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Studio: Vivid » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 11/21/04

XCritic's Advice: Recommended


Vivid Video

Genre: Feature

Director: David Stanley

Cast: Nicole Sheridan, Voodoo, Briana Banks, Evan Stone, Randy Spears, Vincent Vega, Lezley Zen, Joel Lawrence, Kimberly Kane
Non-sex role by David Stanley

Length: 79 minutes

Date of Production: 6/4/2004

Extra's: The best extra for me was the 13.5 minute long Behind the Scenes feature by R. Victoria Woodhill. It had some of the cast and director David Stanley (who's claim that he was trying to avoid being pretentious as somewhat humorous) trying to explain the feature. I've watched a number of Mr. Stanley's features over the years and found most of what he said to ring hollow but others may feel otherwise. Briana looked good in it so I was happy that it took some time with her naked and the last several minutes of it was a blooper reel for comedy fans. There were also five bonus scenes with Briana being in three of them (all from past releases mind you), a short Briana Banks biography, some trailers, a couple of photogalleries, and a double sided DVD cover.

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: The picture was presented in the usual 1.33:1 ratio full frame that it was originally shot in by director David Stanley. For the most part, the grain was minimal and the video noise down to an acceptable level. The other visual flaws were directly tied to some of the artistic effects employed; primarily the slow motion of the first scene and the lighting on some of the space scenes. On average, it looked decent with no compression artifacts interfering with my viewing pleasure (a step up for Mr. Stanley). The audio was presented in the same stereo English Vivid always uses. There wasn't a lot of separation between the channels but I did hear some in a few scenes (I had to replay it a couple of times to make sure) that appeared to fit the scene, if not my personal tastes. The dynamic range was still somewhat too hollow but at least steps are being taken to improve the audio (a good thing from my perspective).

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Body of Review: Those of you who watch feature porn, the kind of adult entertainment that has a story, know that all too often a director or company will screw up and make the non-sex parts worthless. This can be because of the lack of talent on the part of the performers (who are good at sex but not acting), the lack of a big enough budget to cover the added expense, or simply the lack of creative vision on the part of the director/writer/producer. In recent years, one director stands out in my mind as the kind of hack that lovers of feature porn (like myself) cringe at when his name comes up; David Stanley. It's not because he lacks the technical expertise to shot a porno (although this routinely comes into question too) but because he often tries to fit the square peg into the round hole (he likes pretentious stories with a cast that isn't capable of pulling them off). Being a fan of the lovely Briana Banks though, I had to prepare myself to suffer through one of Stanley's releases (I took an extended break from reviewing his movies in order to maintain my sanity earlier this year) in order to review his latest effort, Aftermath. The movie is more of a porn parody of Stanley's previous films than anything else and I was surprised at the quality of most of the sex scenes (it was cute to see Mr. Stanley himself come on screen and try to explain the unexplainable though). That said, here's a look at what the movie had to offer:

Scene One: A Close Encounter: Nicole, a curvy babe dressed in a skin tight body stocking, and spaceman Voodoo, had a slow motion scene with a science fiction flavor to start off the weirdness. She blew him in a teasing fashion and he bonded her pussy in return. I think this couple (they are married in real life too) have rarely let me down since they have so much chemistry and energy together but the effects here hampered that natural talent; making me wonder what was going on. Let's face it; you could stick her in a burlap bag as an outfit, have him wear a clown outfit, and they could still ignite the screen if left alone to do what they do naturally. This was a wasted scene for me due to the artistic license employed. The one good thing was at the end, director Stanley felt like he was speaking directly to me when he came on screen and whined that he was "tired" of people telling him his movies make no sense. At least he's paying attention…

Scene Two: Heavy Breathing: Briana, the lean blonde with the very attractive face and large implants, had the following scene with Evan on a bed as they tried to emulate the action they just watched on the television (the sci-fi scene discussed above). Evan went down on her heavenly pussy and ass while she vocalized her pleasure a bit. Her oral in return was more playful than usual (a good thing mind you) and he spanked her lightly while she went down on him. The vaginal sex was energetic and while it didn't last all that long (probably longer than I would have with this sweet young thing), it was well done with the ending pop shot to the chest a disappointment for some of you (I don't care about facials but a lot of you seem to).

Scene Three: Alien Erections: Briana, wearing nothing but some glitter and a smile, took care of hairy Randy and muscular Vincent in the space setting from the first scene. I thought their masks were lame and the edited back and forth material of her masturbating on the dryer in the laundry closet a bit goofy but it was sexually nice to watch. The music, like in the other scenes, wasn't very fitting to the action, but I'm sure there was some artistic reason for it that thinking people are supposed to just accept. The oral with straight sex wasn't bad; just limited, and it ended when they jerked off onto her implants.

Scene Four: The Loose Button: Briana, looking fine in her crop top and panties, Lezley, an attractive brunette wearing granny clothes to bed, and Joel, the wacky porn stud with a long schlong, had a scene in a big old sleigh bed (it looked exactly like the one I sleep in so it had to be good although I'm willing to admit mine will last a lot longer than theirs given the infrequency it gets used for something other than sleeping). In any case, the trio gave and received a fair amount of oral loving before the gals took turns riding him in a few positions. I'd have liked it better if the scene lasted twice as long but that's rare in a Vivid release and Briana's talents will just have to wait for that day when she is better utilized onscreen.

Scene Five: Escort Gets A Surprise: Kimberly, a blonde that has appealed to me a great deal in recent months (her outfit here really accentuated her curves and attitude), had a scene on a couch with Evan. It started off with her slowly giving him a lap dance that worked for me on a couple of levels and the two were soon going at it like crazy in a solid scene. The energetic oral, the chemistry filled vaginal and the overall quality of the scene was very high for me.

Summary: I have to give the director credit for honesty when he said "it doesn't make any sense, I admit it" and I thought the attractive cast and usually decent production values gave this enough of a boost to keep me interested in the show. For the record, I don't think Mr. Stanley is the worst director in porn (heck, he's not the worst director at Vivid) but if he'd stick to the basics, I think he'd find a far more appreciative audience waiting for his next release. Vivid has been attempting to improve the technical aspects of their DVDs for some time now and maybe it's time he joined their efforts by focusing his primary energies on making the sex better, followed by the plot (if that's the kind of porn he wants to show), and maybe even the extras offered on the DVD. It's not rocket science and I truly think he "wants" to be better (otherwise, he'd stop making references to critics in his movies and BTS features) but something holds him back. He needn't lose all individuality in the process but someone needs to show him a few examples of "good" feature porn in order to get him on the right track (if Robby D. can do it, anyone can…probably). The movie this time was weak but the sex enough that fans of Briana's will definitely consider it worth a rating of Recommended. The cast, the energy levels, and the overall package will appeal to them more than anyone else but it wasn't a bad outing by Vivid.

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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