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Candida Royalle's Eyes of Desire

Studio: Adam & Eve » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 11/19/04

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Candida Royalle's Eyes of Desire

Adam & Eve/Femme Productions

Genre: Couples, Voyeurism

Director: Candida Royalle

Cast: Missy, Mickey G., Sharon Mitchell, Tony Tedeschi, Herschel Savage, Chloe, Tom Byron

Length: 93 minutes

Date of Production: 1/1998

Extra's: The best extra for me was a director's commentary where Candida discussed parts of what she was trying to accomplish with the movie. She's an intelligent woman so rather than mad-lib her way through the commentary, she provided the kind of details that fans yearn for when listening to such an extra (think about it for a second; if you're going to listen to the commentary, you're probably going to want to learn something). There was also a trailer for part 2 (I never saw that one), a bloopers reel, a message from Candida, and a very large photo gallery as well.

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: This was a labor of love for Candida and it showed. She makes very few movies and prefers to take her time instead of making three a week like so many other directors these days. The audio was in 2.0 stereo English and was crisp and clear. The dialog was easily heard and well done although the separation between the channels wasn't all that distinctive. The video was also well done and presented in the usual 1.33:1 full frame color as originally shot. There were only the slightest problems with some pattern noise and grain, yet those moments were confined to rare instances (not bad for such an older release). The colors were accurate and flesh tones solid too, making it a pleasure to watch.

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Body of Review: Candida Royalle is somewhat of an enigma in the wonderfully diverse world of porn in that she broke down many barriers over the years in a field dominated by men by showing a woman's touch was not always a "bad" thing. Making less than a single movie per year on average as she trotted about the globe giving lectures, speaking to large crowds and promoting her line of female-friendly sex toys to all who would listen, Candida has never wavered in her quest to provide an alternative to the circus act sex so prevalent in porn today. While she may be criticized by some who claim her works are not even porn (something she herself maintains as true), she routinely sells a stable amount of material for years whereas the others sell a lot at first and then their titles disappear. Her short career as a performer was marked by some of the best adult entertainment ever made but it has been her advances behind the camera that have left the longest mark. One of her first releases on DVD some years ago, Eyes Of Desire Pt. 1, was definitely a couples movie but still a labor of love. It was not a wall to wall gonzo extravaganza and should be avoided if that's all you want. The story focused on a young lady who's married sex life has fallen into a rut. With the help of her friend, and a telescope, she hoped to revive the passion in her life to fulfill her sexual needs in a way that many women seem to identify with. The sex scenes had a chemistry that almost no other porn movies these days show with the performers enjoying themselves as though they were doing it for desire, not money. This is refreshing when compared to all those other movies which feature performers who appear to charge by the hour and don't let us forget it! In any case, here's a quick look at the scenes of the movie, noting that the sex was vanilla by technical standards but fun to watch if you aren't caught up in the circular reasoning of "more extreme is better" thinking the industry advances with most new movies:

Scene One: The first scene featured Sharon and Herschel. Both of them looked very good; regardless of their age. I've seen each in movies made in the 80's where they didn't look this good. Sharon was fit and natural with no need to get implants (the big thing for too many women in porn these days). She is no longer acting and has devoted a lot of her time to the AIM health care foundation which tests adult performers for AIDS (which, contrary to the belief of some, has done a lot to assist performers in a time when few others would do so). Her career spanned about 25 years and looking at her here, you'd guess she started off very young to look this good physically. Herschel seemed to have lost that pot belly he was developing awhile back; perhaps he can put Ron Jeremy on the same diet?!? The scene itself is very nicely paced and took its time warming you up. You will notice this in each scene and it is a trademark of Candida's. Although the movie is billed as being made for women, any healthy male will like it too for the kind of heated passion only a couple into the sex (not the money) can show.

Scene Two: The next scene was between Missy and Tony. I didn't sense quite the same level of chemistry between them as our friends in the previous scene but it was still pretty good. Missy has won many awards in her career including Best New Starlet, Female Performer of the Year, and Best Group among others and I can see why she had so many fans based on this scene alone. That she didn't get implants is further proof that you don't need them to be successful in the porn industry.

Scene Three: The next scene was between Tom and Chloe. It started off with him in a dress (comic relief time) and ended up with a really good scene. I liked Tom more when he had a few less tattoo's. Chloe, as ever, looked hot and ready to go at it; I wonder whatever happened to her. The acting between them was very good as well, making me believe their roles were written for them to excel at.

Scene Four: The last full scene was between Missy and Mickey. After watching this scene, you won't be thinking of a Disney flick either. The couple was married in real life and obviously had a lot of desire for one another that showed onscreen as much as in their personal life. Candida is known for putting real life couples together in her movies. This is yet another time when it really paid off. Other directors seem to spin a roulette wheel and pair people up according to what comes up but since Candida doesn't try to make a production in a week, she has the luxury of proper casting more often than not. The problem other directors have is that the "let's put her with him, regardless of what they want" approach is so hit or miss. Luckily, we had an excellent director who believes otherwise and had the financial wherewithal to do it "her way".

Summary: This movie, as a couples DVD, was nicely done. Let me tell you what it wasn't for a moment. It wasn't a gonzo, anal jam, weird kinky tales to turnoff a lover, or any of the really poorly made trash that comprise the majority of what's out there on the market. It's directed with women in mind which, contrary to popular belief, is not anti-men or boring. The production values were top notch as was the interaction between the performers too. This movie worked on so many levels that it raised the bar for other directors in how the relationships were portrayed as well as the sex. Remember that while porn is largely bought by men these days, women are the fastest growing market so directors that at least make a passing attempt to capture a portion of this market are going to reap some major rewards. It's obvious that Candida is not simply throwing together any old piece of junk to meet a deadline. She took her time and applied lots of TLC. Even the music which was very low key fits nicely instead of having blaring techno jazz or overwhelmingly bad music loops too many other releases have these days. Further, the extras were very solid for this type of movie. In many movies, we get nothing for extras (although that has changed since I originally wrote this review). Studio heads claim we don't want them. They are wrong. We get an almost 50 minute long commentary by Candida detailing some of the scenes. She goes to great lengths to tell us some important, and not so important, information that enhances the movies value to us. She explained a lot about the goals she had and how she and the crew worked towards those goals. This is a movie you can watch with your significant other without her rolling her eyes and thinking you're a jerk. It wasn't made for you to sit alone at home and jerk off to (those movies have a large appeal to a single guy like me but the fact is; sex is better with a partner). For a couples movie designed for an audience with limited exposure to porn but wanting something a bit harder than late night cable television premium channels, I'm rating this a Recommended, although its appeal to the raincoater contingent will be much lower.

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 Candida and many recent 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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