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Beautiful (Wicked)

Studio: Wicked Pictures » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 2/15/04

XCritic's Advice: Recommended


Wicked Pictures/Magic Dragon Entertainment

Genre: Feature

Director: Michael Raven

Cast: Devinn Lane, Joey Ray, Julia Ann, Stormy, Ashley Long, Julia Taylor, Olivia Del Rio, Randy Spears, Dale DaBone, Kaylani Lei, Steven St. Croix, Brad Armstrong, Eric Masterson
Non-sex roles by: George Kaplan, Melanie Jagger, Selina Mynx, Dic Tracy, others unlisted

Length: 99 minutes

Date of Production: 3/18/2003

Extra's: The extras included an audio commentary by director Michael Raven and stars Julia Ann and Stormy, a thirty-two minute long All Access: Behind the Scenes feature, Easter Egg ("travel size" a 36 second long clip), interviews with Stormy (2.5 minutes), Julia Ann (1 minute), and Devinn Lane (2 minutes), a bunch of photogalleries, Star Stats, promotional reels, Free Speech Coalition commercial, DVD-ROM extras (company profile, casino game, award winners, desktop backgrounds and weblinks), trailers to movies such as Hercules, XXX Training and Falling From Grace, and a double sided DVD cover. I didn't find any bloopers as advertised but that could've been in the All Access feature or the Easter Egg.

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: The picture was presented in non-anamorphic widescreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, not the standard full frame most porn is shot in. I've heard the picture was the clearest, crispest one shot in the last year but even though it was taped in high definition, there were plenty of visual problems as a result of the visual effects employed. Be it grain, low lighting, video noise or over saturated colors, the effects were bothersome to me. I know Mr. Raven was going for a certain style but that doesn't mean I have to like it. The audio was presented in the usual (for Wicked Pictures) 5.1 Dolby Digital surround English. Most of the time, audio effects were used to convey a certain sound, much like the visual effects were used, and while it often made for hollow vocals, it was interesting to listen to.

-- sponsored by --

Body of Review: Most people are familiar with the tale of Snow White, thanks to the folks at Disney. Over the years, there have been numerous takeoffs on television shows, plays, movies and even porn. Wicked Pictures, home of the best feature porn on the market, had something of a great year in 2003 at the AVN awards show. One of the reasons was a little feature based on the Snow White myth (with lots of quirky little nods to the story), Beautiful. The movie starred Julia Ann, current wife of director Michael Raven who helmed this one, as the evil queen of a corporate empire that obsesses over being the most beautiful woman of the land. The setting was a dirty city in the 1940's and the opposing gal, who is a hotty by any standard, was Stormy. While not remaining completely locked into the original story, it was very close conceptually and a lot of fun to watch. Here's a breakdown of the scenes by cast:

Scene One: Devinn, a curvy brunette that is best known for her former status as a performer not willing to do guys, and Joey, had a scene on a bed. Aside from her exaggerated vocals, the scene was solid with lots of oral and straight sex taking place. There was chemistry (Devinn has a very short list of men she'll work with) and the heat was obvious as the two went at one another.

Scene Two: Julia, a favored contract performer and former half of the infamous strip circuit team Blondage, took care of Stormy in what amounted to a stylish lesbian scene. By stylish, I mean the lighting, smoke, and other effects obscured the action far more than I generally prefer and while they did lots of oral, they also used a strap on dildo to warm things up. I liked the fetish attire, particularly Julia's, but the effects bogged down the scene for me.

Scene Three: Ashley, Julia T., Olivia, Dale, and Randy had a very short orgy scene that was mixed up and confused, likely due to the editing. I know Mr. Raven was going for a weird scene but I'd prefer he keep the experiments to a minimum on the better movies. The sex was mostly oral but was interesting to check out.

Scene Four: Kaylani, the newest contract performer in the movie, and Steven, had a scene in a darkened room. They did the oral and straight route too with some energy and heat, ending with the porn standard facial. This was not a bad scene but limited by the atmosphere.

Scene Five: Stormy, looking sweet as ever, and Brad, had a romantic scene by a fireplace. They started it off by making out in a tender, romantic manner. These two had a lot of chemistry when this one was made (they were a couple although they broke up afterwards) and the scene got hotter as it progressed. After he blew his load on her stomach, the two kissed some more, something not particularly common in porn these days.

Scene Six: Julia, dressed in a dominatrix outfit that favored biker gear, took charge of Eric, a submissive puppy in this scene. He started out by licking her boots as she verbally abused him and licked her vinyl outfit until she unzipped her crotch for him. He then was ordered to suck her ass and did so with pleasure, after which she rode on his penis for a bit. The scene ended when he jerked off on her foot as commanded.

Summary: I think the movie was worth a rating of Recommended or better, depending on your tolerance for the kinds of visual and audio special effects used to make this one a critical favorite of overworked magazine editors. All the gals looked good (Julia is hotter at performing than women half her age) and the chemistry in most of the scenes was solid. The extras were great and the movie had a lot of replay value.

AVN Awards: Winner: Best Video Feature, Best Director Video - Michael Raven, Best Screenplay Video - Michael Raven & George Kaplan, Best Actress - Julia Ann

Nominations: Best Video Feature - Michael Raven, Best High Definition Production, Best Director Video - Michael Raven, Best Supporting Actress - Stormy, Best Supporting Actor - Steven St. Croix, Best Sex Scene - Julia Ann & Eric Masterson, Best Screenplay Video - George Kaplan & Michael Raven, Best Art Direction Video- September Dawn & Rod Hopkins, Best Sex Scene Coupling Video - Julia Ann Eric Masterson, Best Screenplay Video - George Kaplan & Michael Raven, Best Art Direction Video - September Dawn & Rod Hopkins, Best Videography - Jake Jacobs, Michael Raven & Jack Remy, Best Music - Selina Mynx

Note: You can see recent candid shots of several of these performers by visiting: My Photo's and read about their antics at 2004 AEE Show.

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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