Note: The following is a review ofthe newly released HD-DVD version of Devon: Decadence that I reviewed years ago. There were some nice upgrades to the audio and visual aspects of the movie that you can best see by watching the company TRAILER if you like but if you purchased the now-failed format, you could do far worse than pick up a copy of this one to enjoy with your significant other.
Audio/Video Quality: Devon: Decadence was presented in the usual 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color it was shot in by director Celeste for Digital Playground using a full 1080p resolution and the AVC/MPEG-4 codec to provide a substantially improved picture from the SD version that came out long ago. Digital had the foresight to shoot using the latest technology and their back catalog is only now being released in HD-DVD (with Blu-Ray starting to dominate the high definition releases of the company) so expect a lot of improvements as the company becomes more handy with the new formats. Still, the slightly rough look of the project added some charm to the feature and while Robby has certainly become more competent in shooting HD flavored porn, the composition of the shots always favored the ladies. The grain of the original and compression artifacts were minimized and the resolution was great enough that what once looked like solid colored walls could now be seen to have some texture to them (and holes). The BTS looked poor by comparison but in the feature, the fleshtones were accurate and the blacks almost as solid as some of Celeste & Robby's latest works. The audio was presented with the upgraded 5.1 Dolby Digital + and the improvements were slighter here with little separation between the speakers in most cases, but my biggest complaint was the lack of vocals. I admit that I liked this one more in that sense when it initially came out (women have had an influence on my opinion) than now but it wasn't bad; just limited. As time marches on, porn audio tracks have not marched along as much as their mainstream counterparts, an area that I note with increasing frequency, but some of the hiss I got when I turned up the SD version to high levels was not as obvious so the dynamic range was enhanced as well as the thump of the bass; most of which I believe were added in post production.
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Body of Review: Digital Playground is one of those smaller companies that focuses on quality product rather than release a dozen titles a week like many others in the porn industry. This allows them to craft their movies more than the assembly line companies have the time to do. While I like many different styles of porn, I have to admit that getting a title from the company is usually cause for celebration in my household because even if I don't fully appreciate what's offered, I generally find a lot to like with what I see. The company's latest release in their erotically charged line directed by Celeste is Devon: Decadence HD, another showcase for the contract star that seems to have reignited her career of late despite rumors that she was on her way out the door. The movie takes various performers, including Devon and Jesse Jane, and offers them up in a series of scenes designed more for couples or those not into the droning dreck that is modern porn. Personally, I like a lot of the dreck too but this was one of Celeste's works that managed to give me pause for thought, not to mention wood in my pants, which should be considered the highest praise a guy can give (especially a jaded old porn hound like me). That said, here's a quick breakdown of the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used and a lot of the action was very well done on all levels:
Scene One: Devon, the blonde contract superstar, was first up as she scrubbed the floors with a sponge, all tied up with a ball & chain (as depicted in fetish wear on the front DVD cover). Jean Val Jean played her master as he used his riding crop to stroke her and swat her ass a bit during what amounted to foreplay before the kissing and oral began. The scene was done in the oft-used sepia tone and in slow motion so my first impression was to pass it up and scan forward but I gave it a chance and it actually grew on me. Granted, a little of this type of thing goes a long, long, long way but as was pointed out to me recently by someone in a position to rip my balls off (aren't girlfriends wonderful?), there is an erotic nature to this kind of thing that gives it significant replay value if you don't focus on what you want instead of what it shows. They banged in a few positions and while I'd still like to see two versions of the action (one done in more traditional style), it was interesting to watch and it gave me a boner.
Scene Two: Marie Luv, a black gal with a curvy body, had a solo masturbation scene next as she played with herself on a couch. The absence of vocals probably helped her scene since she isn't very good at vocalization of passion and the use of a glass dildo, used primarily on her ass with some ATM action, seemed okay.
Scene Three: Jesse Jane, once again playing a retro-looking gal from the 40's or 50's, was up next as she teased (some would say tormented) the camera in her shiny red and black outfit. At first, I thought this would just be a fantastic solo scene but after getting herself wet (and me ready to explode), she was joined by Scott Nails, the guy who looks like he could be Richard Simmon's long lost love child. She took charge of him, blindfolding him with some fetish garb before throwing him back on the couch and slobbing his knob. The seductive manner in which she blew him was eye pleasing and she appeared to have some fun during the vaginal sex although the oral was her strong suit this time. It ended with a pop shot to the face as consumers demand and I'd say the scene was pretty solid (though not this lovely hotty's best work).
Scene Four: Devon, seductively weaving a web around the lovely Jana Cova, another blonde with considerable appeal to me, had a lesbian scene in what appeared to be an old world style room. There was some licking and kissing but most of the scene seemed to take be designed to take place in the mind, enticing but not going over the top as most lesbian scenes do. It wasn't my favorite pairing of the movie but it was quite heated nonetheless.
Scene Five: Jesse Jane, this time taking a shower, was given an opportunity to show the world how solo scenes should be done. The visual effects employed to make it look like it was shot decades ago were not my favorite manner to show the scene but they did add some spice to the scene as did the soft focus. While I wouldn't want to see all her scenes look like this one, I found it appealing on another level that I hadn't really given much attention to since erotica tends to be lame. Jesse's bag of tricks managed to work nicely this time and the diversity of the action again seemed to work.
Scene Six: Haley Paige, a very cute brunette, was up next in a full color scene by some stairs as she was tied up in neon blue rope while wearing fishnet stockings and a small butt plug to indicate where she was intending on going. Her partner was Scott Nails, this time in the driver's seat as he flogged her ass and fingered her pussy while they kissed. Bondage-lite is not really my thing (give me all or nothing!) but she gave good head, took the penis in her pussy well, and did some good anal before slobbing his knob (ATM) one last time in order to milk his nut. The slow motion killed the chemistry for me but it looked like they had some energy going on.
Scene Seven: Jesse Jane, dressed up in a bright red PVC fetish outfit, was submissive to the sexy Jesse Capelli, an all natural gal with a beautiful face and very lean body (she could stand to gain a few pounds), as the hot superstar contract gal laid out on the floor. Jesse (Jane) licked her friend's foot and it appeared as though more would come of it when the dominant Jesse started cutting off Ms. Jane's outfit but they really didn't interact a whole lot for some reason. Maybe one of them didn't have a current test or maybe something else happened but I felt a bit cheated this time.
Scene Eight: Devon, working in her kitchen cutting up meat with a cleaver while wearing a long apron (and nothing else), began the next scene rubbing the red meat all over the table. While I'd be the first to suggest this is one way to get invited to a lot of meat industry events in Texas (maybe she was trying to become the spokesperson for the meat industry), I'm sure they'd like it better if she simply ate the meat instead. Kurt Lockwood, the second studliest guy of the movie, took the meat and began rubbing it over her body after which, she blew him in a teasing fashion using her hand to increase the friction. They then screwed on the table so she not only got to rub around in the meat but got some meat rubbed into her as well. It ended when he eventually rubbed out a load onto her face and she licked him clean. In all, this was another interesting scene although it's erotic content will rely more on individual tastes than some of the other scenes.
Scene Nine: Devon, wearing a black outfit and large mouth gag struggled with her bound hands until she freed herself to masturbate sans outfit on the sofa with a small vibrator. While I'd be the first one to admit that the erotic level of the scene was higher than average, it didn't last nearly long enough for me and it served as a tease more than anything else. I've never been a fan of Devon's plastic surgery but by this point in the movie, it became evident that she was made to look better by use of the soft focus and lighting effects, while said effects detracted a bit from some of her co-workers.
Scene Ten: Keri Sable, another very attractive gal sporting blonde hair, was up last in a maid's outfit as she and Jean Val Jean played by the second story staircase. It was like something out of a harlequin romance novel with oral and straight sex taking center stage here. After some heated oral and boning, she did some PTM and Jesse Jane made a momentary visit (apparently, she was partnered up with Jean and his cheating with the maid was unacceptable to her way of thinking). I thought the scene would've benefited from more footage and allowing her to show off some of her tricks (while now a Wicked Pictures contract gal, she is best known for circus act sex).
Summary: Devon: Decadence HD was the breakthrough movie for Celeste in terms of combining heat, passion, and superior technical values all in a package that will entice a lot of people not typically thought of as the usual porn audience into watching, and more importantly, ENJOYING, the action. Devon and Jesse Jane, as well as the other gals, were all given a unique opportunity to shine and the overall quality of the production was extremely high for the audience it sought to address. In short, Devon: Decadence HD was a milestone for director Celeste as well as contract star Devon as each proved their critics wrong about their respective talents. The sensuality of the scenes, the creative technical matters and the skill with which they were combined will likely stand as one of Digital Playground's better moments in 2005. If you enjoy the listed cast here and want a movie you can take home to watch with your girlfriend, wife or mistress; Devon: Decadence HD will serve as a title you can show her without worrying about how comfortable the couch is. That's why I'm rating it as Recommended! (or better, depending on your tastes in porn)
---- 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