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Artcore 4: Dreams

Studio: Anabolic » Review by Disco Dirge » Review Date: 10/28/06

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Genre: Straight Feature
Director: Sal Genoa
Cast:: Hillary Scott, Kelly Wells, Kat, Tia Tanaka, Jasmine Byrne, Sammie Rhodes, Jamie Huxley, Talon, Buster Good, Steven French, Brian Pumper, Brian Surewood, Jay Ashley, Sasha
Length: 180 mins
Production Date: 2006

In a Nutshell - Lots of Artsy, Very Little Fartsy
You've got to give director Sal Genoa credit. In Artcore 4, he is intent on giving each of the six sex sequences presented a distinct 1.33:1 full screen look and feel. He goes for a grainy, 70s stock look for his second scene, and tweaks the post-production opticals a bit to give Scene 4 a kind of computerized, contemporary feel. An expert at creating both atmosphere and eros, Genoa makes the most of his limited resources and cinematic style. He is very inventive, applying simple setups (coach, wall, lamp) in combination with clever lighting, to create sensational backdrops for his balling. The hardcore is not always hot, but the design is typically interesting and inviting.

In a Nutshell - A Boring Behind the Scenes
Instead of delivering a definitive look at the making of Artcore 4, this DVD presents what can best be called a series of sloppy outtakes. Jasmine Byrne gets a leg cramp and has to stop her scene. One of the meat puppets is huffing and puffing so hard that he has to take a break. Complex positions provide additional moments of discomfort and Genoa's genial laughter tends to fill the air as a sequence of sex falls apart. We learn very little about the actual production of a porno, and wish there'd be less fussing and more face time with the cast. Listening to adult actors and actresses speak can be a very illuminating experience. Here, we get some goofs and that's it. The rest of the added content in merely the standard XXX routine – gallery, trailers, cumshot recap, etc.

First Impressions:
Having witnessed Mr. Genoa's combination of art and hardcore before (The Dirge didn't appreciate Artcore 3 very much), a feeling of familiarity arrived with the initial viewing of Artcore 4. Even with Mike Horner around in a non-sex role as a horny therapist looking to get into his patients' minds via their pants, the unnecessary narrative before each sex scene had prepared your pal for the worst. After all, many of the reasons behind his dismissal of the third film in the series seemed present here – rote positions and routines, unmitigated cruelty to some of the women, a lack of any considered connection between the players, and a real shortage of subtlety in the screwing. Like gonzo given a gleaming, shimmering sheen, the balance between artifice and arousal was still troubling. The ladies don't seem to mind much – they give their psychobabble dialogue the considered college try, but for the most part, the introductory material makes the resulting fuck and suck seem rather surreal. Why do these gals dream of getting double dicked? And how come Horner can't help them without coping a feel? Who knows? Who cares.

The Sex Scenes:
This is pro and con carnality at its best. On the pro side, a good DP is hard to resist, and Artcore 4 has more than its fair share of twin tool pole vaulting. On the other hand, the treatment of women is rather alarming. Several scenes show men literally stepping on the faces of the actresses – purposefully. Perhaps this is meant to signal domination. To the Dirge, it's nothing but pure, unadulterated disrespect. Stylistically, the sex could be called big dicks in little dolls. Almost every actress here is on the petite side, and cocks of considerable size overwhelm the men they are paired with. Add in the occasional steroid riddled bulk (Buster Good in particular suffers from a chemically enhanced physique) and the feeling of being forced into action is never very far away. While we all know that porn stars willingly agree to these cruel considerations, it doesn't make the moments any more pleasurable.

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Scene 1: Hillary Scott, Talon, Jay Ashley
Acts Performed: Dueling Blowjobs, Reverse Cowgirl, Cowgirl, V to M, Scissors, Mish, Face Fucking, Anal Doggy, A to M, Anal Reverse Cowgirl, DP in the Reverse Cowgirl Mode, Choking, DP in the Cowgirl Mode, Anal Scissors, Anal Doggy, Face Stepping, $hot to Mouth w/Swallowing, Anal Mish, $hot to Mouth w/Swallowing
Score: 2.5 out of 5
Here's a caveat for all you out there who gravitate toward the guys – the men's faces are, for the most part, obscured by Genoa's staging and shooting, so some of the pairings presented in this review may not be accurate. The Dirge was guessing, with only the occasional glimpse of a familiar face (Talon) or a recognizable collection of body art (Buster) allowing for easy identification. As for this scene in particular, Hillary is an agile and able fuck fiend, and the men here treat her with a modicum more respect than the rest of the gals will get. The choking is concerning, and the constant A/V to M gets old after a while. In addition, this scene sets up the pattern for the rest of Artcore 4's porking. A little head, some minimal monkeyshines, and then lots and lots of pussy/pooper pounding. If this sounds like your kind of title tendencies, then get ready to enjoy. Everyone else, this is it, basically.

Scene 2: Kelly Wells, Brian Sherwood, Brian Pumper
Acts Performed: Dueling Blowjobs, Ball Sucking, Face Fucking, Anal Reverse Cowgirl, Gaping, DP in the Reverse Cowgirl Mode, A to M, Cowgirl, DP in the Cowgirl Mode, V to M, Anal Cowgirl, Anal Pile Driver, Anal Doggy, Anal Mish, Anal Spoon, $hot to Mouth w/Swallowing, Cum Gargling
Score: 2.5 out of 5
While the fake '70s feel to the filmmaking will either please or irritate the fuck and suck fan, the scene between Ms. Wells and her paramours is quite powerful. She is fully into the action, and these guys just keep giving her the dick. The attempted gaping goes on a little too long, but when she finally delivers an open red eye, we are treated (or, perhaps, tormented) by endless shots of the unlocked ass track. The black on white dichotomy supplied by Mr. Pumper works well, as does the dirty biker dude dynamic brought by Senior Surewood. Perhaps the best sex scene overall in this entire set.

Scene 3: Kat, Buster Good, Steven French
Acts Performed: Dueling Blowjobs, Ball Sucking, Reverse Cowgirl, The Sit and Spin, Cowgirl, V to M, Choking, Mish, Fingering, Gaping, Vaginal Gaping, Anal Doggy, Anal Reverse Cowgirl, DP in the Reverse Cowgirl Mode, A to M, DP in the Cowgirl Mode, Anal Pile Driver, Anal Mish, $hot to Glass Table Top, Oral Clean-up and Swallowing
Score: 2 out of 5
Kat is so small, so minor in body shape and size that she is literally used by Buster and his buddy in this scene. She seems up for the fucking, but when the dongs finally meet their mark, the pain on her face is rather obvious. Still, for most of the performance she is perfectly capable, manhandled with ease by the muscle-bound baboons doing everything they can to violate her holes. Particularly disturbing, and ultimately disgusting, both dudes drop their ball broth on the surface of a rather dirty glass coffee table. We then get a perv's eye view of Kat licking it up. While The Dirge is sure that Mr. Genoa thought this was erotic, for this reviewer it was just repugnant.

Scene 4: Tia Tanaka, Jay Ashley, Sasha
Acts Performed: Dueling Blowjobs, Ball Sucking, Doggy, Reverse Cowgirl, Face Fucking, Choking, Cowgirl, Double Dicking in the Vagina, Scissors, Pile Driver, V to M, $hot to Mouth w/Swallowing
Score: 2.5 out of 5
Another small gal, a much better scene. Perhaps it's because Tia is more tolerant of her paramours' peculiarities. Maybe she's just a better match for men who understand how to balance brutality with balling. Whatever the case may be, this trio tries the hardest to deliver a sensational sequence of shuck and jive, and for the most part, they succeed. The problem with the partnership is that, by now, we have become overly familiar with Artcore's elements. The scenes all seem the same, with the camera moving in and out in strikingly similar shot selections. Nothing is new or novel anymore, and the fancy introductory material doesn't hide the fact that we are experience the same fucking as before.

Scene 5: Jasmine Byrne, Buster Good, Sasha
Acts Performed: Dueling Blowjobs, Salad Tossing, Doggy, Reverse Cowgirl, V to M, Reverse Cowgirl, DP in the Cowgirl Mode, A to M, DP in the Reverse Cowgirl Mode, Anal Doggy, Gaping, $hot to Mouth w/Swallowing
Score: 2.5 out of 5
Competing with Scene 2 for best balling overall, Jasmine is quite a match for her log launching partners. Buster is back – his terrible prison tats being a dead giveaway – and this means more machismo taking the place of porno performance. Still, Jasmine's enjoyment of the sequence, a combination of desire and despair, really works well. We sense her need for more nookie, but also appreciate her implied inability to handle the hoses she's given. With an atmospheric back alley/rooftop setting and a lot of nice close-ups of our gal getting down, installments like this argue for Artcore's effectiveness. Sadly, other sequences shout down such suggestions.

Scene 6: Sammie Rhodes, Jamie Huxley
Acts Performed: Standard Girl on Girl Action, Cunnilingus, Fingering, V to M, Double Ended Dildo Fucking, Toy V to M, Anal Dildo Fucking, A to M, Toy DP in the Mish Mode, Anal Vibrator
Score: 1.5 out of 5
Girls giving each other DPs with toys just doesn't trip the Dirge's delight meter. Frankly, Sammie and Jamie could be copulating right in front of him in his own living room and this critic would be hard pressed to 'rise' to attention. There is nothing natural about this Sappho sequence. Both gals pretend to pet, then insert plastic objects into their orifices and grind away with non-erotic efficiency. The lack of any real closure to such a scene is part of the problem (it just fades out) and both ladies are fairly lame lesbians. In a collection of hot humping, this final same sex sequence really sucks.

Disco Dirge Peter Meter Rating: 2.5 out of 5 (Recommended)
Cohabitation Certification: Questionable
Somewhere between easily dismissible and routinely risquι, Artcore 4: Dreams earns a completely gratuitous rating of Recommended. The previous installment reviewed by the Dirge earned an easy Rent It, since nothing about Genoa's high minded filmmaking created the least bit of memorable Eros. Here, the scenes are much better, though. Couples will clearly balk at how the babes are treated, and as a result, it is impossible to easily provide a Cohabitation Certification. You and your loved one will have to decide whether this type of title fits your marital aides needs. Overall, there is enough here to entertain the average adult film fan. But with pretense comes problems, and if there is one clear concept at play in Artcore 4, it's the occasional 'two males of female' misstep.

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