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Love And Other Mishaps

Studio: Digital Playground » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 6/28/10

XCritic's Advice: Watch It Online

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Love and Other Mishaps (SD & Blu-ray)

Digital Playground

Genre: Feature-lite

click for BTS

Conceptual Director: Celeste

Director of Photography (and most else): Robby D.

Cast: Stoya, Tony DeSergio, Sasha Grey, Mick Blue, Mr. Pete, Nicole Ray, Scott Nails, Christian XXX

Stoya (How's that root canal going?!?)

Length: 86:15 minutes

Date of Production: 11/20/2008

Extras: There were some trailers, a photogallery, a slide show (on the SD version only), and an 9:15 minute long Behind the Scenes feature by Jamal Johnson that was edited by Evul Atheng. This was shot two years ago, before the young lady who all those awards and got involved in that infamous "shaving incident" that resulted in her taking time off, the footage showing her less receptive to Robby's direction than usual.

Sasha Grey with Mick Blue

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Condoms: None

Audio/Video Quality: Love and Other Mishaps (SD & Blu-ray) was presented in the usual two versions for the fans; a standard definition release in anamorphic widescreen using a 1.78:1 ratio in 480 resolution and the Blu-ray release in full 1080p using the AVC coding of high definition. The credited director was Celeste though the only person in charge as seen by the short BTS clip was Robby D., the movie shot two years ago when the couple were sharing happier times. Like most productions from Digital Playground these days, each version suits a different audience, those that like seeing every freckle, scar, and wrinkle on the cast preferring the high definition release while those wanting more of the glossed over porn look liking the standard version better. The thing that most struck me and those watching the show with me (and I appreciated their patience seeing it twice) was the washed out look most everything had, the starkness of the show almost thematic in nature. The flesh tones were limited and the production work seemed to accentuate the stylized approach that I really don't care much for even if they were shot on the RED camera system (see the BTS) with tons more resolution than even Blu-ray can show. In terms of grain and video noise, there were portions with plenty of each, seen mostly in the darker areas of the screen more than the single-direction lighting. As expected, there were far too many close up shots to contend with too, a common refrain from you but no less valid considering I am not alone in this complaint. Suffice it to say that this was far from the best the company has to offer despite the higher than average bitrates (5.6 Mbps on the standard version while the Blu-ray tended to display around 19.3 Mbps). The audio was presented in a 5.1 Dolby Digital English using a 640 Kbps and 48 kHz sampling rate on the Blu-ray; much higher than 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 increased bitrate really didn't sound better (I even tried a blind test for some friends, none of them routinely picking which production sounded better when compared to other titles from the company). There wasn't much separation between the channels, if any outside of the intermittent music, but the ladies were always clearly heard here, the aural exploits of the cast better portrayed than the visual elements this time.

Stoya with Mr. Pete

Body of Review: Digital Playground is considered a high-end production company for porn flicks, the company typically offering movies with far shorter running times and extras in exchange for higher bit rates and a more stylized "look", this aspect of their works most notably obvious in titles credited to conceptual director Celeste. Her latest title making it my way is called Love and Other Mishaps (in both SD & Blu-ray), the under 90 minute feature-lite fuck flick starring one of my all time favorite ladies of blue cinema, Stoya. The movie was shot months during what became something of a prolonged sweep of the award shows out there, the hot little brunette not then involved in her shaving incident that led to some time off. While she is reportedly back to work for the company after some soul searching and blue collar work as a waitress, I was interested to see if this title was any stronger than some of her other work shot around the same time, your mileage varying depending on how much you adore the young cutie. From my point of view, I was merely interested if she looked like she was having fun, the other cast members disposable until I found out they included ice princess Sasha Grey and also attractive Nicole Ray. Here's a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used for those still interested:

Nicole Ray with Scott Nails

Scene One: Stoya, the lean brunette cutie featured on the front cover, was up first with third tier meat puppet Tony DeSergio in bed. They kissed and pawed at each other but for her it seemed forced, Stoya's facial expressions as practiced as could be to work with the guy. Fans of bushy pubes will undoubtedly appreciate that she sported no symbols shaved in them, nor the bare look that is so popular in the industry these days, her pierced nipples crying out for far more attention then he gave them during this limited tryst. He ate her out and she mechanically reciprocated, licking his balls and shaft with equal vigor before they engaged in various positions of vaginal penetration. Despite the lack of chemistry, Stoya was an active rider much of the time, at least when in a position to be, the camera work not great at enhancing her alabaster skin of lithe young body most of the time. The majority of the scene showed her in close up form only, not moving around to get her best looks for Joey Pulgadas to edit appropriately, such being the dependence on a large camera on a tripod rather than a more portable one. As small as his pecker was though, she seemed able to scratch her itch until something better came along, his tiny wad of genetic juice jerked out by his own hand to puddle on her pubes.


Scene Two: Sasha Grey, a brunette ice princess known for her single bout of mainstream success as much as her sum total of work in porn, was up next in bed with studly Mick Blue, her sheer white top showing off her tiny tits and gray patterned skirt hardly covering her sweet little ass before she jumped him. She aggressively slobbed his knob and tossed her leg over his head to straddle him in a 69, her energy levels standing above her peers in the flick even if her enthusiasm seemed mechanical. The camera rarely moved and the scene seemed cold due to the lighting, Sasha getting as well as she received except there was no camera to catch Mick's work this time. When it came to the vaginal screwing though, she seemed extremely passive, ruining an otherwise solid start until she went back to blowing him (no wonder why he choked her). She did show some energy one time here but soon stopped, preferring to do more oral that ultimately ended when he tossed off a load of population pudding to her mouth but she did not swallow it despite what you may have heard.

Scene Three: Stoya, this time at a bar in a sheer dress full of gold sparkles, spread her legs for Mr. Pete to go down on her, her nipples showing some response as his tongue did all the talking she could stand. Whether it was her increased respiration rate or the look of happiness on her face, the skinny gal seemed more at home this time, her blowjob more enthusiastic to say the least. The streamers and burp punctuated her hummer as she looked up at him, connecting more this time as he jerked off, the couple screwing vaginally with more passion here than the other two scenes before it. He grabbed her as they boned and she impaled herself on his cock while he fingered her ass, making her earlier scene a throw away to say the least. She did some taste testing and squeezed his nuts while jerking him off to completion, her handiwork sucked into her mouth as she finished him off. She did not swallow his load of semen but at least she continued to work him after he ejaculated.

Scene Four: Nicole Ray, a cute blond wearing a busy dress, was up next with Scott Nails, the man eating her out as she breathed heavily in the bar. This did not last long as she wanted to give him a titty fuck, sucking him off as though she enjoyed every slurp she gave him. He then took her from behind and she did some taste testing, her passive riding forced due to the limited couple of positions she was placed in. The short scene ended soon after her final licks were in, Scott feeding her some spew from the tap as she knelt by his feet.

Scene Five: Stoya, dressed in a bland top while perched atop Christian XXX on a couch, and then finished up the movie by aggressively going down on him. The hand assisted hummer showed she had come a long way since first starting in the jizz biz, the 69 again shot in a Stoya dominant position so his perspective was left untouched. Her greedy mouth was fun to watch and so too would have been his mimicry of Lee Stone's old move into the standing 69 if the camera had been able to catch it. He did get to go down on her briefly before they began a few vaginal positions, Stoya always looking best on top (though that ass in the air pose was definitely inspirational). He did a capable job of hammering her pussy though and she pulled him out to jerk off onto her snatch after that, no follow up proving any sort of chemistry or connection again weakening the final product.

Summary: Love and Other Mishaps (SD & Blu-ray) by directors Celeste and Robby D. starred Stoya in three scenes and all of her fans should consider this a "must have" movie because of it but the general idea I got from the production was that it was a work in progress that had sat on the shelf too long, even the talents of Joey Pulgadas and Nick P. unable to save it from the limitations built into the shoot so I rated it as a Rent It. In short, Love and Other Mishaps (SD & Blu-ray) sets the bar mighty low for those out there that enjoy porn as a means of stimulating themselves or a loved one into the passionate throes of sex, the movie best suited for the dedicated fans that will fall all over themselves singing its praises instead of realistically wondering what happened to this train wreck of a movie. I'll admit that as much as I adore Stoya scenes I expected more from this one but I'm sure her lengthy hiatus will result in better works coming out any time now so it will serve as a placeholder for me until they come out. Give this one a look before committing too much money but recognize that technical limitations really do impact the replay value and strokability of a fuck flick, even when Stoya is the lead.

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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