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Dark City

Studio: Adam & Eve » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 5/15/08

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Director Ethan Kane and hotty Faith Leon (click for trailer)

Dark City

Adam & Eve

Marie Luv and Tommy Gunn

Genre: Feature

Director: Ethan Kane

Ava Rose and Tommy Gunn

Cast: Marie Luv, Tommy Gunn, Ava Rose, Faith Leon, Paulina James, Victoria Sin, Tee Reel, Ben English, Maya Hills, Jay Lassiter, Dirty Harry, Karlie Montana, Ashlyn Page
Non-sex roles: Ron Jeremy, Dirty Sid, D. Swasher

Paulina James and Tee Reel

Length: 107:07 minutes

Date of Production: 2/6/2008 (box cover); 3/26/2007 to 2/28/2007 (credits)

Maya Hills, Jay Lassiter, and Dirty Harry

Extras: The second disc was home to the extras, including four bonus scenes from other features the company put out (three of them described in detail below, the fourth to Pulp Friction that never came in for review). They totaled 107:59 minutes and while some footage was trimmed, all the good stuff was present in the scenes (except for maybe some of the tease I like so much). I really enjoyed the 30:06 minute long Behind the Scenes feature as Mario Rossi caught some hilarious moments in addition to a touch more sex (focusing almost exclusively on the true BTS action rather than copying the footage of the movie as others do). That was followed by a 5:13 minute long Blooper Reel (not as funny as the BTS but it still added some levity to the extras disc and proved well worth watching). Then came a very well done music video for the theme song, showing me what an insider told me about Ethan's skill; the production serving as the trailer for the movie like many mainstream efforts do. Then came the 5:22 minute long Glamour Shoot and photogallery, a goofy little extra called "Blow Job Hunt" lasting 15:07 minutes where Ethan bet Mario that he couldn't find any of the gals to blow him for an extra $150. They turned him down but there was some sweet tease footage by Ashlyn Page (that appeared to be taken from the BTS) and the joke was that he might be able to find one of the guys to do it, Ethan himself turning the poor "unfortunate soul" down. There were 19:39 minutes of trailers to other productions and a bunch of spam, including spam at the beginning of the discs, but I have to give the nod that this was a serious effort to provide value (and most appreciated). Oh, and the DVD case had a book styled cover with the discs held in a booklet type of case that had a comic book approach done to the inside; a very appealing effort in this regard.

Karlie Montana, Ava Rose, and Ashlyn Page

Condoms: None

-- sponsored by --

Audio/Video Quality: Dark City was presented in an appealing 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen color as shot by director Ethan Kane for Adam & Eve. The lighting was a bit lighter than usual with the shadows enhanced to boost the nourish look of the material quite effectively; the fleshtones were accurate and the majority of action was captured quite well. As far as feature porn is concerned, Ethan has reportedly displayed a knack for it according to some of my reviewing peers, more so than most that have directed at Adam & Eve in recent years; his relative inexperience seeming to help propel him to do things others discard rather than try (often making his works look unique). The camera angles did not always completely favor the ladies and make them look their best but it was generally well shot with the editing a step above some of his past work. I did not see any compression artifacts and with a video bitrate ranging from the mid 5 Mbps, I can see why I wouldn't, but it wasn't the best looking title of the month either. The audio was shot in a 2.0 Dolby Digital English under a 192 Kbps, the music somewhat better than usual; as if Ethan wanted to address my most common concern about the dearth of decent audio work done on major productions. There was some separation between the channels and the dynamic range of the mostly moans and groans quite basic but that's one of the accepted trademarks of porn these days; the addition of some sultry music nicely placed during the movie.

Body of Review: Ethan Kane is one of those directors many people have not heard much about due to the stylish efforts he has made for a limited number of companies almost never getting much publicity. Love or hate his work, there is no doubt that his artistic approach is fitting for the world of features; admittedly a world in porn that a handful of directors and companies dominate. While I tend to think of Adam & Eve more as a premium sex toy company, they have made porn friendly to women and couples for years now as well, showing a willingness to experiment at times with the results varying accordingly. Their latest effort in the "big leagues" of well done features is courtesy of Ethan's magic, a stylish noir thriller called Dark City. Lest you think this is a copycat version of a mainstream flick by the same name, let me reassure you that it is not (Private already tried that, to limited success) though it definitely incorporated mainstream elements better than the company's former lead director was ever able to do. Tommy Gunn is a detective in Los Angeles on a major case, the intrigue piled on as he takes a case for Ava Rose as the classic archetype gal with a hidden agenda. While I don't think Ethan's efforts will worry Roman Polanski, I have to hand it to the guy that he did a lot better than most of his peers would be able to given the shooting schedule and cast (some of whom seem to have missed their calling). I won't spoil the plot elements for those that want to see the movie but this title cries out for a Blu-Ray version. Here's what the back cover said: "Presented in a film-noir aesthetic, a tale of love, mystery, and murder unfolds in the shadowy and depraved netherworld of the Gotham-like "City of Angels". Lured by femme fatale, Molly Breathless (Ava Rose), Detective Nick Caprice (Tommy Gunn) spirals down into a world of fervent sexual escapades. His desire for love and her struggle for power brew the cocktail of inevitable dissolution and demise." Here's a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used for those still interested:

Scene One: Marie Luv, a light skinned black gal known for her long legs, gap tooth smile, and skilled anal performances, was up first with studly Tommy Gunn as the hooker (her role in the movie) worked on satisfying his need to unleash seed. The setting was an office that looked like it was set off to the side for her financial exploits, their clothing tossed aside off camera before the fishnet clad Marie started inhaling his cock while she masturbated. As a hooker, she was beneath him going down on so the two started actively fucking vaginally without benefit of a condom as she bounced on his rod enthusiastically (and loudly). I was surprised they did not do anal and the scene really didn't propel the story elements forward much, but she was a sweet little cookie to tap. The population pudding went mostly to her all natural chest though she tried sucking some out during the post coital hummer, Marie always welcome in such scenes.

Scene Two: Ava Rose, as the femme fatale of the fuck flick, was up next as a still sexually frustrated Tommy Gunn returned to his darkened living room; smoking a stogie and pouring a drink before falling off to sleep where he fantasized about nailing the youthful hotty. Her white dress was punctuated with feathers and the lighting something out of a completely different type of movie but they were then up in an empty church setting (a single pew and alter with little else to distinguish it). She slobbed his knob and he boned her like he owned her (vaginally) though she was remarkably active here as if scratching a deep seated itch inside her biscuit. This didn't last long though and he rubbed out his wad of semen to her waiting face, Ava cleaning him off orally once he was done with her.

Scene Three: Faith Leon, Paulina James, Victoria Sin, Ava Rose, Tee Reel, and Ben English, were up next in the nightclub orgy scene, Ron Jeremy and Tommy missing out on the action after the musical interlude. I wish there had been enough extras to fill out the club (especially early on, the lack of bodies with the post production ambient sounds simply did not mix well) but the sexual action was not bad here. Paulina worked with Tee, Ava masturbated and Faith rode Ben while Victoria assisted. There was some switching around but not like a true orgy, the chemistry between some of the players helping me to overlook the minutia of the setting. Paulina was the best of the bunch here, gyrating on Tee's lap as if possessed; perhaps a reenactment should be given now that she has settled down in Houston to give me a better idea of how she enjoyed herself. Ava joining in fully also helped and fans of circus act sex will likely appreciate Victoria's DP with the lads. The pop shots landed on titties and faces by the end, a bit more work in editing might have enhanced some of the scene for me.

Scene Four: Maya Hills, the exotic anal queen, was up next as she was thrust upon her scene with muscular Jay Lassiter and gross Dirty Harry. Her character was completely different than her porn persona but as the na´ve secretary for Tommy, she did as good a job as most in the acting department, showing she was hired for her sexual skills instead. The scene was heavier on oral loving than anything else, the men pounding her pussy in turns with her face betraying her character's established personality. Still, for the old perverts out there that think they can score some premium pussy without paying for it, Maya taking on Harry might help fuel their stroking fantasies better than Jay's role in the scene, neither men showing a lot of rhythm but maintaining the wood needed for the scene to finish up in her mouth.

Scene Five: Karlie Montana, Ashlyn Page, and Ava Rose were up last in a lesbian scene; almost a given in a movie like this as the company clings to the formulas of old. All three ladies seemed fit for action here and the use of a metallic looking dildo was fitting even if it was thematically out of place with the nourish attitude of the movie. I would have stuck with a caressing and oral approach or used an old fashioned vibrator (as in Upload) but Karlie is a favorite of mine and Ashlyn certainly earned her keep. The abundance of moans was the other issue I had with the scene and the thought crossing my mind was "lipstick lesbian" but it added a round or two of stroke value all the same.

Bonus Scene: Eden: Bree Olson, still looking marvelous in a neon blue bikini, was up next as she teased for all of ten seconds before immediately switching to her blowing both Tommy Gunn and Jean Val Jean on the beach. The lack of build up was demonstrated numerous times in the show, the pacing dropping the rating down a full level because of it and the lack of chemistry in most scenes. Bree was a talented enough fellatrix but the shadows got in the way and her "dirty girl" attitude almost overcame it but for the edits. She took their cocks anally and vaginally, actively riding them fairly well though never going any farther than taking them one at a time during the penetrative sex. It was curious seeing Bree play the nasty gal more openly than Courtney (who does an excellent job of it when allowed to) and despite the technical limitations; I liked this scene a lot more than most of the others. It ended with the usual facials; it had some nice touches as the sun set.

Bonus Scene: Fetish Dolls: The scene open with Ava slipping on black fishnets and heels and making her way upstairs to a waiting Brandon who is in a tub filled with bubbles. Eva places her foot at the edge of the tub and Brandon begins to pay homage to her feet. the . Ava gives him a foot job in the tub and they take it to the bedroom where Brandon gives her feet some more lovin. Ava gives him another foot job and a BJ, Ava then rides him CG style until he turns her over to do her missionary giving him access again to her feet. Another foot fucking before her does her doggie with some VTM action, more doggie, spooning, back over to missionary with Brandon unloading himself onto her feet with Ava licking them clean. Very sensual and arousing scene. (review by Ravyn)

Bonus Scene: Lady Scarface: Carmen Luvana, having taken care of her enemies and betraying friends alike, was up last as the sexual circle was now complete since she was thoroughly searching Jerry; much like she had been searched in the opening scene. He was definitely sporting a small caliper weapon, his cock, but she did everything in her power to make it grow as big as possible. She orally worked his cock to his bursting point of excitement; Jerry reciprocating on her cookie with a combination of tongue and finger. As expected, he wore a condom as they bumped uglies; the vaginal screwing actually fairly decent again, though not quite as heated a pairing as previously in the movie. She panted and moaned like she was performing but the titty pop eventually closed it before the big gunfight finale.

Summary: Dark City by director Ethan Kane for Adam & Eve suffered from a very slight script punctuated by porn level performances in the plotted portion yet the director managed to demonstrate his ability to combine style with something of more substance than I am used to from him. The visual elements could have been put to better use and the night club lounge act made it clear that with a better script and budget, Ethan could probably hit a home run with a future effort. Still, the levels of strokability, the sweet extras, and the appeal of the technical parts of the flick were enough to warrant a rating of Recommended from me, I just wish the eye candy was backed up by a better story. In short, Dark City is the type of plotted porn that I have long associated with Adam & Eve, enough warmth for couples and enough style to suit those of us looking for something different, even if all the aspects of the movie were not up to what I expect of the director.


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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