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Family Jewels

Studio: Club Jenna » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 12/2/08

XCritic's Advice: Watch It Online

Sophia Rossi (click for trailer)

Family Jewels (Club Jenna's Family Jewels)

Club Jenna

Chanel St. James

Genre: Vignette

Director: Larent Sky

Brea Bennett

Cast: Sophia Rossi, Jean Val Jean, Chanel St. James, Reno, Brea Bennett, Roxy Jezel, Voodoo, Jesse Capelli, Nikki Benz

Length: 92:06 minutes

Roxy Jezel

Date of Production: 9/29/2008

Extras: The best extras were the five short masturbation scenes that showed the high-gloss contract gals going at it with themselves, some better at providing dirty talk than others. Compared to the included photogallery and trailers for other releases, they were swell but there wasn't much here at all.

Jesse Capelli

Condoms: None

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Audio/Video Quality: Family Jewels was presented in a non-anamorphic, letterboxed widescreen with an aspect ratio of about 1.78:1 as shot by director Larent Sky for Club Jenna using the MPEG-2 codec for this standard definition release (the resolution in 480i). Their parent company has proclaimed they will stop making DVDs soon, moving to a web-only presence, so it looks like they are cleaning out the vaults of scenes left over from other projects with the former contract staffers here, that being the most generous way I could put it. The colors looked accurate, the lighting was a mixture of various techniques that sometimes worked better than others, the level of grain typically minimal (nonexistent), and the composition of the shots typically making the performers look their best, the fast paced editing not always working to the advantage of the project. There were no compression artifacts, no video noise, and while I would've liked more of a straightforward approach to the scenes, the movie wasn't bad looking at all. The only choice for audio was the basic 2.0 Dolby Digital English audio track (in 192 Kbps with a 48 kHz sampling rate), this time using vocals mixed in with the loud music to enhance the heat and energy for me. There wasn't a lot of separation between the channels and the dynamic range lacked a bit but I didn't get the sense that the audio was blown off here at all, but the music over vocals approach is not my favorite to say the least.

Body of Review: Larent Sky has been around the porn industry for years now and his association with Club Jenna is probably what company supporters will remember best from the guy given his love of stylish vignettes that remind one of MTV style videos from the early 1980's. Of late, I really have not heard much about the guy and as the company is switching to a web-only presence in coming months, I will probably hear even less as I am a big fan of physical media like DVDs and Blu-ray over the still mediocre internet porn experience. As a favor to an old friend, I picked up a copy of his latest title for the company, Laurent's name nowhere to be found on the cover, a short vignette offering called Family Jewels. The idea here was to take five unreleased scenes from the company vaults and put them together as a tribute of sorts to the former contract performers that used to promote the label. I found most of them mixed in terms of the kinds of performances they gave (it might have been the lighting, special effects, or just the short running times of their movies though) but as one of the last such groupings of scenes like this to come out, I checked it out if only to see whether Jenna Jameson herself might have been involved onscreen (that was not the case though). Here's a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used for those still interested:

Scene One: Sophia Rossi, the busty MILF seen on the right hand side of the cover, was up first during a heavily edited montage that led to her talking about a love of surfers, in this case the guy being Jean Val Jean. She wore a red & white bikini and he wore blue swim trunks, the minimal set littered with thematic props. She beckoned him over and they started kissing, Sophia dropping to her knees to slob his knob with a lot of hand use, a slight titty fuck employed before she actively rode him vaginally. There was no observed chemistry between the pair but as far as mechanically driven bouts of boning are concerned, it wasn't half bad, Sophia doing some PTM before the ass slapping Jean jerked out a wad of genetic juice to her face.

Scene Two: Chanel St. James, the busty brunette seen on the cover (second from the right), was up next as she followed the formula with the montage, skipping the small talk to blow muscular Reno on a large round platform set. He seemed woefully out of place as he laid back to receive her oral attentions, her hand-assisted hummer active but making me wonder if Chanel was high (look at her eyes during the scene). She kept looking at one of the cameras as she proceeded and I found that distracting too, her moderately active ride showing just as little chemistry between the couple during the vaginal romp (why weren't the men going down on the ladies too?). Several positions later, he popped on her chest, the entirety of the dialogue as poorly delivered as I have heard in a long, long time.

Scene Three: Brea Bennett, the attractive blond featured on the center of the cover, was up next as she ironed large sums of money and spouted off a load of garbage about her college career. Her lean body was barely covered by a bikini top and muff buffer skirt, Jean Val Jean using her beloved money to get her on her knees to blow him. Brea has always impressed me with the idea that she was hired on looks alone and her performances to date have secured that idea in my mind, this mediocre scene among her very best but that sets a mighty low bar indeed. There was again a slight nod to titty fucking and scruffy Jean at least went down on her, though her reactions were as wooden as his pecker. The mostly passive vaginal ride got better when she was on top of him though, the pumping soon leading to her rubbing out his nut of population pudding to her face during the PTM.

Scene Four: Roxy Jezel, the exotic brunette seen as the second gal from the left on the cover, was next as she seduced Voodoo, the setting being a large console of electronic gear. Roxy was probably the only one here that I considered a "given" in terms of her skill level and her blowjob proved she had not lost her touch under contract. She maintained eye contact with him and teased him during her oral ministrations, licking his nuts and going to town on him before her lithe form bounced on his rod in balls deep fashion. Roxy gave up an over the top aural performance too, too much yelling for my tastes but at least showing she was engaging him with all of her attention. He could have gone down on her too but ultimately, the shortness of the scenes in general was to be expected given the director/company combination. It finished up when he spewed on her face and upper chest, her unflattering position looking mighty uncomfortable.

Scene Five: Jesse Capelli, the hotty seen on the left hand side of the front cover, was up next in a scene that held true to her beliefs about cock, essentially skipping out on using one in favor of a lesbian scene with Nikki Benz. This was the shortest scene of all as the minimal setup led them into eating each other out without any build up at all, Nikki giving orders as to how Jesse should go down on her until they swapped positions. The vocals appeared to be partially dubbed during the second half of the scene too, the gals mechanically deploying dildos in such a way that I was left cold, something not common of Nikki's scenes in my experience but overall the pair seemed to be at odds with each other (maybe that was why there was no BTS this time, each scene seemed to have substantial issues going on).

Summary: Family Jewels by director Larent Sky for Club Jenna was interesting as a showcase for the ladies that worked for the company under contract but it struck me that the scenes came from different periods of time, using minimal chemistry between the performers, and even the actively engaging women were not enough to merit anything above a generous rating of Rent It from me. The potential was there to show each of the gals in their best light and the active riding they (mostly) showed here was a definite plus but only Roxy seemed to be trying to provide more than a basic romp this time, the technical values and minimal extras certainly not assisting any. In short, Family Jewels lacked the spirit of a good porn and the over reliance on formulaic action could not enhance a physically attractive cast enough to give it more than a passing look.

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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