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Pretty Mess

Studio: Vivid » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 5/30/05

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Pretty Mess

Vivid Entertainment

Genre: Vignette

Director: Chi Chi LaRue

Cast: Monique Alexander, Annie Cruz, Trent Tesoro, Katsumi, Mia Smiles, Tony De Sergio, Kylie Ireland, Manuel Ferrara, Tawny Roberts, Chris Cannon, Terri Summers, Marco Duato

Length: 117.5 minutes

Date of Production: 2/21/2005

Extra's: My favorite extra was the nearly 24 minute long Behind the Scenes feature by Hot Rod Hank since it was shot exclusively for the DVD but I'm sure many of you will like the older bonus scenes included even more (only two had Monique in them, including one from Drive and the other from Inside the Mind of Chloe Jones). There were also two photogalleries, a short biography of Monique Alexander, a positions room, some trailers, a double sided DVD cover and the usual forced spam at the front of the DVD.

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: Pretty Mess was presented in the standard 1.33:1 ratio full frame color as shot by director Chi Chi LaRue for Vivid. There was a lot of grain due to atmospheric lighting and the colors looked too saturated for my tastes but the action was often quite good so I was less fussy about it than I might've been otherwise. The camera angles and shot compositions could've been more flattering to the gals but on average, I thought they weren't bad. I saw some compression artifacts and video noise on a regular basis and a friend pointed out the editing was pretty haphazard so if you're a slave to technical values, you might want to think about passing on this one. The stereo audio was presented with some minor dynamic range and separation between the channels but it was also hollow and often appeared dubbed over the really droning, poorly made music. My fingers are crossed that this area of Vivid's production machine gets revamped soon since it would be easy to fix and save money in the short, as well as long, run.

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Body of Review: Vivid's contract performer system has long been emulated by other, less successful companies as it allows the company and performer to work towards a common goal of promoting one another to best effect. The latest gal in the Vivid fold is Monique Alexander, the attractive gal on the front DVD cover as displayed on the upper right hand side of this review. She has made three movies for Vivid in the past, Drive, the recent Lexie and Monique Love Rocco, and Inside the Mind of Chloe Jones but now that she's a full fledged member of the team, she'll be much more active as she makes lots of scenes with guys in them. Her first feature film under the contract (where she doesn't share the spotlight at that) is Pretty Mess, a vignette driven release where Monique is undergoing treatment in a psychiatric hospital for nymphomania. The scenes almost all have bits of her edited into them (as she watched the action or participated in it) and fans will appreciate that she had so much serious air time. If this sounds appealing to you, here's a breakdown of the action by cast in the five somewhat lengthier than average (for Vivid at least) scenes:

Scene One: Monique's Magic Dust: Monique Alexander, the lovely gal featured on the front DVD cover, and Latina Annie Cruz, were up first in a scene that took place in a dressing room. Initially, the action was lesbian only but after some playful licking and rubbing, Trent Tesoro got to join in with them. The audio was dubbed (badly) with the music set far too loudly but the threesome was a fun way to start off the show. One thing I liked about the scene as that while most of the chemistry was between the gals, the energy levels got higher after Trent joined them and began hammering away at the duo. It ended with a facial to both of the gals but Annie seemed to open wider as they were receiving it.

Scene Two: Asians With Caucasian: Katsumi and Mia Smiles, two of the more active Asian gals in the porn world, took on Tony De Sergio in front of a Japanese flag on a bench indoors in the next scene. They looked as though they were into cosplay (a form of anime worship, not screwing Bill Cosby) by the weird manner in which they were dressed and made up but he didn't care one bit as they jerked him off and blew him in front of the camera. The action was mostly oral but there was also a lot of anal here too with some taste testing to liven matters up and the gals were continually perky with lots of energy.

Scene Three: Fuckin' In the Fifties: Kylie Ireland, all dolled up in an outfit that fit the theme of the 1950's (the music was cute too), had the next scene with studly Manuel Ferrara; with him dressed like a nerd this time. This was my favorite scene of the movie due to the playful nature of the action, the heat of the couple, and the energy they displayed as much as the talent for sex they shared. The vocals appeared slightly off but I didn't get the impression it was dubbed and he slammed his dick in each of her three holes with abandon before the facial at the end. Fans of Kylie will note that she also gave him a rimjob but the scene wasn't good because of the sexual tricks so much as the manner in which they conducted themselves.

Scene Four: Toilet Paper Penetration: Tawny Roberts, one of the most beautiful gals in porn (although far too skinny for my tastes), was up next in a scene with partner Chris Cannon in a bathroom. The droning music lowered the heat this time more than it should have as these two looked primed to work with one another but the way she kept looking at the camera instead of him also lowered the chemistry so for all the good things I could say about them, the action wasn't as solid as I would have liked. It was oral and straight only but it was the most like a filler scene of the entire movie for me.

Scene Five: Theater Threesome: Terri Summers, an all natural cutie with a lean body and lovely eyes (never underestimate the effect of beautiful eyes folks), and Monique Alexander, had a scene in a movie theatre after Terri and Marco were caught in the act. Marco Duato is the porn stud that has a face much like the current governor of California (and a muscular, although leaner, body) and the gals seemed to enjoy his presence as they slobbed his knob together. The sex was oral and straight only with Terri rimming the guy a bit; ending in a pop shot jerked onto the breasts of the gals.

Summary: Pretty Mess wasn't the best movie released by the mighty Vivid in the past year or two but it did manage to showcase the lovely Monique Alexander fairly well and that can't be a bad thing given her attractive looks and willingness to expand her horizons in front of the camera of late. The runaway best scene of the movie actually starred the large breasted redhead Kylie Ireland, but the show had plenty of other heated action going on too. The technical aspects were a bit weaker than director Chi Chi Larue is known for but I'd be misleading you if I said I didn't enjoy the package well enough to give it a rating of Recommended since it had so much fuck for the buck. I predict Monique Alexander doing very well at Vivid and I think the company will benefit from some new blood with her too, especially considering her performances here and in Lexie and Monique Love Rocco so keep your eyes peeled if you like your performers easy on the eyes.

For other choices in porn, check out: 2004's Top Porn List and 2003's Top Porn List.

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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