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Studio: Digital Playground » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 8/24/06

XCritic's Advice: Highly Recommended


Digital Playground/Handheld Pictures

Genre: Gonzo, POV

Director: Robby D.

Cast: Krystal Steal, Scott Nails, Naomi, Riley Shy, Amy Ried; Jana Cova (bonus scenes only)

Length: 123 minutes

Date of Production: 7/31/2004 to 6/11/2006

Extras: Jana Cova supplied the best extras in recent memory for the show with a series of 7 short tease scenes of varying length. According to her, they were shot about two years ago, well before she became a contract performer, by director Robby D. in the full frame format. Given that Digital Playground generally puts most of their resources into their movies and not the extras, this was a quantum leap forward that I truly appreciated since offering up the better part of 50 minutes with tease footage (not a frame seemed without merit too) of the lovely lass is almost unheard of in terms of adding value for fans. In terms of how much Jana was offered up, this compared favorably with Porcelain, the movie she was showcased in not long ago and that marks it as a must have for any of her fans. That said, here's a quick look at the individual scenes with the running times as I emailed them to Jana this morning for background details:
1) You walking up the stairs in a short pleated black skirt and white knee socks, Robby telling you to pull your ass cheeks apart (telling you it was perfect by the glass staircase) and then you pushed your ass cheeks against the glass. 7:08
2) In the red themed kitchen wearing white underwear that fully covers your ass, you being told to pull the undies down and then back up to prop up your cheeks; Robby tapping you with his wooden paddle 9:45
3) You in a black, form fitting outfit (it looked like a scuba outfit), that barely covered the bottom of your ass. It had a lot of zippers on it, including ones by your breasts that were let down and you wore back rhinestone studded shoes 9:08
4) You were in bondage gear struggling, purple ball in your mouth and hands behind your back on your knees. Robby used a clear plastic paddle on you that you licked a few times. 7:12
5) You in pink polka dotted panties wearing some outlandish pink glasses with sparklies on the frame by a blue couch. You had pink shoes on and stood by the stairs a bunch as you teased the camera 7:23
6) This was the oiling up scene. All you wore was some tall black stripper shoes. As a fan of gals getting oiled up, I found this to be especially heated. Whew... 4:18
7) You started off blindfolded and sucked on a large black dildo (mentioning "so they know it's a toy") before taking it off 3:03

-- sponsored by --

The other extras were the usual photogallery, slide show, and trailers to Hard Candy 2 and Ass Addiction (none for shows like Peek: Diary of a Voyeur, Jack's Playground 31, Sexual Freak, My First Porn 6, Jack's Teen America 14, Hot Rod For Sinners, Control 3, Deeper 2, POV 3, POV 2, Hard Candy, Deeper, Jack's POV, Jack's Big Ass Show 3, My First Porn 4, Pirates, Island Fever, Jack's Big Tit Show 2, Porcelain, Teen America 13 and numerous trailers to their Virtual Sex line including Virtual Sex with Sophia Santi, Virtual Sex with Teagan Presley, Virtual Sex with Jesse Jane, and Virtual Sex with Nikki Tyler).

Condoms: One

Audio/Video Quality: Throb was presented in 1.85: anamorphic widescreen color as shot by director Robby D. for his own company, Handheld Pictures, for distribution by Digital Playground. The visual elements of the movie were consciously designed to look as they did with a slightly rough look to support the thematic concept of the show. The flesh tones were accurate, the composition of the shots very well done, and all the lighting suited the ladies in their respective scenes. The DVD was mastering allowed for no compression artifacts to be observed and no video noise popped up, completing a very nice visual presentation that worked all around. The audio was presented in a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround with a minimalist leaning that seemed unique in most ways. This time, the decision to use vocals more extensively worked in favor of the movie as the ladies all seemed comfortable enhancing their scenes with the use of dirty talk and lots of moaning with Robby guiding some of them more than others by whispering commands. I think Robby and Nick P. did a fine job editing the sound and visual aspects to merge the production into a coherent whole that ramped up the replay and stroke value more than a little bit.

Body of Review: Handheld Pictures is the brainchild of director Robby D., known best of late for his quality work at Digital Playground (the company that distributes all the titles for Handheld). The releases he has offered up from the company so far have left the fancy artistic effects behind to allow for him to provide some great footage of some of the hottest gals in porn shot in a POV style. His co-conspirator in the company is the talented editor, audio scrubber, and all around post production specialist Nick P., a man that does so much work behind the scenes that some are calling him the Wizard of Digital Playground (and a chief reason for Robby's success). Together, they eschew the common types of porn to provide no nonsense action that other directors are afraid of (relying on technical skill, an eye for capturing performers at their best, and their ability to "fix" almost anything in post production). Their next title slated for release is Throb, a POV effort that comes out next month that provides lots of heated tease along with some of the finest performances I've seen by the cast (as well as the best extra scenes I've seen this year by the company courtesy of the lovely Jana Cova). If you've enjoyed his other POV movies, you'll be busting many a nut to this one from the looks of it, with only one condom used in the scenes. Here's a look at those scenes by cast and action, keeping in mind that there's a reason why the phrase "elegance through simplicity" is something others in porn need to work on as much as Robby and Nick:

Scene One: Krystal Steal, the curvy gal on the front cover (and former Club Jenna contract star), was up first as she spoke with Robby about stripping in his home. He had added a stripper pole for just such an occasion and after she peeled off her clothing, she put on something more appropriate to the situation; some tiny red shorts and a black top with silver accessories. This was one time when a lack of a music track seemed a bit off because as appealing as her gyrations were, they didn't quite work as well without some tune to keep the tempo. Thankfully, she then got that look in her eye that said she needed some good hard cock and Scott Nails filled in for Robby (though it was done like the others where he'd talk as though she were working him over). She really took her time slobbing his knob; using her hands, eyes, and mouth, she spit on his shaft and verbally coaxed him as she prepared to mount him. I was surprised there was a condom used but she got really nasty as she started to get off on his rod. Initially, she was too passive but once she went into cowgirl, she changed my mind about the matter when she bounced on him like she never did at her former employer. It took some work for her to go balls deep on his cock but she did and the reward was him rubbing out a large load to her face, just missing her eye with the biggest glob of semen. There was some nice chemistry here and while it wasn't overly consistent, it was a good way to start the movie.

Scene Two: Naomi, the bubble butt babe that many have been busting out about of late, was up next as she teased in her tight blue jean shorts and see though white top on her way to the bedroom upstairs. The camera emphasized her curvy ass and she seemed to be lost in the moment as she wiggled around on the bed with her hair in her face. Robby would feel her up and as she disrobed, I'm sure he was reconsidering his stance on participating in scenes but his stand in, Scott Nails, was the lucky one again (as he was in all the scenes of the movie). The scene offered something different in that she first masturbated with a glass dildo (a red & clear swirly one) that she used to breathlessly stretch her ass. The cock was then added and like Krystal before her, she savored the taste of the rod in her mouth, though she picked up the tempo faster and went nuts on it. She did use some limited vocals too ("Do you like your dick sucked?") as the splendid oral switched into an active vaginal ride with Naomi impaling her pussy while grinding her hips much like Ginger Lynn used to do in her prime. This became an anal ride where she slowed down a bit but still was the active partner of the scene ("Do you like it in my little asshole?") as she worked herself up and down on his cock. There were some more positions and she took the facial well, sucking him off post coitally for good measure.

Scene Three: Riley Shy, a leaner gal with red hair and pretty eyes, was up next as she playfully took off her lime green top to reveal her perfect little titties though this time it was clearly Scott Nails feeling her up. Her tight blue jeans lasted an extra moment or two but they slowly came off as well, letting him explore the crack of her ass in increasing amounts as she made it clear that she was in charge of the scene between them. As she teased, it was interesting that she had some of her ass hairs (the longer ones around her hole) left intact as he rubbed her pussy when she bent over but this is strictly of interest because most gals are clean shaven down there when making porn. As in a number of Robby's POV scenes, if you turn up the volume, you can hear him giving some instructions; whispering them just loud enough to be heard. She walked around to show off her assets and was some sucking Scott's thumb (and other body parts) on the couch after she asked for "something" else to suck on. She gave the best hummer of her short career; showing lots of energy and chemistry for Scott's throbbing member before he started to pork her from behind. He did all the work until the reverse cowgirl, at which time she rode him with more energy then I recall she ever has in the past. I haven't exactly been her biggest fan but she was on fire here and I give her credit for working on her skills so much. The scene ended as predicted with him jerking out a healthy load to her face while sitting over her chest. It looked like she swallowed to me and she continued to suck him off long after he was finished. I wasn't sure about her place in the movie at first but my mind was certainly changed by the end of the scene.

Scene Four: Amy Ried, a very attractive gal with a hot little body that left porn recently, was up next as she changed her clothing in the make up area of the stylish bathroom. The dark blue outfit worked best for me given how skimpy it was though there was something about her tiny Hello Kitty shorts that worked too. The scene was initially shot in voyeur-cam until she discovered him and called him out on it as she was embarrassed. She jumped on the bed to hide from the camera and Robby coaxed her into playing with him a little more, Scott Nails filling the role of the pawing pervert while she slowly came around. She played with herself a little but that didn't last long as she wanted to suck his cock fairly bad (whenever a gal makes purring noises and grabs for your cock, run with it sport). She gave some good head that fully utilized her mouth, eye contact, and hands though it should be mentioned that she didn't suck too far down the shaft. Still, I can see why so many people thought of her as an oral princess for her talents and her vaginal riding skills continued to impress me as to how active she could be. This led to some footjob action for the fetish crowd (she jerked him off with her feet) and then back to her pussy before he busted a nut on her face. The ending doggy proved she could actively pump back on a cock when she wanted to and she was no cum dodger, with the chemistry and playfulness displayed making it one of her finer scenes.

Summary: Throb was another point of view (POV) extravaganza by Robby D. for Handheld Pictures that emphasized the women rather than his own directing style. Too many of his peers in the industry have the delusion that they are making art, resulting in watered down scenes that often greatly limit the strokability of the action far below the potential of the ladies working their assets on camera so it's nice when you get someone that drops the pretense and offers up something substantially more real as he did with this movie. The rough edges were part and parcel of the program but managed to increase the stroke factor by letting the performers provide their very best performances, elevating Throb to the level needed for being considered Highly Recommended. In short, the strokability, the replay value, and the levels of fuck for the buck once again establish director Robby D. as a man ahead of his time, showing that not all porn has to be the same old stuff. Throb works on so many levels that it's destined to become a classic for the POV fans, elevating the bar yet again for others to aspire to. Fans of the lovely Jana Cova should also be especially happy given the fact that her scenes were shot well before she became a contract gal, providing more of her than in almost any other release to date.

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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