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Hard Bound

Studio: Other » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 11/19/04

XCritic's Advice: Recommended


Adam & Eve/Ultimate Pictures

Genre: Feature

Director: Bob Chinn

Cast: Nina Hartley, Tina Tyler, TJ Hart, Dale DaBone, James Bonn, Edith the iguana (the credits listed the women, then the men, and then the animal co-star for some reason-I wonder what the story was behind Edith)

Length: 81 minutes

Date of Production: 5/30/1999

Extra's: 8 movie trailers, slide show, Dolby Surround sound

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: The audio was well done for the most part in a 2.0 Dolby Digital English presentation. The outdoor scenes sometimes had a bit too much wind but otherwise it sounded pretty good for a low budget release from so long ago. The video was uniformly good too with a 1.33:1 ratio full frame color presentation as the movie was originally shot. The lighting, particularly the outdoor scenes, helped keep the grain at bay and even the indoor stuff looked solid.

Body of Review: Nina Hartley is more a porn legend than a reality these days, given her numerous lectures and charity events over the years but the gal has made a lot of good porn too. For the most part, she disproves the theory that young gals are the best in bed and her release Hardbound always appealed to me on a few levels. Let me start off by telling you that this DVD isn't for everyone. It's much more of a couples release than 99% of the current movies out there on the shelves of your local smut store. The sex scenes were much shorter than I've come to expect and not nearly as hardcore. That said; it is a good way to introduce that special someone that believes all porn is hardcore. The movie contains straight, lesbian, toys, oral and a three way of sorts.

-- sponsored by --

The driving theme of the movie (pun intended) is that Nina is a rich, snobby type whose car breaks down on a deserted road. A cowboy, played by Dale, stopped to assist her and, like all porn, you can figure out what happened from there. There were 5 scenes to enjoy and I've liked this movie for a very long time, especially attractive to watch was the legendary Nina Hartley, a gal that most porn connoisseurs have come to appreciate as a trendsetter over the years. Here's a breakdown of the scenes by cast, noting the review was mostly written long ago:

Scene One: The first scene is between Tina and TJ on a bed. They were discussing sex toys while reading an Adam & Eve catalog. (nice plug guys. ;) Anyways, they enjoyed each other's company and the contrast between the two was visually quite pleasing. Tina had a nice figure for her age and knew how to please someone with her bright white skin. TJ had a nice tan, was attractive and also knew how to have fun. I wish the scene were longer but it was a nice change from the gyno-cam's I've been used to seeing employed in porn so often over the years.

Scene Two: Nina fantasized about giving Dale a blow job. The entire scene consisted of this rather short BJ and one would think it would "suck" due to its limited nature. Actually, it really was erotic in that it was different and pleasant. How many of us would be happy if someone as attractive as Nina gave us a BJ? Regardless, I enjoyed it for the change of pace if nothing else and she looked good working with the pretty boy.

Scene Three: Scene three took place shortly afterward and consisted of Dale fantasizing about Nina in return. His day dream was about going down on her. That's all there was to this scene too. I am the first to admit that on paper, both these scenes screamed out rip-off! but, when watched on your screen; they were really good. Sure, I wanted him to turn her over and start screwing as much as the next guy but the pacing on the entire movie started to soak in at this point. As a couples movie-it worked really well but you'll want to keep in mind that most modern porn takes a different tack.

Scene Four: Scene four was initially between TJ and James with Tina joining in towards the end. Tina only used a vibrator on TJ and started out the scene by masturbating while watching them. There wasn't a lot of variety to the scene but it is pretty hot for the type of movie it was supposed to be.

Scene Five: This was what I'd been waiting for; Nina and Dale going all the way. They delivered the goods and I was appreciative that it showed some of the class that porn doesn't usually spend much time on these days. The scene was more like "real" sex than most other movies I've watched over the years. They obviously had a great time and it showed. While the sex was oral and straight only, it was still nicely paced with solid technical values and the chemistry between the two undeniable.

Summary: This was a couples movie and not a gonzo, hardcore fest of roman orgy proportions. The sex was sensual much of the time and not a contest of who can be nastier in terms of circus act sex. The pacing throughout the movie was very deliberate and it built momentum unlike most of what's on the market today. If you want a stroke film, you can do better elsewhere but if you want an enjoyable movie that you can share with someone not really into porn, this is a decent choice. All the performers look above average and had a good time. There's little plot but the acting was way better than most adult movies. I credit Deborah Chinn for the writing and Nina/Dale for delivering the lines. There was a lot of humor here too-I almost lost my drink when I saw Nina wearing those bunny slippers, which helps make the movie better than the sum of its parts. All in all, it was a good movie to watch with a friend. I'd have liked it to have more extras, a commentary track, a longer length, etc, but I think it was still pretty good. For the record, I really liked Nina and thought Tina was quite the hotty at the time (unlike so many cookie cutter porn performers, she had a unique look), but this review is based upon looking at the movie as a couples DVD. I wouldn't want all my movies like this but everyone should own a few if they expect to share them with a loved one not into porn. As such, I'm rating it as Recommended, even as old a release as it was (it's also low priced if that makes a difference to you).

This Don Houston "retro-review" was written long ago before the so-called Professor of Porn had much experience writing reviews. Since that time, he has found Adam & Eve to have a lot of good releases and seen more porn that almost anyone reviewing on the internet. Keep in mind that his comments accurately reflected his fresh viewpoint of the time he first saw the movie.

Note: You can see recent candid shots of numerous performers, including Nina herself, 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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