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Studio: Vivid » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 10/31/05

XCritic's Advice: Recommended


Vivid Entertainment

Genre: Vignette

Director: B. Skow

Cast: Monique Alexander, Anthony Hardwood, Tommy Gunn, Jada Fire, Angel Eyes, John E. Depth, Lanny Barby, Ben English, Flower Tucci, Vanessa Lane, Christian XXX, Jerry, Trina Michaels, Gabriella Banks, Buster Good, Barry Scott, Reno, Marcus London, Evan Stone, John Strong
Non-sex role by Lee Garland; others uncredited

Length: 120.5 minutes

Date of Production: 6/13/2005

Extra's: For me, the best extra made exclusively for the movie was a 33 minute long Behind the Scenes feature by Ben Hoffman (better known as Hot Rod Hank or Vic Alpine). It gave the cast and crew a chance to talk about themselves and the movie although I would've liked a better ID on the men. Most people will prefer the five bonus scenes as the best extra but since they weren't made for this release, I wasn't as enthusiastic about them. They were mostly good scenes but only one of them starred Lanny Barby so you can appreciate my position I'm sure. There was a short biography on Lanny, some trailers, photogalleries, a positions room, a double sided DVD cover, and some forced spam at the front of the DVD (as well as some ads for Vivid products from their website- at least the book looked interesting).

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: Circus was presented in the original 1.33:1 ratio full frame color it was shot in by director B. Skow for Vivid Entertainment. Like his last work, The End Game, the fleshtones were superior and the lighting almost always very solid. This minimized the grain in most cases and offered up a clear view of the action between the performers. There were some noticeable compression artifacts at times, with a bit of pixelation to be seen early on in the movie but it wasn't something that stayed throughout the show. The composition of the shots was done well enough to enhance the look of the gals, sometimes relying on a voyeuristic angle but typically going into a straight forward set of shots. Whatever limitations I saw seemed to be related to the DVD mastering rather than original direction but that's as much a guess as anything. The audio was presented in the standard 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo with English as the language of choice. There wasn't a lot of separation to the channels but my biggest concern was that the vocals were drowned out in favor of the loud music. I like hearing the cast bone and groan more than droning music so this wasn't the big seller for me.

-- sponsored by --

Body of Review: Director B. Skow came out of nowhere this past summer and showed what a rookie director can achieve if given a chance to direct a porno. I give kudos to whomever hired him over at Vivid since it's fresh blood like his that will save the company more than relying on the same old style offered up hundreds of times in the past (and this is not a slam on their regular directors but they usually seem unable to deliver the goods unless they're given a big budget these days). His latest release is Circus, something of an homage to Café Flesh as it shows a future world in the year 2050 where the government has attempted to control all things sexually related. A traveling circus comes to the outskirts of town where people can watch live sex acts of varying quality, led by a weird guy played by Lee Garland (the circus master). Here's a quick look at the scenes of the show, noting that this was the feature lead introduction of new Vivid contract gal, Lanny Barby:

Scene One: Monique Alexander, a hotty looking rather fine here, was up first as "ten second Sabrina"; a gal so hot and tight that no man has ever lasted more than ten seconds with her. She took on audience member Anthony Hardwood and he stuck it in her but popped in under ten seconds so the as he was kicked off the stage in embarrassment, the muscular Tommy Gunn was brought in to "tame the twat". She went right to work on his knob, slobbering all over it like crazy as she left streamers all over the place, working him into a state of readiness. He returned the favor of the flavor, sucking on her pussy and fingering it to prepare it for the coming action. He boned away at her tight vagina for awhile before jerking out a load to her chest but she sucked him off at close out nicely in this chemistry filled warm scene.

Scene Two: Jada Fire and Angel Eyes, two of the more popular black gals in porn these days, were up next with John E. Depth; a guy with a rather large penis on the second stage of the circus. They double teamed him orally, sharing him as able and alternating kissing him, before he in a little tasting of his own. This didn't last long however and he was boning away on them in no time at all. He did get some ass out of the deal but most of the scene was focused on the pussy pounding you'd expect to see. The facial wasn't very special but I'm not really a fan of these three either so your mileage may vary according to your personal tastes.

Scene Three: Lanny Barby, the hotty on the front DVD cover and latest Vivid contract gal, was up next in a scene with Ben English. She wore the purple satin bikini as on the cover and she looked as good (if not better) than I've ever seen her in the past. Her firm ass, curvy figure and gorgeous face all combined to give her a look I wanted to know better so it was no wonder that when she started impaling her mouth on his shaft, the heat was evident. They did a 69 before getting truly into the oral on her part. There was so powerful titty fucking and I was sure she was trying to blow him to completion but he held out longer than I would have and was soon tearing into her pussy, and then ass, like he was on fire. I think Vivid just proved they made a wise choice with this contract given how solid the scene was (and she's only just begun). He finished up by rubbing out a load on her mouth that she never shied away from. Whew!

Scene Four: Flower Tucci, a gal seen all over the place since leaving her early work with Seymore Butts behind, was billed as a gal who could turn on the waterworks after she pranced up on the stage. Her ample ass was heavenly looking and aside from makeup that was too overdone, she was in fine form here. Sadly, this was just a solo masturbation scene where she pissed (some would say "squirt") all over the stage as she jilled herself with a vibrator and glass dildo. It was still interesting to watch and I have to credit the director with taking a chance by straying off the beaten path here.

Scene Five: Vanessa Lane, looking exceptionally lean as she showed off her gymnastic abilities on stage, proved to be a fitting act to participate in the circus as she did splits and other forms of acrobatic daring do that I've never seen of her in the past. Sexually, she took on both Christian XXX and Jerry, blowing both of them one after the other as she went back and forth on their shafts. Fans of armpit fucking will want to know that she did one that way while the other jammed his penis down her throat but that was just the warm-up with the young gal. She did vaginal and anal although no DPs this time, in a scene that approached Lanny's for sheer determination and skill combined with heat. They whacked out loads to her face and she smiled the whole time. Yum!

Scene Six: Trina Michaels and Gabriella Banks, were up next in a scene that included Buster Good, Barry Scott, Reno, and Marcus London, with Trina being led out on stage by Gabriella to service the men. Both gals joined in though (a good idea) and after some serious sucking of cock, they started riding the men (one way or another) like there'd be no tomorrow. Trina did anal here and bounced around from partner to partner as her pal sucked them off nicely. It wasn't my favorite scene but it had some replay value for me and ended with a lot of swallowing action not generally typical for a Vivid movie.

Scene Seven: Lanny Barby, the hot young lead of the movie, was up once more as the lead character of the movie. Her partners were the mighty Evan Stone and muscular John Strong, as she came out in a simple black sequined bikini to show her skill wasn't centered on a costume so much as her internal heat generating capacity. The tease footage of her slowly jerking them off before blowing them was pretty tantalizing but the playfulness all three showed helped make the scene especially heated in my opinion. Evan went down on her so he got to tap that sweet pussy first with John waiting for some anal pummeling on her as she reversed her position. She looked great here and while it wasn't her most energetic scene, I again saw why she was picked to be a contract star for the company. She took a load to her face and one to her abdomen for those who care but I look forward to seeing more of her in the future.

Summary: Circus was another feather in Vivid's cap in terms of presenting a cast of attractive women having a variety of sexual practices for your viewing pleasure. Sure, there were aspects I'd have done differently, but overall it made for some heated moments that I believe would last more than average in terms of replay value. Essentially, it had high stroke value as Vivid once again proved their many critics wrong in terms of what kind of sex they provide. The anal was often as solid as you'll find on any feature, the oral was off the charts in a few cases, and the mere presence of Lanny and Monique elevated it a notch higher on their own. I'm going to rate this one as Recommended for those of you into the fine cast but check it out since you might find them more appealing than they've been in the recent past elsewhere.

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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