GRAM PONANTE: Elegant Angel and William H had a great idea when they decided to take some of the strongest performers in porn and put them in one fine fuck film. For those of us who remember making one piece of pornography last for years (in my case, it was the Sears Christmas catalog), porn's current market saturation makes it difficult to identify that one movie that might do the trick if one is planning a long, porn-free trip, a stay in prison, or a presidential campaign.
JOANNE CACHAPERO: Exactly. "Performers of the Year" is the finest in masturbatory fodder — seven hot scenes for a long, cold winter. It's reminiscent of the days before you could dial up porn on the Internet with a mouse click, and you had to actually make an effort to get your hands on your uncle Ernie's used-up copy of Hustler from December 1981; when just the picture of a hot naked girl would be indelibly burned into your memory, she would become your fantasy favorite, and you'd spend years masturbating to her until she became like an old friend. If you would have had this video back then, you would've been locked in your bedroom for a month, just jerking off. How was that Sears catalog, by the way? Their underwear layouts were always so fucking hot.
GP: "Performers of the Year," a two-disc set, would be excellent for people who don't get boxes of porn for free, daily. The movie begins with an extended clip reel featuring snippets from each scene we're about to see. This is a device that porn shares only with basic cable infotainment, where the trailer is built into the programming. Can you imagine going to see "No Country for Old Men" with its own trailer running under the opening credits?
JC: Yeah, maybe because we are the people that get boxes of porn delivered to our offices daily, I have to say, there was definitely an infomercial feel to the whole thing. Not just the opening trailer, but also throughout the video. The setup for each girl is the same: interview with William H, teaser footage and sex scene.
GP: But this is a way for people to catch a quick glimpse and then fast-forward if they need to.
JC: I think I would be fast-forwarding through most of it to get to my favorite scenes. In fact, nobody is going to watch this video straight through like I did, and so it may not seem so formula-based if you just look at the scenes that you like. And some people might actually enjoy the interview segments with questions like, "Are you an apple or an orange person?"
GP: They also can listen to a not-unpleasant electronica track that employs the same synthesized leaky faucet motif made famous by George Michael's "I Want Your Sex." Am I dating myself? If so, do I put out?
JC: Well, since most of the girls in this video were toddlers when "I Want Your Sex" came out, I would definitely say that you're dating yourself, dear. Somehow I'm not shocked that you're a big fan of wham! And did you notice how the audio in the scenes ramped up to LOUD during the scene climaxes? I was afraid that my neighbors two stories down would hear it.
GP: There is something for everyone in this movie. If you like white girls, this movie is lousy with them. Then there is Jada Fire, who squirts, and Eva Angelina, whom I admire because she has been in porn for so long that she no longer checks in with the camera every two seconds the way it seems performers are trained to do. Eva Angelina doesn't need my approval.
JC: The girls in this movie were all cherry-picked — like exquisite truffles in a high quality selection of premium chocolates, each with their own flavor. Angelina is like a dark chocolate flavored with chili pepper, while Jada Fire is double-mocha. Alexis Texas is filled with rich caramel and Brianna Love has a cherry inside. Linares is nutty and sweet, and Jenna Haze is like an elegant, silky vanilla crème. Sasha Grey is like that mystery chocolate that you have to poke your finger in the bottom, to see what oozes out. Yum!
GP: Speaking of Angelina, both she and Jenna Haze talk about "growing up" in porn, using those exact, and vaguely unsettling, words. Both have worked in the adult racket since they were 19 and have been in front of the camera for more than five years. Five years is an extraordinarily long time to survive in this world, and their performances seem to just get better; they have blended hitting all the marks required by the Porno-Industrial Complex with Just Not Caring; their rhythms are different, as if they know that they are ultimately responsible for their own orgasms.
JC: For female performers that do last in this business, the good ones do get to a point where they overcome that deer-in-the-headlights, camera-checking quality, and they become able to participate in the scenes like they are comfortable with their heightened sexuality. All of the girls in this movie, though, seem like naturals to me. And I just want to add that each girl is showcased with exceptionally great videography and good lighting.
GP: There is something cool about each of these scenes, and each actress is allowed to play to her strengths: Rebeca Linares is ethereal, Sasha Grey is brainy and a little unhinged, Brianna Love and Alexis Texas are ripe like peaches, Jada Fire is just a bit dangerous, and Haze and Angelina are the working pros. The only person missing was Kami Andrews to satisfy the over the top filthy quota. That girl stabbed me through the heart by retiring.
JC: In porn, it's just like life; sometimes it's the girl that got away that you end up loving the most.