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Island Fever 3 (Blu-ray)

Studio: Digital Playground » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 4/16/08

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Note:  The following review is directly related to the original reviews in other formats, modified for the new version this one was designed to be in a remastered 1080p.  You can look at the TRAILER for an idea as to what the movie was but the series is so well known in porn that few would argue it was anything but trend setting.

Island Fever 3 Blu-Ray

Digital Playground

Genre: Vignette

Director: Joone

Cast: Jesse Jane, Devon, Evan Stone, Tera Patrick, Barrett Blade, Eric Masterson

Length: 87.5 minutes

Dates of Production: 10/2/2002, 5/3/2004

Extra's: The best extra this time was either the standard version copy of the full movie or the 33.5 minute long Behind the Scenes feature. The cast were having a lot of fun, even when shit happened to them, and there was a fair amount of the humorous special effects (sounds added in and camera work) as in some of the Jack's Playground comedies. It was clear that they were imitating the mugging Evan Stone a lot but it was a lot of fun to check out. Another solid extra was the audio commentary by Robby D., Jesse Jane, Devon, and Evan Stone on the movie. I appreciated that it was kept on the Blu-Ray version as a form of time capsule of where the company was at several years back. They were playful, provided a lot of anecdotes about the adventure behind the making of the movie, and it was weird to hear the ladies talking about the sex while the guys exchanged witty banter about technical aspects (at least initially; thankfully, that stopped). There was a photogallery, text biographies for the ladies, and trailers to six other titles in the format. The DVD case for the disc was the new Blu-Ray style so there'd be no confusing versions, and it had a double sided cover as well.

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: Island Fever 3 Blu-Ray was presented in the original 1.78:1 ratio as shot in 720p and remastered in 1080p VC-1, as shot by cameraman Robby D. under the direction of Joone for release by Digital Playground. Keeping in mind that the original footage was shot years ago, my initial concern was that it wouldn't be up to snuff, even though it was one of the first titles shot in true HD. Shot in Bora Bora and Tahiti, the movie has long been held up as an example of classic pretty porn, using slow motion, various camera effects, and the incredible locations to full effect. The original version of the movie included a "sort of" HD version that would play on some computers but let me tell you, it wasn't nearly as gorgeous, as vivacious, or simply cool as getting to see the VC-1 codec version on the big screen of an HD television. To give you an idea of the difference, I couldn't make out the wasps on the standard version on my projection TV in the SD version of the movie but with the HD version; you could see them like you were there. The scenery all came alive and in terms of sheer ability to show off your new high end set up, this was the best porno available (even if Cuddly Pines was the better movie). As a first HD effort for Digital Playground all I can say is wow! The audio was presented in a 5.1, newly encoded Dolby Digital + for the higher quality one would expect instead of the standard 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround English track from the original. I have long preferred (greatly preferred at that) hearing a vocal track on my porn and I understand Robby's repeated explanations to me why that can't be done with the effects they use for the visuals on these movies but I have to admit that there was more punch and sparkle (for lack of better terms) to the music here; and it sounded right for the style of visuals the movie provided. Joey "Mojo" Pulgadas has since done bigger and better things with his talents but his work on the music track was superior and credit should be given in reviews for it. I strongly urge that you use HDMI cables to get the best picture and sound from the movie, I found even the SD version improved substantially from my old RCA jacks as a result.

-- sponsored by --

Body of Review: Joone is known as one of the principles at Digital Playground but also their director of record for some of the stylish offerings the company releases each year. As a trained photographer, his work has been seen in various mainstream publications so it makes sense that he would be the lead director for the company's signature series, with the re-release of Island Fever 3 Blu-Ray this month. The movie came out a few years back with a high definition version that could be played on a computer but this version is the real deal; a remastered progressive title that can be played on Blu-Ray players. While it was the second HD DVD porn title on the market, I strongly suspect it was a big hit due to the way it served the couples and pretty porn lovers; exactly the kind of title you can use not only get off, but show off all your friends without looking like a massive pervert.  Now in a newly remastered 1080p version using the Blu-Ray format, it looks even better, albeit not as stunning as some of the newer titles on the market released by the company.  The title made effective use of cameraman Robby D. and his skills too, but the original release was a success due to the efforts of many folks, from the editor, the music director, the camera work, and the creative vision that combined with some of the most desirable contract stars of the time to forge a great looking movie, made even better thanks to this newly remastered Blu-Ray version. If you're still interested, and you should be, here's a look at the eight scenes on the movie, noting that condoms were used but were only sometimes obtrusive:

Scene One: Jesse Jane, the current lead contract gal at the company, was up first with reigning champion Devon, on the beach as the two playfully felt each other up and enjoyed the scenery as much as each other. When the movie was first released, a lot of fans were demanding the two work together and the idea must've been to build up some tension in that regard; making scenes like this all the more powerful as a result. Granted, there was more posing than playing but as they moved into the jungle, I got a feeling of being there watching them in the secluded spot that they ended up in, with the sun looking like it was setting as they passionately kissed. The scene progressed into more standard lesbian fare after that but being able to count the grains of sand seemed to add something to the action for me, elevating the suspension of disbelief as I watched. Fingers, tongues, and slow motion ruled the moment, the pair giving each other a nice sexual workout to start the flick off.

Scene Two: Devon, looking great in a montage of shots of her on the beach, was up next as she teased the camera effectively. The masturbation led to her working with the mighty Evan Stone; a guy that even she admitted (on the commentary track) was larger than she can easily handle. Her veil dance on the cliff led to the two of them going at it, him eating her out and her giving his knob a sloppy hummer. The way her ass cheeks rippled as he pawed her was intense and the Fabio look he provided gave my friend the shivers (she is now a huge believer in HD porn AND Evan by the way). I could make out her freckles the image was so sharp and her gyrations as he ate her were perceptibly better, making the boning even better. The condom did look out of place and I'd be lying if I said the slow motion didn't take away from the scene (we both agreed) but they had something for each other that I enjoyed watching, right up until the ending facial coated her face with streamers of population pudding.

Scene Three: Tera Patrick, back when she was all natural and considered the hottest property in porn by many, was up next on what came across as a scene on a desert plain (like the Utah salt flats). The wind and barren nature of the setting kept the focus on her, as did the unique music but as a tease sequence, it was working for me fairly well. It was overexposed, the HD version showing this to be the case even more than usual, but Joone shot this one and his eye for artistic license did provide a different look to mix things up. Barrett Blade joined her to get a decent hummer, though she wasn't as active as Devon in terms of slobbing a knob, and he returned the favor by going down on her. The condom felt out of place here too; perhaps due to the imagery provided (almost like she came down from the sky to serve him) but this was reportedly her last scene before bailing on the company and going on hiatus so it had to last fans the better part of two years (her recent penetrative work with other men is superior much of the time but this was a warm scene for me). It ended with a facial but he was practically shooting blanks given the lack of volume, perhaps he was working on the bikini models or something the night before. I was just happy that she was the one jerking it out of him.

Scene Four: Jesse Jane, back in a secluded alcove by the beach, was up again as she played in the water like a seductive nymph or water sprite. The editing was especially good here as the waves from another location, the mountains, and the pretty skies were all used to enhance her appeal. This gave way to Eric Masterson tenderly stroking her as they made out, her inhaling his cock in a fine hummer; her hands playfully rubbing his body before they started banging like lost lovers. Her weight at the time fit her frame perfectly (despite rumors to the contrary, she looked just fine at the 2007 AEE Show but I prefer a few extra pounds on gals) and the ass cheek rippling I mentioned before was back in full view as he tapped that cookie of hers really hard. For me, it was one of the highlights of the movie, though I admit that I'm partial to the gal and find him less threatening than my pal Evan.

Scene Five: Devon, covered in sand from the beach, provided a nasty gal image this time as she rolled in the little waves that came to shore (black sand beaches are interesting that way). She was having fun like a kid in the sandbox and she seemed more approachable here thanks to the grime running over her body, resulting in Eric Masterson getting to work with her to continue the dynamic offered up by the gal. He wasn't shy about grabbing her hard and she lit up as though she enjoyed it, coaxing him on to continue his efforts at pleasing the sensation slut she was turning out to be. His oral on her was pretty basic, almost disposable, but her blowjob was another matter altogether. She seemed to energize at the thought of his rod in her mouth, squatting before him to worship his admittedly modest member. She then rode him aggressively, causing the large bolder he was poised on to rock from the friction. A few positions of penetrative sex and he was rubbing out a moderate load to her chest, resulting in her appearing to take on a self congratulatory look, though I wish she had titty fucked him to a second orgasm instead.

Scene Six: Jesse Jane, looking a bit frazzled as she posed in the windy area by the ice cold waterfall, seemed to walk on water as the camera played various time lapse tricks (even reversing the flow of time as a few other scenes had done) while she masturbated and teased some more. The mighty Evan Stone, who had come up with the basis for the award winning Pirates during the shoot, was paired up with her and he seemed to sustain her somehow (maybe his body heat?) as they embraced by the massive waterfall. The scene seemed to contain a mixture of explicit and less explicit imagery with Robby's camera never quite sure which direction he wanted to capture the most. The fluctuating nature of the dynamic added something at times, though Jesse looked cold at one point and his tiny pop shot seemed indicative of the shooting conditions too.

Scene Seven: Devon, having played the bad girl and the vixen in previous scenes, was then given a chance to play a lighter version of her persona as she teased during a masturbation sequence (with the light music adding to the impression). Her beautiful eyes enhanced the scene and while I thought her chemistry with Evan was better, Eric Masterson appeared to provide this style of her personality with a little more of the fucking for fun angle than I thought she could handle with Evan. The blowjob was as much a series of licks as mouth fucking, his oral barely lasting long enough to register as such, and they were boning in no time. Exactly how active she was this time was a tough call given the use of slow motion but it must've felt great given how quickly he came on her chest.

Scene Eight: Jesse Jane, given the final spot on the movie as a means of sealing the deal, then had her turn at playing the dirty girl on the black sand beach; the weird camera effects drawing my attention as much as her heated little body. If I had to pick which contract gal played this angle the best, I'd defer to Devon but there were more close ups this time and they worked to add a new vision to the idea for me. After the solo and tease work, the mighty Evan Stone was back at work with her on a grassy spot by a tree; each doing the slightest of oral antics on one another before really banging away (evidenced by the way her ass cheeks and breasts heaved. The condom was less pronounced this time and she really worked him hard, ending with a large chest pop before the movie ended with the signature vignette montage the series has long established as its own.

Summary: Island Fever 3 Blu-Ray by director Joone for Digital Playground was short but sweet; with a package of extras providing great entertainment as well as strokability, some serious replay value, and a superior cast directed by two of the most talented men in porn. Unlike most porn made these days that relies on circus act sex and antics that push the ever widening gap between raincoaters and regular folks, this one gets better with time which probably had something to do with why it was selected as the first HD DVD title released by the company, and one of the earliest Blu-Ray releases too. In all, I thought the fairest rating was Recommended though those of you with a Blu-Ray player should get this one and Volume 4 both since they each offer a completely different (and entertaining) experience. In short, Island Fever 3 Blu-Ray opens up a whole new world for the industry in the way it disproves the idea that the high definition formats can be too revealing or too clear to appreciate; making me gain a whole new appreciation for those few who can do it right. In general then, this version was another marginal upgrade for fans of the show, worthy of checking out by fans of the genre, format, and series.

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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