Extra's: The best extra for me was the inclusion of a twenty minute long Behind the Scenes look at the making of The Villa. The picture looked better than the feature itself and it gave everyone involved a chance to have some fun (though often at the expense of the cameraman). Many of you will prefer the five bonus scenes taken from 1997 to 1999, each having Janine in them but also being lesbian only, and while they did add some value, fans will have already seen them and the whole point of Janine's comeback was that she's doing men now. There was also a couple of photogalleries, a short biography of Janine, some trailers, a double sided DVD cover, a fetish menu, and some spam.
Audio/Video Quality: The Villa was presented in the same 1.33:1 ratio full frame color it was shot in by director Paul Thomas for Vivid Interactive. The picture had a lot of grain and some minor video noise, owing mostly to lighting issues in some darker scenes. There was a bit of a problem with the camera keeping focus here and there (I thought that's what editing was meant to remove) as well and some compression artifacts from time to time. The colors were mostly accurate and the outdoor scene looked good though yet not as clear as the Behind the Scenes feature shot by Stotts (at least that's who I think did the BTS since it wasn't credited). The stereo English audio track was pretty fair with some of the music complimenting the scenes (detracting in others) and the vocals sounding slightly hollow and dubbed.
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Body of Review: Porn stars making so-called comebacks is not a new topic in porn circles with many performers finding the harsh realities of the "real world" too tough to make a living in so they try to change their appearance or do stuff they didn't do in order to show the world they aren't completely used up. As a porn critic, I try to give such gals the benefit of the doubt since I believe that experience often beats youth in a battle of sexual dominance. The latest such gal is Janine Lindemulder, having been known for her years on the dance circuit with Julia Ann under the name Blondage, the team stoked the fires of many men looking for heated lesbian action. Last year, Janine went back to work for Vivid Interactive under the premise that she'd start having sex with men on camera and after a short run, recently switched over to one of the best companies in porn, Digital Playground (both companies have their merits but Vivid is best known for quantity of contract stars while Digital Playground focuses on quality and a public relations machine admired throughout the industry). Janine's second, and perhaps last, release for Vivid is The Villa, a movie about a gal looking to break into the porn directing market rather than sit it out on the sidelines. There really wasn't much of a story but the sex had some nice scenes to offer so here's a look at the show if you're still interested:
Scene One: Janine, the blonde lead of the movie known for her years of service to porn as much as her huge tattoos, Jassie, the lean brunette with the seductive smile, the mighty Evan Stone, and tribal art aficionado Julian, were up in the first scene as they did some oral and straight sex with one another. Keeping in mind that I've never seen Janine take a cock, I thought it was interesting with her showing a lot of energy. I wasn't convinced that she liked men as well as she has enjoyed women in the past but she did manage to give far younger Jassie a run for the money (I think Jassie won that contest though). The scene was advertised on the front cover as a boy-boy-girl, most likely as a means to sound like Janine was getting more extreme with age, but that wasn't the case and my favorable comments are as much a product of my past desire to see Janine take the hot beef injection as the realities of the scene. It ended when Evan jerked off a facial to Jassie and Julian did likewise to Janine for those who care.
Scene Two: Janine, in a darkened bedroom, masturbated on the bed as she thought of getting a cock inside her. It was far too short but I thought she was getting off more than in the last scene. I like her act and wish she'd play to her strengths like this scene but the pressure to revitalize her failing career probably prevents that.
Scene Three: Haley Paige, a very cute brunette with some kicking curves, and harsher looking Tiana Lynn, were up next in a scene on a couch with Vincent Vega. The gals did some minor lesbian work here but then focused most of their energy on Him during the oral and straight action. Janine was left in the background to masturbate a bit as see peeped in on them. Tiana did a pissing routine (commonly referred to as squirting by the porn industry spin doctors) and ate out cuter Haley as Vincent hammered away at her pussy but the energy levels were higher than the chemistry (fake orgasms don't generally work unless the gal is good at acting the part). Haley won out in my book by virtue of her dirty talk though and the scene was okay overall.
Scene Four: Tiana Lynn, looking a bit less worn than she did in the last scene, came onto Nick Manning at his club on the counter of the bar. Personally, I think boning on the counter is a bad idea (don't ask: take it from my own experience) but she didn't look as uncomfortable as my date did and seemed to revel in having boy toy Nick offer up his penis to a woman. She was more energetic this time and had more chemistry with the two screwing like happy little bunnies. It ended with a facial and the show moved on.
Scene Five: Janine, still looking pretty good for a gal her age (I'd have done her), had the following lesbian scene with cutie Haley Paige in the shower. I thought both of them rocked this time and Janine played up her love of pussy really well as they rubbed, sucked, and licked their way to blissful abandon. I think I would have preferred they stay in the shower stall since it offered up a nice contrast to their tanned bodies but other than the camera repeatedly losing focus and some distracting camera angles, it was well done with lots of heat on display.
Scene Six: Haley Paige, looking fit as ever, was then placed with Nick Manning in a darkened room that didn't provide much exposition as they sucked and fucked each other. She did a great job but he was off his game so the resulting heat of the scene suffered at times. This was a scene where the music stunk (in some of the others, it actually sounded good) and it appeared to be rushed on a number of levels.
Scene Seven: Janine, back out in the sun near the pool, took care of Dale DaBone on the lawn with some pretty solid screwing and oral. Okay, I thought the first scene of the movie was well done with her but this one seemed to have more chemistry with some nice energy so I enjoyed it more. He jerked off onto her chest and a director's cut of this one would've made a nice bonus feature since it was too short to really get me off.
Summary: The Villa was a mixed bag of fun that will have merit depending mostly on what you like to see in your movies. The sex was tamer than average for porn but about what I'd expect for a couples oriented company like Vivid to provide, Janine was looking good for her many years in the industry (I still hate those tattoos of hers though), and the supporting cast wasn't all that bad (Haley Paige was the best gal of the show other than Janine). I'm going to rate this one as Recommended, but only to those wanting to see Janine do a couple of guys (one at a time) and an otherwise generic porno similar to much of what you'll find elsewhere. In short, The Villa had Janine as a star, Paul Thomas as a director, and a mixture of mediocre technical values saddling it with an inconsistent set of scenes that worked some of the time and didn't work other times but you're not going to find a lot of Janine doing guys so weigh your tastes accordingly.
---- 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