by L. Pete Morton
Ava Rose is the titular (hee hee!) heroine of Carolina Jones and the Broken Covenant
Adam & Eve is probably best known as an adult novelty company, but they’re also big players in the world of adult film productions, making and distributing mostly “couple friendly” adult features. One of them, Eden, was one of my favorites of 2007, and they also co-produced probably my favorite adult film I’ve yet encountered, Pirates. So I thought I’d take a look at a couple of recent releases by the studio, hoping their solid track record would result in some good, solid, well-produced pornography.
Not knowing Adam and Eve’s plan for the upcoming year, I still have to imagine that Carolina Jones and the Broken Covenant will easily be one of their biggest releases of 2008. Yes, it’s an Indiana Jones-themed porn film, released right around the time of Doctor Jones’ fourth cinematic outing. Carolina (Ava Rose) is actually the daughter of “Indy Jones,” and she’s searching for the Ark of the Covenant, which much have been stolen from the giant government warehouse at Area 51. Besides a few bad guys she dispatches with her signature boomerang, she has to deal with the fact that her lone lover was kind of a scumbag. She is aided in all these quandaries by Dixie (Bree Olson), a libertine Southerner with a predilection for seducing guards and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Olson is rightly praised as a powerfully enthusiastic performer, but there’s a reason Ava Rose, one of the most attractive women in porn, is the lead here. She’s just magnetic, and the period garb suits her well. The producers stretched their budget on this feature, filming in Budapest and thereby lending an old-world texture to many of the scenes that couldn’t be duplicated in Porn Valley (though, sadly, some murky cinematography doesn’t always highlight these locations as well as they could). There are some lapses in attention to detail, such as a power drill that wouldn’t have existed during the time period in which the characters are living, and some unnecessary low-budget gore effects in the opening scenes which don’t match the tone of the rest of the movie. I’d also love to have seen Carolina actually THROW her boomerang instead of just conk people with it, but I’d likely forgive anything Ava Rose asked me to, so I can’t really complain about that. On the whole this is a fun movie with a nice hook, and even though it doesn’t exploit that hook as well as I would have liked, Olson and Rose make this one a winner.
Adam and Eve also supports a new imprint to their brand, Independent Adult Cinema. The second film released under this label was Bullets and Burlesque, another one of the more interesting adult films I’ve seen this year. Independent Adult Cinema was created to showcase adult films that operate a little outside the norm, to (hopefully) allow auteurs to actually shoot adult movies with a singular vision. Bullets and Burlesque is directed by Benny Profane, and breaks the Proscenium Arch by presenting a “stage play” about the life of notorious murderer and blues folk hero Stagger Lee, a brothel owner who killed a man in turn of the century (the 19th century) St. Louis. The stage play conceit happily covers many sins, and when you see set dressing which looks nothing like the supposed location, one can simply remember that the actors are performing on stage. This allows for some creative visualization (such as an alley with an abundance of graffiti) and a distinctive look, a sort of punk meets vaudeville esthetic.
There are some gorgeous women in this movie, but Bullets and Burlesque mainly benefits from having it-girl Sasha Grey playing one of the leading parts. She continues being not only a clearly beautiful woman, easily one of the most attractive in porn (if you want to get into quantifying that sort of thing) but one willing to push the audience’s boundaries and her own physical limitations. One suspects this is the sort of film in which she feels most at home.
It is too early to see if Independent Adult Cinema will be a label which time and again offers interesting porn fare (although the fact that their four different films are all quite different from each other is a happy fact), but they have started rather well and could shape up to be one of the finest purveyors of good adult entertainment around. Here’s hoping.
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originally posted: 07/22/08 00:48:22