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69th Parallel

Studio: Adam & Eve » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 6/16/05

XCritic's Advice: Skip It

69th Parallel

Adam & Eve/Ultimate Pictures

Genre: Feature

Director: Bud Lee

Cast: TJ Hart, Randy Spears, Kylie Ireland, Kyle Stone, Shayla LaVeaux, Steve Hatcher, Coral Sands, Elle Devyne, Alec Metro

Length: 90.5 minutes

Date of Production: 8/25/1998

Extra's: The only extras were a photogallery, a trailer, and a few limited biographies.

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: 69th Parallel was presented in the usual 1.33:1 ratio full frame color it was shot in by director Budd Lee for Adam & Eve Pictures. While not bad for its time, it wasn't all that great either and this was what I said when I first saw it: "The video usually looked fairly good for a lower budget movie. The grain and video noise were minimal. The audio had some problems, particularly in a couple of scenes where it seemed either dubbed or slightly out of synch, but wasn't worse than average. The music was standard low budget porn."

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Body of Review: Most of us purchase a movie based on what the DVD cover looks like or the cast involved in a production but sometimes, however rarely, we pick something up on the basis of a review we've read as I did with 69th Parallel. One of my fellow reviewers at another website praised this one endlessly and I wasn't under the impression that he was a shill (Boy did I learn otherwise some time after that although he tore this one a new asshole) so I dropped some dough and here's what I thought about the flick. "I recall reading XXX's Review of this one last year and put off getting it until it was on sale (cheap). I had seen the mainstream movie it was seemingly based on, Sliding Doors, and thought that a porn version should be easy to make. The fact that it had both Kylie Ireland and TJ Hart made this a must watch, even with the low rating it received. The movie tells the tale of a woman, Shayla, whose life changes over a minor decision in her life. We get to see what would've happened if she hadn't changed and what would happen if she had changed. The concept is fairly simple and one we can all relate to. "What if I had only________?" is a question that most thinking adults ask themselves from time to time. It is the basis for a large body of literature in all cultures for good reason. Even on pop culture TV shows like The Twilight Zone, the question was asked-and answered-in a variety of entertaining ways. Done properly, a show that explores this question is almost a guaranteed winner. Unfortunately, 69th Parallel was not the best example of the genre. I have no doubt that if Bud were given a decent script, some decent acting talent, and a bit longer to film than most porn shoots, he'd be able to make a series of movies that looked at this question which would be great. The problem here was the entire movie looked to be shot in a day with only passable talent and a humdrum script. The sex suffered too due, in part, to the editing and lack of chemistry. Here's a breakdown of the scenes:"

Scene One: TJ Hart and Randy Spears have sex on a couch by a window that overlooks a beautiful valley. TJ is a good looking woman with high cheekbones and a nice ass. This wasn't her best scene sexually but at least she looked good. The sex was only fair due to a lack of chemistry.

Scene Two: Kylie Ireland, a personal favorite who always looks great, had sex with Kyle Stone in bed. The scene was interrupted by editing, something Bud needs to work on, but was still warm.

Scene Three: Shayla LaVeaux, with very pretty eyes, screws Steve Hatcher in the kitchen than takes it outside. The technical qualities suffered in this scene and the sex seemed mechanical and short. The colors were off as was the audio.

Scene Four: Kylie Ireland and Elle Devyne have sex while Kyle Stone watches. He then joins in and Elle gets some anal. I liked the scene for Kylie but the heat was minimal here-it was as if Kylie was holding back for some unknown reason.

Scene Five: This was the big orgy scene with TJ Hart, Shayla LaVeaux, Coral Sands, Alec Metro and Steve Hatcher at a swinger party. Orgies are difficult to get right in a porn movie and Bud almost made this one work but I sense that the time constraints of a porn movie again worked against him here. It had some heat but not enough to make this a worthy purchase for anyone not a fan of a performer.

Summary: 69th Parallel was not the best movie off the assembly line (as a couple of their directors called it a few years back) of Adam & Eve. My original assessment was harsh, but accurate: "The movie is an example of a lost opportunity itself. I know that in porn, a director isn't supposed to worry about the story so much as the sex. I think Bud tried hard to maintain both a plot and the sex but fell short on each. Had the story been a bit more developed, it could've been a winner just as much as the sex might've been hotter had the cast appeared to have more chemistry. For fans of a performer or two, you may have enough reason to pick this one up as a bargain bin DVD. On the lower end of what you can find this one for, there may be enough value for a fan to pick this one up but only if you like some of the cast as much as I do. Most people will want to Skip It though since the lack of quality shined like a beacon in the night, almost heralding the impending doom given the problems here. Note to Adam & Eve: While this isn't your strongest effort, it is better than some of your other old releases like The Other Woman. Since this is regularly on sale for under $10, it's not the worst deal and it serves as an example to show how newer Premium titles like Emerald Rain or even A Witch's Tail, have proven your commitment to improving your product. Thanks!"

This Don Houston "retro-review" was written long ago before the so-called Professor of Porn had much experience writing reviews. Since that time, he has found Adam & Eve to have a lot of good releases and seen more porn than almost anyone reviewing on the internet. Keep in mind that his comments accurately reflected his fresh viewpoint of the time he first saw the movie.

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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