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Edge, The

Studio: Adam & Eve » Review by Disco Dirge » Review Date: 6/29/04

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

GENRE: Straight Compilation
DIRECTORS: Michael Ninn
STARS: Shy Love, Seth Dickens, Sarah Blake, Brett Rockman, Monica, Nina Bonet, Evan Stone, Alex Roxx, and T.J. Cox
LENGTH: 134 mins with bonus material

Sometimes, the slang in the porn industry catches you off guard. Names and nomenclature change so often that it's hard to remember a rim job from a salad tossing. And then there are the terms that seem to defy reconfiguration. No matter how lame it sounds, reverse cowgirl creates a certain image in the readers' mind, a mental pictogram ready to place directly into the fantasy file. Mention the pile driver and the hardcore Rolodex swings into action. On occasion, though, an expression will come along that throws a wrench in your wench appreciation and necessitates a subtle shift in your skin genre appreciation. Bukkake is one such new novel act. This ancient Japanese custom, somehow finding its way over to the shores and porn stores of the USA, definitely gives a different twist on the old ideal of cum sucking and swallowing. Cream pies are also something recent, another celebration of the male joy juice, this time hiding out in places it never dared dream before. Gaping assholes, given a strange foreign phraseology in some films (sounding something like Kook-mahl) and specific titles of its own, can turn any adult film fan into a proctologist overnight. And don't even ask what a "foamy beer" is. You can rest assured it has nothing to do with a cold brew on a warm summer's night.

Of all the interesting designations however, meat puppet is probably most surprising...and, strangely appropriate. There was a time when the man was as important as the woman in the sex scene dynamic. But with a surreal, generic supermodel ideal sweeping through the dick dimensions of hardcore, a XXX actor better be a buff, burly bodybuilder with a cock the size of a cattle prod to find a place in stud corral. And then he'll be lucky to be something more than a shaft statue, a nondescript participant in that most personal of acts. Or, in essence, merely a meat puppet. Michael Ninn's DVD release The Edge, features five such well- endowed entities who provide nothing more than the penis, as the gals get glam shots and a chance to show some personality. For these men, it's the member that counts, nothing more.

The DVD:
As is typical with Michael Ninn's work, the premise for this collection of scenes is the exploration of sexual fantasy and the erotic nature of the human being. In this case, star Shy Love is the main focus. It is she that we see in three of the five scenes and it's her private world of perversion and sensual split personality we are discovering. A lot of the psychological and psychedelic elements come from Ninn's desire to experiment with the medium of film. He uses rapid fire cutting, divergent stock elements, monochrome and color and a jumbled narrative drive to show the unsettled state in his lead actresses head, and how a little carnal care seems to bring things back into focus. As with most high-end porn, the backdrops and settings are sumptuous and all the elements evoke a mixture of decadence and opulence. Costumes perfectly compliment the women and, as you will learn in the behind the scene featurette, Ninn specializes in bringing out the inner dignity and sultriness of even the most bubbly, dim individual. But still, the men are just machismo marionettes, dick and deltoids for the frisking and fucking of the ladies. Therefore, in an unusual step for an adult review, each scene will not be scored. Instead a universal 7.5 out of 10 is given to each one here, with any analysis reserved for the post play-by-play breakdown. Looking at the individual scenes offered, we being with:

Scene 1: Shy Love, Seth Dickens

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After a lengthy striptease and a bit of masturbation on the steps of a Spanish style manor, Shy goes inside, finds a huge ornate swing and starts to get down to her private business. She plays with her pussy and inserts three thin fingers into her hot hole. She jerks and jacks herself off. Suddenly, the scene shifts and Seth is standing in a windowed room, having his huge tool toned by Shy's slick lips. They move back to the swing and Seth lunches on her loins for a while. Using his tongue to prod and poke her privates, Shy loves ever lick and suck. Our big beef boy plies his prick in the standing scissors stance and then finds the backdoor of the doghouse for some vaginal value. Taking a bed, the couple spoon for a while, until that baloney pony express shows up and Shy rides it, anally, all the way home in the backwards variation. Seth shoots a semen shot in Shy's mouth and director Ninn enjoys it so much, he repeats the pop in slow motion, from another angle. In something he will do throughout the film, Ninn repeats positions, jump cuts between acts, allows for a money moment before returning to a wild sequence of fucking and then double exposes images to suggest the all encompassing sensation of sex. While it can grow confusing, especially for fans used to an A to B to C style of scene, it creates a great mood and a very visually arresting facet to the film.

Scene 2: Sarah Blake, Brett Rockman
Sarah is wearing a pair of long black gloves and she utilizes them well as she strokes and services her steamy snatch. After a few minutes of self-satisfaction, she runs into Brett, who is sitting in a chair with a look on his face like he's waiting for a tax audit. Seeing Sarah shorn of clothes gets this dyed blond jarhead instantly in the mood and he proceeds to snack on Sarah's snatch. He even takes a turn tossing her personal salad bar while he's down there. Brett's tongue also darts in and out of Sarah's nether regions and this gets the Miss rather worked up. She celebrates this sensation by blowing the bleach off of big Brett's head. Hoping to create a little cock to cunt connection, they break out the stiff stallion, saddle it up in reverse and ride the ribald range for some hot and horny humping. When Brett removes his rod, Sarah cleans it off in her oral service shop. Doggy is the next position this couple perfects, and it's not long before Brett needs to make a spit stop. Sarah opens wide and a load cums calling. Again, it's a pop so nice Ninn shows it twice. Another couple of complete, complimentary physical specimens, another good scene of straight, serious sex. While the beginning is slightly hampered by the inclusion of more meandering jump cuts (including shots of Shy fingering herself...again), the overall feeling one gets from the fucking is sizzling and highly erotic.

Scene 3: Shy Love, Monica
It's time for the poetess Sappho to sing the lesbian electric as Shy and Monica show gals around the globe how to get it on. Both lovely lasses love to kiss and fondle their fellow femme. As a matter of fact, they pet so heavy that you expect one of them to drop a drip or two by the time the necking has ended. Instead, Shy breaks out a showy silver staff (where is William Burroughs and his steely Dan when you need him?) and after lots of female oral where Cobbs are chucked and pussies are palpitated, she gives Monica the grinding gearbox treatment. In an act so sensual it seems obscene, Shy places the small end of the toy in her open mouth and then moves her head to slowly work the chrome cock in and out of Monica. Being very, very vocal, Mon really moans up her appreciation. After removing the recreational device, the ladies lick it nice and clean. Then it's Shy's turn to have her crankcase crammed. Using what can best be described as a butter churning, cream whipping motion, Ms. M scrambles Shy's sugar walls...and Ms. Love loves every frothy moment of it. In a couple of variations from his usual bag of hardcore tricks, Ninn uses extreme close-ups and lots of detailed shots to really sell the same sex shenanigans here. Shy and Monica are wonderful in the scene and the passion they play at really comes across on screen.

Scene 4: Nina Bonet, Evan Stone
Nina is dressed like a turn of the century hooker. Evan is decked out in a surfer dude business suit. It's not long before these unusual clothes are history and the couple are experiencing some scorching ebony and ivory intimacy. Having caught Nina jacking her joy junction, Evan lends a helping hand himself as he simultaneously tonsil tickles her twat and digitally manipulates her moist orgasm chasm. Nina enjoys the lollipop treatment so much she wants to try it on Evan's enormous he-man hard candy. Getting even more familiar with each other, the couple completes some straight vaginal sex before puppy power is pursued. As Shy watches, Stone shoots his shot all over Nina's waiting face. At the start of his adult DVD reviewing career, the Dirge enjoyed making fun of Mr. Stone and his ever-elongating ball sack. Let's face it; the fellow seems to be going for a record with his overstretched scrotum. Well, while the truth of his testicle's shawl is no more "minimized" a begrudging appreciation of the man's work behind the wang has developed. And thanks to the buff beach boy's banging skills, this scene is a real winner. Bonet is receptive and reactive, but Stone sells the sex.

Scene 5: Shy Love, Alex Roxx, TJ Cox
Believe it or not, Shy is touching herself again. She must have been a member of the Divinyls in a previous life. Anyway, with hands in her heather, she works her womb into a tizzy. Along comes Alex to oral up the action. With a little help from his hands, Roxx really rolls Love's labia. The standard BJ thank you is offered and accepted. Soon it's on all fours and time to do the dog. Then, in order to gauge her readiness to precede, cock travels to craw for a taste test. With the OK for continuance given, dick goes into dumper for some straight anal. A nice bit of spooning, cock still sampling the ass, follows. Afterward, like the granted wish from an invisible sex pixie, Shy finds herself doubly penetrated. The two tools first pierce her hair pie and rancid rosebud in the regular cowgirl style, and then to liven things up a little (right, like two mega-members in one hot ho is not interesting enough...) backwards Bossie gets the go ahead. Aiming for the face, both boys blow their sex stack and cover our Love-ly lady with cum. In a very intense scene, Shy really gives it her all as somehow, via magic or osmosis, she is partner in a three-way DP sequence. Ninn's weird way with just having the additional dick unexplainably appear is a tad bizarre, but not unusual for his impressionist fuck and suck style.

Michael Ninn is a natural at showcasing the interpersonal passion between performers. He never forgets that some hardcore fans like to feel a sense of connection between the actors, not just generous shots of open assholes and exploding puds. His camera is a carnal creature, crawling about the set and sexuality finding individual moments of pleasure that add up to an overall sensation of simmering sin. With a photo shoot style and some of the best lighting and atmosphere in straight XXX flicks, Ninn is not only trying to capture intense fucking and sucking, but he wants to create something artistic and eclectic at the same time. His human canvases are always attractive and he photographs them exceptionally well. He even finds a way to give the lesbian scene added emphasis with the use of a stark silver toy and a weird vinyl/plastic costuming effect. Still, there is that nagging knowledge that the men are just not as important as the ladies, being relegated to service stud status and remaining nameless unless you know (Evan Stone) or recognize who they are. This tends to take away from the overall effect Ninn is reaching for. The Edge wants to pry into the private world of personal fantasy and hot hardcore. But with the guys just groin guns for hire, the dreamscape is partially obscured.

The Video:
When one sees Michael Ninn's name on the cover of a DVD, there is no question as to whether the visual elements will cut the condiment. Indeed, the 1.33:1 full screen transfer here is impeccable, balancing the optical tricks with the straight ahead filming excellently. Even with the occasionally intense color scheme and the varying exposures, we have an evocative and atmospheric image.

The Audio:
The Edge uses voice-overs and pulsating electronic jams to set its tone and the Dolby Digital Stereo does an astounding job of keeping it all entirely audible. Ninn does take the music down during the sex scenes to underline the raw, physical presence of the performers, so there will be instances where all ambience stops and the actors' actual responses take over.

The Extras:
If there is one flaw in a Ninn Worx release, it is the dearth of bonus material in comparison to other companies who like to flood their DVDs with all manner of chimes and chimera. Obviously done to save precious compression space, the photo gallery/ behind the scenes featurette duo is acceptable, but not extraordinary. The still shots merely remind us of the action we've seen before, so there is not a lot of added value there. But Ninn does deliver interesting backstage footage and the 30-minute documentary here is no exception. Watching porn stars discuss vagina flavors, vices, preferred (and hated) partners and positions and post-coital consensus is exceedingly entertaining and Shy Love, Evan Stone and the rest of the gang from The Edge do not disappoint.

Final Thoughts:
So, is being a meat puppet really such a bad thing? After all, you get to hump the spunk out of scorching senioritas, provide untold females (and males let's not forget them) with fantasy fodder for their own visualization Viagra, and usually look damn good doing it. Sure, while the women get all the accolades and personal websites, you're shuttled off to the side, hoping that you stay hard and never prematurely spurt in the process. Downplaying one of the essential elements in a sex scene dynamic seems stupid, but thus is the current consensus of the adult world. Still, The Edge does offer some scintillating hardcore and enough of the evocative to get you and your ladylove all hot and hankering. On the Disco Dirge Peter Meter then, this Ninn Worx entity gets a 7.5 out of 10 and is recommended for both solo and couple viewing (meaning a Cohabitation Certificate is easily awarded). If you're into balls to the walls gonzo or a less sedate set of suck and fuck footage, Ninn and his luxurious niceties may not be for you. But at least The Edge tries to push the limits of lewd without resorting to some of the more arcane, up-to-the-minute elements of porn. The moment this delicate director exposes the XXX fan to felching will be the end of a certain seductive era in adult entertainment. Pray that day never comes.

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