Cast: Nina Hartley, Keri Windsor, Dee, Lauren Montgomery, Daisy Chain, Jason McCain, Evan Stone, Marty Romano and Joey Ray in sex roles; Jim Steele and Drew Warner in non-sex roles.
Director: Toni English
Production date: 2/20/01
Length: 81 min. (actual running time; box claims approx. 90 min.)
Extras: A 19-min. bonus scene from Hotspot, 5 short biographies (Nina, Keri, Dee, Lauren, Evan), 3 trailers and slide show with 33 photos.
Disc problems: My Apple DVD Player (version 2.2.1) freezes if I let the menu autostart. I can circumvent the problem, however, by holding down the right arrow key (which is the shortcut for chapter skipping). This may or may not be an issue on other players.
Audio/visual quality: The video quality reveals a high level of loving care and attention. The lighting is gentle yet adequate, the focus is reasonably sharp and the transitions between camera angles are flawlessly smooth. The music varies from hard rock to sensuous jazz to synth pop, but it always fits the mood of the scene. The audio balance slightly favors the music; some dialog is difficult to hear. Dubbing is minimal.
First impression: Yeah, baby! Let's get naked...
Scene highlights: Naked Hollywood 1: Faking It is the first of a series that appears to be loosely inspired by the cable television program Sex in the City. Since I haven't seen the TV show, I'm not qualified to make comparisions between the two. Naked Hollywood stands very nicely on its own, though, as an exploration of the somewhat troubled relationships of four sexy women. Fortunately, the story's not overwrought; the plot segments are the perfect length to tie the movie together.
In scene one, Keri Windsor ("Monica") is in the shower, but it's not the warm water that's steaming up the glass doors. The real cause is Jason McCain, who's providing some hot action with his fingers and tongue (including a small amount of rimming). Keri kneels for an extremely competent blow job, taking his hard thrusts fully down her throat. Jason lovingly massages her backside with some soap suds, and they move out of the shower for vaginal intercourse in doggie. Keri excitedly spanks her own clit and then turns around to give Jason some intense eye contact in missionary. For the facial, Keri closes her eyes tightly and quickly cleans up with a towel, which fits both her character and the storyline.
Scene two offers an incomparable pairing between radio advice queen Nina Hartley ("Lindsey") and her boyfriend Evan Stone ("Steven"). They've ordered some spicy Chinese takeout and haven't yet touched the fortune cookies, when their other appetite takes hold. They frolic on Evan's big gray couch, with foreplay that includes kissing, smiling, fondling, teasing and oral sex. You'll want to crank up the volume to catch their naughty talk, which is a bit muffled in places. Amazingly, the vaginal intercourse lasts less than a minute and includes only a single position (doggie, with the cum landing on Nina's butt). This is rather different than standard porn scenarios, but it's quite realistic and surprisingly hot.
Meanwhile, Nina's friend Lauren Montgomery ("Kim") has met Marty Romano ("Benjamin") in a bar. He takes her to his opulent home, where he shrugs off her compliments and reassures her that people are more important than things. A little romancing is all the encouragement Lauren needs, and she's more than willing to kneel and give him a blow job. When it's her turn, Lauren reclines on a black leather sofa while Marty tickles her clit with his tongue jewelry. She's already in position for missionary, and later brings both legs together toward the camera for an unusual sideways missionary variation. They finish in doggie, with Lauren's hair bouncing like a shampoo model and Marty ejaculating on her butt and back. This is probably the weakest scene of the movie, mostly because Lauren seems slightly cool and reserved. It's fun to watch Marty's facial expressions, though, and there's a bizarre and very interesting plot twist the morning after.
Dee ("Annie") is in her studio showing Daisy Chain ("Nicki") a portfolio of large murals. Daisy gets turned on by the "butchness" of the big art and wastes no time seducing Dee. They share kissing, caressing, some undressing, oral sex and finger penetration. I especially like how Daisy rubs her nipple rings against Dee's breasts and pussy. Daisy also provides herself a little anal stimulation with her finger, which is the only anal penetration in this movie. Both women appear to have natural breasts, and the contrast between Dee's unadorned brown skin and Daisy's colorfully tattooed white skin is aesthetically pleasing.
At the radio station, Nina has just finished a show and is annoyed to discover that Evan still hasn't called after an earlier tiff. She consoles herself with Joey Ray ("Charley"), who doesn't look at all surprised or displeased when Nina makes the first move. They go at it on a large table in the programming department. Nina wriggles in delight while Joey pulls her panties to the side for oral. A blow job, doggie and missionary follow, with the cum landing on Nina's belly. It's a good scene, but not quite as hot as the one with Evan (which makes sense, since Evan's character is the one she loves). The story ends on a happy note, with hints that Nina and Evan will be getting back together again.
The bonus scene comes from Hotspot and stars Mia Smiles, Ava Vincent, Chris Cannon and Herschel Savage. As I mentioned in my earlier review, the camera motion makes me seasick, but otherwise, it's a fairly good group scene. It takes place at the Freedom Institute, where Mia and Chris are well on their way to curing their repressions. She gives him a blow job on a sofa, followed by oral, missionary, reverse cowgirl and doggie. Ava stops by to check on the pair, and Herschel wanders in a little latter for Ava's blow job.
Thumbs up: Nina Hartley is looking her loveliest in this movie. I've always thought she's pretty, but the expert lighting, camera angles, make-up and undoubtedly regular exercise make her look at least five years younger than her actual age (maybe more). Nina's luminous presence animates her scenes, and it's a tremendous pleasure just to watch her. Her character in Naked Hollywood is so likable that I wish I could give her a big hug.
Someone on this movie's production crew has a great eye for detail. For example, when a phone call awakens Nina's character around noon, her alarm clock reads the correct time--about 12:22 p.m. Although several mirrors decorate the sets, the camera never gets caught in the reflection. Repeat footage appears in at least one place, but it looks fresh since extra care has been taken to reverse the image from left to right. Most viewers would probably not notice these minutiae, but they indicate a high level of professionalism and polish that's too often absent in adult entertainment.
Thumbs down: The sound levels on the spoken parts need to be boosted in places. Also, so much more could have been done with the extras. This is a short feature; there should be room on the DVD for a commentary track, behind-the-scenes featurette and/or more trailers. At the very least, the trailers for parts two and three of the Naked Hollywood series ought to be included--I know they exist, because I saw them on an unrelated Adam and Eve title that was produced at about the same time.
Themes: Straight, lesbian, oral, facial (one only), light anal stimulation (male to female rimming, female finger penetration).
Condom use: Yes, in all b/g scenes. They're quite subtle, however. If Evan's wearing one, it's not even directly visible (I believe he's concealing it with a sleight of hand, and if that's really true, it's a nifty little trick).
Final analysis: Although part one is a complete story in itself, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing more of the Naked Hollywood series.
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