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Just Between Us

Studio: Wicked Pictures » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 6/6/07

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Just Between Us

Wicked Pictures

Genre: Feature

Director: Brad Armstrong

Assistant Director/Screenplay: Jessica Drake

Cast: Carmen Hart, Randy Spears, Carmen Hart, Brad Armstrong, Stephanie Swift, Austin Kincaid, Lisa Daniels, Dee Lily, Demi Delia, Christina Aguchi, Kimberly Franklin
Non-sex role: Marcus London

Length: 107:17 minutes

Date of Production: 12/6/2006

Extra's: For most of you, the best extra will be the admittedly good scene between Carmen Hart, Jenaveve Jolie, and Tommy Gunn taken from Mobster's Ball. I described it below but I like new extras that are geared towards the release in hand so I enjoyed the 19:30 minute long Behind the Scene feature by Jax (edited once again by Jef) more but I prefer unique extras in my movies more than most. There was more sex, nudity, and short interviews as Jax meandered around the sets of the flick, talking with cast and crew, spending a lot of time getting the inside scoop from director Brad. There were also the usual photogalleries (9) and 3 Star Stats, the 2007 Promotional Reel, spam, DVD Catalog of Wicked Pictures titles, the usual DVD ROM material, and trailers to movies like Becoming Carmen Hart, Gossip, 1000 Words, Honky Tonk Girl, Manhunters, and Naked Illusions. There was also a cardboard protective sleeve on the DVD case and a double sided cover for those who care. I also ran into a short Easter Egg (company logo, upper front menu) starring Carmen flubbing her lines and some other on set hijinks for those paying attention.

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: Just Between Us was presented in an appealing 1.78:1 ratio anamorphic widescreen color as shot by director Brad Armstrong for Wicked Pictures. While filmed in high definition, it was down converted to a regular DVD (in the future, the HD version should look even better, much like the recent re-release of Cuddly Pines or Curse Eternal), so there was some minor grain in some of the scenes where lighting was minimized as part of the scene. The good news is that even in the dark night scenes, the visual elements were well handled, providing a lot more quality than most studios are capable of handling. The video noise was minimal and the composition of the scenes was extremely well taken care of, enhancing the look of the ladies in nearly all cases. The audio was presented with numerous choices, the primary one being a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround English track that balanced the vocals and music nicely. There was also a 2.0 Dolby Digital track in Spanish available for those who care but the fact is that the dubbing seemed humorous to me. Otherwise, the audio seemed to be another step in the right direction for Wicked Pictures, even though the vocals were almost certainly recorded in monaural or dubbed in later (not to mention limited in scope). Still, the music was well done and the overall quality of the audio was slightly better than average as well.

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Body of Review: Brad Armstrong is the big daddy director over at Wicked Pictures these days; getting first crack at almost all of their big projects and having the kind of clout to alter things at will that most contract directors can only dream of doing in the wonderful world of features. While he doesn't always make blockbusters and well received hits, his track record sure manages to invoke a lot of envy by some in the industry that have made weaker choices or simply have less talent. His latest release is a smaller title called Just Between Us; a feature about infidelity written by the attractive Jessica Drake. It acts as a showcase for the lovely Carmen Hart as a woman seeking to figure out if her current relationship has all that she wants or if she is missing something. This is the kind of show Brad has long been associated with thanks to his prowess in the field but Jessica managed to make it stand out as something better than a light weight fluff piece (plus, fans of Carmen will get to see a whole lot of her in action). If this sounds good to you, here's a brief glimpse into the scenes by cast and action, noting that condoms were used in all scenes with men in them:

Scene One: Carmen Hart, the beauty featured on the front DVD cover, was up first in bed with Randy Spears. They were prepared to go to a barbeque and she was trying to figure out what to wear; allegedly wanting his opinion (women truly only want to know what we like so they can wear something different in my experience). In any case, she was driving him crazy and she finally asked him if she should just go naked. The idea appealed to him and however impractical, she was soon putting off the clothing decision in favor of getting some good old loving from good old Randy. He ate and fingered her, the gal showing to favor his technique more than a little bit as he warmed her up, resulting in her reciprocating with one of her very skillful hummers. As she playfully slobbed his knob, he caressed her as though they were truly a loving couple, soon finding her way to riding his cock in her cookie slow and seductively. A quick look at Carmen in bed will tell you just how fine the hotty is, her active style working best when on top of his lap but always appearing reasonably in the throws of passion to some extent. As expected, it was a short scene and he rubbed out a load of population pudding onto her crotch to finish up; kissing her to finish off the warm scene.

Scene Two: Carmen Hart, the hottest honey at the party, was up next in the bathroom with Brad Armstrong after he made his move on her. This act set the stage for the story's infidelity theme, the chemistry between the couple decidedly more out in the open than the smoldering flames from the first scene. She just couldn't help herself so after a gimmicky halt to the space time continuum, she dropped to her knees to blow Bard; savoring the taste of his cock with the rush of the cheating and possibility of getting caught by Randy. She aggressively blew him and it ended too soon when he started throatfucking her to completion, his wad hitting her face in no time at all. As a change of pace, I appreciated the lack of a full scene only because of how skillfully she drained him dry.

Scene Three: Stephanie Swift, Austin Kincaid, Lisa Daniels, Dee Lily, and Carmen Hart, were up next outside by the pool during the day time as they engaged in a lesbian orgy. Initially sticking with a 3/2 split, the ladies were all in plain view of each other as they kissed, fondled, and went down on each other. Austin and Stephanie seemed more at home than the others but Carmen was a delight yet again as she showed she was not just limited to enjoying the company of men. The toy use was a bit problematic in terms of coming across slightly mechanically but none of the ladies was a stranger to this kind of action either and they were soon wrapped up in the pleasure of the moment. To be frank, I wanted more out of the scene than I got but it wasn't a filler scene by any means; it just did not make best use of the cast assembled.

Scene Four: Carmen Hart, still looking for the thrill of fucking a stranger, was up again with Brad Armstrong as the couple proceeded to enjoy each other more completely in the game room of the house (though the purple felt on the pool table had me wondering if someone was playing for the other team). In any case, they orally worked each other nicely and the editing made this one look a lot more appealing as the somewhat too loud music carried on; presenting the action almost as if done for a mainstream montage scene as seen in numerous flicks (albeit with sex as a theme this time). He fingered her ass too but that and his tongue were the only things that went into her back door here; the emphasis clearly on the oral for most of the scene. The vaginal penetration served to show her perfect body in motion and she did seem to be fairly active but some positions worked better than others for her. It ended with some head and a facial, the scene showcasing her even better than her earlier work in the movie.

Scene Five: Demi Delia and Christina Aguchi, a couple of okay gals from the second string in the movie, were up next in bed with Brad Armstrong (boy, he sure saved the company money this time, huh?). Christina was the cuter of the two but Demi seemed to be more aggressive in terms of her sexuality, the gals double teaming the cock as though regulars in the "sharing is caring" circuit. I would have been happier to see more of Carmen (or any of the company contract performers for that matter) but variety being the spice of life; this scene simply made a few of the other acts look that much better. They weren't bad at what they were doing but they were better riding cock than swallowing his sword, their beefy cookies taking what he offered them in alternating turns a little too well if you catch my drift. Still, it was a basic scene that hit all the required points, coming as close to a filler scene as any in the movie for me. The facial finished things up and the movie went back to the plot points with lovely Carmen.

Scene Six: Kimberly Franklin, an average gal with huge implants, was up last in bed with Randy Spears at night. He performed fairly well with her and she seemed to appreciate his attentions but this was another case where an otherwise skilled gal of modest means simply didn't compare to the top talent in the earlier scenes. She aggressively sucked him off and even rode his cock actively in her ass but it was a mechanical ride that showed little heat or chemistry, marking it as worth a load or two but not up to par. He closed it up with a pretty large wad of semen to her face but it seemed slightly rushed (even Carmen's reappearing ring seemed missed in continuity).

Bonus Scene: Mobster's Ball: Carmen Hart, the gun moll gal on the left side of the front cover, and sexy Jenaveve Jolie, finished robbing a bank as tied up Tommy Gunn sat passively by. They were all dressed in suits but not for long as the ladies decided to give him something for his cooperation, starting with a sweet hummer and kiss. Jenaveve took the rod first in her mouth, aggressively working it over with her usual style of oral heaven but Carmen got some too when Jenaveve moved to some face sitting on Tommy before actively impaling her pussy on his cock. Carmen got some too as he tapped her from behind, each gal staying involved with the sex rather than sitting to wait for their turn. Carmen took the facial and mouth load of population pudding, swapping it with Jenaveve as they kissed to a frothy finish. Like the last scene, the music worked well here, I just wanted a bit more nasty vocals tossed in than were provided.

Summary: Just Between Us by director Brad Armstrong for Wicked Pictures was the type of smaller movie that some of the other contract directors at the company try to make but sometimes fall short with for various reasons. The sex was a bit more hardcore than usual and the thematic elements were better used to weave into the story so as a fan of Carmen Hart, I thought it was easily worth a rating of Recommended. It was far from perfect but it had a lot to like and Brad at the helm pretty much ensured that the technical matters would be competently handled so you may find it to be one of the better "small" flicks by the company and director. In short, Just Between Us worked as both a porno and a movie; balancing out the two dynamics very nicely as a couples feature that should also appeal to those that want a bit more spice to their feature.

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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