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Babes Illustrated 17 (Blu-ray)

Studio: Metro » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 11/16/08

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Adrenalynn and Samantha Ryan (all pictures in SD)

Babes Illustrated 17 Blu-ray

Metro Interactive/Cal Vista

Ryder Skye, Eva Angelina, and Sammie Rhodes

Genre: Lesbian

Director: Anton Slayer

Victoria Sin and Ashley Fires

Cast: Adrianna "Adrenalynn" Lynn, Samantha Ryan, Eva Angelina, Ryder Skye, Sammie Rhodes, Victoria Sin, Ashley Fires, Cassie Young, Kenzi Marie, Jasmine Byrne, Starla Sterling

Length: 155:33 minutes

Kenzi Marie and Cassie Young

Date of Production: 10/17/2007

Extra's: The best extra by far was the 43:04 minute long Behind the Scenes feature (in high definition) by Derwood. It consisted largely as a series of interviews on the couch but some additional tease and nudity punctuated by a variety of clips from the making of the movie. There was a photogallery, some trailers, spam, and trailers as well as a true double sided cover and slip case.

Jasmine Byrne, Eva Angelina, Starla Sterling, Sammie Rhodes, and Victoria Sin

Condoms: None

-- sponsored by --

Audio/Video Quality: Babes Illustrated 17 Blu-ray was presented in a nicely enhanced 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color as shot by director Anton Slayer for Metro Interactive/Cal Vista for release in 1080i resolution using the VC-1 codec. The majority of action took place inside the house with a little tease outside by the pool so the lighting was typically decent, eliminating the usual shadows, grain, and video noise indicative of porn. The camera angles and editing were capably handled as well with the ladies being showcased nicely in most scenes, their best sides focused on from what I could tell (and minimal amounts of time spent on implant scars, stretch marks, and other physical flaws). The fleshtones were accurate and the bitrate hovered around the mid 19.6 Mbps area most of the time but I did not see a lot of compression artifacts on the big screen and the bitrate was all over the map. Most scenes began with some slow motion tease before the regular motion sex kicked in, the music kept light in the background of the tease for the most part. The audio was presented in 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo English in a 192 Kbps and 48 kHz sampling rate offering, never really adding much by way of aural stimulation but the ladies were easy to hear on those occasions when they were using dirty talk. The music was generic and not offensive, thankfully limited in scope for the most part. There was an upgrade on the visual aspects but the audio seemed to be much the same as it had been before.

Body of Review: Anton Slayer has been directing for Metro Interactive/Cal Vista in recent times, his work over the years gaining him a reputation as a steady hand providing basic but solid offerings in the adult industry under names like Mike Adams, Vincent Voss, and similar nom de plumes. The company has had a variety of directors unable to provide a steady stream of quality so guys like Anton are appreciated all the more when they stick around and learn their craft with time, taking on a variety of projects. The most recent title of his making it my way was Babes Illustrated 17 Blu-ray, the sequel to Babes Illustrated 16, where the action is all dedicated to lesbians. In a way, this is the company's signature line for the gal on gal action that many men enjoy, comparing favorably to series from other companies that have won as many awards, so I was interested in seeing how Anton would do given such a mixed variety of ladies. If you're still interested, here's a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used and no population pudding flying about on faces took place:

Scene One: Adrianna "Adrenalynn" Lynn, in the industry for 2 weeks in her 6th scene (also her 1st g/g), and all natural hotty Samantha Ryan, were up first in a pairing where opposites attracted. The tease by the outdoor pool was pleasing and I admit that curvy Adrianna was most fetching here even if I thought her implants were too much. For her part, Samantha was even better looking than ever, making this a naturally appealing scene for me to watch. The tease was minimal and I thoroughly enjoyed the wealth of kissing the two ladies engaged in before feeling each other up and going down on each other. Sexually aggressive Adrianna was led by usually passive Samantha too, something of a change for both of them that I liked, probably due to this being Adrianna's first lesbian scene. Samantha got very familiar with Adrianna's ass tattoo using her tongue much better than the reciprocal effort yet the learning curve in porn being what it is, even the toy use seemed fresh by comparison. In all then, while a bit rough around the edges, it had a lot of stroke value.

Scene Two: Eva Angelina, the star of the show seen on the right hand side of the front cover, newcomer Ryder Skye, and lean Sammie Rhodes, were up next outside as they warmed up for the camera and each other in a slow, seductive manner. The real action did not start until the trio of twat went inside the house to the couch but they were very sexually aggressive, telling each other what they wanted in no uncertain terms as they ate each other out and showed no limits. Eva was less vocal than Sammie but Ryder showed a propensity for such fun, quietly doing whatever felt good and receiving some surprisingly pleasant attention in return (the look on her face a few times showed she wasn't quite prepared to feel this good). The fingering and oral led to the toys coming into play, Sammie's anal antics with the strap on dildo the most outrageous though on par with Eva taking the huge black dildo. Whew!

Scene Three: Victoria Sin, a lean brunette with a distinctive attitude for liking pussy, and cutie Ashley Fires, were up next as they followed the formula on the brick deck outside during the tease session; leading to them going inside of the house to get down to business more completely. Like the last scene, the camera work was a bit more intrusive, the jerky movements more explicit more often this time though. It gave the appearance that the sex was completely unscripted, adding to the value of the scene for me. Victoria was the more aggressive of the two but Ashley learned to speak up to get what she wanted, driving the same dynamic the majority of other scenes had provided but showing neither of them were shy regarding anal play too. The toys were deployed expertly, each gal getting off from the looks (and sounds) of it, perhaps even multiple times; my observation that the limited porn fake screaming added in was completely unnecessary.

Scene Four: Cassie Young, a lean and frisky blond, was up next with curvy implant newbie Kenzi Marie (in her 2nd scene; lucky Cassie showing her the ropes). Cassie was therefore naturally at the helm of the action, taking charge naturally as she worked the newcomer up a bit on the bed, using oral most of the time but also some toys for those who care. Both ladies were experienced with eating biscuit and ass though, the camera not quite as able to get all of the action as if a few cameras were present (a limitation seen a number of times in the production) but the creative use of it did manage to get enough of the chemistry here to make me think Anton was on the ball. By the end of the scene, I saw Cassie having shown yet again her wealth of talents in the bedroom as well as enough of Kenzi to think she had potential, making it a solid addition to the show.

Scene Five: Jasmine Byrne, (the cover hotty on the left hand side in her 1st time back from a year off), Sammie Rhodes, Starla Sterling, Eva Angelina, and Victoria Sin, were up last in a lesbian orgy that took place on the living room couch. It began with Jasmine masturbating using a large neck massager and the others joined in one or two at a time to start playing with each other. They did some pairing off at times but spent most of their time in a mangled mess of bodies, the need for additional cameras never more evident than this scene given the amount of side action taking place all too regularly. Jasmine has seen better days, typically with cock, and Eva seemed to be distracted by one of her peers here, but it was a decent scene to finish up with even if it showed the least amount of overall chemistry compared to the other four scenes. The oral and toy use was nicely balanced and the ladies all got a chance to shine (though more Starla would have been a nice touch) but even though the replay value was limited, Jasmine finished up well enough as the circle completed itself with her masturbating.

Summary: Babes Illustrated 17 Blu-ray by director Anton Slayer for Metro Interactive/Cal Vista was a decent offering in the series that showed it in decent hands with the skilled director. The ladies provided some solid fun here and did not stick strictly with a generic formula, the technical values were often above average, and the amount of lesbian fuck for the buck was well worth a rating of Recommended or better, depending on how much you like the cast. In short, Babes Illustrated 17 was better than Babes Illustrated 16 in every way except the extras (the previous volume adding in a couple full movies to elevate the score rather than rely on the quality of the movie itself) so fans will find it a nice effort overall. The visual upgrade was okay but I still wanted more for my money given the added expense; still the ladies did look very good here so I can't fuss too loudly.  In terms of the high definition upgrade, it was not the best title Metro has to offer but the visual aspects did look better without my needing a side by side comparison to prove it.  I hope the company continues to selectively release top catalog titles in the newer format but only if they are going to make clearly superior versions worthy of an upgrade for cash-starved consumers to pick up.  Also, what happened to the time code on the movie itself?

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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