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Studio: Digital Playground » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 1/26/03

XCritic's Advice: XCritic Pick


Digital Playground

Genre: Feature

Director: Nic Andrews

Cast: Alexa Rae, Mike Horner, Devon, Barrett Blade, Cheyne Collins, Avy Scott, Jezebelle Bond
Non-sex roles: Aria, Lezley Zen, Nic Andrews, Robby D., many others

Length: 100 minutes

Date of Production: 6/11/02 (credits), 7/3/02 (box)

Extra's: Audio Commentary with Nic, Devon and Barrett, isolated music score, copy of the screenplay with direct to scene feature, 18 minute long behind the scenes feature, 4 minutes of bloopers, various crash sequences, story behind the script, 2 trailers, 3 biographies, photogallery/slide show, double sided dvd cover, CREDITS!
Note: The box advertised a strip blackjack game but I didn't see it.

Audio/Video Quality: In a word, great! The movie was shot on video in widescreen format but looked very much like a well made film. The 5.1 vocal track was also extremely well done as was the music. The attention to detail was very obvious in every scene.

Body of Review: Rush is a story about an escaped convict, played by Barrett, and a hooker, played by the lovely Devon who are on the run from both the cops and a group of mobsters. I'm not going to provide more plot detail as that would be irresponsible but suffice it to say, the story was well done enough that even without the sex, it would be pretty good. The sex itself is not as hardcore as you'd expect from a porno but keep in mind that movies like this have great cross over appeal. Don't get me wrong though- the sex was very well done with plenty of chemistry and heat, the scenes were just shorter than most porn movies provide these days. Here's a breakdown of the scenes by cast:

Scene One: The fabulous Alexa is back in the business after taking time off when she quit her contract at Wicked Pictures. I always liked her work there and this scene was just as good. In it, she had sex with Mike and both played their roles quite well: both sexually and the acting. As elsewhere, there were some condoms used but they weren't usually noticeable. The oral alone was hot so everything else was gravy. Yum!

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Scene Two: Devon, the babe on the dvd cover who looks a lot like a classier Britney Spears, had sex with Barrett in his motel room. Having seen her in person recently, I can see why Digital Playground signed her up. She's a major hotty with a nearly perfect body. I'm not a fan of implants and I still think she's great looking. I liked her much better here than in any of her movies made at Vivid.

Scene Three: Devon took on Cheyne in his mechanic shop. Once again, she lit up the screen with her presence and sexual skills. Oral and straight sex as with the other scenes but plenty of chemistry (or perhaps just great editing) and energy.

Scene Four: A very attractive looking Avy took on Jezebelle by a pool outdoors. As Devon pointed out in the commentary, Avy looked great. I've seen her in several movies but this lesbian scene was nearly as good as her scene in 5th Horseman by Simon Wolf. Her partner was not as energetic as usual but both seemed to enjoy themselves a lot.

Scene Five: Devon took on Barrett once more. This is not a usual event in any of Nic's movies as he likes to mix up the partners but it lent a sense of continuity to the story-just as the other scenes were fitting for their respective groupings. This scene showed the couple on a different level than they had been in the previous scene which is not typical in porn. Most of the time, such scenes are made in cookie cutter fashion to be interchangeable but effort obviously went into showing the growing bond between the two leads. Solid sex with loads of chemistry.

Summary: I like plotted porn when it's done right. This is one of those times when all the necessary elements were fused to make a credible crossover movie. I'm kind of surprised that it didn't win a bunch of awards given the multiple layers that went into this well crafted movie but word has it that awards are usually handed out to the biggest advertisers and not the best made movies. I can't speak to that issue from a firsthand point of view but I can tell you that this is a better feature porn than 99% of everything I've seen in the last 20+ years.

What does it have going for it? The extra's are excellent and among the best I've seen for a single disc release. The commentary alone was worth a rental as Nic handled the technical aspects and had plenty of tidbits regarding the shoot to keep me listening. Devon seemed like a wide-eyed innocent with some of her comments but threw in a number of amusing observations. Barrett also had some great observations but also a sense of humor that helped keep balance with the other two. The music was far better than average and I can see why they included an isolated score. I'd heard bad things about it but obviously those comments were from people with axes to grind. The picture and vocal track, along with the sound effects, showed some real effort too- I haven't seen a Digital Playground feature in a long time so maybe I need to see what they've been doing in the last few years. It seems like Nic is an excellent fit with their multiple media release strategy since this company gives him the resources to do more than churn out a series of throw away gonzo dvd's as his previous company did.

Okay, I did have some reservations about a few plot points and some of the decisions here. I would have really liked to see Alexa and Barrett screw after their tease scene together. They know what to do and have the kind of energy that fits well in such a movie. I would have liked to have seen the advertised "20 hired killers" and "50 cops" too but I know that would be impractical considering the actual budget. Overall though, I hope to see Digital Playground release more movies of this caliber since they have the right man, Nic Andrews, for the job. While not perfect, this dvd earned the distinction of Collector Series for anyone interested in plotted porn. Raincoaters might want to look elsewhere but aside from a handful of releases from Wicked, Simon Wolf and VCA, this was as good as it gets in porn.

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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