Note: The following review is for the Blu-Ray version of Operation Desert Stormy from Wicked Pictures. The only upgraded part is the movie itself (the extras were dumped completely except for the audio commentary) and the quick version of the review (which is largely based on the SD review since nothing was changed) is that there were still some minor nuisances visually and the audio, while better, was not much better as the Blu-Ray format allows for. Wicked Pictures has not really embraced either high definition format as a result of weak sales. The movie itself now upconverted to a full 1080p resolution, but still lacking the type of visual appeal it would have had if shot for the enhanced format from the beginning. Needless to say, the pictures below are from the SD version of the review, looking much like this version for those that care to compare.
Cast: Stormy Daniels, Randy Spears, Jenna Haze, Steven St. Croix, Kaylani Lei, Lorena Sanchez, Nakita Kash, Roxy DeVille, Voodoo, Eva Angelina, Veronica Rayne, Austin Kincaid, Audrey Bitoni, Marcus London, Tony DeSergio, Melissa Lauren, Tommy Gunn
Non-sex roles: Ron Jeremy, Tory Lane, Derrick Pierce, Al, Derwood, Tee Reel, Ric Rodney, Michael Anthony, Yoli/Esmeralda, Steve Rodgers, James Montgomery, Tristan Lee, Brad Williams, Ethan Cage, Seymour Satin, LuLu, Jay Bird, Deborah Jay, Bob Saldana, Ed Lazar, Norman L. Blackman, Aido Cruz, James Cousar, John Amsterdam, Scott Butler, Martina, Steve Villegas, Maurice Fontaine, Ruddy Bravo, John Papers, Dimonico, Otto Maddox, Danika Manin, Kim Mays, Evan Stone, Munch Daniels, others not credited
Length: 180:28 minutes
Date of Production: 5/1/2007
Extras: The only extra in this version of the movie was an audio commentary by Stormy Daniels and Steven St. Croix; the two skimming over the details as they discussed a number of things that delayed or altered the production of the movie, personal anecdotes about the company and movie in general. Stormy was upbeat and made it a point to emphasize her role in making the movie, using the resources and talented technically gifted people to augment her "vision" but as far as commentaries go, there was an awful lot of dead space this time; making me wish one of the technical staff was included to flesh out the discussion (it was almost as if Steven saw it for the first time and Stormy was seeking his approval without forcing it). Considering both previous versions had multiple discs and the HD version looked almost identical to this one while costing less at most online sources I've checked out, you can imagine my dismay at the drop in value. Seriously, isn't Stormy's work worth better treatment?
The Tango sequence between Stormy and Randy.
Married for six (seven!) years, guess how they get along?
Audio/Video Quality: Operation: Desert Stormy Blu-Ray was presented in the usual 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color as shot by director Stormy Daniels for Wicked Pictures (with the help of Jonathan Morgan, Randy Spears, and a horde of other technically skilled helpers/assistants/crew; five, maybe six of them known as directors themselves) to now be released in 1080p using the AVC codec. The composition of the shots was largely handled properly to make the ladies look their best under adverse circumstances, the video bitrate tending to stay around the 13.5 Mbps mark (very low for a properly mastered movie) so I saw some compression artifacts, some aliasing and the grain during the night scenes looked weaker than average but it was still a decent effort on the technical side of things even if it did not live up to some of the more recent releases made by other companies. The high definition resolution did indeed add more detail to the mix though and folks with a Blu-Ray player might want to investigate this one but as a double dip, the value was purely rental in my book. The audio was presented with two choices, the primary one being a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround English track using the standard 48 kHz and clocking in at 384 Kbps that balanced the vocals and music nicely. There was also a 2.0 Dolby Digital track in Spanish available for those who care but the fact is that the dubbing seemed as bad as ever to me. Otherwise, the audio on the primary track seemed to be another fair effort by Wicked Pictures, any surround sounds added in during post production (and there weren't many of them). Still, the music was well done and the overall quality of the audio was better than the company average as well thanks in part to the track being handled by The Surround Factory and the theme song by Mark Stone.
Ron Jeremy's role was too small and Voodoo's character was best used in bed.
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Body of Review: Stormy Daniels is best known as the female contract performer turned director at Wicked Pictures. Her movies to date have shown a lot of promise, running the gamut between light comedies and darker dramas, but often fall short of the mark as though rushed and held to too tight of a budget. Well, after over a year of whining, pouting, begging, and using a whole lot of other means of persuasion, she was finally given the green light for one of the most expensive movies of the year (reportedly a quarter of a million bucks) in Operation: Desert Stormy Blu-Ray. In it, Stormy plays an administrative assistant at the CIA who is married to a hapless agent played by Steven St. Croix, who is thrust into a mission to save her boss from the clutches of evil dictator Hussein played by Ron Jeremy in another (thankfully) non-sex role. The back cover said it like this: "As one of the largest productions to date, this Wicked Pictures' blockbuster has it all! Action...Romance...Drama... Suspense...and even a little big of Comedy! Okay, a whole lot of comedy! Join award winning writer/director Stormy Daniels as she leads you on a wild and hilarious adventure. With the head of the CIA (Randy Spears) presumed dead and word of an impending terrorist attack lead by the evil Hussein (Ron Jeremy), the fate of the world rests in the hands of two unlikely and extremely unskilled heroes. Does a secretary (Stormy Daniels) and her wannabe agent husband (Steven St. Croix) have what it takes to put aside their numerous marital issues and travel overseas to put an end to Hussein's quest for total world domination...and his ridiculous get rich quick ideas? With the help of two no-nonsense British agents Jacks and Watson, some beautiful and horny harem girls and one ornery camel, the "heroes" embark on a sex-crazed and explosion-filled expedition into hostile territory. Will Operation: Desert Stormy be a success and our "heroes" save the world or will we all be wearing turbans?" This was one of our top picks of the year last year, and the awards from all sorts of groups followed suit, but I suspect a lot of them were nods to the personalities involved as much as the admittedly appealing quality of the multi-disc set that went out to so many media folks (complete with cool bling!). If you're still interested, here's a brief look at the short sex scenes, noting that condoms were used in all scenes where men engaged the ladies:
Scene One: Stormy Daniels, the busty babe on the front cover, was up first after dancing the tango with stately Randy Spears. The two are celebrating her newfound status as an agent in bed, Randy spending some quality time on her body using his oral skills; savoring the taste of her titties and cookie, the pair actively boning when she got on top of him. I missed her giving him a hummer but my patience was rewarded when she ended the scene by draining him dry of population pudding and swallowing his load; the short scene showing some chemistry but hardy had enough going for it to open a blockbuster such as this.
Kubrick is spinning in his grave as I type this.
Scene Two: Jenna Haze, a cutie with a lengthy career on both extremes of the spectrum (lesbian-only to hardcore gonzo anal princess), was up next as a scientific weapons, gadget siren type, showing agent Steven St. Croix the latest virtual reality technology that included her in a naughty aqua nightie that showed off her curves as she ravished his body. They pawed each other through their clothing in this simulation, the thumping soundtrack was a chore but she gave a far better blowjob than Stormy had in the previous scene; making me wonder why his sex starved character didn't pop before her lips ever wrapped around his modest member. Still, she was the same as ever, pushing back on his cock during the vaginal sex and making those moans of hers, the picture deliberately made to emulate that of a computer screen as they worked it to the bone. She was also active during the anal ride, her dirty talk providing a much more satisfying experience even with the condom being used, Steven eventually rubbing out a modest load that oozed from the head of his cock as she licked him clean. For a feature fuck, this was actually pretty solid!
Scene Three: Kaylani Lei, the only straight chick at a gay/lesbian/transgender luau, was up next with clueless Randy Spears; the man having been hit on and eyed by a bunch of the mean in the sausage fest gathering. Impressing her with his preference for women, the colorfully clad guy used some really weak lines before she dropped to her knees to give a mechanical blowjob; leading to her gyrating her hips as she slowly rode his cock. There were only a couple of positions and a pop shot to her ass cheek, the short scene more in line with the first one as a couples scene in a feature movie (okay for Kaylani's fans more than anything).
Tommy Gunn traded in his Pirate costume for another villainous role.
Scene Four: Lorena Sanchez and Nakita Kash, both playing harem girls (complete with veils), were up next in a lesbian scene in front of Ron Jeremy (who was taping them with a camcorder). The gals licked and caressed each other but the majority of the fairly short scene included penetration of pussy and ass with a clear dildo (plastic or glass, I couldn't say for sure). Considering this had followed a lengthy dialogue sequence, I had hoped for more, reminding me that the pacing could have been better.
Scene Five: Roxy DeVille, playing another harem girl in a luxurious bedroom suite at night, was up next with Voodoo; the guy playing an Aunt Jemima type effeminate stooge for Hussein. Roxy looking the part fairly well here thanks to her make up and seductively good exotic look, started working the meat pipe orally with the help of her hand for added friction. He did not reciprocate and went to boning the beauty instead, the darkened room helping to conceal the condom a bit as they bumped uglies. She was an active rider and moaned porn style a lot, fueling his ego rather than employing dirty talk as he gave her the dicking she desired. As the scene progressed, he gave her a lick or two but the best part was when she pushed back on his rod in the doggy position as the Middle Eastern flavored music played. The scene ended when she actively worked out his load on the bed using her hand and mouth.
The worst training sequence in porn, though done to a soundtrack that sounded very familiar (Eye of the Tiger knockoff)
Scene Six: Eva Angelina, Veronica Rayne, Austin Kinkaid, Audrey Bitoni, Marcus London, and Tony DeSergio, were up next in a harem orgy after the men stumbled upon the gals in need of rescue from their captor. The men were going to leave so the ladies demanded some satisfaction first, beginning with the ladies blowing the men and giving themselves some quality riding time on cock and face alike. The ladies drained the men efficiently and quickly (a titty pop and a mouth pop with cumswapping), making wish for a little less dialogue to accommodate lengthier sex scenes.
Virtual reality will open up a whole new wave of clown porn.
Scene Seven: Melissa Lauren, playing a virtual reality computer simulation, was up next as Tommy Gunn cycled through different settings (cheerleader, nurse, clown, and dominatrix), to find one he liked. He ended up going down on her, spending time on her ass and biscuit while squeezing her tits, before her truncated blowjob led to an active vaginal ride. The sex was edited into the plot portion of the movie and the clunky transitional device was used between her move from vaginal to anal sex (where she slowed down a lot as a result), her sweaty body receiving his load to her mouth before the scene faded out.
There was even a skydiving sequence, though it made little sense.
Scene Eight: Stormy Daniels, back in bed with Steven St. Croix, closed out the movie with one last screw. They orally worked each other over for a short bit and then started vaginally screwing, him holding her throat at one point for those that don't like choking in any form, but the biggest problem with the scene was how passive she was sexually; forcing him to do almost all of the work as she gave generic comments about how good it was. He busted a nut on her abdomen and the credits rolled quickly.
That's going to leave a mark!
Summary: Operation: Desert Stormy Bl;u-Ray by director Stormy Daniels for Wicked Pictures might be best described as a pornified version of Mr. & Mrs. Smith Meets True Lies handled in the spirit of Camp Cuddly Pines and Space Nuts. The pacing was off, the sex scenes too short, and the story much like any of Stormy's other movies knocked out in record time (she claimed to write it in two days without sleep so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and take her word for it) but as a cute comedy, it worked out fairly well. It wasn't designed to compete with the variety of gonzo flicks available, nor was it trying to employ the same type of appealing dramatic elements Wicked's lead director uses so well, but the movie provided many of the same types of laughs their over the top comedies have employed in the past, if relying more on Steven's adlibbing than anything else (I agree with Stormy that he earned every penny of his salary). It might not be the best feature of the season, nor the funniest comedy, but even the loss of the extras package couldn't weaken this one below a Recommended for those of you wanting some light hearted entertainment. In short, Operation: Desert Stormy Blu-Ray was fun, full of porn level acting, and I wished that a director's cut from the "over four hours and ten sex scenes" was released for this Blu-Ray version as much as I did for the prior two volumes I promoted so heavily. It was no Coming Home or Not the Bradys but it had some merits worth checking out.
Note on directing credits: Stormy claimed that when she knocked out the 84+ page script in two days that she had "no intention of directing it" but was unable to find anyone that would do things her way. Given the expense and size of the project, the movie had a few others covering the majority of technical aspects; Mark Nicholson producing it, experienced blockbuster comedy director Jonathan Morgan initially seeming to helm the project before being replaced by Randy Spears and then relegated to editing duties alone, Mike Moz on art direction, and Michael Raven & Francois Clousot working the camera (talk about "many cooks..."). Having listened to the commentary, watched the extras, and seen the entire movie, I think it is fair to say that Stormy fulfilled her credited duties and the results laid at her feet. I just wonder what she'll do as a follow-up.
As another side note, I spoke with Stormy back in January during a small dinner party thrown by another company and she told me she appreciated my comments regarding her as the driving force behind the movie as well as being at the helm since she had received a lot of flack from others on the topic. That she had to scream, cry, pout, throw things, and do a whole lot more to get a project of this scope and size made would make for a book but even those she thought were causing her grief told me that it was "Stormy's baby all the way". The sequel has been underway for some time now and other company sources have promised me that the constructive criticisms made by some of us that refused to endlessly fawn have been taken into account in a number of ways; perhaps giving Stormy the room she needs to expand her efforts and make it a technically superior release. My fingers are crossed and in the event that a truly worthy double did comes out, I'll be right there singing the company's praises.
---- 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