Date of Production: 8/30/2006 (box cover); 3/21/2006 (credits)
Extra's: Most releases these days have either really weak or really good bonus features so I was happy when I saw the huge box this one came in; it being my first clue of the wealth of extras it offered. The best extras were the two bonus movies from the company archives; Babes Illustrated 1 and Babes Illustrated 2; both by director Harold Lime (a blast from the past). Volume 1 came out in 1994, with scenes by youthful Felecia doing Vixxen, Tiffany Mynx enjoying Lynn LeMay, Dyanna Lauren and Kim Chambers, Kim Chambers doing Leslie Lixx, and Dyanna Lauren with Lynn LeMay. By modern standards, it was very short, only somewhat over an hour, but there was a fair amount of energy in most of the scenes; energy I had almost forgotten existed since I saw the movie on tape (eww-a 4 on 1 tape too) years ago. The second volume was longer but lacked some of the passion and enthusiasm of the first, this time pairing Melanie Moore with Kaitlyn Ashley, Crystal Wilder with Sylvia Ryder, Brooke Waters and Melanie Moore, Sylvia Ryder and Micki Lynn, as well as Felecia, Crystal Wilder, and Kaitlyn Ashley for the big finale. The only downsides to these two movie releases being included was that there was no second side to the disc; thankfully only containing the usual bunch of trailers Metro was known for offering and nothing else as the photogallery was on the primary side of the disc. It was interesting seeing how far porn has come in some ways yet how little it has evolved in others, though a young Tiffany Mynx is always worth a look or twenty and the less explicit way the movies was shot seemed quaint compared to today's gyno-cam approach. As far as extras specific to the movie itself, the 10:19 minute long Behind the Scenes feature was by far the best. It did break down some of the illusion of heat in a few scenes but it also showed Britney as the actual director rather than a "name brand" as others in the industry have become. The extra sex and nudity did not hurt either. There was also a photogallery, some trailers (two sections of them; ten altogether), some helpful cast biographies, and spam in the three disc set.
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Audio/Video Quality: Babes Illustrated 16 was presented in the increasingly common 1.78:1 ratio anamorphic widescreen color as shot by director Britney Foster for Metro Interactive/Cal Vista last year. The lighting was often understated and this caused some fluctuations in the fleshtones of the performers but it was a marked step up from some of her previous works I saw years back, perhaps thanks in some part to the technical assistance she received from Travis Pitts and Rigo Corleone. The composition of the camera angles tended to flatter than ladies but not universally so, the slow pans a step up from some of the jerky movements seen of late elsewhere with the grain barely noticeable thanks to fairly solid lighting. The editing was a weak spot at times but never to the point where I'd punch the editor in the stomach, the compression ratio of the movie tending towards the high end with the lower 8 Mbps to upper 7 Mbps. The audio was presented in a 2.0 Dolby Digital English in the usual 192 Kbps offering; the vocals kind of hollow in the house setting the scenes were shot in. There was a slight nod to decent music in the form of a song or two (the second bit might have merely been a variation of the tune) and I hope whomever provided it gets some credit in the future (as well as gets hired more). The separation and dynamic range were limited though so don't expect too much.
Body of Review: Britney Foster was once a curvy gal with a smoking body that worked under contract for Metro Interactive/Cal Vista. She then moved behind the camera in order to direct, mostly lesbian movies, with some artistic attempts falling flat for my libido but managing to earn her some accolades all the same from easier to please critics. Her latest attempt to release a big project before the close of the AVN awards season is Babes Illustrated 16; a series I last saw with Babes Illustrated 14 awhile ago. For the uninitiated, the series is a lesbian outing much akin to Where The Boys Aren't at Vivid, but adding Metro's own brand of spice as the gals romp around in panties and bras, eager to please each other sexually. This time, the limited thread between the scenes is that of cheating partners who seek out sex as much as possible, with the consequence being the revenge fuck afterwards. If that interests you, here's a quick look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used and no men appeared in the movie:
Scene One: Holly Morgan, a youthful blond wearing a white top and pink shorts, was up first as she discovered evidence of her partner cheating on her, soon putting her paunchy body in a black workout outfit and getting caught by pretend police officer Valerie Vasquez. After going back to the house to identify Holly (who left her license inside), Valerie made her move as Holly got even with her cheating girlfriend by embracing her love of authority figures on the bed. Valerie was a cute and lean brunette here, her thong riding her sweet ass crack nicely. Holly's babyfat looked better without clothing on and the alt-porn music was pretty decent here. Sexually, they explored one another orally and with hands, Valerie going down on Holly and using some toys before Holly reciprocated. It was kind of mechanical at times but I thought they were having some heated fun with a bit of replay stroke value; the PTM by both of them done somewhat on a minimal basis.
Scene Two: Ariel X, a sexy lean brunette with a thin body and pretty eyes, was up next as she showed Hailey Paige what a lap dance was. Hailey had on a neon pink wig that did nothing for her and the gals used a banana in her lap to simulate the penis Ariel was going to grind on in the dinning room scene. The clothing slowly came off and the tongues went to working on each other, Hailey's wig getting the heave ho (pun intended) when the vibrators started penetrating pussies. The gals got very moist, too moist to believe it was for real, but they were good with each other (whomever did Hailey's make up needs a beating though) and the intermittent music weakened their action but not too much to make it unbearable.
Scene Three: Roxy Deville, the hotty brunette on the right side of the front cover, Alektra Blue, the gal on the middle of the cover, and chunky Holly Morgan, were up next as the two brunettes went into the house to see Holly's "cock", in the form of a large strap on dildo. Roxy began working it like a champion and beckoned Alektra to join her; the couple showing a solid example of sharing is caring for the audience on the living room couch. It did not take too long before all three of them were pawing and groping one another, eating each other out and using toys to pound the pussy. Roxy was my favorite going into the scene but Alektra did a stand up job too (except for the implants), with Holly serving nicely as their main toy to play with. The gals had some chemistry to spare and the scene played nicely as they energetically did each other silly though.
Scene Four: Mya Luvanna, a curvy Asian gal in red bikini undies, and hung over Alex Devine, were up next as they awoke on the bed to recall getting hitched the previous night. This did not stop them from consummating their relationship as they slowly licked and felt each other, taking a decidedly slower pace than the previous scenes from the looks of it. Sexually, it was more of the same kind of thing; no circus act sex and the ladies servicing each other in the usual mannerisms before the toys came into play with a large glass question mark looking weird as all get out. The vocals were over the top by Alex yet Mya showed some restraint with the toy as she employed some soft dirty talk. Other toys were used too but as large as they were, the scene was only decent, not great; adding up to more than a filler but not by much.
Scene Five: Lexi Love, one of the best performers in contemporary porn, Alex Devine, Ariel X, and Valerie Vasquez, were up in the ending lesbian orgy the series has long been known for. The camera kept pulling in and out of a close up shot of the gals on the couch, especially the original three (Valerie joined late) but Lexi led them all to heated fun with a touch of passion showing why her inclusion in the movie was so important. Valerie's stripper cop broke up the anal going on and they all jumped her in a pleasing manner, making it a solid ending scene for me. The toys really weren't needed here but the footage showed their respective bodies off nicely so I won't complain.
Summary: Babes Illustrated 16 by director Britney Foster for Metro Interactive/Cal Vista might not have been the biggest lesbian outing of the season by the porn industry but given the treasure trove of extras in the form of two full movies from Metro's vaults, I think the levels of fuck for the buck made it easily worth a Recommended. The gals were physically attractive, showed some experience with pleasing other women, and the technical matters were all decent enough for the show so Babes Illustrated 16, like Babes Illustrated 14 before it, will likely work for those of you wanting to see the ladies in action. Check it out and after you clean up, send me an email as to what you think.
---- 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