My Plaything Gianna can best be described with one word: polished. From the picture quality to the menu interface, everything feels state of the art and flawless. Well, almost everything... but I'll get to that later. The audio is well-balanced, allowing you to clearly hear every moan and whisper that escapes Gianna's lips. Video is presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen, with the menu options superimposed on the movie footage instead of letterbox bars. Normally, this can be an intrusive eyesore, but the text is transparent enough so that you barely even notice it, keeping the focus on Gianna where it belongs.
Speaking of whom, Gianna Michaels gives a stellar performance throughout this entire feature. Unlike some girls who appear a little intimidated and stunted by the complicated camera rigs used for interactive movies, Gianna lives up to her reputation as one of the wildest fucks in the biz. If I had one complaint to make, it would concern the Good Girl and Bad Girl differences that separate the main two discs. You see, Gianna Michaels has never really been known as a "good girl" in any of her scenes to date. Gianna's ferocious and aggressive, and she occasionally has a difficult time dialing that back when she's supposed to be playing the role of "good girl". As it is, the noticeable differences between the two attitudes are primarily found in the dialogue. I generally prefer Gianna in her "bad girl" mode, but both options are quite enjoyable.
Disc One, Good Girl, opens with a montage of scenes specific to this disc. Your starting choices are TEASE, MASTURBATE, FOREPLAY, and SEX. Each option takes place in a different setting: TEASE has Gianna taking a bubble bath in her tub, MASTURBATE moves the action to her bed, FOREPLAY takes place in a fitness room, and SEX brings us inside a classroom. Each setting is matched by a unique costume for Gianna, my favorite being her sexy teacher getup. Of course, unless you're watching the main menu screen vignettes, you don't really get to see much of these costumes before Gianna sheds them.
Disc Two, Bad Girl, has the same structure as the first disc, but with different costumes, settings, and attitude. TEASE sets a lingerie-clad Gianna on her bed, MASTURBATE dresses her in bra and panties and seats her on a chair, FOREPLAY (my personal favorite of the settings) casts you as a patient getting "examined" by Nurse Gianna in a hospital room, and SEX has Gianna playing your boss in her office. It's in this last section where I encountered the major flaw alluded to earlier. When you select COWGIRL, the disc plays the exact same footage from Disc One, in which Gianna rides you as a teacher in her classroom. When you watch the scene montage that plays when Disc Two is first inserted into your player, you can see a couple seconds of Gianna's cowgirl scene in the correct boss' office setting. It's possible that this mistake was corrected in later pressings of the discs, but I do not know for sure. As it is, my annoyance with this error was not significant enough to affect my overall review.
In each section, your options are fairly plentiful, with a few key omissions. There are no creampie options, unless you count the SWALLOW CUM clips that I suspect are nothing more than some convincing acting. I say "acting" because you never see a drop of cum, for Gianna never does the obligatory open-mouth cum display that usually precedes a swallow. However, I also say "convincing" because both Gianna and the stunt cock du jour pull off an impressive display of realistic gagging and convulsion. Also, there is no anal sex on the menu. At one point, Gianna taunts you with it: "You can't have my ass. You can play with it, though." This is rather unfortunate, since I was definitely hoping to see Gianna engage in more anal play after her debut in Elegant Angel's Big Wet Asses series. Thankfully, Gianna can still fuck with the best of 'em, so you won't really miss the anal option unless you're specifically looking for it.
One feature that I don't see too often in other interactives is how repeating video loops are handled. Since most video clips last a maximum of five minutes or so, you usually run into the problems of sudden jump cuts and hearing the same opening dialogue for each loop. My Plaything Gianna found a clever way of avoiding this problem: instead of looping back to the very beginning, the clip restarts a few seconds after its original beginning. This makes the loops less obvious and jarring, so Gianna doesn't keep mentioning which choice you made or keep restarting her approach to the stunt cock. This is a very smart feature which should be emulated in all interactive features.
I am enormously picky when it comes to proper POV angles. As soon as I encounter the "floating head" effect (where the POV is only possible if the viewer's head detaches from the body), that movie immediately becomes a lost cause as far as I'm concerned. Normally, this isn't a problem in the majority of interactive features. However, that's because most interactives take the opposite extreme of locking down the camera on a wide angle view - so wide that it gives the impression you have a footlong neck. While this is generally preferred for keeping all the action visible in the frame, I've always felt that the camera's long distance from the girl takes me out of the stunt cock's shoes - so to speak. In other words, my perception of interacting with the girl is lessened to a degree.
My Plaything Gianna features, in my opinion, the best POV angles ever used in an interactive movie. The camera appears to be held no more than a few feet away from Gianna at all times. This successfully mimics the "naked eye" view you would have of a girl if you were the one fucking her. Because this close-up view makes it impossible to see all of Gianna's body in the frame at one time, the camera pans back and forth between head and pussy. These camera moves are completely natural, focused mainly on the penetration with occasional pans to Gianna's face. I never felt that the camera was missing too much of the penetration action. Instead, it creates a visceral experience that easily trumps the locked camera angles found in other interactive titles.
Disc Three is dedicated to bonus materials. BONUS SCENES are comprised of five Gianna scenes from the following movies: Super Naturals 8, POV Fantasy 5, The Trouble with Girls, Addicted 6, and Craving Big Cocks. PHOTO GALLERY is a 7-minute slideshow of model stills from the shoot, featuring Gianna in a variety of costumes used in the movie. TRAILERS include Dirty Little Stories #2, Tommy Gunn's Point Blank P.O.V., and The Office: A XXX Parody.
Some of this bonus material is interactive, just like the main feature. YOU CHOOSE includes extra tease footage not found on the other two discs. You can choose from five different costumes here: SHIRT, TEACHER, PINUP, LATEX, and NURSE - all complete with multiple options you can select. INTERACTIVE OUTTAKES adds a few more sex options: SYBIAN, TIT FUCK NICE (set in the classroom with Teacher Gianna), and TIT FUCK NAUGHTY (set in Boss Gianna's office).
BEHIND THE SCENES is an 8-minute featurette that is mainly comprised of an interview with Gianna. Footage of the photo shoot and some sex scenes shot from BTS cameras are mixed in with the interview. Gianna shares some insights, such as how she got into the industry. It's nothing thrilling, but interesting nonetheless.
Buy it. The vast array of choices on each disc means you'll be revisting this title dozens of times, if not more. My Plaything Gianna doesn't redefine the genre in any major way. What it does achieve is a level of polish that can only come from dedication and care. Director Eddie Powell and his crew clearly know what works and what doesn't in the realm of interactive movies. Combine that with a performer of Gianna Michaels' caliber, and you have a no-brainer must-buy.
RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes