Cast: Katie Morgan, Destiny St. Claire, Bobbi Dean, Erin Moore, Avy Lee Roth, Malibu, Gen Padova, Lain Oi, Shannon Adams, Alexis Malone, Cassie Courtland
Length: 95.5 minutes
Dates of Production: 7/30/2004 to 12/14/2004 and 4/8/2005
Extras: The only extras would be a double sided DVD cover and some trailers. While not much, at least it was a step in the right direction.
Audio/Video Quality: High Def Lesbians 1 was presented with a choice of a "High Def" version (in WMV-HD) and a standard version that would play on any regular DVD player manufactured at this time. The High Def version does not refer to the upcoming HD-DVD or Blu-Ray DVD systems but a somewhat intermediate step in the evolution of the quality wars we'll be seeing all too soon. The most common way to play such a DVD would be with a very specialized player or through the use of Windows Media Player 9.0 or above (which was what I watched the better quality picture in). The company said this about the computer requirements of this version: "The recommended Minimum Requirements for playback in High Def from a computer are: Windows XP or Media Center Edition or newer Operating System; CPU: Intel 2.5 GHz or AMD XP2200+ or higher; 4x AGP video - NVidia or ATI with at least 64Mb RAM or more plus the latest drivers updates; Screen resolution of at least 1280x1024 (or 1280x720 if you have a 16x9 monitor); and ... Windows Media 9 Player is required." My computer exceeded those standards by a healthy margin and it seemed like it played okay all of the time, unlike a few of the other releases I've reviewed this week from the company. This being the fifth release by High Def Home Entertainment, I was hoping for some improvement on the 16:9 anamorphic widescreen picture (aspect ratio of 1.85:1) and I'm glad I stuck with it since the WMV-HD version played just fine. Technically though, the lighting was low in most scenes so the colors looked artificially saturated and too dark with some grain and minor video noise issues and if a more capable director had been in charge, I think it might've looked really good. The composition of the shots made it look like the director was unsure of what worked and what didn't but I give him (or her) some credit for trying a few new things, like the black lighting sequence between Lain and Gen in scene four. The 2.0 Dolby Digital English stereo track was decent enough if you like generic couples music playing but there didn't seem to be any separation between the channels and the vocals were limited in each scene, often sounding as though dubbed in at a later date. There were attempts made to tailor the music to the individual scenes but most of it still sounded like generic porn music to me.
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Body of Review: High Def Home Entertainment is making waves by offering a number of higher than average resolution scenes in porn compared to most of what you'll currently find on DVD. They still need to find a crew that can handle all the other facets of making porn so that the additional resolution isn't lost to other factors but they've been getting better with time. Today's review of High Def Lesbians 1 is a case in point; like other lesbian movies on the market (WTBA #17 and Girls Love Girls come to mind first), the action typically varies according to how well the gals seem to "fit" together and that means all the technical prowess in the world can't save an otherwise mediocre scene. Thankfully, some care appears to have been taken in casting gals that wanted to work together so the resulting chemistry and passion were typically well handled. Here's a quick breakdown of the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were needed since no men were in the scenes:
Scene One: Katie Morgan, the cute little blonde on the top part of the front DVD cover, and brunette Destiny St. Claire, located on the upper right hand corner, were up first as the gals celebrated a new job by trying on numerous sexy outfits in a bedroom. Destiny was trying to seduce Katie and eventually, she did so on the nearby bed as the two sipped champagne. Katie wasn't shy about enjoying her new friend's curvy figure either and the two seemed to get along just fine as they kissed, rubbed, and licked one another all over. I still wish Katie had not gotten the implants but it looked like she was getting rid of her breast tattoo here so the two balanced out a little bit. The scene was interesting on one level in that it did not use sex toys as the gals rubbed their crotches together repeatedly instead. They showed some minor chemistry together but nothing amounting to a whole lot compared to what they've done in the past (with others).
Scene Two: Bobbi Dean and Erin Moore, the couple of bleach blondes on the lower right hand corner of the front DVD cover, were up next as the two hung out on a bed watching porn together and criticizing it like they were reviewers. This led them to exploring each other's bodies after a discussion of what breasts, real and fake, feel like though there wasn't anything to compare to since both gals had real chests here. As they kissed and fondled one another, the thing that stuck out at me the most was how they seemed to be a little nervous at working with one another. This slight apprehension enhanced the mood for me more than a little bit even though I knew they had done other gals in the past (so the problem wasn't one of being gay for pay). They masturbated beside one another, tasted each other more than a few times, and provided another toys free scene to enjoy. While neither gal is on my top ten lesbian porn performer list, they seemed to get off here and the resulting chemistry was solid.
Scene Three: Avy Lee Roth, the brunette on the front cover's lower left hand corner, and scene partner Malibu, the bleach blonde standing beside her, were up next after drinking tequila shots together in the dark. This led to them using the kitchen table for eating something other than food, as the couple followed the formula well enough here. They didn't spend a much time fondling one another as they did going down to eat at the "Y", with the camera using many close up shots that were slightly out of focus. They did use a vibrator for some pussy penetrating power but it seemed to be almost an afterthought of the couple, weakening the otherwise decent scene a bit more than I liked it to. I was glad they eventually retried to the bedroom where they could focus more on the fun than the hardwood table would allow but in all, Avy was not nearly at her best this time (I'm less familiar with Malibu).
Scene Four: Gen Padova and Lain Oi, the only two gals not seen in some form or other on the front DVD cover, were up next in what appeared to be an experimental scene that used black light and body paint. I've seen very few scenes lit this way as most cameras can't handle the dynamics very well, and the multitudes of colors collided with the couple as they kissed, rubbed, and jilled each other silly. This was the only scene that relied completely on the droning music so it was weaker than average in that sense but visually, it had more than a bit of appeal to me. In that sense, it also worked well for the couple since neither of them are what is typically referred to as classic beauties (at least in the skin deep sense) but I got the impression that they had fun with each other and only used the vibrator sparingly to enhance the scene rather than rely too heavily on it.
Scene Five: Shannon Adams, Alexis Malone, and Cassie Courtland, as seen in the faded middle of the front DVD cover, were up last in another scene that used no vocals to convey a sense of chemistry or passion. The lighting was far flatter than most of the other scenes (especially Gen and Lain's scene a moment before) but the camera appeared to either be using a filter or left purposely just out of focus and I really didn't understand why since all three of them were very attractive and not in need of such a special effect. In any case, they followed the basic formula as they kissed, sucked and played with one another on a large bed, even doing some foot fetish stuff for fans. They used a few sex toys, more than any of the other scenes in fact, as they orally pleased their partners (the long double headed dildo was a bit much in my estimation though). Still, a relatively decent scene in terms of heat and chemistry, hampered by the lack of most of the vocals (they were drowned out by the music).
Summary: High Def Lesbians 1 wasn't exactly a barn burner in terms of providing something substantially new to porn but the scenes were fun to watch and I thought the gals were having fun. This gave them some replay value missing in many other titles available on the market and fans of lesbian porn will probably want to think of this one as worthy of being Recommended thanks to the better qualities it had to offer. There were some weak extras this time, a change from the bare bones releases by HDHE in the past, and hopefully the trend will continue though I'm sure the Panasonic HD Varicam used to capture the scenes helped provide the kind of resolution that later versions of this one will show as even better looking (when released on Blu-Ray and/or HD-DVD). If you're looking for really hardcore lesbian antics (by that, I mean the kind of circus act sex you'll find in one of Belladonna's more than the easier going material found in either WTBA #17 or Girls Love Girls), look elsewhere but this had a lot of potential in terms of stroking value with some nice replay value to enhance it.
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