23 November 2018 | lor_
Lousy, especially when censored
I'm reviewing the Vivid DVD version of a very minor feature "Photo Play", issued in 2001 as a bowdlerized, softcore edition, the kind shown on Playboy TV or the Spice Channel with explicit sex omitted.
It's a dull story, set in Las Vegas but clearly not shot there, just adding aerial footage of the Strip to the video. Ashlyn Gere was the big star at the time (well-earned status) so she receives top billing in both opening and closing credits, while the real central protagonist Jenna Jameson is spotlighted on the DVD packaging, befitting her later emergence as porn's all-time biggest name.
She plays a photographer, cheated on and robbed by her venal boyfriend Hank Armstrong, seen humping (strictly from softcore angles with no frontal nudity) Anna Malle, his frequent screen partner in the '90s. Incredibly sloppy credits call him Toby and minor character Tom Byron (Tommy is his billing) "Jack", when in fact Hank's role is Jack.
Pal Alex Sanders gives JJ a chance to make a comeback if she can sign up a contract with a prospective client who needs a sexy girl next door type for his new campaign, and JJ discovers stewardess Felecia as the new It girl. She has lesbian sex with this Lesbian Cinema icon, with her photo assistant Bobby Vitale making it a threesome, of course only humping JJ and not the girls-only star Felecia. Alex gets to hump his secretary Dallas, while JJ seduces Gere in an attempt to prevent foreclosure, with Byron joining them for a threesome as well. I suspect Byron's character name was actually Toby, given the credits mix-up.
As softcore, this was passable as a Playboy TV time-killer of its day, but plays poorly on DVD, with footage endlessly repeated as padding to make up for the missing XXX material, especially noticeable in a JJ masturbation scene where she keeps her clothes on except for a momentary split-beaver shot. Vivid did not identify the DVD as being soft in its packaging, cheating the consumer.