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Pop Star

Studio: Vivid » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 12/19/07

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Monique Alexander looking for success (click for trailer)

Pop Star

Vivid Entertainment

Carolyn Reese about to make a new friend.

Genre: Feature

Director: B. Skow

Presley Maddox with Sascha hovering over her.

Cast: Monique Alexander, Nick Manning, Carolyn Reese, Chris Cannon, Presley Maddox, Sascha, James Deen, Audrey Bitoni, Evan Stone

Length: 178:40 minutes

James Deen wrapping his rascal to work with Monique Alexander.

Date of Production: 5/14/2006 (box cover); 5/14/2007 (credits)

Extras: The best extras for most of you will be the five short bonus scenes from past movies such as Call Girl Confidential, The American Dream, Where The Boys Aren’t 18, and Breakup Sex; a heavy emphasis on Monqiue this time sure to please the fans even if they totalled 30:53 minutes. There was also a text biography for Monique Alexander, a photogallery, some spam (including skippable spam at the beginning of the DVD), and trailers to movies like Pipe Dreams, Brand New Faces, Jenna’s Gallery Blue, & Love Life. My personal favorite was the 10:29 minute Behind the Scenes feature by Herr Graham Crackher as it consisted mostly of interviews and some additional footage of the ladies in action, even helping prove who the guy was in scene two (Chris).

Audrey Bitoni about to pounce on the Mighty Evan Stone!

Condoms: Some

Monique showing how she can convince men of anything.

Audio/Video Quality: Pop Star was presented in the same 1.78:1 ratio anamorphic widescreen color it was shot in by director B. Skow for Vivid Entertainment. For those unfamiliar with his background, suffice it to say that his experience outside of porn is superior to many inside the industry and it shows up in his movies, including this one as shot in HD, though presented in the SD format (for now) as shot in HDV1080i to provide a lot of resolution supporting some of the effects (making it look more like a real movie than many similar efforts by Skow’s peers at the company). The lighting was well handled and this added to the pleasure of watching the gals in play as the lengthy scenes gave them enough freedom to explore. The composition of the camera angles and lighting were almost always optimal this time, Skow seeing fit to try and enhance the look of the ladies at every turn as possible. The fleshtones were accurate this time and the DVD mastering was well done (if in a bitrate hovering around the mid 4 Mbps area), making it a mixed bag in terms of visual quality; leaning towards above average. The audio was presented in a 2.0 Dolby Digital English (in 192 Kbps) offering with the vocals sounding flat and the music pretty decent. For some reason, the levels were about the same as usual but aside from the added background noise, the dynamic range was average and the separation of the vocal track nonexistent (though some of the musical bits did come from multiple speakers).

Monique Alexander, Audrey Bitoni, and Carolyn Reese on the couch.

-- sponsored by --

Body of Review: B. Skow has been drawing accolades from better critics awhile now, his work for Vivid Entertainment generally speaking for itself as he tackles gonzo, features, and vignette driven titles with equal vigor. His best work to date usually centers on showcasing particular performers like Lanny Barby or Monique Alexander so I jumped at the chance to see his latest such effort called Pop Star. The movie was a feature involving a scathing look at the world of popular music with Monique Alexander as a really lousy singer willing to trade her other skills for the chance to propel herself into the limelight; using a mean hearted bastard agent (aptly played by Nick Manning in yet another solid acting gig) as her stepping stone to fame and glamour. The back cover said it like this: “Sunrise (Monique Alexander) and her friend Sadie have moved to LA to become stars...but they're far from star material. One night while enjoying the club scene Sunrise meets Din (Nick Manning), a major record producer. Din represents Paulina, the hottest star in the pop music scene. Din is bored with Paulina and bets his partner Mick that he can turn the "not so cool Sunrise" into the next big thing...Mick agrees to the bet. We now watch as Din brings Sunrise to the top and Paulina to the bottom, in an erotic take on the kind of games played on Entourage. Only this time the entourage goes all the way...” If that sounds as good to you as it did to me, you may want to check it out given the strength of the sexual performances on top of the thematic ideas so ably explored in the movie. Here’s a brief glimpse into the scenes by cast and action, noting that condoms were used at times:

The humor of the movie was rarely so overt as this but if the shoe fits...

Scene One: Sunrise VIP: Monique Alexander, the beauty featured on the front DVD cover, was up first with agent Nick Manning as he tried to cater to her baser natures in exchange for what he wanted. She was feeling a little frisky thanks to the alcohol and he wanted to see more skin, the pair undressing in an almost businesslike manner before kissing and pawing each other on the black leather couch. He fingered and ate her out before she blew him, both performers showing some skill at foreplay before they began bumping uglies in a heated, energetic, manner. She was at her most active when on top of his lap and I was surprised to see how obvious the condom was but Nick remained true to his usual abusive character; thankfully toning it down a few notches for the betterment of the scene. Her vaginal ride built up steam by the end and she took the facial of population pudding as though she had no issues with his seed; providing post coital sucking to finish it up. Yum!

Scene Two: Sadie’s Audition: Carolyn Reese, a curvy blond with a great smile (nice rack too!), was up next in the bathroom stall giving Chris Cannon a point of view (POV) blowjob on her knees as part of an audition. Perhaps this is a good time to mention that I’m starting my own production company, Meat Manly: The Two Pump Chump’s Multimedia Services, but she was enthusiastic and used her breasts to get him extra hard between her mouth and hand action. The idea that a feature could mix it up like this has been gaining in popularity of late, moving away from cookie cutter scenes to performances better suited to the feature’s plot. It ended with a chest pop and her rubbing it in a bit, a nod to the curative powers of semen.

Scene Three: Paige & Conner: Presley Maddox, a lean brunette with plenty of ink, was up next as the henchman of evil Nick and needing a way to distract Sascha. This being a porno, she deployed her ultimate weapons, her sexual skills and body, in order to get her mission done so that she wouldn’t have to “go back to where people like her come from”. This meant she aggressively took matters into her own hands and jumped Sascha rather than seduce him; grabbing his package and slobbing his knob with flair before they fucked like crazed bunnies in heat. The titty fuck was kind of weird since her breasts were not designed for that (too small, too much metal) but she was an active vaginal cock rider from the beginning; her tiny tits bouncing nicely as she impaled herself on the penis. He boned her like he owned her and rubbed out a load to her face with a variety of sexual positions covered this time; this being one of her very best scenes in a feature fuck flick ever.

Scene Four: Sunrise & the VJ: Monique Alexander, in a slinky black & red outfit, was up next as she climbed the ladder of success and made a new friend out of video jockey James Deen; the man using a really clumsy move to feel her up. Knowing the score, she complied with his desired routine, her panties flying off for him to feel up and go down on in no time at all. If she was faking the pleasure he was giving her, she looked good doing so but James spent some very solid quality time servicing her before she reciprocated with a sweet blowjob herself. Parts of it were done in POV fashion but it wasn’t that extensive since they went to vaginally screwing instead. She was passive at first but again cranked up the heat as the scene progressed, displaying the reason why I have come to appreciate her place on the learning curve in recent years. It’s great when someone so physically attractive grows into the role as well as Monique has done, proving that beautiful contract performers don’t always suck at fucking. It ended when he showered her from neck to crotch with splooge, Monique doing some post coital sucking to seal the deal.

Scene Five: Polly & Marvin: Audrey Bitoni, a brunette with large implants and a seductive smile, was up next as she assisted the mighty Evan Stone in cutting a track (I liked the music but wished it lasted longer, regardless of who was singing it). They were in the studio and while the montage was a bit disposable (looking like it was thrown together too quickly), their pairing was actually among her best to date in a feature release too. Her playful lap dance and their teasing of each other was pretty fun to enjoy as they got worked up sexually. The building sexual tension made the actual sexual activity between them all the better with the vaginal plowing and varied oral all mixed up like real sex can be rather than following a strict “porn formula” approach. She was an active rider of cock and they showed some chemistry together; Audrey getting off when sitting on his face and gyrating her hips to his delight. The background music during the sex was far too generic compared to their previous montage but the sex was highly strokable with good replay value; ending with a titty fuck and facial with her sucking him off again for good measure. Whew!

Scene Six: Feeling Artistic: Monique Alexander, again looking very hot as she knelt between the knees of Nick Manning, was up next as she blew him as a means of convincing him to take the bait in part of a not so elaborate scheme concocted by her and the others. This meant she literally had to take his bait in her mouth and suck away on it; the blowjob fairly short but longer than I’d last given her skilful abilities with her mouth and hand. She jerked him off to her chest and while it was a small load, it added to the story nicely.

Scene Seven: VIP Girls: Monique Alexander, Audrey Bitoni, and Carolyn Reese were up last in an extended lesbian scene on the couch at the club in the back room. The flimsy dresses fell to the wayside and the ladies fondled one another while kissing and carrying on very nicely. There was some dildo use but the majority of the sexual action was not truly dependent on that aspect of the scene; the sweaty trio moaning a bit too often but still providing some stroke value to fans of the ladies that enjoy watching them work with each other instead of some parolee.

Bonus Scene: Call Girl Confidential: Monique Alexander, this time wearing a slinky black top and blue jean skirt, was up with priestly Marcos Leon after he saved her from the mean old pimp of the movie played by Marcus. They went back to Marcus' house where he showered and she joined him, corrupting the priest to some pleasing music that I admit to liking more than usual in a porno, the gal dropping her cloths before joining him in the bathroom to blow him. Religious concerns aside, she showed a tender side as she cleaned his meat pipe, the pair going into the bedroom mysteriously dry for him to reciprocate and start banging her on the bed. The camera work was a bit clunky this time, not using the smoother transitional shots or edits to move about as elsewhere. They used a condom to bang and she was actively riding him in heated form, the passion displayed elevating the replay value a bit more than usual for me. There was a limited amount of anal too, no condom appearing present on his cock as he drilled her backdoor (Shades of Sodom!) before he gave a large load all over her back. Whew!

Bonus Scene: The American Dream: Monique Alexander, this time in a sexy black dress, was up with muscular Marcus London next in bed, with the guy going down on her to get her in the mood for some fun. While his lizard flicking approach was kind of lame, her performing like it felt great was pretty believable so I let it pass as I waited for her to slob his knob. Using her hand to gland abilities, it didn't take long for her to power suck him into a raging hard on, resulting in the couple aggressively boning one another with the mandatory protection he wore. It didn't weaken the scene one bit as they tore into each other, her being on top making it all the more powerful when she bucked and pounded her ass cheeks on his lap. He jerked out a modest load to her abdomen to finish things up, the scene fading away after that. The energy levels and chemistry were about as good as before but not as much as I prefer.

Bonus Scene: Where The Boys Aren’t 18: Briana Banks, the hotty kneeling on the second row in the middle, and lovely Monique Alexander, lying back on the lower left hand corner, were up next in a setting involving large plush pillows on a huge couch. Monique took the early lead as she worked Briana over; rubbing the clitoris and sucking pussy after kissing the gal. This was a decidedly high energy scene with both gals getting into the spirit of the action, elevating the passion and chemistry shared between them more than a little as it continued. Briana did fine when orally working Monique over too, leading to her getting plundered by a large glass dildo ever so slowly. The plastic bracelets and bobbles they wore got in the way but if you like that they kept some clothing on, it was quite an inspirational experience.

Bonus Scene: Breakup Sex: Monique Alexander, the beautiful blonde on the front cover, was up next with Steven St. Croix, in the dining room and kitchen of a small loft from the looks of it. He was working on his computer and found some of her erotic writing, getting a bit jealous that she never shared it with him. He then proceeded to make her written fantasy of being taken come true, acting roughly as it said she liked. Granted, this was rough only compared to some of the other work at the company by the two but it was not bad and the use of a condom did not get in the way of the fun. She aggressively rode his cock when on top and she did some ass grinding here before the ass cheek pop, but there was no anal if that is what you were looking for. In all, it showed her skills off better than his, making me wonder what it would have been like if she had a better partner for the scene.

Bonus Scene: The American Dream: Monique Alexander, one of the sexiest contract gals at Vivid these days, was up next as she masturbated in the bed with no clothing on. I'd have preferred there be at least a passing nod to a reason for the scene but I'd be lying if I said she wasn't cute enough that I'd watch her for hours on end if she were doing so at my place (drooling all the time). The fingering, tasting, and panting all gave plenty of inspirational material for fans to enjoy; ending with a shot showing she was masturbating to a porn scene on television shot by Vivid.

Summary: Pop Star by director B. Skow for Vivid Entertainment started off a bit slowly in terms of the storyline but the sex grabbed me by the balls and then kept me interested enough to watch what was going on with the kind of cute nods to the music industry where people are required to sell their souls in exchange for their shot at the big time. The performers weren’t all completely consistent performers but the heat, energy, and chemistry present were all enough to offer some nice replay and stroke value; giving this title a lot more fuck for the buck despite some minor issues that most porn features have these days. Fans of Monique Alexander should consider Pop Star a “must have” for their collection and even those who aren’t into this kind of thing should consider it worthy of being Recommended but I have to admit that I was taken by surprise at how solid the movie ended up given the limited shooting schedule and budget. Good job!

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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