Note: This review of IF4 is for the HD DVD version, the movie and extras appearing to be identical to the original three disc set but on a single disc with the enhanced video and audio of the high definition format providing the impetus to many folks for acquiring it. Recent efforts in the HD/BR titles coming out have been hampered by 720p resolution, watered down extras, and the infamous learning curve of the formats so this marks a step forward for those of you wanting to showcase your home theater systems using a porno that plays glitch free and with the better 1080p resolution many seek. If you have a 720p player or television set, it should still look better but consider this one to be more future proof than earlier efforts in that sense. I kicked back on the couch to make sure that the movie was essentially the same with no edits or alterations and not having found any, I suggest this one as the best of the current releases for the erotica style porn Digital Playground has promoted for years. Newer titles with exclusive HD DVD extras should appear on shelves next year but this is pretty much what high end consumers have expected of industry leaders so almost a year later, it is good to see it happening. I added some pictures to the production but they are in lower resolution and only to give you an idea of what to expect. Enjoy!
Extra's: As best I could tell, this marked the first time that an adult HD DVD title ported over all of the significant extras; a particularly solid package of extras at that, except for some trailers (replacing them with other HD DVD titles). As I review mainstream titles on DVD Talk, I have found that few mainstream companies are smart enough to do this so perhaps the wisdom of Digital Playground will give their rivals something to think about in this regard. The first major extra was an audio commentary with Joone, Robby D., Jesse Jane, Teagan Presley, Scott Nails, and Sophia Santi, Jim, Nick P., and perhaps a few others (notable only for missing Jana Cova) all providing anecdotes to the shooting of the movie as well as provide a lot of insider humor. Robby discussed how ill he got during the shoot, Teagan about dumping her non-working boyfriend, Scott discussed his brilliant midnight swim with sharks that amazed the natives, the men all made machismo comments about who they supposedly had sex with, and a wealth of other comments (including talking however slightly about internet forums). The most informative material about the movie came during the second disc but it was all done in a roundtable fashion where they would simply interject comments though the dynamic changed over time too (Joone seemed to initially run the discussion but it was clear that they all considered each other family). I know commentaries are viewed by some of you as the kind of extra that only internet geek reviewers like but fans will appreciate an insider look at the objects of their affection, and reviewers will gleam more than a little background for other projects by the cast (it was amusing how every started shouting out their pet projects like Ass Addiction, Deeper 2, and Control too).
Then there was the treasure trove of extras that should impress even the most jaded of you out there. It started with a section of Behind the Scenes material where Jesse Jane runs up in a black bikini on the beach to introduce the shoot but quickly showed the cast in lovely outfits on a boat and checking out islands. For those of you that enjoy the various comedy bits from the Jack series, including the CGI add-ons, the silly sound effects, and funny stories; they were all added in with abundance here. Evan was the cut up, Scott acted all cool and hostile (in his usual funny way), and Robby provided some balance between the two with the ladies looking great (of particular note, Scott chased a stingray well before Steve Irwin died from catching one in the chest). One of my favorite skits involved Evil Evan & the Mighty Morphin Fuck Rangers but there were a dozen others those of you with a sense of humor will enjoy too. The BTS broke down the shoot chronologically by the days and nights of the week long shoot, was shot and edited exceptionally well by Nick P. (with Evan, Robby, Joone, and others handling the camera at least some of the time), and was as interesting a BTS feature as I've ever watched (lots of hot nude contract gals prancing around…YEAH!). There was then a series of Behind the Scenes Confessionals that totaled 14.5 minutes with Robby getting the most time to speak. The ladies all seemed to have happy comments to make while the assistant camera guy Jim complained nearly as loudly as Robby (whose leg infection looked horrible). It amounted to a series of interviews where you could select the speaker you wanted to hear. The third section in the BTS was a photogallery of pictures with the cast providing audio commentary in a light hearted manner, much like when you sit around with friends that have had a few drinks, passing around stacks of vacation photos.
The next extra on the disc was an 8.5 minute short movie called Crazy Evan's Island Movie. Evan acted like a raving lunatic with a wig, a maniacal outfit, and a running soliloquy that was as wacky as the studly guy could make during breaks from the shooting of the movie. It was tentatively titled Doome Island, doomed because of the lack of sex in my opinion but funny nonetheless. There was then a series of clips that totaled about 14 minutes that would have been solid Easter Eggs but of limited stroke value; Contract Stars' Fun, Bacci Ball Jesse, Bacci Ball Scott, Dinner Time Fun, Jana's Native Tongue, Nick's Pink Flip Flops, and Sting Ray Sex. There was about 2.5 minutes of Bloopers, an extensive photogallery, a slide show, all new biographies for the contract stars, Joone, and Robby D., trailers to shows like Pirates II, Island Fever 4 HD, Pirates HD, Jesse Jane: Sexual Freak 1 HD, Jack's Teen America 3 HD, Island Fever 3 HD, Hush HD, Jack's POV HD, and Cockasian HD, and some wallpapers for those watching the disc with a DVD ROM.
Kinzie Kenner; extremely hot cutie that should have received a contract.
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Audio/Video Quality: Island Fever 4 was presented in the same 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color it was shot in by cameraman Robby D. for director Joone as the blockbuster release of the year for Digital Playground. The movie was shot, edited and now mastered in HD (in 1080p using the standard VC-1 codec the mainstream companies employ) with the same slow motion and visual effects the series has always employed. My personal preference still leans to Robby's gonzo releases or the features the company used to shoot but I'd be misleading you to say that given the cast of contract hotties, this method didn't provide a lot of eye candy you'll be stroking to for a long, hard time. The composition of the shots always favored the ladies and if you've watched the series to this point, you'll be happy to know that the crew improved the visual elements yet again; raising the bar for the rest of the industry. Joey Pulgadas and Kurt Tortcher were working the massive editing project on this one, Nick "The Master" P. concentrating on supervising them as he handled the extensive extras package included. Some of the visual elements enhanced by the HD treatment included making the title look even better than a travelogue mainstream title I reviewed recently, the sunrises and sunsets, the mountains and water settings all coming alive. Having seen every one of the ladies performing in the movie up close and personal in real life, I found some of the camera tricks used to "enhance" their looks a bit quirky but in the case of gals like Teagan and Jana in particular; this might be as close as most of you reading this are going to get to them (yeah, they looked incredible). I find the entire contract staff (and Kinzie) to be appealing in person too so despite what you may have heard, fans will have even more to appreciate with this release. To sum up the visuals; The future of adult high def is here; 1080 porn never looked better. Island Fever 4 HD is breathtaking, picture perfect and the number one reason to go out and buy an HD DVD Player. The audio was presented with a choice of the usual 5.1 Dolby Digital+ Surround English track or a 2.0 DD English track but as expected (thanks to the HD visuals), the vocals were excised in favor of a light musical score. I hate losing the vocals since they add so much for me but the music was substantially better than average with some true separation and enhanced dynamic range worth listening too. My first instinct is to react harshly on both audio and video scores since they aren't my preferred type but they were exactly what they were designed to be, exactly what was advertised, and exactly the type of style Joone and Robby were going for so I'm not going to punish them for it. You can check out the trailer for a better idea though at Island Fever 4 HD DVD.
This was one of the few shots that didn't look better in true HD.
Body of Review: Digital Playground has long been a leader in providing quality adult entertainment thanks in large part to the efforts of founder Joone and the directing skills of Robby D.. This being September then, that means that the company is ready to release its premium title of the year to make it for consideration for all the award shows that set this month as the deadline; primarily the AVN Awards (this year, they were even hosted by the lovely Jesse Jane). In 2005, the company released Pirates and the title has become the most awarded, most talked about, and most distinguished title on DVD as a result (including an edited version for rental at Block Buster Video, a separate soundtrack release, and scores of awards from just about everyone) so is it any wonder that this year's hit is almost surely destined to be Island Fever 4HD DVD?
The movie Island Fever 4HD DVD is the latest in the erotic vignette series that showcases the company contract performers (Janine had retired again and Shay Jordan had yet to be signed so they weren't in the movie) where the ladies engaged in various forms of sex with the other gals or a male partner in the case of Jesse and Teagan. The circus acts were left behind and there were condoms used at times but for me, the best scenes involved multiple contract stars trying to get each other off with all the great scenery offered up on the islands of Bora Bora where the action was shot. There were approximately twenty scenes here (depending on how you count some of the trysts) and even clocking in at over three hours, that doesn't leave a lot of time for the individual scenes to develop. The vocals were lost and music replaced them but the look of the scenes reminded me of the term pretty porn that many fans like a lot so that said, here's a quick look at the scenes noting that some condoms were used:
Marie Luv showing one of the special effects.
Scene One: Jesse Jane, the gal on the center of the front DVD cover, and hotty Jana Cova, the gal on the right side of her, were up first as they orally enjoyed one another in slow motion to marching music inside of a lagoon on Bora Bora. Jesse was the dominant partner as she ate, fingered, and spanked her gal pal with Jana returning the favor a little before the scene closed out. Both of them looked very appealing here.
Scene Two: Teagan Presley, the attractive Houstonian on the left side of the front DVD cover and new contract brunette Sophia Santi, were up next as they teased the camera in front of the ocean. If Teagan has ever looked better, I haven't seen it and Sophia seemed to tower over her without the benefit of the stripper shoes both seem to prefer wearing. They really didn't do a lot outside of the teasing here but when you look that good, loads will be flying all around the small screens from my experience.
Jesse's airbrushed look from post production.
Scene Three: Kinzie Kenner, one of the few non-contract hotties used in the cast, and studly Marco Duato/Banderas, were up next as she was captured gazing at the camera from the jungle without any clothing on her body. She's provided some of the best scenes of her career in recent Digital Playground releases so seeing her get a shot at some extended tease footage was a treat that she playfully made the most of, all with the benefit of the chanting soundtrack that seemed most appropriate to the tempo of the edits. There was some CGI matting going on here but frankly, she was looking better than the excellent setting and the oral with vaginal sex the couple engaged in provided a slow, seductive experience that I enjoyed more than I normally would appreciate (a little slo-mo goes a long way for me but the two seemed so into the moment that it elevated the outcome). She actively rode his cock before taking the facial, marking the first "real" sex scene according to some of you.
Scene Four: Teagan Presley, this time on a secluded beach, rolled around in the sand as she masturbated under the all natural light that enhanced her beauty all that much more. After the tease, she was joined by the mighty Evan Stone, the couple exploring each other thoroughly in oral fashion before screwing vaginally with the use of a condom. This was so much better than her limited role in Pirates with him (she was pregnant at the time) that it made up for it, the music sounding like a cross between some new age weirdness and something slowed down out of a rave club. It ended after he choked her out and left a load on her abdomen, providing her best "pretty porn" scene of the year from my standpoint.
All four contract gals laughing about the end of the shoot.
Scene Five: Jesse Jane, with her hair looked disheveled and the music reverting to a female based chant session, was up next in knee deep water as she teased the camera. This led to her working with favored partner Scott Nails but as solid of a job as he did with her, the tease ruled the scene (especially given the local and how fit she looked). The tease finished, the couple pawed each other before she jerked him to erection and blew him. There was some limited titty fucking but the handful of positions where he screwed her fine little cookie were better here. He did eat her out a little but given the circumstance, that part could have been longer as the strings played in the background. The scene ended with the two showing some chemistry and her taking the facial like a champion.
The photogallery version.
Scene Six: Jana Cova, Teagan Presley, Jesse Jane, and Sophia Santi, were up next as the quartet of infamous contract gals paired off and had a big lesbian orgy. If you've read their websites or the comments floating around the internet, you'll already know how sexually charged the scene was since the ladies were all really into it. On the commentary track, the gals commented how everyone wanted to get more of Jana Cova (I can't blame them one bit) but also how they went beyond the usual lick-fest lipstick lesbian orgy scenes shown elsewhere as they spent a lot of time on the beach going down on each other, feeling each other up, tonguing, fingering, and even just roughly working each other over. We're talking stroke city here and if the scene doesn't win something in January, you can bet that the fix is in.
The same shot from the back (sweet!).
Scene Seven: Jana Cova, looking perfect as she stood in knee deep water with her water soaked hair, was up next in a short solo scene with mountains behind her and the kind of look that she needs to display at my place some day. This was a tease only but well worth checking out.
Scene Eight: Marie Luv, the other non-contract gal of the cast, was also fitting as she used her lean black figure to tease the camera before being joined by Marco Duato/Banderas. Currently, she is best known for her wild performances in gonzo scenes so she was kind of a surprise to see here in the lighter, more erotic styled setting of Island Fever 4 but to her credit, she ran with the chance and looked better than usual as she engaged him with a degree of subtle heat that I haven't seen from her previously. The sex was slow and erotic, with oral and vaginal being the mainstays as in the other scenes of the movie; with the closer being a titty pop and some post coital sucking. She was an active rider here and I wonder if she liked this as much as her usual material given how comfortable she was.
The end of the day looked good too.
Scene Nine: Teagan Presley, Jesse Jane, and Sophia Santi were up last on the first disc as Teagan was highlighted in a watery special effects laden scene that looked almost as if it were projected onto a waterfall. The aqua color of her skin was replaced by a perfect visage of her form as she emerged from the water, though Sophia and Jesse were the two to go at one another in an almost otherworldly sequence on the beach. I was surprised that Jesse and Sophia didn't get to work with Teagan (who disappeared after walking out of the waterfall) but they did seem to have some spark between them with Sophia towering over Jesse; Jesse using her energy to balance out the equation.
Scene Ten: Jana Cova, once again alone in a lagoon near a beach, was provided a chance to shine like a fictional water nymph as the sun poured down on her figure while she masturbated. Her skin tone looked golden and her beautiful eyes complimented the scene more than a little bit as she spent the better part of five minutes showcasing the body that so many fans fantasize about.
Scene Eleven: Teagan Presley, providing an erotic dance in the water by a wonderfully appealing beach, showed how firm her ass was by spanking it as she teased the camera even better than she did before. It was clear that she liked the water and she looked especially nice as she beckoned the camera to follow her with the mighty Evan Stone the lucky guy to play with her in the water. The kissing established a connection between them and they both gave great, if short, head. That led to a few positions of safe vaginal sex ending with a titty pop.
Scene Twelve: Jesse Jane, following the general idea of tease and then a basic scene, took care of Scott Nails at least as well as he did her with the oral and vaginal mambo that then took place. Some of you will love the way he grabbed her hair and pulled her back on his cock before popping on her firm young ass but the entire scene was a solid little tribute to the visual style of the program.
Scene Thirteen: Jana Cova and Teagan Presley then had a lesbian outing in the lagoon that seemed to initially emphasize Jana but was sexually dominated by Teagan as things got moving. The choir-like song playing in the background was one I really didn't care much for but it fit the pacing of the tease footage so well that I didn't fuss too long, especially since these were two of the hottest women on the planet engaging in some fine female loving, in a location that arguably matches any other in terms of visual beauty. Whew!
Scene Fourteen: Jesse Jane and Scott Nails were back at it with a slightly different dynamic going on as they followed the outlined actions after Jesse's tease. She appeared to be having fun but the playfulness turned into something darker, more enticing, as the scene progressed. This was another time when as much as I thought they worked well together, the tease was superior for me.
Scene Fifteen: Teagan Presley, working her naked body over in the forest, was up next as she seemed to have a need for seed while bent over a large rock (that made her ass stick out so very nicely). She masturbated and soon enough, Jean Val Jean was kissing her in a very erotic manner that she responded to as expected. Sexually, the sex was vaginal and oral with a condom but the chemistry between them was apparent from the very beginning until the very end; marking it as another one fans will clamor to see.
Scene Sixteen: Jana Cova and Sophia Santi, both visions of loveliness, were up next as they played with one another in the water. This time, the duo seemed a bit less into the action; still having fun but not to the level of some of the other pairings. The jazz inspired score was so slow as to almost put me to sleep but again, in terms of physical beauty, the pair was exceptionally fine.
Scene Seventeen: Teagan Presley, back in the jungle, was then put to work with muscular Tommy Gunn. She seemed responsive to his touch and like she was in a few scenes prior to this one (with Jean), she came across as more than enjoying the action with him during the safe sex oral and vaginal romp. I wish she had done more this time for diversity if nothing else but he gave her all the oral loving she could handle and the active riding left him draining his nuts all over her face.
Scene Eighteen: Jana Cova, once again given an all too brief spotlight, was made to look perfect by the use of the golden light and her green eyes though this time on the beach in the jungle. It was too short a tease for me but more Jana is always a good thing in my book.
Scene Nineteen: Jesse Jane, getting all covered in sand, showed her appreciation for the mighty Evan Stone in this last male on female outing. These two have long been a great match on camera, looking like the perfect couple in far too many ways to go into in a review like this. The tease was hot and the kissing conveyed heat before they boned vaginally in a number of ways with her taking the facial to finish up the scene.
Scene Twenty: Teagan Presley, Jesse Jane, Jana Cova, Sophia Santi, and the rest of the cast were all graced with a finishing montage that showed some superior editing skills as footage from the sex and non-sex scenes alike was incorporated in a light, breezy piece that probably summed up the show better than anything I've written down here. Jesse's little Bacci ball match with the hefty islanders alone probably earned her a warm place in their hearts until the end of time but while this wasn't technically a scene, it showed a sense of fun that was as strokable as most of the scenes and shouldn't be discarded in the process of neatly categorizing the elements of the movie.
Summary: Island Fever 4 HD DVD was clearly Digital Playground's premium movie of the year in terms of all the work and sweat that went into it. Robby D. may have suffered for his craft but he helped make director Joone look very good with the kind of artistic, tasteful, yet powerful scenes starring some of the reigning hotties of porn. In short, Joone's done it again and if you see just one movie this year, you'll want it to be Island Fever 4 given the strength of the cast, the sheer beauty of all that went into it, and the replay value provided. Jana looked exquisite, Teagan looked better than she has ever looked before, Sophia proved she offers more than just a little sophistication, and Jesse's buoyant personality all contributed to making this a superior effort. If you like the kind of erotica that can be enjoyed with a significant other, Island Fever 4 was hand's down the favored movie of the year to take home various awards, making it worthy of the Xcritic Pick rating; picking up many accolades along the way when it originally came out awhile back. The movie might not appeal to those of you that prefer abuse porn or circus act sex but there's no denying it was head and shoulders above the competition mentioned so far. Fans of extras will also note that no better package of extras has been released this year in terms of material uniquely shot for the title in hand, marking it as an HD-DVD triumph combining quality AND quantity beyond all expectations.
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