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Best by Private 14: Zodiac

Studio: Private
Category:  Straight
Starring: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Released on: 
Where to buy:Streaming/Download
Principal Skinner's ratings for Best by Private 14: Zodiac:
Overall Rating 4 stars
Best by Private 14: Zodiac overall rating 4 stars
Female Looks Best by Private 14: Zodiac Female looks rating 4 stars
Male Looks Best by Private 14: Zodiac Male looks rating 2.5 stars
Sex Best by Private 14: Zodiac Sex rating 4 stars
 
Plot/Acting Best by Private 14: Zodiac Plot/Acting rating 2.5 stars
Extras Best by Private 14: Zodiac DVD Extras rating 4.5 stars
Audio/Video Quality Best by Private 14: Zodiac A/V Quality rating 4 stars
Worth$25.00
Rating Scale
Reviewed by Principal Skinner  on  5/27/2001
Essentially a "greatest hits" collection of scenes taken from Private's vast catalog of exceptional videos, "Private Zodiac" serves as an excellent primer to those who have not yet ventured into getting their porn from sources overseas. Sure, Vivid, VCA, Wicked, Evil Angel and other studios do a damn good job of keeping our adult entertainment habits alive and intact, but even those American companies understand that there is a lot of good stuff to be seen in Europe. Hence, we get the Marc Dorcel line of videos from Wicked, and Rocco's movies are always top sellers once they arrive in the States. Forget the fact that countries like France lay down like sheep to the Nazis while World War was unfolding, and let us ignore their disgraceful, elitist reactions to Euro Disney from a few years back; because the kind of hardcore they're producing over there is enough to make one forget about their pretentiously snobby culture and general distate for all things American.

The premise of this video is hokey as hell, even for porn, but the whole package works because of Private's expert production. As Nancy Reagan will attest, each sign of the Zodiac has a special meaning in life (other than what's listed under the astrology section of your newspaper), and all the "scientific" malarkey is given a sexual context which is near-convincingly described by a rather sexy, feminine voiceover (you know, the kind which speaks authoritatively but seductively about its topic to lure weak- willed males like myself into paying full attention). As the narrator natters on about this astrological hokum, models Cassandra Wilde and Giti Sky successfully titiliate the viewers with a lot of lesbian teasing, which gets more explicit and hotter throughout. Theses "sensual spirits" are taped against a computer generated space background and are illuminated with a golden glow that is just about as good a use with special effects as the last Star Wars movie. Each scene selected supposedly embodies and exemplifies the characteristics of a particular sign, but the overall novelty becomes irrelevant amidst all the hardcore.

There are thirteen chapters dividing twelve individual scenes, with no subdivisions in- between. Each segment has its own separate director and list of performers which are noted on the end credits as follows: Pierre Woodman directs the Gemini segment starring Julia Spain, P. Soine, R Langin, T. Toscani and A. Deloin; Cancer by handled by Francois Clousot featuring J.Y. Lecastel, P. Soine and Diana; Leo is by Clousot and starring Demia Moore, A. Deloin, T. Toscani, Monica Bella and J. Slater; Virgo by John Millerman with Helen Duval, Robert Rosenberg and Clande before the cameras; Libra id directed by Woodman and J.Y. Lecastel; Scorpio by Woodman, and featuring Gabrielle Screan and F. Versace; Sagittarius was made by Woodman with Lolita, D. Perry, J. Slater and A. Deloin; Aquarius is by Laura Katwoman; J.Y. Le Castel; R. Langin and Andrew; Pisces is by Frank Thring features D. Perry, M. Foster and Regina; Aries was helmed by Clousot and stars Sandra, Anna and P. Soine; and the framing sequences stars Cassandra Wilde, Gigti Sky, Toni Riba and Nick Lang and are directed by John Drop and Dave Densen. Apparently, the Europrean Guild for adult movies dictates that women in porn stick to first names only, and men only use their first initials for the credits, so you can pretty much determine based on the credits alone what the ratio of guys to girls are in each scene. Since most of these actresses are vaguely known to me, I was grateful to have instant access to have the "Cast" extras on the DVD, which not only informs me that Laura Katwoman is a 28 year old teacher (I assume she was age 28 when this movie was compiled), but also that she's the Roxanne Hall-lookalike (sort of, if you turn your head sideways and squint) in the frollicking foursome on chapter nine.

Some of the segments in this film are letterboxed, and some are not. Each director obviously imposes his own style in each vignette, but the chopped up nature of the video makes it all look rather generic (but nonetheless hot). Since I was unable to compare the original sources of these scenes to this compilation, I was unable to appreciate the context of each vignette because of lack of buildup or central story. However, it appears to me (and without confirmation) that each scene appears to be truncated from the original, although the jumps in action are done smoothly. Private typically squeezes in an average of five to six long scenes in a two hour, fifteen minute running time, so the number of scenes on this two hour disc suggest that they may have been edited for time.

Most American companies would slap together a bunch of unrelated, unconnected scenes together and call it a compilation, without any regard to pace, theme or purpose. Private at least makes a great effort to unify some of these scorching hot scenes into one enjoyable movie. The variety of women here, and the multi-partnered groupings make for some steamy sex, in which anal, double penetration as well as the standard sexual acrobatics are all on the menu.

However, the most regrettable sin committed by "Private Zodiac" is that the disc fails to inform us of the original sources to each scene. I looked high and low on the packaging, on the disc, and during the end credits to see if the original movies from which each scene is taken is at least named for the interested fans among us, and we are not given a clue. A simple blurb as to the title of original movie would save completists collectors a lot of grief. And with the massive amount of Private titles in the studio's library, and with all those foreign names in the cast, during your own research would take a PhD in Porn 101.

Further, some of the pictures which appear on the back of the DVD cover are not taken from scenes in the DVD. Furthermore, some of the photos found in the Gallery are also of stills not found in the video. Of course, in the grand sceme of things, these sort of details are unimportant. But when Private has come so close to achieving the "perfect compilation," little details like this are of slight, minor annoyance.

Picture quality on this disc is still top-notch,. no matter how you view it. I did notice a bit more grain and smeariness in some of the images than I usually see in Private movies, but even at its worst, this studio's movies end up looking just as good as some of the best American discs (like VCA, Wicked and NuTech). The extras, while generic for Private, are still some of the best any company has to offer, with colorful, animated menus, an original trailer for the main feature and other titles in their catalog. The audio is dubbed in your selection of foreign languages, but that is nothing new (maybe someday Private will release more films with their original soundtracks).

As much as I could care less for compilation videos, I have to hand it to Private for their exemplary work in presenting what isn't a hacked out series of scenes assembled without rhyme or reason. If American studios would give us this level of quality in their average porn DVD, then we would need to import titles like "Private Zodiac"


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The opinions expressed in this review of Best by Private 14: Zodiac from Private are not necessarily the opinions of Adult DVD Talk. Adult DVD Talk provides a public forum for consumers to post their DVD reviews. Adult DVD Talk does not edit these reviews.