Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lesbian Storytime Theater Episode 1

Title:  Lesbian Story Time Theater, Episode 1
Studio:  Girlfriends Films
Director/Writer:  Elexis Monroe
Released: 2012
Performers:  Veronica Avluv, Deauxma, Brandi Love, Zoey Holloway, Amber Chase, Elexis Monroe, Shyla Jennings, Elle Alexandra

This is a new series created for Girlfriends Films by Elexis Monroe.  Future volumes are said to be in the works, and I must say that I certainly hope that’s true.  This one has plenty of star power with some of the top girl-girl actresses in the business listed in the credits.  I think GFF has another hit on its hands, and I don’t think it’s going too far out on a limb to declare that GFF has spawned another creative force in the industry, Elexis Monroe.  Kudos to Dan O’Connell for giving Elexis some room to work.

Lesbian Story Time Theater Episode 1 is a collection of vignettes dealing with a variety of lesbian sexual obsessions.  Each begins with a diary style narrative voice-over (by Veronica Hart) to introduce the scene and then the actresses take over.  These are stories that not only present highly erotic sexual realizations but also explore some significant psychological themes – real issues that actual human beings deal with.  The scenes are exceptionally well written, and, exceptionally well acted (on the dramatic side – I don’t want anyone to think I’m suggesting the sex was “acting”).  I don’t expect to see Golden Globe nominated performances in adult videos and you probably don’t either.  That’s why it always comes as a pleasant surprise when we get some solid acting, and we find it in abundance here.  I’m going to give Elexis a lot of the credit, as director, but the women in front of the camera did outstanding work interpreting her vision for each scene.  Bravo.  Well done ladies.  I want more, greedy bastard that I am.

This isn’t Elexis Monroe’s first time behind the camera but in this reviewer’s opinion this is her best directorial work to date.  She shows real growth and maturity in both storytelling and directing.  I would hope that those who look at these things with awards in mind take note of what was presented here.

So by now you may have gathered that I liked the video.  Well full marks to you then.  I did, which is why I’m reviewing it, in keeping with my policy to only review what I like.  Having provided you with an abstract, as it were, let’s get into the details.

Scene 1:  Deauxma and Veronica Avluv

Anyone who has read my previous reviews knows what a Veronica Avluv fan I am.  Not to mention the positive reviews I have also written about Deauxma.  Their titanic tryst in Road Queen 19 was one for the ages.  So to have them together again in this scene had “bonus” written all over it for me.   My expectations were not only met, but exceeded.

Veronica Avluv has a crush, a serious one, on her sister in law, Deauxma.  Veronica’s brother is, to say the least, a philandering ne’er do well, and Veronica can’t stand the thought of him with Deauxma, with whom she is deeply, and, let’s face it, obsessively in love.  Being a woman capable of extreme passion, Veronica was born to play this part and she plays it to the hilt.  Deauxma gives, perhaps, a more nuanced performance as the spurned wife with a wayward husband.  Her real tears and approach/avoidance conflict vis-à-vis Veronica’s offer of love, give authenticity to the portrayal of the deeper issues raised in this little story.   Deauxma needs some coaxing before Veronica gets her naked and into bed – both ladies do a great job of making this a plausible seduction (a theme repeated in the other three scenes of this video).  

As I mentioned this isn’t the first pairing for these two ladies and, as expected, they give us a tremendously intense and passionate sexual pas de deux.  The subtitle for this particular vignette could have been “wet sheets.”  Both ladies are squirters, and the fluids fly almost from the get go in this scene.  We get a variety of other things too including a nice tribbing sequence.  The sex is vigorous, passionate, and most importantly VERY fun to watch.  Just based on this scene, so far, this DVD is going into the “keeper” bin.

At the end, Veronica declares her love for Deauxma, but Deauxma isn’t sure, even after having experienced repeated and intense orgasms.  Her conflicts are not actually resolved and Elexis allows her to show this even at this late point in the scene.  Wow.  This really felt like we were watching an incredibly intimate and private moment between two real people.  I almost felt like a Peeping Tom (not quite, but almost).  It was a great start to the movie and I didn’t think it could get any more intense.  But I was wrong.

Scene 2:  Zoey Holloway and Brandi Love

Zoey Holloway is a massage therapist with a problem – one that’s gotten her fired from a spa.  She can’t seem to help herself when she’s giving a woman a massage, and she ends up getting into trouble for paying a little too much attention to the wrong body parts, if you get my drift.  Now, she’s operating out of her house, and, Brandi Love is her next customer.  Oh boy.  My pulse is already elevated. In this scene, we have Zoey Holloway, whose performances are always nuanced as well as passionate, and Brandi Love, she of the killer bod and perpetual smirk, who always looks like she’s up to something.   Lots of potential here, not to mention how lovely skin looks like when it’s covered in massage oil.

I wonder why it is that almost all of my favorite Zoey Holloway roles feature her as a nurturing, caring, empathetic person.  She plays that type here and the run-up to the sex (which is spectacular) is worth watching.  I don’t know how much of this was scripted and how much Zoey and Brandi improvised, but it works really well.  Obviously the point of all of this is to initiate sex between these two lovely ladies, and it gets the job done, but unlike so many sex scenarios (scenareae? scenaria?) this one feels plausible and actually calls on Zoey and Brandi to do some acting.  Brandi does a great job of seeming first bewildered by Zoey’s unorthodox massage technique, then nervous but willing to go along (“you’re the professional”), and gradually turned on to the point where Zoey can complete the seduction.  Well done!

We get lots of nice long looks at Brandi Love’s perfect torso as Zoey’s well oiled hands touch and stroke while her quiet voice reassures her increasingly nervous customer.  “I can stop if you want me to,” Zoey says.  But Brandi is still willing to go along.  It almost looked at several points like Zoey wanted to lean in for a kiss (how she resisted I’ll never know), and by this time the teasing (from the viewer’s perspective) is getting pretty serious. 

The only flaw in this scene is a clearly audible off camera direction, presumably from Elexis: “Just kiss her Zoey. Kiss her,” Just as Zoey is leaning in to do just exactly that.  To be fair, by the time of the directorial interjection I was whispering at the video screen myself saying exactly those same words, which is probably why I had to go back and be sure of what I had heard.  As flaws go, in a production like this, it’s a big one, but, as I said, I almost didn’t notice it, and watched it again to make sure.  It is truly unfortunate that this piece of audio made it through the editing process because up until that point Elexis had made me *completely* forget that there was anyone else in the room besides Zoey and Brandi.   Motion pictures and digital videos are all about illusion.  The illusion of intimacy is crucial to this scene, and we lost it in that one stray moment.  Perhaps it was late in the day and the crew was about to go on overtime, or Elexis just lost patience with Zoey’s maddening teasing (it was driving me crazy in a rather delicious way).  Who knows? But for whatever reason, that first kiss, which should have been spontaneous, wasn’t.  Alas. 

Once that first kiss is out of the way, you would imagine that the scene shifts into a slightly higher gear, but Zoey still refuses to rush things.  Brandi is turned on but nervous – she’s never had sex with another woman before and wasn’t considering it today either – and Zoey plays her like a trophy fish; not too much drag, not too much tension in the line, but not letting the fish imagine getting away either.  This is VERY deftly played by BOTH ladies, and I was very impressed.  This looked, sounded, and felt like a REAL seduction.

I’m not going to say any more about this, except to say that the sex, when we got to it, was both inventive and vigorous.  I highly recommend that before you watch this scene, so you’re not tempted to FF, have someone hide the remote.  You’ll thank me later.  The sexual payoff is worth the wait, and absent the little directorial “oops” it might have been *the* perfect lesbian sex scene.  Even with that, it’s one of the best played sex scenes of any kind I’ve ever watched.  If neither of these women gets an award for this I want the judges’ urine tested.  

Scene 3:  Elexis Monroe and Amber Chase

I haven’t seen Amber Chase in anything for a while.  She was a staple of a ton of GFF productions at one time.  I know she and Elexis have had some epic scenes together so I was not surprised that the director called her own number, so to speak, for a scene with Amber.  These two women like each other, a lot, so you know the sex will be good.

From the narration we learn that Elexis and Amber were once lovers, but that Amber dumped Elexis for “that bitch,” and that Elexis did not intend to have sex with Amber on that fateful day that they met again.  I wasn’t really to clear on what happened to whom and when, but I knew I was going to get to watch Amber and Elexis have sex, so I wasn’t too concerned.

Amber has become a dancer (and not just any kind of dancer, she’s a belly dancer) and she wants to dance for Elexis – she also wants Elexis to dance.  And, as the old song says, “dancing is the way to romance” (cue Fred Astaire).  Amber shows Elexis her moves (she’s clearly had some training), and she’s also putting the moves on Elexis.  For her part, Elexis plays coy – she’s not going to give in easily – but Amber is determined, and there must still be a spark of something in Elexis that responds (there had better be, or we will have paid good money for a belly dancing instructional video we didn’t want) to Amber.  Of course there is, and Amber manages, after some coaxing, to fan the spark into an ember and the ember into a flame.  And by flame I mean conflagration.  What this scene lacks in the drama department (particularly compared to the Holloway/Love performance) it more than makes up for in sexual fireworks.

As I mentioned earlier, Elexis and Amber have been down this road several times in other videos and they both know where all the buttons and levers are for each other.  They all get pressed and/or pulled during the next few minutes leaving both women covered in sweat, completely spent, and happy.  The narrative suggests that the sex went on for an entire afternoon and I can easily imagine these two going at it for hours – after all, who’s going to yell “cut” when the director is getting her jollies?  Outstanding chemistry here leads to a tremendously arousing sexual encounter.

Scene 4: Shyla Jennings and Elle Alexandra

I’m fairly certain that this was the first time I’d seen Elle Alexandra.  Shyla, of course, has been in a number of GFF productions, so she was familiar to me.  This scene sets up as four young ladies are getting ready to go to a costume party.  Well, three of them are getting ready – Shyla doesn’t want to go, because her girlfriend, Capri, isn’t there.  Elle Alexandra (Capri’s sister), Lily Carter and another young porn starlet whose name escapes me at the  moment take some time convincing Shyla to go, which is followed by a very playful sequence involving the selection of a costume.  This is a fun, playful, scene and once again it is well conceived, well written, and best of all, well played by all involved.

Lily and her friend eventually leave because Elle and Shyla are taking too long to decide on costumes (someone must have emptied the entire contents of the local costume shop), and so the two subjects of this scene are left to their own devices.  The play continues until Elle begins putting moves on Shyla, who is reluctant, at first, to respond.  After all, Elle is her girlfriend’s sister (I think – I wasn’t completely clear on this).  As soon as Shyla speculates on what would happen if Capri found out you know its game over.  Elle promises that Capri will never find out, and, she begins to remove Shyla’s costume.  Shyla is still acting reluctant but she has stopped objecting to being slowly stripped, one item at a time. 

There’s that first kiss, and then the clothes come off faster.  The sex here is more playful than urgent, more relaxed than intense, but that doesn’t mean it is any less enjoyable to watch.  Shyla and Elle are both beautiful young women with waif-like dimensions and very delectable bottoms.  The only really kinky vibe here is that Elle is Capri’s sister, and Capri and Shyla are supposedly an item.  So this scene isn’t the exploration of psychology/pathology/obsession that the first three scenes were.  It’s sort of like a good dessert after a huge meal:  light, sweet, and refreshing.

Final Thoughts

With Lesbian Story Time Theater Episode 1, Elexis Monroe has driven a huge stake into the ground of story driven, emotionally satisfying, hard core adult fare.  And, she’s also demonstrated that as a director she is capable of obtaining outstanding dramatic performances from her cast and at the same time eliciting epic sexual performances as well.  Words fail me to describe how impressed I was with this video.  Bravo, Elexis, bravo!

I do have a *few* nits to pick, however.  The aforementioned directorial “oops” in the Zoey Holloway/Brandi Love scene, which I’m surprised wasn’t fixed in post production, is the biggest one.  Perhaps her editors failed her in this instance.  The interstitials were not as well thought out or executed as the scenes themselves.  Why the repeated exterior views of the Victorian style house?  Did I miss something?  Who was the lady reading the book supposed to be?  As nits go, these are pretty small.  Nitpicking aside, Lesbian Story Time Theater 1 is a work of sensitivity, intelligence, raw emotion, and eroticism.  It is easily one of the best lesbian themed videos I've seen in 2012, and certainly number one in terms of story/acting.  Any one of these four scenes would have been a top scene in any other video produced by Girlfriends, or any other lesbian based production company.

I hope that this video sold (and continues to sell) like gangbusters because I would like to see more of this kind of work from Elexis Monroe.  She has clearly learned a lot during her time as a performer/director and she continues to grow.  I’m glad she has a place to pursue her artistic vision and I wish her all the success in the world going forward.

Elexis Monroe fans, fans of any of the ladies in this video, lipstick lesbian fans, and anyone who appreciates a good story that is also well acted should definitely buy this video.  You will want to watch it more than once.

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