The Little Details
Running Time: 118 min.
Production Date: 6 / 22 / 1992, 6 / 22 / 1999, 11 / 2 / 2009, 11 / 09 / 2000, 11 / 11 / 2001, 11 / 17 / 2007
Director: Andrew Blake
Cast: Anita Blond, Aria Giovanni, Claire Adams, Dahlia Grey, Dita Von Teese, Faith Leon, Janine Lindemuler, Julia Ann, Justine Joli, Kelle Marie, Kim Wylde, Nina Kornikova, Paula Price, Regina Hall, Sasha Grey, Sierra, Temptress, Tera Patrick, Victoria, and Mr. X
The Short Story
Initial Expectations: Andrew Blake is a true master of artistic porn. That isn't to say that his stuff always works for me, but he's creative enough that I always look forward to his releases. I know this is a compilation, but with how many great scenes he's done I can't help but look forward to this one.
Initial Reaction: It's easily one of the best compilation releases I've watched.
Who Should Watch It : Fans of Andrew Blake and artistic porn
Who Should Avoid It: Anybody wanting nastier sex, anybody who wants to hear the performers all the time, or anybody wanting straightforward porn
The Technical Stuff
Audio /Video Quality: As usual with Andrew Blake, the technical aspects show an extreme amount of care. The audio is almost completely limited to music with very few sounds from the actual performers, and works well for the artistic styles of the scenes. The video is presented in a mix of non-anamorphic widescreen and full frame formats and looks fantastic. The scenes are all shot on film and look fantastic with just a hint of grain as well as lighting that shows plenty of care. There's also a nice mix of black and white footage mixed in with the full color presentation. The only thing that holds back the technical aspects is the movie being dominated by non-anamorphic widescreen. There's a lot more widescreen scenes here than full frame scenes, and I can't help but wish that the movie would have been presented in anamorphic widescreen so that the black bars would only have been dealt with on the few full frame format scenes rather than having them so common with the non-anamorphic scenes as well as bringing down the video quality for those viewing the movie on HD TVs.
Music: The music shows every bit as much care as the visuals. It never feels like typical porno music, and although itís the only audio thereís a lot of care put into the levels as well. The music plays very well with the visuals of this release and helps out each of the scenes.
Disc Complaints: Trailers are included before the movie for Andrew Blake's website and Night Trips: A Dark Odyssey that you can't skip or even scan through. This always pisses me off (especially when watching the movie a second time or more), and I'm deducting a half point from the overall score because of it.
Menus: The main menu is very simple, and gives the title and choices in a simple yet artistic text and graphic manner without so much as a still of one of the girls. The chapter menu gives a few stills, but mostly lets you choose a scene based on a chapter number and a text title including the name of one of the girls in it.
The FeatureAndrew Blake has been known for a specific style of artistic porn for roughly twenty years. His scenes focus on beauty and sensuality, and often have a dreamlike, artistic feeling to them. They also rarely feature males, instead focusing on masturbation and lesbian scenes while rarely getting into nastier sex. Five Stars collects eighteen of Blake's scenes, with quite bit of attention put to five very recognizable porn starles: Aria Giovanni, Dia von Teese, Janine Lindemulder, Sasha Grey, and Tera Patrick. Each scene nicely identifies not only the players in each scene, but the title for the scene and what movie it comes from. Due to the very graphic nature of the scenes, the consistent style and look of the scenes, and most of the scenes being presented in non-anamorphic widescreen (instead of the anamorphic presentation most of them were originally shown in) I'm breaking away from my traditional reviewing format for this release.
The scenes featured in Five Stars are as follows:
† † † † † Scene 1: Dita In Distress starring Anita Blond, Dita Von Teese, and Nina Kornikova from Pin-Ups 2
† † † † † Scene 2: Aria's Golden Globes starring Aria Giovanni from Aria
† † † † † Scene 3: Sliced Fruit starring Dahlia Grey, Regina Hall, and Tera Patrick from Aroused
† † † † † Scene 4: Expensive Whores starring Janine, Kym Wilde, and Mr. X. from Hidden Obsessions
† † † † † Scene 5: Gold Redemption starring Faith Leon and Sasha Grey from House Pets
† † † † † Scene 6: High-Heeled Dildo starring Anita Blond, Dita Von Teese, and Temptress from Pin-Ups 2
† † † † † Scene 7: Wet Lips starring Aria Giovanni and Kellemarie with a leg cameo from Sierra from Aria
† † † † † Scene 8: Cleavage starring Dahlia Grey, Tera Patrick, and Victoria from Aroused
† † † † † Scene 9: Ice Dildo starring Janine and Julia Ann from Hidden Obsessions
† † † † † Scene 10: Leg Carousel starring Claire Adams, Faith Leon, and Sasha Grey from House Pets
† † † † † Scene 11: Corset Glamour starring Anita Blond, Dita Von Teese, and Nina Kornikova from Pin-Ups 2
† † † † † Scene 12: Smoking starring Aria Giovanni and Justine Joli from Aria
† † † † † Scene 13: Pink Fetish starring Janine and Paula Price from Hidden Obsessions
† † † † † Scene 14: Cinematic Manipulation starring Faith Leon and Sasha Grey from House Pets
† † † † † Scene 15: 50's Bedroom starring Anita Blond, Dita Von Teese, and Nina Kornikova from Pin-Ups 2
† † † † † Scene 16: Up-Skirt / Down Blouse starring Anita Blond, Dita Von Teese, and Nina Kornikova from Pin-Ups 2
† † † † † Scene 17: High Strung starring Claire Adams and Sasha Grey from House Pets
† † † † † Scene 18: Breast Diva starring Aria Giovanni from Girlfriends
This is a great collection of scenes. You get all of the creativity that one has come to expect from Andrew Blake over the years along with all of the beauty. Thee women are gorgeous with natural bodies and sexy outfits, and there's always an emphasis on beauty along with the sex. The scenes have a sense of creativity and an artistic being that's rarely found in porn with frequent bondage and fetish action as well as toys. These are not your typical porn scenes, and that's almost always a good thing with how well Blake does it. These scenes make it easy to see why Andrew Blake has had such a following for so many years.
Five Stars is an extremely impressive release that's all the more impressive with it being a compilation. Normally compilations feel slapped together with the good ones somewhere letting you know who the players are in each scene and the really good ones also letting you know where the scenes come from. Five Stars does that along with having a fantastic lineup of eighteen scenes. The last two Andrew Blake DVDs I checked out (namely Night Trips: A Dark Odyssey and Paid Companions) lasted sixty two and seventy six minutes, respectively, with the former having a few trailers and a photo gallery for extras and the latter not even having a single extra. Needless to say, both of these releases felt a little lacking to me which makes Five Stars and it's nearly two hour running time all the more impressive. Andrew Blake also adds a great audio commentary that I'll discuss later in the review to make the release even more impressive. Five Stars is a fantastic release that I can't help but recommend very highly whether you're a long term fan of Andrew Blake or somebody who's heard about him and is wondering about his movies.
The Extra StuffTrailers are included for Andrew Blake's website and Night Trips: A Dark Odyssey, House Pets, and Paid Companions. There's also an audio commentary with Andrew Blake.
The main extra, as well as a heck of a draw for the DVD itself, is an audio commentary with Andrew Blake over roughly the first seventy minutes of the movie. Blake talks all about the movies as well as many of the issues around them. He talks about common things such as the girls who he's worked with and his getting into the industry as well as things more personal to him such as shooting on film instead of video and the cameras he uses and has used. Blake also talks about why he wanted to do things a little different right from the start and some of how he shoots his scenes. He also talks quite a bit about how he's changed shooting his movies over time, not shooting sound in his movies, and his early sexual influences. Blake even talks about matters such as the changing technology over time with the internet and VOD including what's gained and lost with it.
For me, this commentary was the main draw for the DVD, and it definitely didn't disappoint. It's rare for masters such as Andrew Blake to do commentaries like this, and unlike many other who do solo commentaries, he barely left any dead air while he talked. I really like that he talked as much as he could and then stopped rather than trying to stretch the commentary out for the full two hours leaving dead air for an extremely significant amount of the movie. Andrew Blake was very engaging throughout the entire commentary even listening to it as somebody who's a lighter fan of his work, and for those who are extremely into his style I can't recommend this release for the commentary factor highly enough. This is a fantastic extra that really made the DVD for me.
The Down -n- Dirty Sex Stuff
Themes: All girl, lesbian, group, B&D, masturbation, food play, voyeurism, toys, and smoking
Raincoat Factor: Very high
Condom Usage: None needed
The Bottom Line:Currently, most of Studio Aís DVDs can be found online for between about $18 and $30 with only a few stores offering them near the low end. If you're a fan of Andrew Blake, don't even worry about the price on this one. The scenes are very hot and there's plenty of them. Best of all is a commentary with Andrew Blake talking all about his movies, influences, and more that's every bit as fascinating as the movie. If that isn't enough, the technical aspects show some very nice effort with the only thing that holds it back being a non-anamorphic transfer for most of the movie. This is a fantastic compilation.
Note to Studio A: Thank you for showing how compilations should be done.
If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me .
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