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Open Set

Studio: Vivid » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 6/24/06

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Open Set (Lanny Barby)

Vivid Entertainment

Genre: Vignette

Director: Chi Chi LaRue

Cast: Lanny Barby, Jack Venice, TJ Hart, Jean Val Jean, Vivian West, Talon, Jenaveve Jolie, Eric Masterson, Marcos Leon

Length: 101 minutes

Date of Production: 9/13/2005

Extras: The best extra for me was the 13 minute long Behind the Scenes feature by Nate Liquor. It showed lots of Lanny and a fair amount of sex and playfulness of the set. I can't stress enough that such an extra is preferred over edited scenes, lame photogalleries, or cumshot recaps that some companies waste a lot of effort on but this is a preference of mine (new sex scenes and extra sex footage is even better of course but the cost of content of that nature is too high to warrant it according to many in the industry). There was the usual positions room, two photogalleries, spam, a limited biography of Lanny Barby, trailers, a true double sided DVD cover, and five scenes from previous Vivid titles including: Happily Never After starring Briana Banks and Eric Masterson, Third Date with Cheyenne Silver, Ruby, and Chris Cannon, Bare Stage with Savanna Samson and Evan Stone, Emotions with Mercedez and Trevor Zen, and Highway 2 with Dasha and Temptress. Not having seen the movies, I can't say if there were any edits in them so you'll have to check them out for yourselves.

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: Open Set was presented in the usual 1.33:1 ratio full frame color as shot by director Chi Chi LaRue for Vivid Entertainment. In the past, this meant lots of grain and other flaws but the lighting was solid and the picture looked enhanced as a result. The lighting was better than most recent gonzo flicks in fact, causing the picture to have as solid a visual color palate, perfect fleshtones, and lack of grain I have long believed the company was capable of. The composition of the shots was also very fetching but I did take exception to the thematic idea of melding the scenes into one another. Essentially, as one couple would get underway, another would start on a couch or bed nearby, with the real time cameras bouncing between the two ongoing scenes. As one finished up, another would begin, making it a rotating cast that had some merit as an experiment but I would have rather they focus on one couple at a time for best effect. The DVD had not compression artifacts or other noticed flaws though and I can understand the desire to try something new. The audio was presented in the usual 2.0 Dolby Digital English, with droning and loud music covering up the vocals to a large extent. The generic music aside, the vocals seemed to lose synchronization several times and the ability to lower the music would've been greatly appreciated here.

-- sponsored by --

Body of Review: Chi Chi LaRue was a contract director at Vivid Entertainment for a very long time, using the opportunity to hone his craft and experiment with a variety of styles. One of the last movies he made for the company was Open Set, a showcase for the lovely Lanny Barby but also a technique where the sex was one long scene; with a second couple starting midway through the previous one, and a new scene starting when each ended. The cover said it like this: "Shot in real time. Real hot time. Vivid presents the first adult film shot in real time, documenting one of the hottest stars of all time, Lanny Barby. As she prepares for work, which in her case means taking on an entire set filled with veterans and newcomers doing everything from missionary to four facials before sundown. See the drama behind the scenes. Because there's nothing more open than Open Set!" I thought Lanny Barby looked great, perhaps even better than in the past, but the other ladies were hot too. Here's a brief look at the scenes, noting that the condoms used were not obvious in most cases and did not impact the heat of the performers:

Scene One: Lanny Barby, the gorgeous brunette on the front DVD cover, was up first in her skimpy blue dress as she walked along the set to Chi Chi's directions. She came up to Jack Venice and took charge of getting him off, looking as clear as any gonzo I've ever watched her in; a testament to Vivid's promise to improve the technical values of their movies. I could tell you that she looked even better than the cover (those eyes of hers alone could milk out a load) and I could tell you how she has no sexual equal at Vivid but if you've seen her work of late, you'll already know that. She was enthusiastic and energetic, handling the 69 before taking his moderate member into her silken pussy. She teased him a little bit by bouncing on his lap with his cock rubbing her perfect ass, followed by some more oral and a short vaginal ride. TJ Hart walked into the background and started preparing for her scene at this point, watching the couple as she engaged in some sultry tease herself (I've been a fan of hers for a long time). The scenes were mixed into one another so I'll pick up her part in my next bit, noting that Lanny was still screwing with Jack at this point and I disliked the shift away from the starlet, even though I like TJ a lot. They rode each other hard and wet as TJ and Jean went at one another in the nearby bed, showing Lanny as the dominant sexual force of the scene even if the editing and shifting scene weakened her act. Her part was finished with the facial, changing the focus back to TJ.

Scene Two: TJ Hart, horning in on Lanny's scene, had already established herself in the background when pretty boy Jean Val Jean kissed her full on the lips. She started blowing him with all the skill she had developed in her career, sucking his balls and jerking him off in front of the second crew. He went down on her and they eventually screwed. The real time nature of the cameras bouncing between this action and Lanny's weakened this one too but she was showing she still had the level of appeal that could get a jaded old porn reviewer like me off even now. This scene was then interrupted by the next one in the overlapping style established by the theme, and I'll describe that one next. TJ wasn't quite as actively boning Jean as I prefer but watching Vivian masturbate to them gave me similar thoughts. Watching TJ's breasts heave to and fro was hot and the doggy vaginal made me want some from her too. As the scene continued, she did push back on him more and more, losing the interest of Vivian as she went to work herself. Still, it was a more active ride than Vivian, showing why experience trumps youth when all else is equal. It ended when she jerked out his load onto her breasts.

Scene Three: Vivian West, a gal with light hair that reminds me of Jessica Drake with bigger curves, wore a slinky dress as she walked onto the set to play with Talon as TJ's scene continued. After the masturbation, she began blowing Talon handily, engulfing his meatpipe in a playful manner that showed she was a talented force to be reckoned with. I hated her implant scars but her pussy did look tasty and Talon made the best of it when allowed to. He didn't have the same rhythm as Jean (needed work) but as a meat puppet, his sole responsibility is to provide an erection according to some. As TJ and Jean walked away, Jenaveve and Eric took their places but Vivian continued working on Talon as though nothing changed. She jerked him off some more and then bent over for some doggy as the other couple got into their act, working up a sweat as they did so. The focus on the Vivid condom boxes on the table punctuated Chi Chi's stance on condoms but the fact is that while Vivian wasn't the best of the flick, she gave a good ride overall, accepting the minimal mouth pop as they finished up.

Scene Four: Jenaveve Jolie, a seriously hot Latina that could suck a golfball through a garden hose from what I've seen, watched Vivian and Talon play; masturbating in her skimpy black & red lingerie as she warmed up for her scene with Eric Masterson. Eric started going down on her after he fingered her to wetness, and as much as I truly appreciate the others in the movie, I have to admit that Jenaveve was the fittest lady of the movie. Her oral was great too and this led to another solid round of screwing, at least after she did some face sitting on Eric's willing face. That was when Lanny came back to work with Marcos, as detailed below. The impaling she gave herself was incredible and while not as special as Lanny's (Lanny makes far fewer movies), she was in top form as she aggressively rode his cock in several positions. It ended when he rubbed out a facial load that she took like a champion.

Scene Five: Lanny Barby, still ripe from her last scene but all cleaned up; came back to work in the shadows with Marcos Leon. By this point, Jenaveve was in full force mode and lost in the act, giving some of the best visuals of the movie. With limited tease, Lanny started letting Marcos poke his pecker between her panties but not in her pussy yet, getting him ready for the action about to take place. This led to another decent blowjob but the back and forth nature of the two scenes occurring simultaneously was weakening to it. His oral to her opened her up to the last active ride of the show with the vocals seeming to be slightly out of synchronization more than ever. Still, her ass flying up and down on his rod gave even a guy like me a morning woody, well into the day, ending with the titty pop of modest proportions.

Summary: Open Set was another fine display of Lanny Barby and her peers having a lot of fun with a different kind of movie. It was essentially a form of gonzo since the cameras were so obvious and director Chi Chi LaRue such a fixture in the background (barking out orders). The amount of quality fuck for the buck transcended my focus on Lanny though and observed the others giving solid performances too, limiting my dislike of the gimmick more than would have been the case with other contract stars. With a couple of minor changes, it would have rated a step higher but it was well worth a rating of Recommended for fans of the ladies (all of them, not just Lanny). If you're looking for circus act sex tricks or something bizarre, look elsewhere but this was not a bad showcase of the ladies.

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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