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Black Widow (HD DVD)


Studio: Wicked Pictures » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 6/17/08
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XCritic's Advice: Recommended




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Black Widow HD-DVD

Wicked Pictures

Genre: Feature

Director: Michael Raven

Cast: Stormy Daniels, Randy Spears, Carmel Moore, Barrett Blade, Kayla Carrera, Marco Duato/Banderas, Cheyne Collins
Non sex roles: Kayden Faye, Dick Nasty, Mike Moz

Length: 99:54 minutes

Date of Production: 5/7/2007

Extra's: For most of you, the two bonus scenes; one from Love Always between hotty Jessica Drake & Randy Spears and the other from Manhunters between Carmen Hart & Myles Camack. I provided my scene description from the original reviews for those that care but note that the upgrade to a higher resolution made this even better than before. I prefer extras unique to the movie though so it was a toss up between the director commentary (Stormy and Randy joined Michael Raven too) and the 21:03 minute long Behind the Scenes feature by Jax (who I've seen as a full fledged director of late thanks to his work at Tight Fit Productions). There were a lot of anecdotes by the cast and crew, additional sex, and some funny moments on set as the movie was shot in the BTS. The commentary, on the other hand, showed Michael and Stormy providing the lion's share of the discussion but it was worth listening too-with a few surprises that some might care to hear (Michael's first big screen porno experience was in Houston, TX among other tidbits like difficulties with the former assistant director of Operation Desert Stormy as Randy stepped in to help). There was also a deleted sex scene between Kayden Faye and Dick Nasty I first saw in the BTS; it wasn't really much but it might have fit into the movie with some help. In a similar fashion, there was a bit of extended shower tease by Stormy too but far too short for anything other than an Easter egg or short extra. The bloopers lasted just under 6 minutes but many of the weaker extras were taken off to provide more room on the disc this time, no huge loss but some will rightfully complain that there should be more extras on a costly upgrade such as this one. Fans might also like the four trailers to movies like Dating 101, Carmen Goes South, Bad Girls, and Black Widow, as well as the link to Wicked Pictures' online presence, cardboard protective sleeve on the DVD case and a double sided cover too.

Condoms: Yes

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Audio/Video Quality: Black Widow HD-DVD was presented in the same 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color it was shot in by director Michael Raven for Wicked Pictures as shot & mastered in High Definition; this version given the full treatment with a 720p picture (that on most HD televisions under 50" will look just as good as a 1080p counterpart). The HD DVD release did appear to assist in cleaning up the grain somewhat from the previous version; a welcome addition that fans of the HD-DVD format can proudly displayed as being one of the last titles able to bear the advertising logo of "not available on Blu-Ray". Michael used various lighting effects to achieve his artistic vision (and an earthy color palate for those paying attention) but it sometimes left me a bit cold due to my preference of the well lit porn scenes most companies offer up these days. By well lit, I mean the kind of harsh and strong lighting that washes out texture in favor of seeing all the action clearly, but in a couples feature like this, I suppose it would be fair to suggest that Raven had it right and I was the one wrongheaded about the subject. The colors were over saturated or washed out (depending on the scene), the grain was more plentiful than usual, but the composition of the shots tended to be quite favorable to the cast. There were no compression artifacts (it was typically showing a much higher bitrate than the SD version) or unintentional video noise that I saw but I openly wonder if the choices made to showcase the couples were the best possible given the use of video. The audio was presented with a choice of either a 5.1 Dolby Digital+ English or a 2.0 DD track in Spanish. I listened to the English track and this time, I did hear some separation on the audio (mostly in the music track), it was nicely put together compared to the original release from last year. In short, it was handled pretty well overall with some nice music augmenting the quality of the visuals presented.

Body of Review: Michael Raven has been making feature porn for a long time now, often sending a message either overtly or as a result of reading between the lines. Now that he has firmly established his niche at Wicked Pictures, his attempts to combine a story and heated sexual antics have met with numerous accolades, his latest title in this area being Black Widow HD-DVD. The story was another starring lovely Stormy Daniels as a femme fatale seeking to gain wealth at the expense of a disposable man, the writing a bit weaker than I expect from Raven flick but the acting between leads Daniels and stately Randy Spears showing once again their acting chops. The back cover said it like this: "While most young girls dream of white picket fences and getting happily married when they grow up, Peyton (Stormy Daniels) always had other plans. At the age of 20, she meets Charles (Randy Spears), an older man of wealth and status. After seducing him into marrying her, she deviously begins putting her plan into action. As the picture perfect wife, she gives him everything a man could ask for: allowing him to have sex with other women and performing for him with other men. But as their three-year anniversary nears, it's time for her dreams to come true, to become a black widow. Peyton begins to slowly poison Charles, but he has a plan of his own...will the predator become the prey?" If you like feature porn done with an eye towards quality of story over that of the generic sexual encounters most porn is geared to, you will probably find this an exceptionally appealing movie. That said, here's a brief look at the scenes with limited spoilers to the plot so you can enjoy it for yourselves, noting that condoms were used in all scenes:

Scene One: Stormy Daniels, the curvy hotty on the front DVD cover with the knife, was up first in a scene with perennial favorite Randy Spears in the bedroom. She was the femme fatale wearing a loose fitting polka dotted dark dress and he was the businessman wanting some play from his sweetie. She undressed him and while at no point did I think she looked even close to 20 years old, she slowly savored the moment as she built up some sexual tension nicely. The Stormy corkscrew handjob during her hummer was hot and I can safely say that her oral skills have long been among my favorite at the company, Randy's sweaty brow providing enough evidence of the way it felt too. His oral was truncated so she did not get as much fun before they screwed vaginally in several positions but they did manage once again to display some energy and chemistry that is lacking in feature porn all too often. There was some porn overacting during the sex but the artistic manner in which it was shot really did lend itself to the comments on the commentary track about a sensuous look. He busted a nut of population pudding on her chest to close it up and while I wished it lasted longer, it fit the story elements well.

Scene Two: Carmel Moore, a sexual demon from England, was up next in bed with Randy Spears, as she seduced him slowly before she took off her pink dress. She toyed with his dick before deepthroating it, the nasty dynamic more prevalent this time compared to the last scene. Randy was given more time licking between her legs but she went back to sucking him off after some limited vaginal plowing, the PTM appearing natural to her. That led to Carmen impaling herself on his rod really hard, going over the top in her fervent manner of actively riding him. This would have been a good place to have branching technology given the amount of additional footage edited out (per the commentary) but Randy even got some foot fetish action in too for those of you into it. He glazed her face with a moderate wad of semen and the story picked back up.

Scene Three: Stormy Daniels, wearing a red & black outfit, was up next in the living room with Barrett Blade as the couple pounced on one another with a degree of passion she reserved for the rocker. I would have enjoyed more lighting here but Raven's movies aren't about Wal-Mart lighting so much as the means to compliment the story elements and especially during her extended oral actions here, it worked well enough. She was then active during the vaginal sex and it ended with him rubbing out a large load on Stormy's face with a good amount of it swallowed or licked off. Yum!

Scene Four: Kayla Carrera, a sexy brunette newcomer to porn in her bikini undies, was up next in bed with muscular Marco Duato/Banderas as Stormy watched them. The couple was tender and slow as they embraced one another; the man caressing her body as he warmed her up gently. He kissed and ate her before she slobbed his knob efficiently but not showing as much flair as the others. She was an active rider but the number of positions was limited here as she bounced on his penis. He busted a nut on her face, draining every drop of glaze as she licked him, the story picking back up afterwards.

Scene Five: Stormy Daniels, giving one last scene for fans to enjoy, literally attacked Cheyne Collins, orally as the two carried on in the bedroom. Her oral skills were the center stage of the scene and while the screwing was pretty good too, this time the lighting showing more of what I like to see in detail (ie: Stormy's body) though he was the aggressor this time and she was not as active, perhaps due to the thematic elements in the story catching up to her. He rubbed out the load to her shapely ass and the scene finished up handily.

Bonus Scene: Love Always: Jessica Drake, the sexy gal seen on the right hand side of the front cover, and talented actor Randy Spears, were up first as he helped soap her bath during a bath. She invited him to continue, leading to him joining her in the tub where she sucked his cock seductively as he sat on the edge of the bathtub. Her suds covered form looked particularly inviting and the way she kissed him playfully was a nice touch to show they had something going on deeper than a porn-like screw; catering to the plot elements more than usual. He took her from behind in a doggy screw after putting on a condom, Jessica actively riding him from top as well before taking his load of population pudding to her face. This was a fine example of how a porn scene could convey emotion and some other plot points (I don't want to spoil it for you) while giving up a scene worthy of your seed. Yum!

Bonus Scene: Manhunters: Carmen Hart, one of the hottest contract hotties Wicked Pictures (or any other company) has ever employed, was up next in the shower with a newcomer named Myles Camack. They were in the shower and the non structured manner of the scene made her seem even more "cute and adorable" than her accent usually makes her. The blowjob was very well done with tremendous replay value for me and she actively rode his rod as they screwed heatedly in the room. It ended with the pop shot to her face as expected and I could've watched her going at it forever (in a sense, the sexual portion of the movie was led for me by her and Jessica as far as the contract gals go).

Summary: Black Widow HD-DVD by director Michael Raven for Wicked Pictures was another solid dramatic flick that balanced sex and plot in a way that few in the industry seem capable of doing at this time. Making movies that couples can enjoy as well as feature buffs is not always easy but given the amount of smoldering heat generated by Stormy in her three full scenes and the nod to the thematic elements, I found this one worthy of being at least Recommended if not more; the technical improvement of the HD-DVD format probably helping Raven achieve an outcome closer to his vision than the grainy SD version ever could have (at least without a substantial upgrade in equipment) but I've been told that the existing grain and other visual effects were intentional so your mileage may vary considerably. The sex was not meant to compete with the latest lengthy gonzo from Jules Jordan and the story won't be competing for an Oscar any time soon but I have to applaud the fact that Wicked Pictures still finances movies that most companies have all but given up of late. In short, Black Widow HD was a modest little dramatic winner that director Michael Raven can be proud of presenting his fans.

 


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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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