Jacky St. James is one of the most significant voices in adult entertainment working now. She's done an amazing job bringing kinky topics to the forefront in a way that's accessable to traditional adult consumers. In the process she's also brought new viewers into the fold by creating films that have a wide appeal. More importantly, she's a talented film maker who understands the balance between narrative and action and has been able to pull stellar performances from adult performers both on the bed and in non-sex scenes.
The stakes are pretty high for her latest, a follow up to the 2013 Submission of Emma Marx. Not only is it one of the first real sequels in New Sensations' Erotic Stories Collection, it's also New Sensation's key timed release to try to capture some of the enthusiasm (for BDSM and adult) generated by the 50 Shades of Grey movie release.
From the start it's clear that Submission of Emma Marx: Boundaries is not your ever day porn. Penny Pax has proved her strong abilities as an actress and she starts off this film very well with a solid non-sex scene.
Scene 1: Van Wylde and Riley Reid
The focus of course of Submission of Emma Marx: Boundaries is the sex and so we quickly move to a our first scene which is between Riley Reid and Van Wylde. Riley looks absolutely fantastic in this scene and is dressed in very hot strappy black lingerie. She's blindfolded by Van Wylde who takes his time touching, kissing and caressing her. This isn't your typical tease and it's actually quite amazing just how into it Riley is. When you consider how many scenes these performers do, to create and environment where there's true sensuality is nothing short of impossible.
They key to this scene is that light BDSM, in this case being blindfolded, can enhance the sexual experience, and so slowing things down and being more erotic really enhances that. Ultimately we do get to some hardcore action, which really gets going with a stellar deep throated blowjob from Riley.
In addition to great sex, the scene is shot and edited impeccably. You never lose site of the action, but the camera doesn't feel overly static or stilted. Van Wylde fucks Riley from behind which is hot, but the scene gets even better when he's on top of her (while she fingers herself). These two have really exceptional chemistry with each other and that really helps drive the scene. While Riley does spend some time in reverse cowgirl, it's really the face to face positions, with a fair amount of kissing and fingering, that really shine. The only thing that this scene is really missing is Riley orgasming. Van Wylde has a nice money shot, but Riley never gets there, which I would have liked to have seen and which would have been a fit for this scene.
There's a transition from this first scene into the core of the story which details the dominant and submissive relationship between the characters played by Penny Pax (Emma Marx) and Ritchie Calhoun (Mr. Fredrick). This part of the narrative is a really solid montage. It's like a sexual trailer to their relationship. This kind of incidental sex play isn't common in adult films because of the way scenes and booked and paid for, so it's a ncie rare and delicious treat!
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Scene 2: Penny Pax and Ritchie Calhoun
As with the first sex scene, the second scene starts with a very slow build. It then transitions to a solid blowjob by Penny until Ritchie bends her over a desk and then fucks her in the ass. As with the dialogue part of the scene Penny is more active and stronger in her performance than Ritchie, who is a little reserved given he's the dom in the scene.
Things get particularly hot when the couple moves to the floor for reverse cowgirl anal. Penny is simply fantastic as she rides Ritchie, clearly enjoying the experience. Her energy helps light up Ritchie who is much more active and engaged in this part of the scene (he seems close to orgasming early here).
They move back to the desk with Ritchie on top, again, good heat, great chemistry. It's here that Ritchie finally does cum and the two make out for a bit afterwords.
Between Scenes Sex and Narrative
After the scene between Ritchie and Penny is a fairly significant block of narrative and a number of montages. Some of the montage work here is absolutely striking. Some which seem like they could be pulled right from the screen of a porn American Horror Story. It's deliciously dark and helps give this film some real depth beyond the sex scenes.
The film making here is top notch, in many parts, clearly standing shoulder to shoulder with the work done in 50 Shades of Grey.
Scene Three: Penny Pax and Ritchie Calhoun
After a fairly lengthy build via a number of short scenes we really get into the real BDSM core of the film as Penny is tied to an X and is teased, begging and pleading to be fucked. Penny is so good in the lead up to this scene, it's really the fusion of her talents as an actress and a performer.
Penny finally gets unchained and then gives Ritchie an enthusiastic blowjob. Unlike many BDSM themed films where a performer is untiled within the first few minutes of a scene and the scene turns to a fairly conventional sex scene, here Penny is tied back down to a table and then spanked, teased and fucked by Ritchie.
When the camera flips around to show their faces as he fucks her, it's as hot as the sex itself. This is a mark of a great adult film making. In the middle of the scene, Ritchie is fucking Penny standing up and fingering her, Penny clearly is into it and so he does something that you'd expect a real guy to do, he flips her over and eats her out. This kind of real flow to a sex scene helps keep the intensity that was created at the start and helps maintain a high level of heat throughout.
The end of the scene is an extremely hot tit fuck leading Ritchie to cum into Penny's cupped hands. For fans of submissiveness, this shot is the cherry on top of the ice cream sunday. Penny Pax is perfect here and it's a real satisfying end to a simply fantastic scene.
Between Scenes Sex and Narrative
As with the other connective tissue of this film, the intervening scenes between the sex are as delicious and entertaining as the sex scenes themselves. It's so refreshing to see an adult film that actually fits together and isn't just fill between sex scenes.
Scene Four: Penny Pax, Ritchie Calhoun, and Logan Pierce
3/4 of the film talks about and builds to this final threesome scene. Once it's here, Jacky St James shows amazing restraint not to jump right into the action. The build here is as good as it gets with slow, light touching and caressing leading to kissing and then fucking. It's a slow, long, unfold that's sexy as hell and is a love note to how hot a threesome can be.
The chemistry between the three performers is solid and ironically even better between Penny and Ritchie, maybe with a little competition here he's stepping up his game even more. As with the start of the scene, the pace once they are actually having sex isn't rushed. Ritchie fucks Penny from behind while she gives Logan a very long deep blowjob. It's rare to see a director be so patient and manage to stick with one configuration without it getting boring. The guys switch positions and Logan fucks Penny from behind while she strokes, sucks and kisses Ritchie. This part of the scene is played about as real as it gets with a threesome.
The guys switch back with Penny riding Ritchie while sucking Logan. Again we're here for a very long time, but with good camera work, editing and performing, that's an asset and not a detriment. Penny's oral work through out this scene is top notch and she's engaged with both guys. As they flip around again, Penny lies on top of Logan sucking his dick with Ritchie fucking her. It's an extremely hot part of the scene and Penny couldn't be more engaged.
The final climax here is as hot as hell with Logan cumming on Penny's tits just moments before Ritchie cums on her. Seriously folks, this is how you do a threesome.
From here there's a brief narrative wrap up with a real exclamation point to the film!
Video & Audio Quality:
The Submission of Emma Marx Boundaries is shot on HD and even on DVD it looks extremely sharp. Audio is Dolby 2.0 with a really solid mix between atmospheric music and dialogue. The music here goes a LONG way to creating a tone and mood and it's very well done.
The real core extra is a nearly 1/2 hour behind the scenes feature which includes interviews with the cast and crew. It's an entertaining look at the film and good companion piece.
The universe of feature porn has gone through a tremendous evolution. There used to be a sub-genre that was dismissed by most as "couples porn" or considered so fluffy that only the causal adult consumer would really enjoy it. Jacky St. James has continued to help the genre evolve with sensual porn with solid acting, good dialogue and great sex. Jacky also has an accessible dark sensibility, it's dark and kinky without ever being too much (ie David Stanley or some of B. Skow's darker work).
With Submission of Emma Marx: Boundaries she continues to advance the genre with a movie that sacrifices absolutely nothing in terms of action to appeal to mainstream audiences, but creates an accessible structure and build to lead them along.
Although she doesn't need to prove it. Jacky St James shows she's got amazing skills as a filmmaker and is able to craft a film that has the elements which are at a quality level of mainstream feature films. When people ask where all the hot action in the 50 Shades of Grey movie went, the answer is clearly The Submission of Emma Marx: Boundaries. It's a far superior film, well shot and extremely hot. If a curious consumer wanted to buy one porn to satisfy their 50 shades craving, this should be it. XCritic Pick.