Note: The following is a review of the upgraded, high definition Blu-ray version of the movie. For the most part, it was still as excellent as ever, the enhanced visuals particularly better in low lit scenes or during those lit for effect such as the orgy portion towards the end. I know that a director cut version of the movie is either for sale or about to be for sale but this version captures all the nuances of the touching story in such a way that I have to suggest it as the best available thanks to the increased bitrate and resolution in the 1080p market.
Cast: Lily Labeau, Manuel Ferrara, Lily Carter, Carlo Carrera, Xander Corvus, Sparky Sin Clair, Proxy Paige, Liza Del Sierra, Tiffany Doll, Eric John, Sarah Shevon, Brian Street Team, Ramon Nomar, Mick Blue, Toni Ribas, David Perry Non-sex roles: Elis McIntyre, Alec Knight, most not credited (especially in the later club scene)
Length: 117:55 minutes
Date of Production: 7/23/2012
Extras: The extensive extras were housed on the second disc, many of them proving to be the kind seasoned reviewers always look for. They started off with a 42:30 minute long podcast by leads Lily Labeau and Lily Carter (available free as podcast #54 at Elegant Angel’s website any day now). There was then 7:06 minutes of Behind the Scenes footage featuring the two Lily’s, followed by seven deleted scenes (the alternative ending perhaps the best in some ways, most under a minute and the longest just under 6:20 minutes), extended versions of the sex scenes (as listed below), bonus sex scenes from Lesbian Workout lasting 31:35 minutes and Girl Crush 2 lasting 31:42 minutes, an audio interview of director Graham Travis lasting 15:46 minutes, some trailers, and links to Elegant Angel as well as the BDSM website Wasteland (which is not related to this feature at all). In all, it was an impressive selection of extras!
Audio/Video Quality: Wasteland was shot in 1.78:1 widescreen as shot by Director Graham Travis for Elegant Angel. The Director of Photography was Alex Ladd, videography was by Mason and Carlos D., and editing by Graham Travis, his many long nights of work paying off with this finely tuned movie. Unlike the bulk of the company’s work, this was a feature willing to defy porn conventions, using much shorter sex scenes to keep the story moving and a lot of dialogue to establish the chemistry between the two leads. As expected, Graham relied heavily on his creative team to make his vision “work”, the bonus being that the full length sex scenes were added in as extras on the second disc (which is the best of both worlds, the raincoaters not caring about the great feature elements can go stroking happily along for a very long time while the completists will appreciate all that went into the full movie). The video bitrate varied considerably and it seemed he was trying more to invoke moods than show everything possible, the use of many uncredited extras showing that truly big productions are not dead just yet. The aural experience was the big surprise for me though, the sound recording by Bruce Carter using songs by Jeff Woodell, Erlisha Tamplin, Productiontrax, and Incompetech to drive the impact home more completely. As one of the few critics that fusses regularly about aural aspects of porn and how mediocre they tend to be (anyone telling you different either has very, very low standards or is just kissing company ass), I recognize when someone goes out of their way to enhance the sound elements. This was one such case, the music sounding original, working with the visual aspects nicely, and clocking in with a 256 Kbps bitrate to enhance the entertainment value of the show. The Blu-ray upgrade was again a fine display of how the company has changed gears in recent years to maximize the quality of their visuals in some cases when applying their team to make the most out of the high definition format, the visual boost enough to make this a good candidate for your collection even if you have the previous version (though I am told the extended director cut might be a better choice for some fans). Of particular note to look for are some of the darker scenes and the orgy room toward the end, that is where you will find the biggest improvement even if it looked pretty hot in the original.
The Deleted Scenes (and alternate ending)
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Body of Review: Graham Travis has long been a force behind the scenes at Elegant Angel but over the last few years, he has also proven to kick ass as a feature director. I was admittedly skeptical when he started directing features for a company some claim is completely tied to a single formula (even if so, it is a great formula that I have long appreciated) but he wowed me with Pornstar Superheroes and then Portrait of a Callgirl, this year sure to impress with Wasteland(Blu-ray). The story was about two school friends played by Lily Labeau and Lily Carter who reunite and go on a lengthy series of sexual escapades that work on many levels. I won’t ruin the story for you (like others undoubtedly will) other than to say it worked, the acting was well above average, and the inclusion of the full length sexual trysts on the extras disc capped a very exceptional effort. The back cover described the movie like this: “Wasteland stars Lily Carter and Lily LaBeau in the lead roles, and is written and directed by Graham Travis. The movie tells the story of Anna and Jacky, old school friends who have not seen each other in many years. They are reunited on one passionate, emotional, and sexually adventurous night in Los Angeles. Featuring powerful performances by the lead actresses, and breathtaking cinematography. Wasteland is a unique adult movie that blends a deep and heartfelt storyline with intense and unforgettable hardcore sex scenes.” Here’s a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used for those still interested:
Scene One: Lily Labeau, the fetching blond lead of the movie, hooked up in a nightclub setting with Manuel Ferrara, as her partner danced with Alec. Labeau took Manuel to a bathroom stall where they were all over each other in the cramped quarters, this kind of tryst a lot more common than you will find in most porn (don’t ask me how I know). Carter watched from the adjacent stall after ditching Alec, the look of amazement on her face as telling as Labeau’s desirous heated chemistry, some standing vaginal fucking and knob slobbing on her knees leading to a mouth full of genetic juice (the full scene was more strokable but the quick paced edits made this frantic enough to suit the story). (full scene on disc #2: 16:53 minutes)
Scene Two: Lily Carter, Lily Labeau, and Carlo Carrera were up next as Labeau picked him up while walking home. Her slinky black dress made it look like she was a hooker and they were picked up, Carter hesitant to join in so she played it in a standoffish manner. As she watched Carlo use her friend, the emphasis being a sultry blowjob, she beckoned to just go home but Labeau encouraged her to open up a little and enjoy herself. The newfound freedom worked best because Carter showed a sense of experimentation building up from her earlier frustrations, Labeau further pushing Carter to go for it by diddling her snatch while Carter jerked him off and started aggressively blowing him. She kept her hands on the shaft to work it and focused her oral on the head, soon draining him of population pudding as Labeau caressed her lightly. (full scene on disc #2: 5:59 minutes)
Scene Three: Lily Carter and Lily Labeau were up next as they arrived at the apartment, some fond memories of enjoying a pond surfacing to establish a longstanding attraction. Labeau gobbled gash like a champion and the seasoned performers came across like long lost lovers even more, the light sheen of sweat coating them a stark contrast to what I am used to from contract gals going at it, the hand to gland work and passionate kissing as believable as I have seen in any of the “Club 59” releases to date (Elegant’s lesbian line). (full scene on disc #2: 15:33 minutes)
Scene Four: Lily Carter, up next after some card playing and drinking games with Lily Labeau, let her friend take charge more since she was so dominant previously. This was a turning point of their sexual relationship and showed Carter rubbing Labeau’s kitty, the elevated respiration rate and nipple erections proving her efforts were not in vain. Labeau had a furry snatch and a playful nature throughout the movie, Carter’s intensity by this point in the movie providing a substantially different dynamic to appreciate. Once Labeau got off, they kissed and cuddled, some light touches added in to make it work better in the confines of the movie though the extended version was smoking hot on another level. (full scene on disc #2: 19:14 minutes)
Scene Five: Lily Labeau, dressed down for an impromptu bonfire type gathering outside at night, was up next as she stole frisky Xander Corvus from Carter, the guy working on the brunette for some time with all his best moves. Labeau waited until Carter was gone for a brief moment to go back to their cabin, Xander propping her fine ass up in the air to expose her pink thong. He then banged Labeau’s perfect pussy aggressively, some taste testing by the young lovely quickly leading to his spunk gracing her tonsils. This was another scene shown in much greater detail on the second disc, the strength of the aftermath confrontation showing much more acting range than expected from both ladies, the gals giving each other some brief pleasure before going out to a fetish club. (full scene on disc #2: 15:38 minutes)
Scene Six: Sparky Sin Clair and Proxy Paige, a couple of tattooed alt-porn personalities, were up next very briefly kissing in the movie, the extended version of the scene much more detailed as they used anal toys on each other and gave some serious head. The lesbian tryst was heated as all get out and included bits of others enjoying themselves, my reason for including it here to make a place for the screen capture above. In the movie itself, the scene was virtually completely cut, their mutual passion inspiring inclusion here though purists might complain that it should be annotated accordingly. (full scene on disc #2: 14:02 minutes)
Scene Seven: Lily Carter, dressed up in a tight red latex dress, was up next in a lesbian tryst with curvy hotty Liza Del Sierra in the red orgy room. Liza wore a black dress as she danced in the crowd, the gal spying fresh meat in the form of Lily entering the club after Labeau had her wait. As the couple danced, Liza pawed her prey, the exchange of glances between them as telling as anything they initially did together. As Liza led Lily to the back room for some sexy fun times, Tiffany Doll, Eric John, Sarah Shevon, and Brian Street Team were observed getting some action, the side acts primarily used to warm up the leads here. Some necking and pussy rubbing by Liza juiced up Lily in the darkened room, their breathing coming in ragged gasps as Liza covered Lily’s mouth. The blowjob in the background was long forgotten as minor by me despite the liquid lunch of splooge flying freely in the facial, the tryst more fulfilling in the extended version for me (admittedly, I can never get enough Liza Del Sierra in my porn diet). (full scene on disc #2: 14:52 minutes)
Scene Eight: Lily Carter, Lily Labeau, Mick Blue, David Perry, Ramon Nomar, and Toni Ribas, were up in the ending orgy scene. Initially, Labeau was taking on the guys in her stunningly tight black fetish dress, getting spanked and jerking men off while a horde of masked male mopes gathered round in the background. They were fucking her silly when Carter joined in on the fun, her snatch pounded endlessly and her mouth working over as much pecker as it came across. She was given some head but gave a lot more, Lily off in her own world as she was drilled powerfully nearby her friend, Carter busy getting a DP (double penetration) before Labeau ate her juicy snatch. Toni treated them roughly here and Carter picked up her act considerably to keep up, the variety of acts and ending gobs of ball batter glazing the faces of the ladies such that anyone into hardcore gonzo sex will definitely want to review the extended version of the sex (it was very passionate in many ways, the kind of heat fans of extreme queens love to get into). (full scene on disc #2: 31:43 minutes)
Bonus Scene: Lesbian Workout: Lily Carter, Lizz Tayler: Lizz Tayler and Lily Carter, both in leotards in a home gym, worked out while admiring each other during their sweaty exercising. As the heat built up, they exchanged one form of working out for another, ending up on the mat where they kissed and pawed each other like horny teenagers. The dynamic was completely different from the last scene and their passion was less erotic but more frantic, the tasting, fingering, and even choking upping their game. Both of them looked fine in the process and there was even some anal fingering. The company website described the scene like this: “Lily Carter and Lizz Tayler are working out at the gym together, keeping their amazing bodies in shape, for the opening to this 37 minute scene. They're both already so well built, looking sexy in their leotards, and they've got the exercise room all to themselves... so why both resisting the urge to play? Enjoy the show as these hot brunettes burn some calories with lesbian sex on the exercise mats!” 31:35 minutes
Bonus Scene: Girl Crush 2: Lily Labeau, Andy San Dimas: This time we start off with the ladies together as the interview gets going. It seems that these two really like each and Andy really seems to like Lilly. They can’t keep their hands off each other as they are answering the questions. You can tell these two really are looking forward to this scene, and seem to think it’s going to be a great time. As the scene starts, the ladies have made their way to the floor and their legs are wrapped around each other, as they kiss and then Andy moves in and begins to play with her tit’s a bit. Andy seems to be the aggressive one in this scene. Andy’s top comes down and she starts to grind her hips on Lilly’s. She whisper to Andy that she makes her hot and then grabs her and grinds her even harder on her lap. They continue to grind as Andy has her hand down her shirt, and then leans her back and starts to play with her pussy through her shorts, as her ass in the air. As Lilly has her legs spread open, Andy licks her inner thighs and seems to be driving her crazy. So Andy gets her shorts off and then grabs a hold of her panties and pulls her closer as they grind on each other for awhile and then Lilly takes control and fingers her pussy and then climbs on top of Andy and goes wild. And Andy seems to be almost crying with excitement as she rubs up against her. Lilly back off a bit and let’s her catch her breath, but then goes right back to grinding on her leg. You know how I said I though it was going to be all nice and slow in these scenes, these ladies have proved me wrong. They are really getting into it in this scene. Lilly ends up on her back as Andy starts to lick her pussy and slide her face up and down it, and Lilly moans and purrs with delight. She grabs the back of Andy’s head and pulls her head even closer to her pussy. As she continues to work her magic on her pussy, she gives her tots a few slaps and then stands up as Lilly moves over to the couch, bent over the side. Andy continues to wet her pussy with her finger and spit, and then sits on the couch and let’s Lilly slide her panties off. Andy then spread her legs as she licks her pussy up and down. Andy begins to shake and shiver as she continues, especially when she focuses on her clit, which once again brings her to tears with excitement. Andy pushes her back and onto the floor as they scissor each other with some real energy. She then pulls her closer and grabs on tight as she gives her a few slaps, and then dives back into pussy and gives it a nice workout, and then climbs on top of her and looks into her eyes before she lays her head in between her tits for a few seconds and then slide forward and sits on Lilly’s face, as she gives her pussy a good licking, as Andy begs for more. Andy once again takes control and gets Lilly back on the couch and works her very pink pussy, as she bounces her ass for the camera, and Lilly gives it a few slaps just for good measure. She once again on her chest to hear her heart beat and then the scene comes to an end as they kiss once again. (review by Sean) 31:42 minutes
Summary: Wasteland (Blu-ray) by director Graham Travis for Elegant Angel displayed many elements reminiscent of movies from the golden age of porn, the sexual trysts not tied down to formulaic approaches yet enhanced by quality acting, a compelling story, and two fantastic leads in Lily Labeau and Lily Carter. While I’m still enamored in Elegant Angel’s various “Big Wet…” series and related offerings, there was no denying that the competition will be able to fend off Wasteland around award time, the strokability, replay value, and willingness to again think outside current industry conventions making this well worth a rating of Xcritic Pick. If you are not into features, and many out there have expressed growing distain for the overdone parody craze as well as the often stifling “romantic porn” dynamic, the second disc providing full length scenes for each of the movie’s heated trysts will still win you over, Lily Carter and Lily Labeau perfectly selected for their roles. Needless to say, there was a lot of lesbian love between them but that was not even half the story here though no one claiming to be a fan of either gal will be able to pass this one up, the rest of us finding it was a winner of the first degree. I’ve missed out on seeing most company titles in recent months but this largely made up for it, the vision required to finance such an effort these days lost almost everywhere else.
Unlike other companies that release everything in high definition, Elegant shows some discretion in this area, a movie with many darker scenes always benefitting from the high definition upgrade such as this one. Look at the difference in a side by side fashion and even those who were originally impressed will find this upgraded version to provide ample reason to convert, allowing you to give your standard definition copy to a good friend this holiday season. It should also be mentioned that the company kept the double disc format to keep things looking their best, something few of their peers seem smart enough to do as a means to cut a few pennies, the impact striking on the final product. The additional detail and contrast in the darker scenes alone proved enough of a perk for me to really like this one so check it out, especially if you have a larger sized television where the differences are more pronounced.
---- 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