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Hard Candy

Studio: Vivid » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 4/29/05

XCritic's Advice: Watch It Online

Hard Candy


Genre: Feature

Director: Chuck Lords (AKA: Paul Thomas)

Cast: Nicki Hunter, Julian, Dasha, Steven St. Croix, Jennifer Luv, Evan Stone, Naudia Nyce, Mario Rossi, Tommy Gunn

Length: 82 minutes

Date of Production: 7/26/2004

Extra's: The best extra for most of you will be the inclusion of five bonus scenes from previous Vivid releases. Three of them featured Dasha and they were pretty decent overall. Personally, I preferred the nearly 28 minute long Behind the Scenes feature since it allowed the cast a chance to goof off as well as showed some more sex footage. This was where I noticed the listed director, Chuck Lords, was actually Paul Thomas (I had my reservations about a movie where the director was too embarrassed to use his own pen name). In any case, it added a lot of value to the DVD for me. There was also a short biography of Dasha, two photogalleries, a limited fetish menu, some trailers, a double sided DVD cover, and a lot of spam at the front of the DVD.

Condoms: Yes

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Audio/Video Quality: Hard Candy was presented in the original 1.33:1 ratio full frame color it was shot in for Vivid Entertainment by director Paul Thomas. Visually speaking, I could see why he used one of his aliases since it wasn't up to his usual standard, although he's not exactly known for a crystal clear picture in most of his adult movies even on a good day. This time, there was a fair amount of grain and some video noise with a lot of movement by the camera and some compositional errors that led me to think Thomas was having an off day. It wasn't terrible but aside from some decent fleshtones and a nice mix of medium to close up shots, it lacked the visual punch needed to make this one stand out in any significant way. I didn't see any compression artifacts this time though and the video noise was minimal compared to many other releases by the company so it wasn't all bad news. The audio was presented in stereo English but it lacked any separation between the channels and the dynamic range wasn't much better; surprising since the boom mike fell into view at least a couple of times and could be seen in the shadows of the scenes.

Body of Review: One of the biggest porn producers in the world must certainly be Vivid Entertainment, an industry leader in terms of providing porn for couples these days. Their contract performer system has long been emulated by other companies and for all the criticism the company and its leaders get, the company is a model of success that most of the competition wish they could get a piece of. One of the reasons they do so well relates to the way they employ a number of talented directors, including Paul Thomas. His latest effort for the company, Hard Candy, was not his best but fans of Dasha will appreciate it nonetheless. The movie is a little fluff piece that centered on a bachelor party in which muscular Tommy Gunn and his posse of pussy plunderers get some fine ass to play with. If this interests you, read the following breakdown of the scenes, noting that condoms were used a lot here:

Scene One: Nicki Hunter, the curvy, busty blonde that always seems driven in her scenes, took care of tattooed Julian on the couch after all the gals teased Tommy into submission. Nicki's moves were great as she gave Julian a lap dance in her black & red lingerie, making me appreciate her talents too. I've long known she's an anal queen and she did not disappoint after the splendid oral and vaginal screwing; giving some solid energy as she performed with him on the couch. It was also a nice touch to see her masturbate as he jerked off onto her but I've long held that letting the gal work out the load is preferable most of the time.

Scene Two: Dasha, the attractive Czech blonde on the front DVD cover, was up next as she showed Steven St. Croix that she too had some lap dancing skills. While not as energetic as Nicki, I thought she was in fine form here too and he appeared to appreciate her attentions throughout the scene. I noticed she looked leaner than usual as she took care of him orally before he returned the favor. The sex wasn't as advanced as the first scene but she looked good as they boned and I can still see why Vivid kept her so long as a contract performer.

Scene Three: Jennifer Luv, one of the cutest gals I've ever met (at the AVN show a while back), was next up as she tormented the mighty Evan Stone while the last scene had already been underway for a while. I have never been a fan of scenes edited together and this was no exception as it distracts from the heat of both scenes but she was looking good too. She was vocal, energetic, and nearly as talented as Nicki in this scene, making it a winner in most ways. I would've rather seen it last longer but that's what she'd say if she and I had a scene too. There was oral and straight sex only this time; like the majority of other scenes.

Scene Four: Naudia Nyce, another younger cutie in a cast littered with established performers, reminded me of a young Stephanie Swift combined with Belladonna as she let Mario Rossi go down on her while on the stairs. He did an okay job but she really shined when returning the favor. Using her hand to increase the friction, she gave him a nut milking good time before they boned as if on fire. They also did anal sex while on the balcony and it was a pleasant sight seeing her cheeks spread apart as he slammed her hard. After some ATM, the scene went back to the other couples going at it (again, a distracter).

Scene Five: Dasha, all warmed up and ready to bone, finally gave muscular Tommy Gunn, the groom here, his reward for the patience he showed while everyone else was having fun. The scene included the usual oral and straight sex but none of the anal I'm betting he wanted to get. She was moaning a lot here but didn't say a lot as he went to work, with him doing most of the pumping before popping on her sweet ass. It was an anti-climatic ending to the show but fans of Dasha will probably be happy to see her here.

Summary: Hard Candy could best be described as a quickie made in a day with an attractive cast of hard working gals. In terms of their looks, I'd be willing to acknowledge that they would be called "eye candy" by most straight men and their sexual skills were pretty good, if limited by the situation they were put into here. I'm going to rate this DVD as a Rent It since the limitations bugged me more than a little but fans of the cast could do a lot worse and the extras added some nice value to the package. In short, Hard Candy was worth a look for all it offered, even if it didn't manage to satisfy my sweet tooth.

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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