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Studio: Vivid » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 6/15/09

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Flashback (SD and Blu-ray)

Vivid Entertainment

Genre: Vignette

Director: B. Skow

Cast: Briana Banks, Alex Gonz, Alanah Rae, Jerry, Nikki Jayne, Meggan Mallone, Ben English, Otto Bauer

Length: 174:59 minutes

Briana Banks and Alex Gonz

Date of Production: 6/29/2008

Extras: My favorite related extra was the 24:02 minute long Behind the Scenes feature by Graham Crack Herr. It started off with Briana getting interviewed topless on a green leather couch, her open nature extending to her spread legs and willing anecdotes but the rest of the cast got some screen time too; a welcome addition compared to numerous BTS features (mostly at other companies) that shortchange fans. There was then a sort of highlight reel from five scenes on the SD version of the release, lasting 18:34 minutes and showing some of the best parts of the action (scene clips from Catch Me, Nurse Monique, Strip Tease, Sugar, and Touch Me). The Blu-ray version tried something different by offering somewhat longer clips from Catch Me and Touch Me, each clocking in around 10 minutes long but far from their original splendor for those keeping track, so you get about the same amount of footage on each version of the movie, the Blu-ray version in high definition. There was then a biography for Briana Banks, some trailers, spam, and a photogallery (the Blu-ray dropping the minimalist stuff though).

Alanah Rae and Jerry

Condoms: None

Audio/Video Quality: Flashback was presented in the same 1.78:1 ratio anamorphic widescreen color it was shot in by director B. Skow for Vivid Entertainment using the standard definition MPEG-2 codec in 480p resolution for the SD version and the 1080i/VC-1 codec for the superior looking Blu-ray version. For those unfamiliar with his background, suffice it to say that his experience outside of porn is superior to many inside the industry and it shows up in his movies, including this one as it was shot in 1080i high definition, making the Blu-ray version of it look much better. The editing was not as polished this time, "Jack Freedom" credited with those duties, and post production was handled by Kyle Caruso, again not exactly the "A-team" I was hoping for. The composition of the camera angles was often optimal to capture the raw energy of the scenes but frequently required shooting into the light causing flare ups or color saturation issues, giving it a different look than many of Skow's previous works. The fleshtones were generally accurate though but the DVD mastering was well done (if only in a bitrate hovering around 3.7 Mbps in SD and 11.2 Mbps in the high definition Blu-ray), making it a mixed bag in terms of visual quality; leaning towards above average (if on the low side for Skow himself). There was a company watermark that I wasn't too keen on but most of the camera work seemed to keep this in mind, keeping the majority of action far away from the lower right hand corner. I really preferred the high definition version this time, the problems with the technical aspects mitigated somewhat but I will go on record as preferring the director's more polished efforts over the various experiments he tried here. The audio was presented in a 2.0 Dolby Digital English (in 192 Kbps with a 48 kHz sampling rate) offering with the vocals sounding flat and the music pretty decent. For some reason, the levels were about the same as usual but aside from the added background noise, the dynamic range was average and the separation of the vocal track nonexistent. For an all sex vignette though, it was a sufficient soundtrack with minimalist leanings most of you will appreciate over loud generic music found elsewhere.

Briana Banks and Nikki Jayne

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Body of Review: B. Skow is currently the driving force behind upgrading the quality at Vivid Entertainment. He shoots gonzo, vignettes, and even features from time to time but his technical background and photographer's eye help elevate the production values on most of his works. His latest title coming out last week was Flashback, a set of five vignettes featuring hotty Briana Banks as well as smaller roles by smoking hot Nikki Jayne and demure Houstonian Meggan Mallone. While I believe Briana has a few more flicks in the can that are yet to be released by the company, this was one where she did a lot of anal (even a DP) and reminded her fans that she was the original "throating" expert under contract for them. The back cover described the show like this: "Memories...some get you down. Some get you up. And some get you off. And that's the ones B Skow wants to know about. So he asked three hottest Vivid girls in existence, Briana, Nikki and Meggan, to re-live their horniest past experience...the one that always gets them off. And they did. With anals, dp's, twisted sex toys and four explosive facials. Remember the gym teacher? The prom three-way DP? That crazy downtown sexcapade? Your first vibe? They won't let you forget it..." Here's a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used for those still interested:

Meggan Mallone and Alex Gonz

Scene One: Briana and the Warehouse: Briana Banks, the long established hotty that set out on her own recently, was up first in a warehouse with Alex Gonz, this being their first scene together according to the lady. She was wearing slutty black attire including a short skirt and cleavage revealing top, and she was as outgoing as ever, her breasts looking bigger than ever since she gained a couple of well needed pounds. Skow really took to playing with her, his fascination with her ass and breasts something I could readily identify with myself (her tan line was pretty sweet too). The lengthy tease is almost a trademark of Skow's work in his BNF series too, elevating the stroke value and replayability as far as I'm concerned. Briana had a few bruises on her ass in need of TLC (makeup artist Lee Garland apparently leaving them be in both scenes where they were most noticeable) but the interview and tease (with solo work) lasted until the 16+ minute mark in the show, Alex fingering her as she straddled his lap. Despite some issues with the lighting, she slobbed his knob with a sense of passion, giving him a lot of eye contact but also providing some towards the camera as planes flew by overhead. Unlike many other such scenes, Briana was able to pull off diverting her attention between her partner and the camera without lowering the amount of passion, her oral far more extensive (and satisfying) than what he provided her. The penetrative sex then showed the two bumping uglies, his pecker driven deep in her pussy in a variety of positions that showed the horny babe very actively enjoying her new partner. Once they were through with the vaginal action, there was even some anal, Briana pushing back to meet his thrusts there as though she were possessed. The ending pop shot of genetic juice landed on her crotch though, so facial fans will miss out but she licked up some of the remains just fine with some post coital head. Whew!

Briana Banks

Scene Two: Alanah and the Gym Teacher: Alanah Rae, a cute blond from New Jersey (per IAFD though she claimed North Carolina), was up next on a mauve couch in a study, the 20 year old fairly new to porn. Skow was not as connected to her but he pulled out some of her personality better than those who have shot her before (that I've seen), feeling her up and eliciting a tease with plenty of fun factor (asking Skow if he was "taking notes" as I was). The solo then turned into a full fledged scene when Jerry came into the picture, the guy kissing her and rubbing her at the same time. He went down on her briefly but she pushed him aside to get some cock, aggressively sucking him off before showing even a newbie could ride actively. There was taste testing among the various positions and she put a lot into the act as a performance more than her actually getting off, her all natural body well worth more attention in the future. There was some POV blowjob action too, but it was intermittent and both of them seemed more comfortable during the vaginal plowing she took, the ending load of population pudding going to her face (a bit in her mouth too as she sucked him off). Not bad!

Scene Three: Briana and Nikki: Nikki Jayne, the current "go to" contract gal at the company who is known for her sexual prowess, was up next as she took on Briana Banks; the scene coming across as a passing of the torch for them now that Briana left (reportedly over not getting the starring role in Throat) and Nikki is the best thing the company has in terms of contract performers for the gonzo work (Savanna still tops at features). While I wasn't overly happy that Nikki's sole scene in the movie involved just a lesbian scene but considering whom it was with, I figured it would be at least decent. The ladies teased in the kitchen during the interview, showing off their curvy figures with black tops and great skirts/shorts that revealed the bottom half of their sweet asses. The clothing came off slowly but the oral they did was a lot better than average and their hands were pawing each other a whole lot more passionately than I had counted on. They moved to the next room to provide some leverage for the best eating too, each lady providing a different manner of how they went at it as well as how much they enjoyed it. Briana seemed the polished professional this time but Nikki's spark definitely helped make it stand above many other such lesbian scenes that I've encountered of late. There was some toy use too but it was not as good, perhaps due to the spontaneous manner in which they were used, my take on them being they were not heavily planned for at all. The outcome of the scene was predictable in that both ladies shared some minor chemistry but the idea that Nikki was destined to take Briana's place never left my mind either.

Scene Four: Meggan and the G-Rated D.P.: Meggan Mallone, the contract gal with brunette hair from Houston, TX, was up next on a bed with Alex Gonz. Meggan has pretty eyes ("gorgeous" according to my toy tester Nadine) and she was playful, Skow interviewing her as she teased by slowly taking off her clothing. Skow focused largely on her nice ass though, the lighting off enough to cause some video noise I wasn't happy with myself. In any case, Meggan was natural and tried her best to please the director, soon masturbating with a pocket rocket as she blew Alex. The lighting was spiced up some by this point, the crew undoubtedly figuring out it needed an upgrade. The rest of the scene showed Meggan getting vaginally screwed by Alex and some taste testing, him going down on her only during their 69 position. She was not the most active ride in the movie, dare I say she was the least, but she did add some fresh appeal to cover another dynamic the company provides movies for (newcomer titles), and the facial was pretty decent (the DP referred to being his cock and his finger rubbing her asshole).

Scene Five: Briana's Prom Night: Briana Banks, now just in her black panties and fetish boots, was up last in a reenactment of her prom night with Ben English and Otto Bauer. The tease and solo part was on the bed but she was soon on her knees sucking both men off in the living room, the large picture window wreaking havoc with the lighting again. Briana knew both men and was happy that Otto showed her some of the rough stuff, the men taking turns with her mouth, pussy, and then ass before the DP'ed her curvy figure. I wasn't happy with the large bruise she was sporting on her ass cheek here but she was definitely getting into the action as they hammered away on her (and she reciprocated aggressively by the way she rode them). There was some ATM too but Briana was lost in the physical sensations of the moment, crying out in a mixture of pleasure and pain before she milked their nuts dry of genetic juice. The scene closed up when the men rubbed out wads of spew to her face, swallowing some of it to finish up with a bang.

Bonus Scene: Catch Me: Nikki Jayne, up last in her black cover outfit, teased in the motorcycle shop as she coyly looked into the camera as if trying to elicit a boner in the director. Her perfectly formed hips and ass looked good bent over and she took her time teasing just the way I like it. She started masturbating with a black toy when mechanics (though their orange jumpsuits reminded me more of prison inmates) Barry Scott and Ben English began feeling her up and taking over the toy use. There was kissing with Ben and spitting with Barry, Nikki alternating between the men as she slobbed their knobs. This dynamic continued as she took them in her pussy for some hard pounding times, her juices freely flowing when the anal (in the form of a double penetration) began. The men then took turns with her three holes as they saw fit, penetrating her mouth, pussy, and ass until she milked them dry with a facial and ass cheek pop shot. Sweet!

Bonus Scene: Nurse Monique: Monique's husband is killed, thus starting her quest to find Dr. Dick. Monique meets Lexi Love and the two girls share their love of Dr. Dick. After a quick drink, they share their love of mutual masturbation. It's pretty hot, but you've seen this before. The novelty of these two porn starlets coming together for a fingerbang wares off pretty quickly. But, them's the breaks. (review by Guy Incognito)

Bonus Scene: Strip Tease: Meggan Mallone, the hotty featured on the front cover, was up first as she playfully teased in POV fashion; her incredible eyes doing as much as her sweet little body to interest me. While she wore a patterned bikini, it did not last for long as the 21 year old tossed aside her top to begin masturbating, the curious nature of the editing seen right away even if it did not immediately weaken the heat of the scene for me. She masturbated in a comfy chair, the camera zoomed in too closely for my tastes, the music changing as the scene switched gears a few times. The montage of footage was inviting (to say the least) and Skow felt her up a bit before she ended up working with studly Mick Blue. The colors alternated here as though the cameras used to shoot the material were not set the same way but Meggan looked like a million bucks all the same, Mick savoring his experience going down on her. She guided him to do just what she wanted too, making the chemistry portion of the scene higher than usual. They kissed and she gave him a quick knob slob before they actively fucked vaginally, Meggan showing Mick how much she liked the guy. Mick gave her some more oral too, rimming the cutie before she took him inside of her biscuit again, pushing back to meet his thrusts. I really liked how she grabbed him to pull him inside of her on the bed too, the ending wad of genetic juice landing on her crotch/lower abdomen. Yum!

Bonus Scene: Sugar: Thankfully Hannah's back, and she's brought Whitney with her, as they compete for Rocco's attention in a motorcycle garage. Though Hannah's the undisputed chest champ here, Whitney's no slouch herself, and they take turns tempting Rocco by fingering themselves on stairs, bikes and chairs, as he goes from girl to girl like a kid in a vagina-flavored candy shop, giving and getting head. Among the highlights here are Hannah's tits (naturally) and Whitney's POV blowjob, though there's no three-way action to be had. That's easy to miss when transfixed on Hannah's stunning knobs, bouncing up and down as she gets pounded from below, or when watching Rocco plow Whitney from behind to get her own impressive jugs a-juggling. (review by Chris Knight)

Bonus Scene: Touch Me: Briana Banks, now dressed in an innocent white mesh outfit, was up last and with a half hour to go, I knew my predictions about Vivid adapting had again proven themselves out. Briana looked right at the camera and it is difficult to describe how fetching her eyes were, the tease and masturbation not hurting any as they followed either. Some POV titty play as well as fingering (not to mention panty sniffing/tasting) led to the stud of the day, Erik Everhard, entering the living room setting. I'm not into guys but I see it with my own eyes and hear the talk by the ladies that he is the hardest driving guy in the industry that actually loves women so it reminded me of Briana's own comments in the BTS that this was going to be an epic bout of boning. First, he warmed her up orally, fingering the juicy lass as the two maintained eye contact to show how much they wanted each other. Briana then teased him through his pants as his growing erection threatened to tear out the seam, the gal smiling at the result of her handiwork before aggressively inhaling his cock. The playful oral she provided was definitely a step up from what was expected (and her oral skills have long been established as top notch) and the resulting vaginal plowing they engaged in was even better! Briana rode him as though scratching a deep seated itch inside of herself, her reddened ass (from being smacked) looked even better than before. She yelled out about coming and despite this being a porn standard comment, her respiration rate and physiological responses supported the event as if there was no doubt, Briana bouncing on his cock some more before jerking out a large load (I love it when the lady takes the load herself rather than the guy beating off). Whew!

Summary: Flashback by director B. Skow for Vivid Entertainment had a number of rough edges in the technical department as well as thematically but since it featured Briana Banks, her fans should consider it a "must have" while most people should consider it as Recommended. The use of three contract gals was a wise move even if they were not used to their fullest capabilities, the touches that Skow added certainly giving the flick extra fuck for the buck, replayability, and strokability. In short, Flashback might not have been as well handled a vignette as I would have wanted, the strengths outweighed the weaknesses to the degree that you may well rate it higher than I have. The high definition version of the movie was visually superior too, enhancing the look of the ladies in all the scenes (though not so much for Meggan given the lighting issues mentioned above), so give it a look if you have the right equipment to properly enjoy it in Blu-ray.

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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