Cast: Kagney Linn Karter, Manuel Ferrara, Riley Steele, James Deen, Nicole Ray, Erik Everhard, Isis Taylor, Marie McCray
Kagney Linn Karter with Manuel Ferrara
Length: 94:11 minutes
Date of Production: 3/31/2009
Extras: There were some trailers, a photogallery, a slide show (on the SD version only), and an 10:13 minute long Behind the Scenes feature by Jamal Johnson/Brah Bones that was edited by Keyser Foze. While I was looking for the credited director all over the BTS, I had to let Robbie suffice, his working with the talent and crew lending credence to my previous comments about who is in charge on these productions. I did like the comparison shot between the BTS camera and the RED camera system in a side by side presentation though, the fart jokes stale but the overall theme allowing fans to get a glimpse of the production.
-- sponsored by --
Audio/Video Quality: Riley Steele's Strict Machine was presented in the usual 1.78:1 ratio anamorphic widescreen color as envisioned by director Celeste for Digital Playground in the usual MPEG-2 codec reserved for standard definition releases; the resolution clocking in at 480p. The Blu-ray version was superior with its 1080p resolution and the AVC codec that greatly enhanced portions of the show, the use of lighting and filters marginalizing some of the upgrade again but still proving worth consideration if you are in the market for high definition. The high end equipment and skilled crew of regulars assisted director of photography Robby to make this release look really sharp; dropping some of the artistic meanderings in favor of better visuals. The lighting was generally decent here, editor Keyser Foze picking up some of the slack where possible but the effects-laden visuals detracted from the appeal of the ladies in some cases. The SD DVD mastering revealing no compression artifacts; with the bitrate for the visuals hovering around 6.3 Mbps (the Blu-ray clocking in around 21.2 Mbps) this time with few flaws but not as low in resolution as previous efforts in related showcase efforts from prior to last year. The audio was presented in a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround English using a 448 Kbps bitrate (384 Kbps on the Blu-ray) and 48 kHz sampling rate; twice that of most porn made these days, with a minimalist leaning that seemed unique in most ways to productions outside of the Jack series, but the vocals did not always dominate the audio track as I like it so your mileage may vary. There wasn't much separation between the channels, if any outside of the intermittent music, but the ladies were always clearly heard here.
Body of Review: Celeste was one of the few female "conceptual" directors in the industry before a very public breakup with Digital Playground last year, the woman renowned for telling boyfriend Robby D. what she wanted in a porno for him to go on location and shoot it. While much of her work was better called erotica, she still managed to be credited to some very appealing titles that showcased the company contract performers. One of the them shot last year was called Riley Steele's Strict Machine and for fans of hotty Riley Steele, it will probably cause goose bumps since she appeared in two scenes wearing some BDSM looking apparel. As with most thematic releases in porn, your mileage will certainly vary considerably according to how much you appreciate the performers and what the "catch" of the movie is, this time showing fetish attire and control featuring babes like Kagney Linn Karter, Isis Taylor, and of course, Riley Steele. I'll admit that I'm not going to don my rose colored glasses and play slavering fanboy as others are want to do when reviewing but the basic premise was enough to interest me all the same. The back cover of the movie described the fuck flick like this: "Digital Playgrounds's very own Riley Steele plays the head mistress in this kinky, fetish film. A visual and sexual feast with a super fine cast, legs, stocking and lots of light bondage. Riley treats viewers to tantalizing scenes filled with heat, passion and the occasional whip and paddle. Strict Machine is a tempting ride of sexual tease and playful stimulation. After you are fully satisfied, return for the special features including a fantastic behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Digital Playground cast and crew in playful action." Here's a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used for those still interested:
Scene One: Kagney Linn Karter, a curvy blond with a beautiful face and nice rack, was up first wearing a slave outfit in the living room. It was composed of various straps and D-rings, the gal parading around for Manuel Ferrara to appreciate as he positioned her like a doll to suck her ass once she bent over. The look in her eyes was precious and the impression given was that she truly wanted to slob his knob, the light caresses leading up to the event where she gingerly blew him. This continued until he repositioned her for the vaginal penetration portion of the scene, Manuel doing most of the work even as her delightful curves bounced while she moaned pornishly. The way her ass rippled worked nicely and it was pleasing that Robby did not stick solely with close up shots as he tends to do so very often these days (some of the other scenes were not nearly as well shot though), the scene closing out when he bust a wad of genetic juice on her face and she provided some post coital head.
Riley Steele and Marie McCray with Erik Everhard
Scene Two: Riley Steele, the blond haired, blue eyed darling featured on the front cover, was up next with James Deen, her maid outfit punctuated by leg cuffs and handcuffs as well as a feather duster. He brandished a riding crop her way but relied more heavily on fingering her snatch, their mutual eye contact helping establish a modicum of chemistry. Both did very little oral on each other, Riley taking extra time to warm up for the vaginal sex as a result, the scene appearing to be cut short when he lost his load of population pudding early towards her face. If there is a big pile of deleted footage out there, I hope the scene gets a director's cut in the future.
Scene Three: Nicole Ray, a lean gal with a cute face, was up next as a captive in a large walk in closet. She was suspended by some wrist restraints and begging studly Erik Everhard to help her, the man sucking her tit and fingering her underneath her chain thong after having her suck on a far-too-large dildo. He went down on her and ultimately released her, Nicole rewarding him by dropping down to her knees to blow him aggressively with some hand to gland action. A quick edit later and they were vaginally screwing, the close up showing the heads of the couple more than the less than graphic penetration. It looked admittedly better when the camera eventually pulled back but their chemistry aside, it was a generic pairing compared to their body of work elsewhere, Nicole trying to be as active as allowed in bouncing on his rod while overdoing the aural portion of the act. They then moved to a bed where they alternated between doing oral and screwing, the scene ending when she jerked him off all over her face, his semen glazing her well enough.
Scene Four: Isis Taylor, a sexy brunette with a smoking hot body, was up next as she laid back on a bed for Manuel Ferrara to orally ravish, her extensive black lingerie contrasting nicely with her physical attributes. Manuel ate her ass while applying a blindfold to her face, lightly tapping her ass with a switch and paddle as he sought to get her off. The implements enhancing the experience were soon tossed aside though for her to blow him and actively ride vaginally, the large bed accommodating their needs with ease. There was then a tribute to foot fetish freaks but barely a nod given the duration, Manuel preferring to bone her like he owned her, Isis's oral between positions helping to make this one stand out above the rest of the movie to a degree. It ended when he pulled out and jerked off to her crotch, the camera quickly fading out before they did anything more.
Scene Five: Marie McCray, a major hotty with reddish hair and all black fetish attire, was up next in bed with white blinded Riley Steele and muscular Erik Everhard. Marie was bound with her legs spread apart and Erik guided Riley to eat her pussy, both of them sharing her before Marie sucked him off and he diddled Riley by hand. The ladies then took turns screwing his cock, caressing each other as they engaged during the penetrative sex, the ladies kissing from time to time despite modest chemistry together (at best). Erik fingered Riley's ass as he drilled her hard, neither gal consistently active during the vaginal penetration portions of the scene. He then came all over Riley's ass cheek before the credits prematurely rolled, leaving it again to the imagination as to what the ladies did with the clean up responsibilities.
Summary: Riley Steele's Strict Machine by director Celeste for Digital Playground had the kind of kink-lite appeal to it best served to vanilla audiences just wanting the slightest bit of BDSM to spice things up while dedicated aficionados will find it too tame by far to work for them. The costumes were sexy and the ladies all looked like they belonged in a company flick, the technical limitations of a large, single camera mounted on a tripod weakening it as much as the scores of close up shots where heads were cut off and the screen reduced to a series of body parts. Riley looked as sweet as ever and curvy Kagney Linn Karter looked almost as if she wanted to take control and push the dynamic much further than allowed to, such is the dilemma of any movie catering to a particular fantasy; it either comes off as watered down to those wanting a specialty flick or as too narrowly focused for those not into the theme so I split the difference and rated both versions of the movie as Rent It. Granted, if you are a total devotee of Riley this will be a "must have" movie for your collection but it is not the best selection of hers for newcomers, the running time far too short and her screen time relatively limited even if you count her solo act during the opening credits. In short then, Riley Steele's Strict Machine was not as kinky or fetish oriented as it was advertised but Robby provided a workmanlike approach to shooting the action using the ultra high resolution RED camera system so if you are interested from the above description, spend a couple extra bucks and pick up the Blu-ray version. It doesn't have much in the way of extras (neither version does) but Riley looked as hot as ever and the upgrade worked to enhance that appeal of hers.
---- 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