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Studio: Vivid » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 7/13/09

XCritic's Advice: Watch On Demand

Heaven (Blu-ray)

Vivid Entertainment

Genre: Feature

Lanny Barby and Tom Byron (all pictures in SD)

Director: Paul Thomas

Cast: Lanny Barby, Tom Byron, Herschel Savage, Holly Morgan, Alex Gonz, Dave Pounder, Nadia Styles, Chris Cannon, Van Damage, Hillary Scott, Tommy Gunn, Carly Parker; Harmony & Marco Banderas (deleted scene only)
Non-sex roles: Karlie Montana, Paul Thomas, Jasper Knight, Kayla Paige, Garret Grant, Victoria Velasquez, others uncredited

Length: 109:16 minutes

Holly Morgan and Herschel Savage

Date of Production: 12/21/2006

Extras: The best extra would be the two deleted sex scenes from the actual movie lasting 21:58 minutes. The first was a longer version of the Nadia Styles/Van Damage/Chris Cannon scene from the flick where the now born-again babe loved taking a cock in her ass, pussy, and mouth in front of an audience for about 13:18 minutes while the other starred Harmony and Marco Banderas on a couch getting frisky, the unpolished nature of the scene kind of interesting to watch a few times. The next best related extra was not the photogallery, trailers, or spam, but the 18:15 minute long Behind the Scenes feature. It showed the cast and crew hard at work, spending precious little time mugging for the camera, offering disposable interviews, or clips from the sex scenes so only check this one out if you are looking for a true BTS. The other extras many of you will like would be the two unrelated sex scenes from previous flicks lasting about 20 minutes, from "Cheap Booze and Cigarettes" and "Foreplay" that are described below in their unedited forms though this time showing them in high definition.

Lanny Barby, Nadia Styles, Dave Pounder, and Alex Gonz

Condoms: None

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Audio/Video Quality: Heaven was presented in the same 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color it was shot in by director Paul Thomas for Vivid Entertainment using the high definition VC-1 codec in 1080i resolution for the Blu-ray version. While not his most visually stunning work of late (this was shot in 2006), it had an edgy and gritty look to it that sort of worked in some ways for the thematic material here, though some technical polishing up probably kept it in the vaults for a lot longer than usual. The composition of the camera angles was not optimal this time, catering to the director's decisions to change things around with most of the sex scenes cut short to give way to the plotted elements as the director prefers. The fleshtones were generally accurate though but the DVD mastering was well done (if only in a bitrate hovering around 19.1 Mbps, making it a mixed bag in terms of visual quality; leaning towards slightly above average at best. There was an occasional 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.  This Blu-ray version did not make as large an improvement as some of Vivid's other foray's into the high definition world but it did seem to help PT's vision work better.  The audio was still 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.

Hillary Scott and Tommy Gunn

Body of Review: Paul Thomas has been in the porn industry for generations now, his personal attitudes toward what he likes to see in his flicks sometimes at odds with the modern marketplace (to the reported dismay of his employers at Vivid Entertainment). For him, the sex is only a small part of any feature and if he had his way, I think the porn features we are all familiar with would have even less sex, though with such low budgets, I fear there would be no corresponding increase in quality of the dialogue. His latest release just came in for review, a little title shot in 2006 called Heaven starring Hillary Scott and former contract hotty Lanny Barby as a couple of strippers involved with a criminal playing it fast & loose with his peers. The back cover said very little about the actual movie but suggested it was award worthy nonetheless with: "Our idea of Heaven: Nine rockin' anal scenes! Lanny is over-the-top hot. Paul Thomas is at his "most awarded" best. Hillary Scott is as nasty as they come...and boy do they come. And the word-of-mouth on this big-budget, multi-location thriller is off the charts. Look for it at awards time... but look at it right now first. You'll think you died and went to Heaven." That "Heaven" in this case was actually Hillary's character should give you an idea of what to expect but this one was all over the place, if you catch my drift. Here's a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used for those still interested:

Hillary Scott and Herschel Savage (rape scene)

Scene One: A Gentlemen's Club: Lanny Barby, the brunette babe featured on the front cover, was up first in the car masturbating as Tom Byron jerked himself off. He felt up her ass as she slobbed his knob, the possibility of getting caught in public making the risky encounter more exciting. He did not get a chance to pop and Lanny was sent packing, so no genetic juice was displayed yet.

Scene Two: A New Dancer: Lanny Barby and Tom Byron then got frisky inside the club by the stage as Herschel Savage and Holly Morgan went at it, the editing bouncing between each scene as the two couples pawed each other in the semi-public location. Lanny blew Tom while Holly inhaled the spotted cock of Herschel, Lanny then getting hammered by Tom's cock in her pussy and ass while Holly took the facial of population pudding to her mouth.

Lanny Barby, Carly Parker, Tommy Gunn, and Tom Byron

Scene Three: Bachelor Party: Lanny Barby, Alex Gonz, Dave Pounder, Nadia Styles, Chris Cannon, and Van Damage, were up next, Lanny pairing off with Alex and Dave in the bedroom while Nadia worked over Chris and Van (in a truncated scene that was fleshed out in the deleted scenes section). Lanny was rubbing all over the groom when propositioned, allowing the two mopes to drill her pussy as she alternated blowing them. Nadia also slobbed knob and took a hard cock but most of it was edited out of the movie; a grumpy Tommy pulling his pistol upon discovering the side action he specifically forbade from happening. Some semen was launched but not enough to mention here.

Scene Four: Heaven & Alonzo: Hillary Scott, the new stripper in town, was bummed out over the other two screwing for more cash, asking Tommy Gunn to leave the bachelor party so after he grabbed the other gals and threatened the hosts, he dropped the ladies at their homes, saving Hillary for last. For an unstated reason, they wanted each other, his driving back to get some from her, the pair kissing and pawing each other in the house. He ate her and she blew him, the screwing edited in with some plot elements as he went from her pussy to her ass. The ride was semi-passive this time though, Hillary's anal princess charms not allowed to be unleashed due to her role in the show. He tapped her ass until he came on her crotch, the healthy load of spew pleasing her in the bed.

Hillary Scott and Tom Byron

Scene Five: Heaven & Teddy: Hillary Scott, looking good to club owner Herschel Savage as the new gal (territory unconquered), was then brought back to a crappy room and tossed on the couch. He stuffed his pecker into her mouth and she knew the drill, reluctantly giving in to suck him and ride his cock vaginally and anally before he bust a nut on her all too soon. I'm not keen on rape scenes at all and this one lacked the set up to make it work even under the best of circumstances.

Scene Six: Chantel's Reverie: Lanny Barby, Tommy Gunn, Carly Parker, and Tom Byron, were then up next in the boxing ring. Lanny and Tommy paired up while Tom did Carly, the flashback of Lanny looking pretty hot but not nearly as much as she did in her skimpy outfit. Lanny was sucking off Tommy while Carly played tonsil hockey with Tom's pecker, both gals riding their respective cocks vaginally and anally in the ring. It happened quickly and Tom bust a nut on Carly's ass crack while Tommy bust all over Lanny's crotch, the seed looking good on the hotty.

Scene Seven: Tony's Betrayal: Hillary Scott, having seen evidence of Tommy's sexual betrayal, was last up with Tom Byron in bed, the guy eating her ass as she had slobbed his knob. Hillary looked a lot more appreciative of the cock in her ass than in her pussy or mouth, her dirty talk sounding dubbed but enough to put him over the edge, his seed plastering her face before long.

Bonus Scene: ForeplayAudrey Bitoni, a busty brunette with large implants, and lovely Lanny Barby, were up next as groupies for the ever charming Nick Manning (who even wore a robe with his name on it). The ladies wore sexy low cut dresses that barely covered their muffs, each looking good in the outfits (Lanny in red and Audrey in black). They fed him an apple before providing some lesbian antics on the pinball machine for his amusement, Nick unable to resist for long as Audrey beckoned him over (while Lanny diddled herself on the couch). He spent a lot of time feeling up the four titties here, the camera providing some POV action but largely sticking to the basics as the gals made seductive faces during the shoot. The gals licked pussy more than he did, the flip side being that his cock was not catered to very much either before the vaginal hammering took place. Fans may find the use of a condom problematic but given how little close up footage was shot here, Lanny's juices covered it up fairly well most of the scene. Lanny gave a great ride here too; rubbing herself as she ground her hips and bounced on the dick. Audrey was not quite as enthusiastic but the scene was definitely assisted by the gals spending some quality oral time on each other from time to time. The scene ended with Nick "dropping loads" on Lanny's torso and Audrey on clean up (with Lanny), Lanny stroking her female buddy before they thanked him.

Bonus Scene: Cheap Booze and CigarettesLanny Barby, the hotty featured on the front cover, was up first having pissed off the mighty Evan Stone after he was ripped off. She went to the bed to masturbate in hopes of him joining her, Lanny eventually having to walk over to him so they could both orally satiate the other. Her blowjob was great and he liked eating her cook, the face sitting only making it even better before they began to screw like horned up teenagers on Prom Night. The scene was interrupted by the following scene (scene two) but picked back up after awhile as the couple vaginally boned on the bed. This was not Lanny's most active ride but she looked great and seemed to appreciate all that Evan was doing for her, resulting in his load of population pudding going to her mouth and titties. Yum!

Summary: Heaven by director Paul Thomas for Vivid Entertainment was another of Paul's attempts to be artistic at the expense of the strokability of a feature porno, serving the feature elements better than the sexual ones so I rated it as a Rent It. I still maintain that the elements can coexist better than Paul allows in such flicks, my desire to see a lot of Lanny Barby and Hillary Scott enough to merit some replay value, just not enough to gain a higher rating. In short, Heaven had a lot going on but it was executed in such a way that it lost me several times, making my hand itch for the remote control to speed past the fast forward fodder making up such a large portion of the movie. Still, give it a look if only to see short clips of heated trysts by Lanny and Hillary, even if they are not enough to satisfy your needs.  The Blu-ray version of the movie was certainly better looking in most cases but due to the comments in the BTS, it struck me that the director wanted to shoot it on film (which always fucks it up given the budgets) and treated much of the material as though he were doing so.  His accumen with the high definition world is still on the weak side so you can imagine how limited this one was being shot three years ago but in fairness, the weakest aspect was simply not using the resources at hand to full advantage.  Half finished sex scenes, wooden dialogue, and a story that must have had half the plot elements remaining in the mind of the director weakened it but I can't say that there were not sufficient moments to enjoy for fans of Lanny Barby or Hillary Scott (who is the reason this was left unreleased for so long if you believe the rumors).  You'll rub out a few loads with it but the staying power just wasn't there...

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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