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Center Stage

Studio: Vivid » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 9/12/03

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Center Stage


Genre: Feature

Director: David Christopher

Cast: Kody, Slim Shady, Jordan Haze, Eric Masterson, Crystal Carter, Eric Price, Krystal Steal, Lezley Zen

Length: 77.5 minutes

Date of Production: 8/1/02

Extra's: 11.5 minutes of Behind the Scenes footage by Dave Stotts, 5 unrelated bonus scenes, double sided dvd cover, 2 photogalleries, short biography for Kody, positions room, trailers, forced spam

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: The picture was presented in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. It had a fairly large amount of grain and video noise as well as motion artifacts. There was also color saturation in a few scenes and moiré that weakened the look of the show. The audio was presented in stereo English but I don't think I heard any separation between the tracks (my player said it was in stereo but when I checked with my headphones, I heard none). The vocals were on the low side and the music too loud.

-- sponsored by --

Body of Review: I take a fair amount of heat from people who claim that I'm wasting my time by reviewing Vivid releases. To them, and they know who they are, all Vivid releases are cookie-cutter productions with no merit whatsoever. After all, the company uses condoms, most of the sex is oral and straight (vaginal intercourse), and the women often distinctive looking with implants and a cold attitude towards their partners. Only couples could possibly like anything coming out of the company I'm told. I reject that idea. I've watched hundreds upon hundreds of porno movies over the years, and reviewed more than almost anyone else online (although most of my older reviews are archived now) so I have a bit of an expertise, however limited, to comment on this issue. Case in point, Center Stage.

The movie is a minimal plotted porno with the lovely Kody taking, appropriately enough, the center stage after she fails at a mainstream career in acting. She starts making porn and the rest of the story is all about her ups and downs in the jizz bizz. Okay, the story wasn't anything special but if you take a closer look, you begin to see where the movie shines. The lead, Kody, is not a bleached blonde, 5'10" gal as Vivid's critics complain are the "only" type of female they use. The four scenes themselves all had some heat, albeit in varying amounts, and the women generally showed some chemistry with their partners here. Now I'm not going to suggest that this is the strongest release by the company (it's not) but there was more than enough for a jaded old porn hound like me to enjoy. Here's a breakdown of the scenes by cast to see what I mean:

Scene One: Kody, the cutie from the front cover, and Slim, had a scene on a couch. It was very short with oral and straight sex only. It seemed like a filler scene to me.

Scene Two: Jordan, the busty blonde, and Eric M., had a scene while Kody watched. This one also was oral and straight only but she gave a vocal and energetic performance that made it work for me better.

Scene Three: Crystal, a light-haired gal with implants, and Eric P. had sex "on screen" while Kody and Eric M. had sex on a bed. Kody was definitely the hotter of the two gals and the overall scene, which was oral and straight only, was slightly warmish.

Scene Four: Krystal, a blonde who looked like Christina Aguilera, and Lezley, had a lesbian scene on a couch while Kody masturbated and watched. It was warm to watch and different in how they all masturbated at the end.

Summary: Forget about what critics tell you, at least in terms of wholesale whining towards certain companies, and think for yourself. Kody looked good here (check out the dvd cover) and was in every scene. The others did an okay job too which gave this one some value in terms of why we watch porn. While I would've really appreciated a better transfer and picture, I can't deny that the movie was worth a rating of at least Recommended, for all its faults, and if you get a chance to at least rent it, you should.

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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