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Studio: Digital Playground » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 11/7/07

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

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Note: The following review is for the HD DVD version of Hush, a movie I reviewed last year, updated for the newer, higher resolution format that so many people have been talking about. The good news is that Digital Playground has kept the essential extras like the hilarious Behind the Scenes feature by talented Nick P. and only updated the trailers to include the HD versions of movies that have come out. There does not appear to have been any tampering with the content of the movie itself otherwise so fans will not be disappointed. To get an idea what the movie looks like, check out the TRAILER!



Digital Playground


Genre: Erotica


Director: Celeste


Cast: Jesse Jane, Jean Val Jean, Dragon Lily, Scott Nails, Addison Rose, Shay Jordan, Charlie Laine, Daisy Marie, Marco Banderas/Duato, Rick Patrick


Length: 141:22 minutes


Date of Production: 7/8/2006


Extra's: The best extra was the inclusion of an 9:58 minute long Behind the Scenes feature shot by Nick P. It had a lot of the humorous pop up video styled comments added in as well as Robby and the crew mugging for the camera but I wish there was more (my common refrain; "since it adds value"). The Rocky theme starting it off was cute, the silly Gary Busey bit, and the goofs on Jean Val Jean were cute too. There was also a set of standardized extras provided like a photogallery, text biographies for Jesse Jane and Shay Jordan, slide show, a pop shot recap, and trailers to movies like like Pirates II, Island Fever 4 HD, Pirates HD, Jesse Jane: Sexual Freak HD, Jack's Teen America 3 HD, Island Fever 3 HD, Hush HD, Jack's POV HD, and Cockasian HD.


Condoms: None


Audio/Video Quality: Hush HD DVD was presented in the same 1.78:1 widescreen color it was shot in by Director of Photography Robby D. for conceptual director Celeste to be released by Digital Playground. It was handled in the 720p HD format using VC-1 encoding, generally enhancing the resolution significantly over the SD version that came out previously. In terms of lighting and sheer quality of picture, the movie was looking about as solid as any of the erotica shot for the company in HD last year with the scenes all being distinctively captured in slightly different variations as Celeste likes to present. The lighting again varied too much to nail it down to a particular style but suffice it to say that the female eroticism Celeste sought to achieve was in full bloom in all the scenes (as always). There was no unintentional grain or video noise observed, I saw no compression artifacts, and the composition of the scenes was such that all the gals were made to look really good; though seeing the gals in HD reminded me that it could be quite unforgiving with regards to implants and very lean gals (at the time, hotty Jesse was particularly thin and her muscular body lacked the feminine quality I like about it most of the time; her implants standing out in stark contrast to her lean frame). There was a tendency to over light the scenes (to the point of some harshness) this time but each scene was different to some extent in terms of the technical aspects. Celeste's slow motion, heavily edited visuals (this time credited to Nick) and other special effects were also used a lot but I would swear I saw more of the blending used in a few previous releases that softened the effects to the point where it was better then most previous Celeste-credited titles. Maybe the music, editing, or camerawork had something to do with it but my initial impression was that I could watch a LOT more of this one then some of her past efforts in a single sitting. It had a 5.1 Dolby Digital + Surround track with some decent separation and dynamic range, with the various selections providing a nice aural setting for the visuals in the location it was shot in. The down side was, as always, the lack of a vocal track to enhance the scenes via aural communication. The music may have been well done (this time credited to Joey Pulgadas) but like the visuals, a bit of variety in the use of vocals might've been a nice change of pace too. In HD, the lack of vocals impacted it even more in my opinion but I’ve been slow to warm on the Celeste style of erotica (which has thankfully been evolving with time to suit me better; check out her recent efforts to see what I mean).


Body of Review: Celeste has been around porn since she was married to one of the most creative writers in the business and worked intermittently for Jim Holliday as a performer. Eventually, she grew tired of the life and became a director for Digital Playground after Joone determined that she had something special to offer the company, resulting in a very specialized style or hardcore erotica that she had close friend Robby D. shoot for her. There is more than a little controversy about this style, many raincoaters saying it is barely better then what you’ll find on late night pay cable (like Cinemax) but as one of her usual detractors myself, I admit that a little of it works even for me. Her latest movie in this form is the newly released Hush HD DVD; a series of vignettes that spotlight the lovely and talented contract stars Jesse Jane and Shay Jordan (though mostly Jesse). Using slow motion and other visual effects, the idea was to create an obtainable fantasy style of action, this time pulling out all stops to provide lots of fuck for the buck (it lasted almost an hour longer then what I expected AND had some decent extras on top of that). If you’re in the market for heated erotica, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a brief glimpse into the scenes by cast and action; with no condoms used:


Scene One: Jesse Jane, the contract superstar, was up first with some tease and then sitting on a couch in her black bikini while making her move on Jean Val Jean. He brought the wine and she treated the bottle as if it were a cock, stroking the neck of the bottle, licking it, and sucking on it in such a fashion that he kissed her hard. They disrobed and did each other orally, using slow motion but at least dispelling with the previous use of jumpy cuts in favor of something a bit more appealing. As always, she worked his cock really well, showing an affinity for penis that few of her peers at the company seem to share these days. She spit on his rod as he spanked her, grabbing her ass as she continually slobbed his knob like a seasoned professional. By this point in the movie of a previous Celeste scene, the scene would be over but this newer style seemed to allow the cast to take their time and do more then simply warm up before the camera faded away; a style I could live with more readily. She then climbed onto his cock and rode it in her tight little pussy in two cowgirl positions, initially allowing the camera to capture her ass cheeks rippling as the couple pounded into one another. The PTM between the positions was handled well and the load to her face showed she wasn’t shy about taking it like a star. Jesse is a sexual athlete of the rarest caliper and he is one of the few men that she simply adores with the camera catching the moment very well, making it a solid opening scene.


Scene Two: Dragon Lily, a curvy little brunette with a fine ass, was up next as she knelt on all fours on the kitchen counter with her ass in the air and her black leggings really tempting Scott Nails. He slowly explored her ass and poured Rolling Rock beer on her crack, letting it run down her leg before getting her to masturbate as part of the warm up action. Her polished tease was nice and I’d have sucked her fingers clean but she wanted to do the sucking instead so up he went to the counter for her to start blowing. The slow motion made her hummer almost unbearably slow, though it prolonged the effect until he started taking her doggy style right there. The way she was bent over the chair surely must have increased the friction and he soon let loose his load of population pudding onto her face, marking it as another scene that beat the Celeste curse (the style bothers a lot of fans, myself included, with some of us calling such scenes “cursed”).


Scene Three: Addison Rose, a cute little hotty that looks like she could be related to Teagan, was up next with Jesse Jane, as the two masturbated on each side of a glass wall with water running down it. The effect was clearly designed to show the slight barrier as part of a voyeurism scheme. They weren’t wearing much to begin with but the use of metallic looking dildos seemed interesting with the techno-styled music not my favorite but a change of pace in the broadest sense of the term. I’d have labeled the scene “so close, yet so far away” if given the chance but it really was special.


Scene Four: Jesse Jane, in her black & white one piece swimsuit, jumped into the pool only to come out and shower with Scott Nails. I like shower scenes and this one built a little on aspects of the last scene with the fluffy music adding to the warmth. They had full access to one another and the oral was very warm (making me wonder if it really would have been much better in regular motion) before they hammered into one another vaginally. The newest look Jesse is sporting is a bit more angular than I prefer (women should have curves and at least a little fat on them to fill them out) but her facial expressions spoke volumes in terms of the levels of pleasure he was giving her, and she was giving him in return, with a lot of active riding taking place on the floor of the shower stall. He rubbed out his load to her mouth and while she didn’t swallow it, it was almost as good as some of her strictly gonzo work.


Scene Five: Shay Jordan, the latest jewel in the Digital Playground crown to strike my fancy, was up on a couch next while she masturbated as Jean Val Jean watched. The music was too busy for the action this time, a slower tempo needed to stay in time with the visuals but there was never any doubt that the two seemed into one another. If raw energy is what you’d prefer over the polished performances (albeit performances filled with chemistry) of Jesse, Shay is your gal of the hour. The freshness factor alone was superior and while I wanted to see them tear into one another like lost lovers on their honeymoon, the dynamic of making them go at it slowly allowed for the action to be drawn out more than a little; all of it finely tuned. The oral and vaginal action lasted for some time and she took the mouth pop well, even providing some post coital sucking as his spew ran down her chin. Yum!


Scene Six: Charlie Laine, a gal that exudes a sense of distant appeal, and Jesse Jane, now in a semi-sterile environment of a post modern living room, slowly eyed one another as though engaged in a mental contest of wills; a sexual “game of chicken” as it were to see who would be the first to blink (get up and grab the other rather then just masturbate). The lingerie looked good and the toys used added to the fun, with Charlie’s being my favorite in terms of exotic appeal. I really liked the female vocals of the music this time, and the ladies gave in at the same time to start working each other over orally and with the toys in a fashion that is tough to describe adequately. In all, this scene worked because of the gals more then any of the others (lesser performers would’ve made the scene appear pretentious and boring by comparison).


Scene Seven: Daisy Marie, a lean and sexy Latina, was up next on a white bed as she rolled around to tease studly Marco Banderas/Duato. Her neon blue dress, black underwear, and high heels combined well with her smile, and the two of them appeared to be the perfect couple as they frolicked on the bed. The oral by both of them was nice to watch and the vaginal sex was the most like a set of happily married newlyweds having a scene together for real. Both seemed to get off and while his pop went to her crotch, she seemed ready for rounds two, three and four immediately afterwards.


Scene Eight: Jesse Jane, seductively working her bottle of Rolling Rock beer at the bar, was finding the atmosphere a little too warm so she started unzipping and taking off her clothing while bartender Rick Patrick (her special partner in real life), ogled her. It was clear what effect the action was having on him and she coyly continued as she climbed up onto the counter, gyrating her hips and establishing what she wanted fairly quickly (but not letting him have it right away). The oral showed he enjoyed her taste and she was already notable for her excellent blowjobs in the movie, leading to the final active romp of the flick. I was pleased that the tease and oral lasted longer then the boning, with the pop shot landing on her lower back, ending a decent little scene.


Summary: Hush HD DVD by director Celeste to be released by Digital Playground later this month was a lot of fun to watch and I say this without the usual qualifiers. The production team worked very hard to instill some extra spark in the scenes, largely succeeding thanks to the manner in which all the elements came together but also due to the subject matter (none of the gals here were third tier). If you’re looking for something with circus act sex tricks, abusive men, and harsh lighting like you’ll find at the local Wal-Mart (or your typical gonzo flick), you’ll want to keep looking but if you’re looking for something to snuggle up with a loved one and watch, you’ll think of Hush HD DVD as one worthy of being Recommended. The evolution of Celeste’s style continues to move forward with time, recent efforts proving that someone is listening, but this was a marginal upgrade for me given the higher resolution bringing out flaws in the gals more readily than enhancing the experience. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a visually interesting movie that couples and females will probably like a lot more than Robby’s newest hardcore titles (particularly under his Handheld label), but at twice the price and no new extras, this will appeal mostly to those of you that aren’t satisfied with the stunning beauty of Island Fever 4 HD.


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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