DIRECTOR: Bob Rudy, Steve Volponi
STARS: Lauren Phoenix, X
DATES OF PRODUCTION: 2005
LENGTH: 35 mins
With the overwhelming abundance of product available in the adult entertainment market, gimmickry has become everything. More times than not, the device is usually limited to genre or fetish proclivity. Be it the twisted turn-ons of tranny, the gratuitousness of gonzo, foot and feet erotica or those jaundiced, juicy water sports, smut peddlers have tried to make a name for themselves micromanaging porn down to specific sub-sub categories, in complete cahoots with a known niche market mentality. It is rare when some other trick is used, since most flesh filmmakers assume the lure of seeing people fuck for real in healthy hardcore scenarios would be enough to stir your interest. But in order to stand out in a crowd, and make a name for yourself amongst the titans of twat and emperors of XXX, upstart companies are trying just about anything to get noticed.
Taking the by-now industry standard to a new, rather novel extreme, Reel Interactive is releasing Reach Out and Touch Me, a 3-D extravaganza starring that amazing Amazon herself, Lauren Phoenix. Now, utilizing that old red and green glasses technology that made 40s and 50s film fans wet themselves is not necessarily the most inventive of ideas, but Reel wants to make such dimensional diversions a reality. And they couldn't have asked for a more fetching front woman than Phoenix, whose body is constructed for almost every sexual speed. But the question then becomes, does Reach Out and Touch Me do the star and the visual variables justice? Or will you get more eye than groin strain watching this short but sweet exercise in stereoscopic sex?
The set up of this disc is rather simple. Once you reach the opening menu (getting past all the opening warnings and legal requirements), you are given the option of viewing the 2D or the 3D experience. Once you make a selection, you are magically whisked away to the appropriate "dimension". Lauren awaits you, lying in a rather plain bedroom set, dressed in some very skimpy lingerie. She primps and preens as she promises greater delights once you've made your way through the crazy, fairly amateurish credits. At a certain point, Lauren looks bored, as if she was being filmed without her knowledge to make room for more production and technical mentions. Once the corporate glad-handing is over, we move to a fancy framed 'options' screen where we are, once again, greeted by Ms. Phoenix. But instead of talking to us about the available commands we can lead her (and her anonymous lover) through, we simply jump right in with standard cabaret and tit play.
Indeed, "Tits" is one of the several interactive "suggestions" you can give the gigantic glam gal. It's one of two alternatives on the Tease menu. Overall, the experience is divided into five categories Tease, Masturbate, Foreplay, Sex and, oddly, Bonus with each individual section having at least two additional preferences to maneuver through. Looking at each choice separately will help you understand the value you are getting in this title, as well as the sexual facets of each scene. So let's begin with some come hither floor show:
TEASE: Tit (2 min, 15 sec) Lauren drops her top and fondles her firm, if rather smallish, breasts. Striptease (1 min, 15 sec) Lauren gets naked and does some scintillating bump and booty grind.
MASTURBATE Fingers (2 min, 40 sec) true to its title, Lauren explores her loins in a very digitally aggressive manner. Dildo (2 min, 10 sec) it's the faux phallus's turn to get lucky as Ms. Phoenix explores her hidey hole with relish. Reverse Dildo (2 min, 06 sec) back door action is the concept of the moment as our star teases snatch and shitter with that long, plastic prick.
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Standing BJ (2 min, 03 sec) with the arrival of an anonymous, rather diminutive male, Lauren proves that no one puffs peter better than she. 69 (3 min) filmed more for Lauren's mouth moves than the underlying visit to Connie the linguist, this is really nothing more than horizontal head. Tounge (sp) (2 min, 28 sec) our petite performer is chiding by Lauren for not sufficiently licking her labia. He gives her a nice oral work out, apparently using that heretofore unknown body part, the tounge (how 'tongue' is spelled on the menu).
SEX Cowgirl (2 min, 35 sec) limited camera choices and a lack of provocative angles are the erotic elements of the day as Lauren rides baloney pony with her typical gratuitous glee. Missionary (3 min, 56 sec) in the longest section of sex in the set, Lauren gets plowed in the typical, mini-male superior position. Reverse Cowgirl (2 min, 21 sec) more or less a chance for Ms. Phoenix to show off her statuesque form, we see a few minutes of man member maneuvers.
BONUS Cum 1 (22 sec) dude shoots on Lauren's vagina. Cum 2 (1 min, 11 sec) guy drops dime on Lauren's ass. Anal: divided into three subsections: Doggie (3 min) it's bow-wow action as Ms. Phoenix takes a dumper full. Spoon (1 min, 49 sec) it's now time for some side by side rear entry slammin'. Reverse Cowgirl (1 min, 56 sec) more pooper plowin' as Lauren takes it up the ass, backward bronco busting style.
Yes folks, that's it. Approximately 35 minutes of action spread out over 16 separate segments. Not a lot of bang or booty for the buck. To its credit, Reach Out and Touch Me understands the limited logistics of its scenes, so it has a built in measure to keep hardcore fan hands on hog for as long as possible. Instead of ending, and returning to the selection menu, each segment here begins to loop, returning to a place roughly 10 seconds into the start of each scene, thereby providing a near seamless supply of nookie sort of. To its credit, this is Lauren's poon platform, and Reel Interactive could care less who's working her skirt. It's just lots of loving shots of Ms. Phoenix's fetching frame as she runs through the gamut of gratuity for the sake of some depth perception.
On the pro side, of course, is Lauren Phoenix. She's got a Crumb cartoon look to her hindquarters, a 'ride your like a rodeo star' sense to her physical attributes that will give many men the high hard one. On the negative side is the sad sack shrimp-kin she's paired with. Lauren is not a small gal, and the pint-sized Paul Simon acting as her dick delivery system just accentuates Lauren's largeness which may be the point.
Indeed, the juxtaposition can be very strange at times. Small stunt cock dives into Lauren's loins and gets lost. The act of 69 turns into a twisted hardcore game of peek-a-boo, Ms. Phoenix's physicality completely enveloping her mini-meat puppet. Both pops are rather pathetic, but given the performers overall proportions, he obviously thinks he's dropping Nick Manning style loads on his co-star's crevices.
Then there is the sex itself. While it's perfectly acceptable, it's about as fiery as a visit to the proctologist. Perhaps because of the need to keep the image steady for the eventual crimson and clover spectacle specs, the direction is mundane and the shot selection dull. Equally aggravating is the lack of close-ups, as we see most of the acts from a decidedly medium shot mentality. This, of course, leads to the last infuriating factor here the use of the digital zoom. For those not aware of it, a standard camera requires a special lens that allows the cinematographer to "zoom" in closer on the action. Such an analog element has a nice, tactile heft to its celluloid contributions.
But in this day and age of digital dynamics, the simple press of a button can magically magnify any shot. It is this pixel puffing procedure used by Reach Out and Touch Me to accentuate the sharking, and it grows very annoying, very quickly. Not only does it ruin the visual aspect of the Eros (causing the image to loose all definition and detail) but it reads so fake and amateurish that it completely destroys the mood.
For lovers of Lauren and all that her built to spill body can promise, there is more than enough of the lovely leading lady to enjoy Reach Out and Touch Me. And while the 3D may not be IMAX ready (more on this later) it's still an almost-original approach to a typical interactive title. Anyone looking for a full force fuck-a-thon would be better served by slinking over to the Evil Angel aisle of the local adult DVD store. This is merely a novelty surrounded by naughtiness, nothing more and, thankfully, nothing less.
Since we are dealing with two-color 3D here, and not some manner of polarized optical trickery, the ability to appreciate the title's 1.33:1 full screen transfer will be greatly diminished when played on anything other than a computer monitor or high definition system. Even then, the graphics and the background have more depth than Phoenix and her pork pal. True, there is the PERCEPTION of another dimension, of Lauren suspended between the screen and the set. But we don't get the demonstrative pleasure of thinking this vixen is virtually in the room with us. Reach Out and Touch Me's 3D is more of a selling point than a technological success. Still, it's better than most of the horrid optical offal passing as forced perspective in today's modern market.
The Dolby Digital Stereo mix is merely some pleasant music interlaced with sporadic sex noises from Lauren. The voices are very low, obviously recorded straight from the internal mic of the camera used. This means that when the actors are far away, their voices have that echoing, off in the distance quality that causes confusion instead of providing clarity. Otherwise, this is just a standard sonic package.
Unless you consider a 2D version of the 3D presentation a bonus feature (or visa versa), there is no other added content on this hardcore DVD. That's shocking, considering the widely held practice of pimping out porn with all manner of bodacious bells and wanton whistles. While the tech turns may be enough to keep consumers happy, the lack of extras is not a viable strategy for Reel Interactive to follow in the future.
Porn is often praised for bringing the reality of physical human relations out from the shadows and into the peep shows where they belong. It is also criticized for its less than realistic (big 12" long cocks, women with hooters the size of the Hindenburg) performers and presentations. Somewhere in the middle of all this is Reach Out and Touch Me. Granted, Lauren Phoenix is her own, non-CG special effect, but the rest of this red/green gratuity relies a little too heavily on the gimmick to end up satisfying our need for sin and skin.
On the Disco Dirge Peter Meter, the DVD ranks a regular 5 out of 10, and is probably best as a rental for all except the most avid Lauren Phoenix fans. And even then, they'll probably want to see her in the real, not the faux flesh. Couples will find nothing harmful, or helpful, to their connubial bliss here. As a result, a Cohabitation Certification is withheld, pending further review. No one can fault Reel Interactive for going the 3D route. Everyone dreams of the day when XXX can leap from the screen and directly into your lap. But until that time, messing with perception is still a gimmick, and in an industry addicted to same, it's not a very arresting one. Reach Out and Touch Me is decent, but not as erotically earth-shattering as one might hope.