Cast: Jesse Jane, Jenna Jameson, Greg Fitzsimmons, DJ Quik, Hedley, and just about every performer in porn worth a darn if you include the clips, the presenters, the audience shots, nominees and winners of the awards
Length: 109.5 minutes
Date of Production: 1/7/2006
Extra's: The award show itself was under two hours but there was an extra disc devoted solely to the extras here, a marked difference from the last time I got to review the show's official disc (way back in my 2003 AVN Awards by VCA). The 5.5 minute photogallery provided a selection of nice shots derived mostly from the red carpet area of the infamous walkway and the list of 82 additional award winners wasn't bad except there were no clips or presentations, just box covers and some stills during the 14 minutes. I especially liked the red carpet extra that lasted 26 minutes; hosted primarily by the lovely Jessica Drake though Kirsten Price and Stefani Morgan were present in lesser amounts. Tim Sabo was the lead director and it took on the form of the usual E! Entertainment cable type of presentation as the ladies spoke with numerous performers and industry bigwigs. This was followed by a 41.5 minute long Behind the Scenes extra that spent much of the time with the setting up and photoshoots behind the Playboy and AVN marquee. It added to the fun of the show although there was so much more than could have been done with the concept. Still, along with the true double sided DVD cover, the extras on disc were good for fans and added some nice value.
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Audio/Video Quality: The 2006 AVN Awards Show was presented in the usual 1.33:1 ratio full frame color as shot by director Gary Miller (who also co-wrote the show) for release by Spice Studios. The show itself looked very much like the mainstream Academy Awards but with far better looking women in skimpier outfits. The lighting was flat and plentiful, leading to no grain or video noise on the stage as expected. The numerous clips and montage offerings were not as consistent but anyone watching the movies in question will realize that many of them went for different moods or styles so some variations are to be expected on them. In all then, while I would have liked to see more footage of the dancers on stage and a runway session of the night (more than the limited interview version on the extras section), it was a nice selection of highlights with some humorous bits (Randy Spears being the funniest of the lot, especially with Stormy's interactive skit). The audio was presented in the usual 2.0 Dolby Digital and was as clear as expected with no separation or major dynamic range worth mentioning. On a technical level then, the show was as good as you'd expect from a professional crew.
Body of Review: The 2003 AVN Awards DVD I reviewed several years back was a slice of a show I found to be a lot more interesting than those in the industry did from what they've told me. As a fan, seeing the culmination of the year in porn as seen through the official trade magazine's eyes is always kind of interesting which is why I was interested in seeing the latest version of the show, The 2006 AVN Awards Show by Spice Studios. In porn terms, the awards show is the porn version of the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and Emmys all rolled into one. Anyone who's anyone in porn goes to the show (as documented in my 2006 AEE Show write up) and politics about how awards are divvied up aside, the biggest titles tend to win the most awards with the occasional bone tossed to companies to keep the vastly disparate funding levels from letting a handful of companies get it all. This year, the show was hosted by the lovely Jesse Jane along with comic relief by Comedy Central comedian Greg Fitzsimmons.
I remember taking a break from the show on the afternoon of the awards ceremony and getting a bite to eat with one hit wonder Dick Fittswell (also from Houston) in the food court of the Venetian. The place was packed and we ended up sitting down at the only available seats, which happened to be right beside the two hosts of the show as they went through the rather lengthy script. We chatted for a moment and let them get back to work but the amount of work put in to making their performances looked polished was interesting (past shows looked far rougher in terms of the hosts). Jesse is a darling of a lady and while she was somewhat nervous during the performance that night, she seemed more natural than many of her peers as they stumbled with their material and acceptance speeches. I thought the DVD caught that better than could be expected though there were many moments where the winners seemed at a loss, like when Penny Flame took home her trophy for Dark Side, Jules Jordan thanking the people behind his success for titles like Slut Puppies and Ass Worship 7 (while preparing his new studio to leave most of them behind), and new hotties like Sunny Leone that looked good enough to cause a brain malfunction when she walked up on the stage.
Movies like Pirates, Camp Cuddly Pines Powertool Massacre, Dark Angels 2, and The New Devil in Miss Jones, all won numerous awards (for good reason too). The DVD did not go into every category but the main ones were covered with clips from the movies and a winners list at the end was informative; a future extra providing a PDF format list would be cool (even cooler if they linked to out reviews at DVD Talk, at least the ones we covered) or lengthier clips though I know how difficult it must've been to secure the clips shown, never mind full scenes.
The comedy by Greg seemed a little harsh, especially the way he emphasized "porn" in almost every sentence of his routine, and I found it revealing that there were three writers since a close listen to the material made it seem like there were two main writers (the tone of the humor as well as type of jokes made) but this was an area edited the most from the show by all accounts so a true accounting of the humor might be tough to find (most of the attendees seemed a bit socially lubricated by drink or drug, if not the sheer amazement that there is a place where women win awards for their sexual prowess). Regardless, it was like all award shows in how presenters handed out award trophies and the audience hooted and hollered as a result. There was even enough sex to make it strokable if you have a hair trigger but for fans of the performers, especially in a field where the ladies move on so readily, this DVD served as a tribute to the field and those in it, better than you'll find anywhere else.
Summary: The 2006 AVN Awards Show had so much going on that the limited hostess clips of Jesse Jane and her work in Pirates aside, it was worth your hard earned dollars thanks to the levels of fuck for the buck, production qualities, and slice of the porn magic from Las Vegas. I rated it as Highly Recommended largely for the fans and others into seeing all the latest flavors the field has to offer, coming across like a porn primer for the year 2005. In short, while I'd have liked to at least see trailers for the winners added on in a future extras disc, The 2006 AVN Awards Show stands out as a testament to an industry that so many enjoy as a guilty pleasure. Good job Spice!
---- 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