Saturday, June 06, 2009

Champion (DVD)

ChampionI haven't had much luck (I typed "lick" the first time. It's hardwired.) with DVDs reviewed here--the exception being Bill & Desiree, but that almost doesn't count 'cause the documentary-style Comstock Films are in a league of their own. Man's Ruin was too weird for words, and Annie Sprinkle... well, let's just say she must be an acquired taste.

I was hoping Champion would turn the tide. Instead, I'm afraid it just set the porn bar too high. There is a real plot in this 90-minute flick, though having read the storyline on the website prior to watching made it easier to grok 'cause the limited dialog sounded muffled. (A couple times, we backed up the DVD to listen again.) It's got the whole 3-act play story arc thing goin' on, and it's not badly acted. Take out the sex, and the film would be about 15 minutes long, so there's no need to worry about too little sex. Each sex scene (there are 5, and they are each distinctive) is fully-realized without excessive camera cuts. There is NO "cheesey outer layer" here. The actors give NO indication that they are performing for the cameras, which is absolutely wonderful.

I found the sex extremely hot for a variety of reasons, not least of which was the utter lack of misogyny found in the vast majority of porn. The bodies were all deliciously lean and toned (NOT stick figures or enormous-breasted "bimbo" types) in a way that says, "I respect myself." Win! However, from a casting perspective, the characters of Violet, Jessie, and Cathy were almost too similar in stature, hair, and tone. Fortunately, it's a look that appeals to me-- especially the impish features of Jiz Lee.

The lack of gender conformity in most of the cast was a bit off-putting to my partner, but I found it refreshing and honest. The visual is not a turn on... but it's not a turn off, either. If that makes any sense. (Whereas the over-the-top airbrushed silicone-enhanced centerfold types do nothing but make me angry at myself for feeling wrinkled and fat and... inferior. Bleh. Get that shit out of my face. It is NOT a turn on.) The integrity IS a turn on. Being yourself in the midst of pressure to conform is huge for me, and something that requires courage and determination.

The drum score added to the tension and its resolution, rather than providing lame techno accompaniment, and it didn't drown out the genuine-sounding vocalizations of the actors. There was never an obviously-faked orgasm, and without a biological penis on the set, no obligatory money shots. Huzzah! The dick was not missed, believe me. Syd Blakovich can drive a strap as well as (or better) than any I've ever seen--and look as sleek and toned as a panther while doing it.

The film was exceptionally well-directed (by Shine Louise Houston) and edited. The fact that the sex scenes ran a little long by conventional, instant-gratification standards only served to make them feel more genuine and satisfying.

Two thumbs up for Champion!

Until next time...

peace & passion,

Here's what Babeland has to say:
For porn that is so much more than just porn, get knocked out by the adult DVD Champion, award-winning director Shine Louise Houston’s latest masterpiece. Don’t get us wrong, this film features plenty of scorching-hot queer sex, but it’s also got a strong, captivating plot. Hotshot martial artist Jessie Easton is training for the fight of her career, yet she’s haunted by past love and current, undeniable attraction to her opponent, Violet Vahn. Throw in some conflict with corrupt nemesis Bobby Malone, and you’ve got an intensely erotic and masterful crossover film. Whether Jessie wins or loses the fight, you’ll be squirming in more ways than one. Please refer to our return policy for this product.
  • Released: 2008
  • Length: 90 minutes
  • Director: Shine Louise Houston
  • Noteworthy Stars: Syd Blakovich, Madison Young, Jiz Lee, Dylan Ryan

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