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Released: Jun 01st, 2004
Running Time: 108
Director: Clive McLean
Company: Hustler Video
Cast: Benjamin Brat, James (I), Katja Kassin, Mark Ashley, Tiffany (I), Steve (I), Audrey Hollander, Kimberly Kane, Otto, Billy Glide, Marcos (I), Sabrina (I)
Critical Rating: AA 1/2
Surprisingly weak outing for one of porn's strongest series.
This is the series that won Best Vignette Series at the 2003 and 2004 AVN Awards? If 45 is any indication, do not expect a threepeat.
Last things first, since the biggest disappointment is unquestionably the closing scene: In the not-so-grand finale, the sexy cover girl, Sabrina, gets completely screwed and not in a good way. Her man (and real-life boyfriend, according to her behind the scenes interview), James, rarely if ever accomplishes solid wood, so the weak screwing generally consists of him trying to keep his semi-hard cock in her puss, leading to shot after shot of his cock doing more stretching than thrusting. Much of the time is spent shooting angles that play down the limpathon, but it doesn't work. Sabrina's moans of ecstasy are a mockery, and when she tells him, "Oh, stick it in as far as you can," one can't help but snort at the line and the seeming sarcasm behind it. Charlize Theron couldn't sell that one.
The scene comes to an ugly ending with the voiceover explaining that Sabrina was just about to tell him to cum in her mouth, but, oops, too late, he already blew his load inside her. A pathetic excuse for a scene that never gets started, which glaringly exposes the non-ending as a copout. Cum inside her? He couldn't even get it up.
As if that weren't enough, the audio and video fade out while he's still inside her, fucking her best he can and – the end. Show over.
Sabrina does her part in trying to fake enjoyment through the scene, but obvious lame screwing make it impossible to buy her act. The anal attempt was particularly disappointing. Don't blame the girl, she did a great job, especially considering it's her debut. Hopefully she won't restrict herself to working with her boyfriend, or she's going to have as hard a time getting work as he did getting wood.
Everything considered, most insulting is that the scene actually made it onto the title. That is how fans are left at the end of the latest volume of one of the most successful series in the history of adult video? A disappointment by any standards, the fact that this throwaway scene even made it onto Barely Legal is outrageous for fans of this series. It is a classic bait-and-switch, and the reason that so many would-be porn fans get so frustrated when it comes to picking up DVDs. The standards must be made higher, especially for a line like this. Everyone knows that, sometimes, scenes just don't work out. If nothing else, stick it in a title with lesser expectations.
There is, unfortunately, more. For one, the production is lazy. Each scene is introduced with a very brief shot of a woman opening a letter and a less-than-enthusiast, "This is a good one" type comment as it fades into the scene. The voiceovers throughout are difficult to understand (especially at low volume, which is so often necessary when viewing porn) because they are muffled.
Another problem persistent in director (and AVN Hall of Famer) Clive McLean's work is the lighting, which is odd since he's been a still photographer for decades. Still, many of the scenes are dark and generally all have strong shadows.
There are moments. Katja Kassin takes a d.p. in the first scene as bored gawkers stare blankly. It's unusually hard for a Barely Legal tape, which rarely (if ever) contain double penetrations. The scenes in-between are hit and miss: Kimberly Kane and Mark Ashley turn in a nice scene. Tiffany and Billy Glide keep looking distractingly at something off-camera. (And Billy, take the socks off next time.) Aspen has great tits. Give the performers credit; they tried. While there's no question that this series will continue its great success, a few more weak outings like these, and fans will be forced to look elsewhere. And, let's face it, there are a lot of other places to look these days.