won such accolades in a companion article. In terms of the showcase effort itself, the movie lasted close to four hours, had some super special guest stars like Gianna, Kristina Rose, and Jenna Haze but the quality of the footage from the beginning tease to the heated trysts so well captured on video was just too sweet to ignore, no truly weak scenes in the bunch as with some of the company's other efforts. This was Elegant's first Blu-ray title too, hopefully a sign of things to come given their hit to miss ratio of 2008.
5) Roller Dollz
On the face of it, this appeared to be a fairly generic movie until we actually sat down and watched the struggle between hotty contract starlet Bree Olson and curvy Sunny Lane in a bad girl role but there was never a doubt that director James Avalon was back to showing some of his award winning skills in mad quantity. In keeping with the time tested tradition of two rival companies sharing costs (and accolades), Zero Tolerance and Adam & Eve paired up to make this one happen, both offering up their contract performers such as Bree, Ava Rose, and Courtney Cummz, along with gals like Eva Angelina, Penny Flame, Kayden Kross, and Teagan Presley to offer up a heated look at a sport as renowned for the catfights as the action on the rink. Once again, this title also showed the Blu-ray upgrade in such a way that fans with the dough will want to spring for the high definition version, the early effort for the combined companies showing lots of promise and even more strokable entertainment value.
6) Sunny Loves Matt
Sunny Leone is as beautiful a contract performer as you will likely ever see and this early effort in the Blu-ray medium showed that the skills of Director B. Skow were put to the test to see just how glorious he could present her in high definition. While the award winning director is perhaps best known for his superb Brand New Faces series (and website), he showed that his ability to capture Sunny at her very best helped elevate the nearly three hour movie into the hearts and groins of her many fans. This was also Sunny's long awaited first scene with a man, the mutual chemistry assured since they were engaged to be married at the time, Monique Alexander sharing a very special moment with the duo in one of the best scenes of the show. The extras were well done too with some of Sunny's blasts from the recent past enough to elevate the movie into our list at a very respectful place. Given technological advances since this one was shot, a follow up might be just what the doctor ordered for 2009 if Sunny is even half as gorgeous now as she was then, it'll be a winner!
7) Breakin' 'Em In #9
Vouyer Media had been missing from the ranks of companies releasing Blu-ray titles until recently but their decision to release a trio of titles such as this big seller was warmly welcomed not just for the inclusion of an early Amy Ried anal scene but the entire disc showing the kind of director Vince Vouyer learned to be over the years. The ladies were all youthful and appealing, the disc providing superior stroke value in all three hours of the movie as well as the hour or so of extras included. Most of the market is concentrating on releasing features in the high definition format but Vince wisely surmised that a relative lack of gonzo led to his titles standing out above most of what was available, making fans such as myself wish for some favorite back catalog titles to receive the upgrade as well. And while Amy's scene was definitely one you should not miss, Carmen Kinsley and Allison Pierce provided exceptional pairings worth saving in your mental spank banks, the others sure to please too.
8) Island Fever 4
What can be said about this one that hasn't already been offered up by fans, distributors, and massive amounts of consumers since it first came out years ago? The series has long been held up as the pinnacle of "pretty porn" from a company world renowned for providing the best looking ladies in their stable. Following the tropical adventures of Jana Cova, Jesse Jane, Teagan Presley, Kinzie Kenner, Sophia Santi, and Marie Luv, the movie lacked a vocal track but showcased the ladies and scenery far better than the myriad of copycats that came afterwards. The sex showed a lot of passion despite some heavy editing and the extras offered up what fans know to be a rare amount for Digital Playground, allowing viewers to be entertained not just with the sex but the stories of how it was shot, including how dangerous the islands were to the production crew. To date though, no example of the genre stands out as well as Island Fever 4, the movie called "perfect" by scores of porn lovers online.
9) Girlvana 4
There are plenty of lipstick lesbian titles on the market these days but talented director Mike Quasar has long been associated with one of the very best the industry has to offer. This time, the theme centered on bad girls versus good girls in a school setting, each disc having a lot of seriously strokable footage to captivate the viewer for hours at a time. When you see names diverse as Lisa Ann, Roxy DeVille, Alexis Texas, and Joanna Angel appearing in a single movie, you are going to get your money's worth for a long time to come but some of you will find the newcomers in the flcik a breath of fresh air as well. Given Mike's abilities with a camera, Zero Tolerance is another company poised to capitalize on the high definition market too, his name bandied about with almost as much awe as Robby D on a couple of Playstation 3 forums I lurk on. Otherwise, if you like females doing each other for hours on end, you will find this to be a movie that you should pick up for your collection.
10) Barely Legal Interactive
Hustler has long been known for providing the youngest ladies legally allowed to perform in porn as a selling point and their recent attempts to conquer the high definition Blu-ray market have secured them the #2 spot after Digital Playground so it makes sense that they were release an interactive title based on their biggest homegrown success of the Barely Legal series. The title tried something new with the interactive genre as well by offering up four ladies instead of just one, showcasing Eva Angelina, Sindee Jennings, Stephanie Cane, and Adriana Neveah in scenarios befitting their talents. Director Michael Adams used a straightforward approach to the production that worked better than any such title of theirs since one they distributed awhile back called InTERActive (also an award winner on Xcritic and elsewhere) and calls to make this a series have been met with some interest at the company, the clarity of the high definition version good enough to merit placement on this list.