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Note: The following review is an update from my original version based on a burn disc that was submitted in July. The final version just showed up and was indeed as pleasing as expected, the addition of some extras and a slip cover about the only real difference (aside from menus and the like). This is definitely contender material for anyone searching for a heated couples feature, a few updates made below here on 10/1/2012.
New Sensations (Couples Series)
Click For Trailer
Directors: Eddie Powell and Jacky St. James
Cast: Samantha Ryan, Raylene, Tom Byron, India Summer, Steven St. Croix, Remy Lacroix, Chad Alva
Non-sex roles: Lexi Bloom, Jacky St. James, Siri, James Cannon, Samurai Knight Fever, others uncredited
Length: 110:45 minutes
Raylene, Samantha Ryan, and Tom
Date of Production: 2012
Extras: There were trailers, a photogallery, some sex position menu material ("pick your pleasure"), and a 31:54 minute long Behind the Scenes feature that really added some value with the interviews. There was also a lingerie advertisement and some company information too.
India Summer and Steven
Audio/Video Quality: Torn was presented in anamorphic widescreen as shot by directors Eddie Powell & Jacky St. James for New Sensations. Eddie worked camera with lighting coordinator Paul Woodcrest, co-director Jacky serving as writer and production manager. There was a company watermark in the lower right hand corner but as solid as the other visual elements were this time, it was not noticed most of the time, the clarity and composition of most camera angles helping the feature elements as much as the sexual trysts. Of interest was the decision to try several different “looks”, including a grainy late night encounter, something many in the industry shy away from on the belief that flat, even warehouse lighting is always needed by viewers. One might argue that there were other spots in need of polishing up (a few times when the lighting was too strong for instance) but this was definitely a feature-centric title rather than generic sex stapled to a threadbare plot, so set your expectations accordingly. The music and vocals were fair enough in the standard 2.0 Dolby Digital English, Paul Van Dik credited with sound this time (Chris Abace serving as his production assistant).
Remy LaCroix with Chad
Body of Review: Eddie Powell is a director that has been around for years now, honing his craft most often at New Sensations of late. If you’ve paid attention, you will know that the team at Xcritic have found much of his work to be trendsetting and his willingness to think outside the box (no pun intended) refreshing in a day & age when copying others is the standard. Together with talented Jacky St. James, he has come up with another winner to be released soon, a movie called Torn; a show about a man trying to come to grips with a crossroads in his life, the kind many of us face. Of particular interest is the return of multi-award winning Stephen St. Croix to the small screen, his artistic endeavors in France apparently allowing him to show the industry again just how skilled an actor he remains, the female leads including Remy LaCroix, India Summer, and Raylene. The back cover described the movie like this: “The film, narrated by the character, Drew (St. Croix), is about a man whose marriage to Christine (Summer) has lost its spark and intimacy when life and responsibility have moved to the forefront. So, after a chance encounter with Mimi (La Croix), an enthusiastic, young art student who introduces a refreshing level of passion and honesty into his life, he's inspired to try and salvage his own relationship. But, when Christine resists his romantic advances, Drew finds solace in Mimi and their attraction evolves into an illicit affair. Facing society's judgment and the possibility of hurting Christine, whom he's spent so much of his life with, Drew is torn. Is the pursuit of true happiness and a love one never thought possible, ultimately worth it when so much else is at stake?”
Remy LaCroix with Steven
The press release for the movie said it like this: “New Sensations has announced the upcoming release of their new 'Couples' series, a spin off from the AVN-Award Winning, 'Romance Series'. This new line will focus on artistically shot, feature films that address real-life issues couples face after the honeymoon is over. The first installment of the series Torn, is the creation of the critically acclaimed, award-winning team, Eddie Powell and Jacky St. James and a cast of some of the industry's finest talent including Steven St. Croix, India Summer, Remy La Croix, Raylene, Tom Byron, Samantha Ryan, and Chad Alva. While most fans of 'The Romance Series' have come to expect a certain amount of quality from New Sensations' releases, Torn has set the bar even higher. St. Croix refers to Torn as "one of the highlights of my career," going on to say, "this is the future of adult features. In all my years, I've never seen a better made film in this industry." Torn's artistic, cinematic structure and gritty storyline will resonate with anyone seeking a film that captures the human experience.” Here’s a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used for those still interested:
Scene One: Samantha Ryan, Raylene, and Tom Byron were up first in a bathroom tryst. Samantha was wearing a tight blue dress, Tom kissing her before warming her up orally by stuffing his face between her ass cheeks with and without the dress hindering him. Raylene walked in and began kissing Samantha too, the ladies playfulness including slobbing Tom’s knob before he took turns vaginally fucking them. The ladies were active riders and while the penetration shots were not overly explicit in most cases, they conveyed a sense of desire very nicely, the taste testing between positions as enhancing as the eye contact and nonverbal communication between the trio. The ending nut of genetic juice was tossed off to Raylene’s ample boobs, the ladies cleaning his cock of ball batter orally and kissing seductively to end it.
Scene Two: India Summer, a sexy brunette with an all natural body, was up next in bed with Steven St. Croix. They kissed and he used his hand to diddle her, sucking her tits and toes before going down on the responsive babe. He then nestled into her crotch to gobble her gash, India’s aggressive hummer leading to some active vaginal riding. She kept wonderful eye contact and the scene was largely shot from a side view, the camera panning as she pumped onto his pecker in cowgirl and missionary positions. Steven withdrew to unleash his population pudding all over her lower abdomen, some kissing and caresses reinforcing the idea that they were in their established comfort zone.
Scene Three: Remy Lacroix, a fetching young lady that has reportedly left the industry already, was then shown in a series of sexual glimpses before ending up with moper Chad Alva, his character providing a stark contrast to his competition, in the kitchen at night. He served as her emotional crutch while the pieces of her life were falling in and out of place, her needs pushing her briefly into his arms. They kissed and their night apparel came off, the gal dropping down to slob his knob in a hand assisted hummer before he ate her pussy. This was a grainy scene due to the confines of the setting, the resulting realism a cry back to some of my favorite pornos from the classic era of the golden age. After he ate her ass while she leaned against the counter, he crept up between her legs for some standing doggy, other positions punctuated by intermittent blowjobs until he glazed her torso with splooge (her emotional state still in turmoil).
Scene Four: Remy Lacroix, wearing some loose attire while she set up a shot in the studio, was up last with Steven St. Croix after his revelation. They looking longingly at one another and were soon in each other’s arms, a kiss leading to her wrapping those lovely lips around his turgid rod to start inhaling his cock in a hand assisted hummer. Steven caressed her ass and back before she mounted his pecker vaginally, several minutes of focusing fucking leading to his last load of spunk delivered all over her torso. They kissed and held each other at the end, the light piano music playing in the background as the story wrapped up.
Summary: Torn by directors Eddie Powell & Jacky St. James for New Sensations proved you do not need a huge budget, special effects, or to copy a mainstream project to succeed. The feature elements took the spotlight this time but the sex was much better tied into the show than you will find in most features on the market, this one probably coming up short for the raincoater crowd but very well suited for couples wanting something more than a gynecological exploration of the female anatomy you will find elsewhere. The sex was less explicit but more aligned with the story part of the production, enhancing the replay value and strokability both, earning a rating of Highly Recommended. You won’t find circus act sex but the resulting heat from the sexual liaisons came across as “real” thanks to the chemistry between the performers, the end result something my girlfriend said was the kind of thing she wanted to see more of. In short then, Torn was a movie starring some great performers having a good time while their characters searched for answers to questions many of us have, the likely comparisons to late night cable understandable though falling short since the pacing, the technical aspects, and the sex itself was much better than any of those I’ve seen over the years (which is a lot, I assure you) so give this one some serious consideration when it comes out in September.
Late Note: The final version of the movie remained the same and added some decent extras, the lengthy set of interviews adding a lot for the fans of the cast (male and female), and the slip cover it came in providing some degree of protection from the elements. Look for this one again at awards time this year.
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