Extra's: The best extra for me was the nearly ten minute long Behind the Scenes feature where the cast was all playing around. If it had lasted longer or had more sex, I'd have liked it more but maybe in later releases this will be addressed. There was also a few trailers, a photogallery, some production notes, a Phallix glass promo, and a very attractive double sided DVD cover with one side being naughty and the other nicer (less explicit).
Audio/Video Quality: Mirage was presented in widescreen color as originally shot by director Nic Andrews. To say it was visually stunning would be understating the obvious although it wasn't anamorphic widescreen so I'm thinking future efforts might be even better. The colors were accurate, the images crisp and clear, and the composition of the shots substantially more interesting than your average vignette style porno. I did see a few compression artifacts on occasion but they were few and far between so the overall impression I got of the picture was very favorable. The audio was presented in Dolby Digital stereo but the vocals were replaced by a soundtrack that was more in tune with a couples release than anything else. I prefer to hear the cast making sounds as they engage in sexual activity so this lost it a few points in my book. I know some of you prefer the music over vocals so add a few points to my score if that's the case. There was a moderate amount of separation on the track and the dynamic range was decent so at least someone paid attention to the music here.
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Body of Review: Long ago, I watched a few releases by a newbie director that showed a fair amount of promise in how he visualized adult entertainment. He wasn't exactly way ahead of his time but he obviously had what I typically refer to as "The Eye". His name was Nic Andrews and he worked at New Sensations back then, gaining something of a reputation for scaring the female performers by demanding they do things like show up on time, ready to shoot, and otherwise act like they wanted a paycheck. His skill level outstripped the company and he soon found himself working for an upscale company, Digital Playground (one of my personal favorites too). After proving that he could make some of the best crossover porn available, with hits like No Limits and Rush, he set out yet again to find a home where he'd be appreciated, this time landing at a new company, Original Sin Pictures. His first release for them is a vignette driven show called Mirage; a show that manages to "out Joone" his old boss Joone, by showcasing a cast of attractive gals having sex in an exotic location and making them look much better than they usually do. If you like the erotic elements of tropical porn, you're going to appreciate this one all the more. Here's a quick breakdown of the scenes by cast, noting that it wasn't a hardcore raincoater show:
Scene One: Joelean, a lean blonde hotty that has long been a staple in high end porn with her muscular features and winning smile, began the action by masturbating in the open desert during the day. After some very pleasing tease footage where she employed a glass dildo (courtesy of Phallix), Cheyne joined her for a heated romp that included a fantastic blowjob, some decent cunnilingus, and a straight screw in several positions. The editing was terrific but the vocals were cut out in favor of some pleasant (but bland) music. It ended when he popped off on her lovely ass but it admittedly left me wanting more from them, for all their energy and chemistry.
Scene Two: Brittney, the seductive bleach blonde from the front DVD cover, wore the same fishnet outfit as she followed the formula in the beautifully scenic Utah desert. If she's looked better elsewhere, I can't recall when and she was soon joined by Naudia for a lesbian romp in the open. The contrast between the gals was visually interesting and the amount of long shots edited in kind of different from what I'm used to. I mean that in a good way and the glass dildos were used here to get the gals off. It was a warmish scene but Brittney acknowledged the camera a bit too often for my tastes. In any case, the gals looked good together and seemed to have a lot of fun.
Scene Three: Haley, also looking very pleasing to the eye here was up next in a solo scene that was set in front of a lake in the desert. She has never been one of my top picks for performances but I liked watching her here as she tasted herself and used a glass toy (making me wonder if Phallix underwrote the production themselves). I may have to go back and revisit some of her earlier scenes after watching her this time.
Scene Four: Felix, a beautiful and all natural gal with a sweet look that kept me from being able to turn away, was up next. Her skimpy black outfit enhanced her looks and I believed she was really getting wet during the tease footage and solo action. Cheyne joined her and the formulaic action continued but even following a scripted set of actions wasn't a bad thing since the editing assisted in making it "feel" different from much of what's on the market. It ended with a more common facial and I think fans will be pleased with the scene as much as I was.
Scene Five: Naudia, looking even better this time dressed in a black corset and matching boots, warmed herself up on a rock before Barrett joined her. Like the other scenes, the tease footage ruled and took up much of the scene but only the most hardcore loving fans will care given the way she handled herself. There wasn't enough variation for me to speak of at length about but I can honestly say that they appeared to have some serious fun together, sharing chemistry and energy together.
Scene Six: Joelean and Felix, both attractive in different ways but complimentary to one another, had the next scene by a small lake in what appeared to be a lagoon. Most of the action was seductive and sensual with each giving as well as they received. I knew that they'd pull out some glass dildos since that was a common theme here but they didn't overuse them either. It made for some nice fun nonetheless and fans of theirs will find it had a lot of replay value.
Scene Seven: Brittney, this time (barely) wearing a white dress in the desert sun, went through the paces before blowing Barrett on a hilltop (well, top of a dune at least). He gave as well as he got and the two were boning in no time. For these old professionals, the mechanics of the act were more important than anything else and it ended with a moderate load to her chest before she gave the tip a kiss to signify her acceptance of the end.
Summary: Mirage proves Nic still has the ability to take a variety of elements and fuse them into a coherent whole that far surpasses the sum of the parts. The gals in the movie have never looked better, the technical values appeared to be exceptionally good, and other than a lack of great extras, it was top notch in most ways. I'm going to give Mirage a rating of Recommended but fans of Blake and other "eroticists" in porn will probably find this one every bit as good, and in some ways better, than what has been shown before. If Nic can improve the extras and provide more material next time (this was fairly short for a porno these days), I have little doubt the rating will be even better.
---- 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