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Hook-Ups 5

Studio: Wicked Pictures » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 10/23/04

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Hook Ups 5

Wicked Pictures

Genre: Vignette

Director: Mark Stone

Cast: Ashley Long, Anthony Hardwood, Katja Kassin, Faith Grant, Felix Vicious, Chris Cannon, Dominica Leoni, Jay Ashley, Isabella Camille, Breanne, Avy Scott, Holly Hollywood, Lee Stone

Length: 115.5 minutes

Date of Production: 6/9/2004

Extra's: The extras on a Wicked Pictures DVD are almost always better than average by a wide margin. This is due to the way the company tries to put value adding content to their releases and I, as a fan and reviewer, have learned to appreciate it. Sadly, due to a technical glitch in the DVD screener I was sent (with no box either), I couldn't access the extras this time but I'm told that there was a bonus scene from Hook Ups Volume 1, cast biographies, promotional reels, trailers to other Wicked Picture movies like Hercules, Falling From Grace, XXX Pornstar Training and two other titles, the Free Speech Coalition commercial, DVD-Rom material: including Company profile, Casino game, Awards Winners and nominees, desktop backgrounds, and a double sided DVD cover.

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: The picture was presented in the industry standard 1.33:1 ratio full frame color, as expected from Wicked Pictures. The lighting was decent, helping it look solid with minimal grain and video noise. The audio was presented in a 5.1 Dolby Digital surround English track that had a bit of separation (the original source material might've been in 2.0 stereo) but sounded quite clear in most cases. I just wish the check disc sent me played on something other than my computer (I've been told that the regular version will play on anything).

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Body of Review: One of the biggest problems with many, if not most, scenes shot for porn these days is the fact that the performers are doing just that; performing. Rather than capture the essence of raw energy that comes from people that want to have sex together, the industry usually goes out of its way to put a couple together that have either never met or have met far too often. Sometimes, this results in a pretty good scene but most of the time, it doesn't and the sheer luck of it all makes me wince at times. Well, one of the leading companies in the industry, Wicked Pictures, started a series where the performers would get to pick one another (or at least it's been sold that way) in order to capitalize on their desire. After all, if someone really wants to have sex with a certain person, the results should be evident on camera, yes? The latest volume in the series is Hook Ups 5, a collection of scenes directed by Mark Stone that follows in the footsteps of Hook Up's 3, the last volume I saw. For some reason, Wicked Pictures only likes me watching odd numbers on this one (never got to see volumes 2 and 4) but I usually find something to like each time I tune in to one and this volume is no different in that regard. I can't say the scenes were all good but I liked it enough that I'm sure most of you will enjoy it too. Here's a quick breakdown of the scenes by cast if you're still interested:

Scene One: Ashley, the impossibly long legged blonde from England, was up first in a scene with Anthony. It's almost inconceivable that she not show a lot of energy in a scene although this was somewhat tame compared to her most extreme work. Her oral was good, the straight okay and the anal fair here with a sort of faux alley as the backdrop for these two to enjoy. I didn't get the impression that either of them was enjoying the action in any special capacity but it was a fairly decent scene to check out.

Scene Two: Katja, perhaps the most perfect performer in the jizz bizz at this time, sported her usual neon red hair and German accent as she shook her sweet ass onscreen. How anyone could not fall immediately in lust with this gal is beyond me so her lesbian antics with the blonde Faith were preordained to be good. The action was mostly licking and rubbing but each gal got some vibrator time too. While not Katja's best scene (I can't recall the last time I saw her in a lesbian scene come to think of it), I'd be lying if I said I could be objective about this one. Faith seemed to just be there though and not into the action (I'd have gladly played a lesbian for Katja if asked) so the scene wasn't as solid as it could have been.

Scene Three: Felix, a gal with the most attractive face and a good body to boot, was dressed up in a fancy corset as she prepared to work with Chris. She was one cat that could empty your balls by just looking at you and smiling so there was no way he'd be keeping hard for too long here. The sex was energetic and there appeared to be some chemistry between them as they fucked and sucked one another so if any scene lived up to its potential, this was it. I've always wondered why she didn't have as large a following as many of her colleagues and this scene was solid evidence that she deserves better treatment by the industry. Whew!

Scene Four: Dominica, an attractive gal clad in underwear worth licking off, was up next with the rambunctious Jay by her side. Contrasting with the heat of the last scene, this one made me wonder if they really wanted to work together since it was strictly by the numbers with oral and straight sex capped off with the obligatory pop shot on his part. Don't get me wrong, she looked good in the scene but the mechanical nature of the action made me wonder if the two were solely there to pick up a check.

Scene Five: Isabelle and Breanne, each rather cute to look at and sexually talented enough to launch a thousand loads, had the next scene together. Lesbian action has long been hit or miss with me and while Katja's scene was a slight hit, this one lacked the spark needed to keep me interested in watching more than once. The gals licked and fondled one another just fine but I got the impression that they weren't wanting to experience the joys of womanly love together so I couldn't get into it beyond the usual fascination I have with gals having sex together.

Scene Six: Avy, one of the most beautiful gals in porn these days, Holly, a gal cute enough that I'd be willing to introduce her to my mom (also telling her about Holly's career choice), and the massive Lee (no relation to the director), had the next scene. This was something of a change in the formula since it had three people working together but I was willing to give it a shot. Each of them brought something to the table here and I doubted they could turn in a bad scene together even if they all had the flu or something. The sex was confined to oral and straight but they seemed to enjoy every moment of the action and that made it a great scene. I could've gone for the scene to be a lesbian themed scene the gals looked so good but I was glad Lee was there since he did a great job with them both.

Summary: The cast was as attractive as ever, the sexual activities fairly decent, and the technical values plenty refined enough for my tastes so I'm going to rate this volume as Recommended, even though it wouldn't play on my home DVD player (I've been assured the consumer version of it will play in anything and I don't want to scare you off of some good scenes). In terms of raw energy and desire, the scenes didn't all live up to their potential but I thought they almost all had some serious replay value. In the future, I'd advise Wicked Pictures to go back to the concept and find people that want to work together rather than rely on luck to pull off the heat but with a cast like this, it was tough to imagine a clunker nonetheless.

Note: You can see recent candid shots of several of these performers by visiting: My Photo's and read about their antics at 2004 AEE Show.

You can email me with questions at Houstondon @ hotmail.com if you have any constructive criticism of the review too. :) Also you can follow me on twitter @HoustonDon

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