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Studio: Wicked Pictures » Review by Disco Dirge » Review Date: 6/1/06

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Genre: Straight Feature
Director: David Stanley
Cast:: Kristen Price, Brooke Haven, Jenna Presley, Kelly Kline, Lacie Heart, Chris Cannon, Evan Stone, Ross Severance, Tony Tedeschi
Length: 95 mins
Production Date: 2005

In a Nutshell - Call It 'Almost' Neo Noir
David Stanley is one of the most consistent directors working in porn today. His films always have a cinematic feel, and he is constantly experimenting with mood, atmosphere, tone and style to provide unique and visually interesting XXX material. Duality is no different, proffering itself as a kind of 'neo noir' experiment in sex. There are lots of shadowy set-ups, and the 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen image is soft and ethereal. There seems to be a slight switch to a more crisp imagery during the hardcore, but overall, the transfer here is terrific.

In a Nutshell - A Treasure Trove of Worthwhile Material
Aside from being prolific, Stanley is also very personable, and this comes through loud and clear in the Behind the Scene bonus material included on the DVD. While much of the footage we see revolves around the performers preparing for their sex scenes, Stanley is present to make jokes and add explanation. He is particularly smitten with Brooke Haven, and they have a funny exchange prior to her coupling with Tony Tedesci. Even better is an additional hardcore helping featuring stars Kristen Price and Chris Cannon (taken from Country Style). Steaming up the screen, our couple plows through some Foreplay, Oral, Doggy, Reverse Cowgirl and Pile Driver before our "Cannon" unloads his dong draft directly into Ms. Price's mouth. It is definitely a porno portent of things to come. With the rest of the standard DVD material - making-of, bloopers, trailers, galleries - we end up with an excellent overall package.

First Impressions:
Actors are always stealing scenes. It is part of the nature of performing. Whether it's because they are more in touch with the material than the rest of the cast, or perhaps they are simply more skilled, cinematic one-upsmanship is nothing new – unless you're talking about porn. In the adult industry, it is rare that one individual can totally dominate a film. Because the pairings are created for mostly fuck and suck reasons, acting ability and personality usually play a very, VERY minor role in the preparation of a production. Well, Duality defies this description as it features not just one, but TWO of the finest thespian performances the Dirge has seen in a very long time. First up is that aging surfer stud, Evan Stone. Always a dependable adult star, his role here as a strange, smooth talking co-worker and pal to Chris Cannon is astounding. Offering up bizarre line readings, personality quirks and an overall sly nodding and winking to the camera, he leaves the rest of the cast in his wicked wake…except for star Kirsten Davis. Stanley makes the potential mistake here of making his female lead "a former drama major", meaning we are supposed to buy her acting chops. Interestingly enough, Kristen really delivers. She has a kind of genial jaded quality that really comes across on camera. She can be perky and yet seems to be hiding something behind her expressive eyes. Both she and Stone deliver Duality from it's standard storyline (married couple contemplate cheating as a way to spice up their mundane marital bed) and, yes, steal every scene they are in.

The Sex Scenes:

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Another thing that Stanley is good at is making the mandated XXX material inventive and different – both terms applying equally well to the hardcore here. A couple of pops occur thanks to hand and/or foot manipulation only (meaning no penetration) and the major sex scenes are limited in their positional scope and aggressiveness. Stanley is obviously trying for something more sensual and less sensational, avoiding the ersatz gonzo that many so-called straight features find themselves slipping into nowadays. He wants to explore passion and the erotic, not how many cocks an actress can take. This means that some smut fans will find the action here rather sedate. But if you look beyond the balling and experience the emotion, you'll see what Stanley is striving for.

Scene 1: Kristen Price, Chris Cannon
Acts Performed: Hand Job, Foot Job, Tit Fucking, Shot on Tits
Score: 2 out of 5
Our first scene up is also the DVD's most unusual. Chris Cannon takes an incredibly long shower (over the credits) and we learn that his wife, Kristen, has a series of sexual hang-ups. She won't blow him until he bathes, and today her excuse is that her jaw hurts. Overall she is highly germophobic. Therefore, when he horny hubby approaches, she offers him a hand job, which turns into a foot job, ending with some minor tit work before the money moment. It's an intriguing scene, something we don't usually see in hardcore. Instead of satisfying the man by any means necessary, Stanley and his actors are looking for something more realistic. The scene does play out like something couples typically experience, and the overall effect is sultry, with just a slight amount of sizzle.

Scene 2: Lacie Heart, Evan Stone
Acts Performed: Foreplay, 69, Face Fucking, Deep Throating, Ball Action, Mish, Pile Driver, Doggy, $hot in Mouth
Score: 3 out of 5
Anyone looking for the bad ass balling that XXX films can deliver need look no further than this steamy scene between Ms. Heart and Mr. Stone. It is one of those rare occasions where the actors lock in to the lewdness and forget that the camera is rolling. Lacie argues for her place in the oral pantheon by deep throating Evan's massive meat, and even gives his nuts a little naughty attention along the way. The fucking is forceful without being abusive, and the whole sequence has a passionate, provocative quality. Overall, this is the best bit of balling in the entire film, and argues for potency over positions in the how-to of successful hardcore.

Scene 3: Kelly Kline, Ross Sevrance
Acts Performed: Blowjob, Doggy, Mish, $hot on Cunt
Score: 2 out of 5
As part of a memorable massage, Kelly and Ross do the basic bone bush boogie. It is a short scene, nothing memorable or misguided. The couple connects, they do the bare minimum when it comes to carnality, and then the pop arrives. Coming on the heels of the Heart/Stone set piece, this sequence is a fairly large letdown. Aside from the girl/girl action, which the Dirge ALWAYS finds dull, this is the least effective section of the film.

Scene 4: Brooke Haven, Tony Tedeschi
Acts Performed: Blowjob, Ball Action, Cunnilingus, Salad Tossing, Doggy, Scissors, Tit Fucking, $hot on Tits
Score: 3 out of 5
As part of an old fashioned porno utilized by Kristen to get Chris all hot and bothered, we get an attempted throwback moment featuring Brooke and Tony. The Dirge has to step in and say that Ms. Haven has a very disorienting boob job. Her overstuffed skin stacks stand off her torso at completely odd angles and never give the illusion of authenticity. They don't stop her from being a beast in the sack, and if you like your women more plastic than fantastic, she's definitely a dish. Besides, it doesn't affect the Eros. This pair porks up a storm, and along with Scene 2, represents the best that Duality has to offer.

Scene 5: Jenna Presley, Kristen Price, Kelly Kline, Evan Stone
Acts Performed: Girl on Girl Action, Large Dildo Fucking, Hand Job, $hot on Hand
Score: 2 out of 5
As part of a stage show, Evan gets a hand job from Kelly. This means that all throughout the gal-gal grinding between Kristen and Jenna, we cut to Mr. Stone getting his hosepipe played with. It can be distracting for those who really get into their lesbianism. After all, nothing has the potential to scuttle your Sappho shenanigans better than some guy's dong doing the palm tango. Even with the consistent interruptions, this is still an above-average slice of same sex spelunking. The massive toys used by both performers really help the heat as well.

Scene 6: Kristen Price, Chris Cannon
Acts Performed: Cunnilingus, Fingering, V to M, Mish, Doggy, $hot in Mouth
Score: 3 out of 5
For the final emotional moment when our onscreen couple finally solves their personal problems and fuck like fools, there is not a lot of emotional resonance here. The main reason for this is male lead Chris Cannon. Not really much more than a decent dude with a big dick, his personality all throughout Duality has been distant and distracted. To believe him now as a changed man would take a suspension of disbelief that not even someone like Steven Spielberg could salvage. While Kristen is a minx, really turning up the fuck and suck fire, what could have been sensational ends up as merely good.

Disco Dirge Peter Meter Rating: 3 out of 5 (Recommended
Cohabitation Certification: Granted
Because of the performances of Evan Stone and Kirsten Price, because director David Stanley consistently delivers cinematic sex, because Wicked offers plenty of added content bang for the buck, the Dirge has no choice but to give a rating of Recommended to Duality. It is not the greatest XXX title out there, but it does offer up pure passionate sex. Couples will enjoy the level of emotional connection, meaning the movie easily earns a Cohabitation Certification. As the outer edges of the genre push the amateur/gonzo limits, companies like Wicked keep moving hardcore toward the mainstream. It will be interesting to see who wins in the end. With filmmakers like David Stanley on their side, the answer seems inevitable.

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