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All About BelAmi

Studio: Bel Ami » Review by Guybrush » Review Date: 11/25/07

XCritic's Advice: Watch On Demand

Date of Production:March 2004

Director:Mel Roberts Jr.

Cast:Lukas Ridgeston, Sebastian Bonnet, Johan Paulik, Julian Armanis, and many more actors

Body Types:young Europeans with foreskin


Things to see:Behind the scenes footage, oral and anal sex

Plot:no plot

The Movie:

Documentaries about the making of porn are (sorry, I couldn't resist) hard to come by.  Most adult companies would rather shoot the porno quickly and then move on to make more porn.  This decision undoubtedly has to do with money, but also an assumed lack of interest for how porn is made.  As a result, the typical "special feature" on most adult DVD's is the inclusion of trailers for other films.  Only a few of the big budget titles feature a documentary of sorts, yet of these titles, more than half aren't very good, let alone informative.  This is a sad realization because some fans (myself included) have lots of questions about porno shoots, including: how the actors are chosen to be paired with another actor, how the actors get their butts ready for action, who fluffs the actors beforehand, etc.  These questions will remain unanswered until someone in the industry "exposes" the type of things that occur on the porno set.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Bel Ami studios had created a documentary, or "pornumentary," about the studio and its models.  This lengthy documentary covers the time span of Bel Ami's beginning to its growth past the year 2000.  Some of the more notable footage includes:

-- sponsored by --

  • On the set of 'Frisky Summer 2'  This behind the scenes footage shows the actors playing around in between shoots, flying and driving towards the shoot, and some different takes of the hardcore footage that was shown in the movie.
  • NY footage of 'In Black,' with Johan and Lukas posing during the shoot.
  • The Gay VN awards ceremony with Johan and Lukas being inducted into the porno star hall of fame.
  • Footage from 'Summer Camp' including unused hardcore footage and scenes with the cast goofing around.
  • Extensive interviews with the cast of 'An American in Prague.' along with lots of behind the scenes footage as the models are getting ready for shooting.
  • Several models making molds of their dicks to be used for dildo molds. 
  • Behind the scenes footage from the 'English Student.'
  • Outdoor coverage for the films 'Lucky Lucas' and 'Cherries.'

Interspersed amidst all of the footage, there are several interviews with the popular Bel Ami models Lucas Ridgeston, Johan Paulik, Sebastian Bonnet, and Julian Armanis.  Lucas and Johan come across as the most likeable (and talkative) as they share their thoughts about how they got into the porn industry and what they want to do in the future.  Sebastian chats less in the candid interviews, although he chats throughout some of the on the set footage.  There are also some on the set footage interviews with several actors.  The interview with the "American in Prague" actor (Chance) is superficial and rather goofy.  Actually, the actor Chance comes across as cocky and not genuine, which is made worse by his silly mid 90's haircut.  

Overall, the documentary is fun to watch and entertaining, yet I can't see most people wanting to come back to it for either a mainstream viewing or for the porn.  At times, the documentary feels closer to an informercial than it does a true documentary.  No real negative footage is shown, so everything looks perfect down to the actors shaved butts and the perfect lighting.  Similarly, the models are constantly smiling and everyone seems so darn happy.  This reminded me of the 1990's Noxema commercials where a group of perfect skinned girls goes on a day of fun with some boys.  Here, the boys are just as smiley and perky as those Noxema girls, yet they get naked and have sex with each other.  Perhaps all of the smiling and self congratulatory revelations grated on my nerves towards the end.  There is no doubt in my mind that Bel Ami makes great films.  I just wish that they had included a little more of the base that makes their "pot of soup" so good tasting.

The DVD:



The footage comes from a variety of different shoots and film sources.  As a result, some of the film waivers from grainy and dark to well lit and clear.  However, the additional hardcore footage is all well lit and clear.


The sound was good.  The actors can be easily heard.  The actors speak in their original language so subtitles are provided However, some of the on the set scenes didn't feature subtitles, leaving me to guess what was said. 


Extras include scene selection and two promotional video trailers.  The scene selection was horrible and should be avoided.  I could never return to the initial DVD menu, once I selected the chapter selection.  Worse, once you select the scene, the DVD then stops and returns to the archaic scene selection.  I felt like I was stuck in some sort of porn conundrum. 

Final thoughts:

This documentary is more commercial than informative documentary. However, there is lots of interesting tidbits of information, some extra sex scenes, and some interesting candid interviews with some of the biggest Bel Ami stars.  Unfortunately, this title suffers from not having a significant amount of porn footage to really be called a porno film.   At times, it felt like I was watching an HBO Real Sex show.  Therefore, I would recommend that you rent this title first to determine if you want to add it to your collection. 

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