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All Forums > Porn News - Press Releases > Porn News - Press Releases Forum Page 59 > Astro's Best of 2013

Tastes so good...
12354 Posts
Posted - Jun 8 2014 : 11:17PM
Yes, it's well past time for my Best of 2013 list, but unfortunately life got in the way way too much and kept me from finishing a few reviews that I wanted done before releasing this list. As always there's plenty of releases I didn't have the chance to check out, and plenty that left me beyond impressed. All that said, on with the show...

Best Feature: The Temptation of Eve
I give out very few 5 star overall ratings, and The Temptation of Eve was one of two to earn it in 2013. As with all of Jacky St. James movies, the script is top notch, but this one wouldn't have been nearly as amazing as it was with a cast other than Remy LaCroix, Xander Corvus, and Tommy Pistol who each played their part beyond perfection. I just can't agree with it winning AVN's award for Best Romance Movie in 2013, as it just plain wasn't a romantic movie for me, but it is an extremely well done movie that still amazes me.

Best Gonzo / All Sex Release: Ass Worship 14
The only other five star overall rating I gave in 2013 was to Jules Jordan's Ass Worship 14. This is a series that comes out once in a blue moon, and Jordan makes sure it's well worth the wait every single time. With an excellent cast of A.J. Applegate, Jada Stevens, Mischa Brooks, Nikki Delano, Rachel Starr, Remy LaCroix, and Sheena Shaw there's no way to have gone into this one without extremely high expectations, but once again Jules Jordan took those expectations and blew them away.

Best Epic Release: Underworld
Brad Armstrong's epic Underworld is quite possibly the most impressive adult film to come out of 2013, and undoubtedly the most ambitious. Not only is it a visual feast, but everything seems to click between the art direction, the story, and the sex. I was in awe of this movie, and I can't even think of another “epic” adult movie that came close to Underworld in 2013.

Best Parody: Wolverine XXX
When it comes to parodies, Axel Braun appears to be the reigning king, and he did an amazing job taking on the Marvel Comics icon in Wolverine XXX. You get the high quality art direction one has come to expect from Axel Braun along with a story and sex that worked better for me here than in any of his other releases in 2013. This is one heck of an enjoyable parody.

Best Fetish Release: Foot Prints
Yes, I've admitted to being a foot freak many times in the past, and Mick Blue turned out one of the best foot fetish releases I've seen in years with Foot Prints. As usual with Mick Blue behind the camera you get top notch talent as well as great chemistry and a very nice playful feeling throughout the movie. There were a few fetish releases that really pushed some boundaries in 2013, but I don't think I watched a single fetish release that was nearly as enjoyable as Foot Prints.

Best Series: Mandingo Massacre
Personally I don't care one way or another about interracial sex, but Mandingo Massacre is an interracial series I can't help but look forward to. It doesn't have the degradation that frequently shows up in BBC interracial porn, and although it does keep the big dick worship, the action is as much about chemistry as it is about the girls seeing how far they can be stretched. This isn't a great interracial series. This is just a great series.

Unsung Series: Cum Swallowing Auditions
There's plenty of series out there that you hear about everywhere every time a new release comes out. Cum Swallowing Auditions for some reason isn't one of them and that just seems wrong. Not only do you regularly get a nice mix of girls, both familiar and fresh, but there's a nice style to the series that's halfway between amateur and professional porn and straddles the two styles while feeling natural. It also manages to keep a very consistent quality with hot girls, solid camera work, solid cumshots to be swallowed, and great chemistry. Cum Swallowing Auditions is one heck of a great series that definitely deserves more attention than it seems to receive.

Biggest Disappointment: Grease XXX
When it comes to parody directors, one of the first names that should come to anyone's mind is Will Ryder. He has a great run of well done parodies and isn't afraid to tackle some movies that others wouldn't dream of (such as with his Not the Wizard of Oz XXX parody). With Grease XXX, however, he just couldn't live up to my expectations. Yes, it's a fun movie but it just seemed too choppy and didn't have the flow that was needed to make a great feature parody. I know a lot of others loved this movie, but it just couldn't hold up to the hype for me.

Best Surprise: Boobaholics Anonymous 9
Boobaholics Anonymous 9 was not only the best big boob movie for me from 2013, but the best POV movie as well. Tim Von Swine knocks it out of the park with a great mix of fresh faces along with a couple familiar ones as well. The movie is filled with personality and chemistry, and came out as one of my personal favorite movies of the year.

Best Director (Feature): Stormy Daniels & Jacky St. James(tie).
The best part of making your own best of list is that you can declare a tie if you don't want to make too tough of a decision. With how solid of movies both of these ladies put out in 2013 the only fair way I can see to break this tie is with something like a Jell-O or whipped cream wrestling match. I was nothing but impressed with every release I saw from each of these ladies, and with every release my expectations only got higher so they could meet them once again. When it comes to quality and consistency in feature films, Stormy Daniels and Jacky St. James are more than deserving of all the praise they've received.

Best Director (Gonzo / All Sex): Jules Jordan
Everything Jules Jordan does screams quality. From top notch ladies in every one of his movies to fantastic camera work to care about all of the little details both on screen and on his DVD releases. With Jules Jordan behind the camera you know it's all taken care of, just as it has been since he exploded on the scene so many years ago.

Unsung Director (Feature): Stormy Daniels
I'm not sure another director showed the range Stormy Daniels did in 2013. From fantastic comedies such as Divorcees and Switch to hard and dark drama in Wanderlust to romantic couples porn with If You Only Knew and Meant To Be the only thing one really knew when you saw Stormy's name listed as director was that you were going to get one heck of a quality production. Through it all, however, Ms. Daniels barely seemed to get any nominations and she more than deserved them.

Unsung Director (Gonzo / All Sex): Tim Von Swine
This one should be a no-brainer. Tim Von Swine impressed me with every single release I saw from him this year, including 2013's Best Surprise with Boobaholics Anonymous 9, and if you're a fan of the blowbang genre odds are you have a shrine for him somewhere on your property. Putting out as solid of porn as he does, the man can't even seem to get his name on the box. I'm not sure Unsung Director even begins to describe Tim Von Swine.

Director to Watch in 2014: Mimefreak
Odds are that even in September of 2013 porn fans had no clue who MimeFreak was. That quickly changed as he took over Elegant Angel's interracial lines with Big Tit Fanatic 3 and with every new release he seems to get more well deserved notice. I can't help but look forward to enjoying the journey MimeFreak is taking porn fans on!

Best Female Performer: Anikka Albrite
2013 largely turned out to be the year of Anikka Albrite. Ms. Albrite showed plenty of potential in 2012 and only seemed to ramp it up for 2013 with solid performances full of personality, an ability to act, and finally giving up her anal cherry. Anikka Albrite was nothing short of a joy to watch in 2013.

Best Male Performer: James Deen
In 2012 things seemed to have clicked for James Deen, and he just hasn't let up. He went from a performer that I thought to be pretty average a couple years ago to one that I can't help but look forward to. I don't think I'm the only one with that feeling as I see an extra spark in so many of his partners that largely seems to be due to how much James wants to please them in any way he can. There's some great male talent out there right now, but that extra spark of excitement from his partners is a big part of what makes James Deen the king of the mountain right now.

Best Actress: Stormy Daniels
Although she started out in front of the camera, it seems like everybody forgets that Stormy does just as great a job in front of it, and in 2013 she did an amazing job when she stepped in front of the camera. Stormy has shown off her dark side very well in the past with releases such as the Predator series, but this year I don't think there's a single starlet who had me laughing out loud as much as Stormy. She played a great range through Divorcees and Switch, and her job in front of the camera as well as behind it was a big reason these two movies held strong places in my nominations list for other awards.

Best Actor: Michael Vegas
If at the start of 2013 you would have told me that Michael Vegas would be my choice for Best Actor that year I'd probably have laughed at you. Yes, he was showing himself to be a good cocksman, but acting? He wasn't even on my radar. Thanks to Stormy Daniels, that all changed. As the year went on it seemed like Vegas was becoming her go to guy, and with Ms. Daniels' skill behind the camera that really says something. His performance in Switch had me laughing out loud and is a big reason it was one of my favorite releases in 2013. He also played the everyman very well in Rebound. Michael Vegas showed himself to be a top notch actor in 2013.

Girl Next Door: Adrianna Luna
Cute, sexy, and a touch of tomboy as well? That sounds like the girl next door to me and Adrianna Luna nailed it for me in 2013. Her smiles and eyes made me melt in virtually every performance I watched and I can't think of a bad performance I've seen from her. Adrianna Luna was definitely a shining star in 2013.

Unsung Starlet: Veruca James
Just how solid of a performer is Veruca James? Tattoos are a major turnoff for me and I can't help but look forward to every one of her performances. She has a great bubbly personality and a natural love of sex that comes out every time I see her in action. With how consistently solid of a performer she is, I'm amazed Ms. James hasn't shown up on more award nomination lists.

Unsung Stud: Mr. Pete
After seeming like he was everywhere a few years ago, Mr. Pete seemed to drop off the map. In 2013, however, he made a great comeback for me. He seemed to bring a little something extra out of his partners in each of his scenes, but rarely seemed to get any notice from it. For quite a while Mr. Pete was a performer who I really didn't care that much for, but lately he's showing himself to be a stud that deserves a heck of a lot more attention.

Star to Watch in 2014: Maddy O'Reilly
Maddy was one of my frontrunners for Performer of the Year in 2013, and she only seems to have picked up her game in 2014. She's showing that she has virtually no sexual limits as well as showing some great acting chops. Add all that to a killer body and sultry style and the lovely Ms. O'Reilly becomes a girl where the sky just might be the limit.

Best Studio: New Sensations / Digital Sin
There's plenty to love about New Sensations and Digital Sin. To start with, their DVDs are quality from start to finish. You always get a solid movie with great technical aspects and great care towards their extras. What takes New Sensations and Digital Sin the extra mile for me is that they do it all. All sex? Check. Gonzo? Check. Anal, interracial, MILF, barely legal? Check, check, check, and check. But unlike so many other studios who do just that, New Sensations and Digital Sin also do fantastic features and vignette releases. That quality and diversity across the board earns them my choice as Best Studio in 2013.

Best New Studio: Real Shots
It's no secret that I'm a fan of homemade and amateur porn, and when it comes to that genre Real Shots is the studio to watch. Yes, there are some familiar faces as this studio pretty much rose out of the ashes of Shot at Home, but what really makes this studio shine is its bang for the buck. Each release is a very solid homemade release and virtually every release costs less than a twelve pack of real ale (as opposed to that fizzy yellow beverage that most people refer to as “beer” that they try to drink as close to frozen as possible so that they don't have to taste it). I can't help but look forward to every new Real Shots DVD that lands on my desk.

Studio to Watch in 2014: Porno Jesus Studios
Porno Jesus Studios arrived late on the scene in 2013 with Girls Kick Ass XXX and there's very few debut releases that have impressed me as much as theirs did. This is all girl art porn at its best, and I'm definitely looking forward to what they do next.

Unsung Studio: Smash Pictures
Part of what I love about Smash Pictures is that I always know what I'm going to get, and I also know that I'm going to discover something new. Smash has been quietly putting out solid release after solid release, and does so while showing fantastic business sense. They pay attention to some of of the industry trends but never flood the market chasing after them. You always seem to get a top notch girl or two in their releases, but more importantly they have a fantastic eye for fresh talent both male and female. Odds are if you check out some of your favorite stars of today you can look back and see that they appeared in a Smash Pictures release for one of their first appearances.

“The Carrot” Award: Jules Jordan Video
I'm not sure the winners of this award think of it as an honor, but I really do mean it to be one. I think everyone's seen that picture of a farmer holding a carrot in front of his horse using a fishing pole to make it go faster. As a reviewer I often do the same thing and tell myself that if I get through a certain pile of reviews I can reward myself with something I know will be good. For me the “carrot” I often hold in front of myself to make me get through more reviews is something from Jules Jordan Video. There's a few studios out there where you know you're going to get a great release and Jules Jordan Video is one of them. With a fantastic stable of directors that are every bit as consistent as Jordan himself, I can't remember the last time I saw a bad movie come out of Jules Jordan Video. For me that's actually a bit of a problem at times because I believe everyone knows just how solid a release you're going to get when you plunk down your hard earned money on a Jules Jordan release and I'd rather let people know about titles they might not konw as much about. I need to reward myself with a few more Jules Jordan Video titles over the next year.

“No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session” - Mark Twain

Senior Member

Dominance & Persecution.
1942 Posts
Posted - Jun 9 2014 : 2:55AM
thanx a million Astro,..that's some of the best feedback/compliments on my 'work' I've ever received in my 12-13 years in this game. I'll prolly never get my name on a boxcover again regardless of my output or it's quality, but w/you being one of the only remaining reviewers who still seem to care about the connection of the fans/creators of XXX, it's great to see actual breakdowns about the finished product front-back, regardless of it being gonzo, feature, etc...

there's not many people left making porno that are pornographers anymore... glad my perv instincts are still making a filthy impact on what I shoot.. ;) lates, von S.

p.s.; your verdict on Veruca is spot on... tattoos or no, she's a fantastic addition to the talent pool and is an all-time fave of this ol'Pig... -T.vS.

Veruca James

165 Posts
Posted - Jun 9 2014 : 1:24PM
Thank you Astro!!!! I appreciate all the love and support the ADT members have always shown me. I continue to be booked with new directors and studios and 2014 has been very good to me so far! I'm not going anywhere anytime soon!!

xo V


218 Posts
Posted - Jun 9 2014 : 7:03PM
Thank you! I love directing and work VERY hard at creating the best features I can. I pour my heart and soul into writing and directing…I'm glad someone noticed ;)

Tastes so good...
12354 Posts
Posted - Jun 11 2014 : 11:26PM
I'll admit that Veruca is so unsung that she even slipped my mind at first. During a chat with Captain Jack about some of the awards shows this year he mentioned her and she immediately went on my short list of nominations for the category after I realized how solid she's been and how even I'd been overlooking her some...

Dammit!!!! I just realized I forgot to add the category of "Best Porn Person To Have A Beer With" that I was going to add this year! There was also some consideration for "Best Porn Person To Smoke a Blunt With"...

“No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session” - Mark Twain

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