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Studio: Vivid » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 2/21/06

XCritic's Advice: Watch On Demand


Vivid Entertainment

Genre: Vignette

Director: Eli Cross

Cast: Kylie Ireland, Manuel Ferrara, Briana Banks, Kurt Lockwood, Lauren Phoenix, Julie Night, Evan Stone
Non-sex roles by Eli Cross, Van Cooney, Nic Danger

Length: 107.5 minutes

Date of Production: 5/17/2005 (box); 11/15/2004 (credits)

Extra's: Personally, I enjoy seeing extras made for the movie rather than material made for other releases so I was disappointed that there was no Behind the Scenes feature added in this time (a rarity on a Vivid shoot since the company has long acknowledged the value of such features especially since one was credited in the ending credits to Ben Hoffman). Most of you will likely prefer the five bonus scenes but lead contract performer Briana Banks was in none of them, marking a major shift by Vivid in offering at least semi-related material in the extras section of their DVDs. There were two photogalleries (one starring Briana Banks), a short text biography of Briana Banks, a positions room, trailers for movies like The New Devil In Miss Jones, Who Do You Love?, Extreme Close Up Lexie and Where the Boys Aren't 17, some advertisements (that can be skipped at the front of the DVD thanks to Vivid listening to our pleas), and a true double sided DVD cover.

Condoms: Yes

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Audio/Video Quality: Blush was presented in the usual 1.33:1 ratio full frame color as shot by director Eli Cross for Vivid Entertainment. The lighting was flatter than Eli tends to use and this helped reduce the amount of grain shown (much like he suggested in his scathing comments in a recent commentary) as well as the video noise. The composition of the shots didn't always make the ladies look their best but it was generally competent enough that I wouldn't turn off the movie if I was all horned up. It was definitely a by the numbers shoot though, reminiscent of someone who is still learning his craft, so I give him credit for the improvement he has shown in recent years. The audio was presented in 2.0 Dolby Digital English with no separation between the channels and the vocals plainly understandable if not optimal. The music varied more than a little bit but this is true of many Vivid features so I can't exactly blame Eli for it just because he was the director.

Body of Review: Eli Cross is one of those directors that is still trying to decide what his "style" is so whenever I come across a movie that he has participated in, it seems almost like a giant grab bag for me. I sense that he'll become a talented guy in several niches of porn once he learns to handle all the technical matters of making a movie but he's done a decent job in the past so I applaud that he comes to learn his craft rather than rest of his laurels like so many of his peers. His latest release is a feature for Vivid that allowed him to use his significant other, Kylie Ireland, outside of her than contract with Platinum X Pictures called Blush, a feature porn about a make up artist screwed over by those around her. The cover said: "There's one on every set. The makeup room. Where every scene begins. Where every star "put her face on" and gets ready to face the world of the erotic. A lot happens in that room ... and between the lipstick and the blush and they eyeliner and the highlighter, lives change and girls become women. Join Briana Banks in an intimate peek into the room where it all starts. "Blush." Are you ready to be red?" In all, fans of Briana Banks could do far worse than this one so here's a quick look at the scenes by cast and action for those who care, noting that condoms were used:

Scene One: Hot Alien Space Spunk: Kylie Ireland, the industry icon of performer turned director for females, wore a neon blue wig as part of a role for a porno space show. Her partner was Manuel Ferrara (and these two Platinum X Picture regulars are in a Vivid movie?!?) and he was dressed in the stupidest space alien costume seen this side of 1980 to work with her. She gave him a pretty good blowjob, using her talented tongue and hand to make it all the better, before he took her in his arms to play with her bountiful ass and breasts. This led to him eating her out and fucking both her pussy and ass, though she wasn't as active or aggressive at receiving his offering as I've seen her in the recent past (in her own movies for example). It ended with the facial and some post coital sucking but while it was an okay scene, it wasn't as good as early reports had indicated.

Scene Two: Kill My Stress: Briana Banks, the contract hotty featured on the front DVD cover and generally accepted leader of the old school gals at Vivid these days, was up next with Kurt Lockwood on a bed. He played a loser that thought the world owed him a living so well that I almost forgot it was a role but thankfully she was there to shine despite his performance. She inhaled his cock like it were large and even licked his ass like all his tricks probably do during a 69 with her coming across as energetic and enthusiastic throughout the scene. There was some titty fucking and she rode him in her pussy aggressively while on top with him licking her feet the first chance he was given. It ended with him dropping a small load on her abdomen and sucking him clean though she added far more to the scene than he did.

Scene Three: Where Do We Fuck? Lauren Phoenix, a gal I haven't seen nearly enough of lately, was up next in a lesbian scene with Kylie Ireland that took place in a very familiar dungeon surrounded by brick walls (guess where). The two kissed and ate each other out far more passionately than the gay for pay crowd seems able to do; using toys and tongues as well as hands to get one another off. The two seemed to share a sense of chemistry together that most lesbian pairings fail at all too frequently though it seemed to end too quickly (time flies when you're having fun).

Scene Four: Working Late: Julie Night, a skilled brunette cutie wearing a slutty black outfit, was up next with cheating Kurt Lockwood. Both of these anal queens seemed suited for one another (she's skilled at anal on camera and he's known far and wide as a guy who likes it in the ass, even for money) and her no-hands blowjob was probably as good as any guy could give him though the camera work did make him look a lot smaller here than in the other scene. The two got overheated by the way they were sweating up a storm and he seemed to be having wood troubles in a couple of the positions but she looked like she had some minor fun. The sex was vaginal only this time and it ended when he rubbed out a small load to her face that seemed to dribble out. She's done a whole lot better in the past but she didn't have much to work with so I can't blame her for all of it.

Scene Five: A Penoid Attack: Briana Banks, playing a nurse, was up last in a scene with talented Lauren Phoenix and Evan Stone as part of the porno. Briana went down on Lauren while Evan went down on her, both enjoying the taste of clam more than most would. The ladies then took turns slobbing his knob in a hardy manner, with each showing lots of skill and chemistry this time. He then took turns screwing them both, seeing some PTM action in between, before blowing a decent load onto Lauren's face for sharing with Briana. It was a good scene with a lot to enjoy repeatedly even if you aren't a fan of Briana's though it wasn't the most hardcore action you'll find from any of the trio.

Summary: Blush had some very warm action by a few of the cast members, especially Briana Banks though a variety of factors limited the rating to a Rent It for me. If you are a fan of hers though, you'll definitely want to pick up your own copy because she was a highlight of the movie, even if not at her very best level of performance in my book. The movie itself appeared to be almost a test to see if Eli Cross were suitable as a director for the company but this is based on speculation since I've seen many others tested in such a manner in the past (some failing and others getting the nod for a limited amount of time). While I think he might eventually be a good choice for the company, at this time I think he wants to learn more about gonzo sex shooting given his commentary track for Kylie's most recent release at PXP. Still, if you want to see a lesser effort starring Briana, this wasn't a bad show, just more limited than it could have been. Heck, I almost expected it to be directed by Chuck Lords given the overall style. My only real questions would be what happened to the Behind the Scenes feature listed in the credits and if it was deleted over comments made by Eli towards Vivid Entertainment.

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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