September 18, 2013

Review: With this Ring

Here comes the ... drama! 

With this Ring has always been one of my favorite Xander films. It was one of the first scenes I saw him in, and I'm not going to lie, the goatee and curls are easily my favorite look on him. So, when it came time to decide which of his films I wanted to take on the task of watching and reviewing, this was the first one that came to mind. (Like it's ever a task to watch this man work.... ;))

With this Ring is what I like to call PWP - Porn With Plot. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my favorite kind of porn. Don't get me wrong, I like watching senseless, hard fucking from time to time, but when it comes down to it, I'm a writer and a former film student, so I like what I watch to have a tangible plot line for me to follow along with. I'm also a sucker for romance in general, so the New Sensations Romance series is pretty much heaven on a DVD for my fluffy little heart.  

Xander in a suit + goatee + curls = yes, please!
As one might expect, engagement, marriage, and the works are a key part of the plot in With this Ring. When the film opens, Alice (Katie Jordin) is searching for her spare car keys when she stumbles upon what looks like an engagement ring. While her other roommates Bailey and Kayla (Jessie Andrews and Marie McCray) are busy speculating over who the ring is for, Alice keeps her cool and suggests they put the ring back and let the topic rest. Girls don't just let something like that go, however, and the quest to figure out who planted the ring is on. 

The ladies find the ring! Dun, dun, dun.....

Kayla goes to her boyfriend immediately. Convinced she's the one getting proposed to, she wakes him from a slumber and spouts off a made up story about her cousin getting engaged. His reaction is less than desirable, and when he asks "Is that the only reason you woke me?", she gives him a bit of incentive to rise and shine (see what I did there? Lol!).

Marie McCray and Giovanni Francesco

Enter Stephanie (Bobbi Starr), the one in the group who likes to stir up a little drama. Bailey made a promise to Alice that she wouldn't spill the beans about the ring to Stephanie, but unfortunately she does just that. Stephanie's reaction to the news is over-the-top (and portrayed very well by Bobbi), and she immediately gets to work concocting a myriad of schemes to determine which man in the house is responsible for the mysterious ring.

I must say, Stephanie is easily my least favorite character in this entire feature. She's loud, she's obnoxious, she's ditzy, and she just gets under my skin. There were multiple points in time when I wanted to reach through my computer screen and slap her. To me, this is a testament to Mona Sunoy's writing abilities and Bobbi Starr's acting abilities. Mona crafted a character who the audience can love to hate, and Bobbi breathed the perfect amount of life into that character with her performance. Any time a film or a character can draw strong emotions (good or bad) from me I know those behind it have done a good job, and Stephanie certainly drew out some emotions!

Bailey (Jessie Andrews), who is into new age everything, then decides it's her turn to determine if the ring is going on her finger, and concocts a "devotion potion" that will make her boyfriend Jack (Richie Calhoun) propose to her. This scene made me giggle quite a bit, as she searches for odd ingredients such as "Horny Goat Weed." As Bailey tries to convince Jack that marriage is in the near future, he tries to get her to see that waiting would be smart, especially for their finances. Unfortunately for Bailey marriage is not in the cards, and even her devotion potion can't get Jack to step off of his logic-based pedestal.

The sex scene that followed with these two is my second favorite from the film (next to Xander's scene, of course!). It was so hot watching him go down on her and seeing her toes curled and feet braced against his shoulders, and hearing her cry out when he made her come. And Richie was very much into what he was doing, which only made the scene more arousing.

Jessie Andrews and Richie Calhoun

Jessie Andrews and Richie Calhoun

There was no gentleness in this scene, as is evident by the layer of sweat coating the performers' skin. These two fucked, and they fucked good. But, there was still passion between them, and it was palpable throughout the scene. Jessie and Richie had a chemistry that I've only witnessed with a few pairs of performers, but it's the type of chemistry I crave when watching these films, because it makes the whole shebang all the more realistic to me. Some couples look like they're fucking just to fuck on camera, which they obviously are at the end of the day, but these two put their energy into making the scene a good one. I must also say this was the first scene I've seen Richie in, and, well ... Richie, you have a new fangirl here. Hehe.

I was admittedly surprised to see a performer (and a younger one at that) with an unwaxed pussy in this film. Obviously they still exist in the world, but it seems like everyone likes to go bare or with a landing strip these days. Perhaps I can add that to the list of things I love about New Sensations: they aren't afraid to go old school in their features.

Unfortunately for Jack, the devotion potion gives him a never-ending hard on, which he tries his best to conceal the next morning. The expression on Chaz's face when his permanently erect friend gets in the car is priceless.

Dude, what's with the hard on?

As the story progresses, we find out the guys have some sort of pact (about what exactly is never revealed), and that the girls' behavior is freaking them all out. Chaz is the voice of reason to an extent, but is goofy of course, and Xander plays the role perfectly (which comes as no surprise given what I see in his Twitter feed and on his Vine). My favorite moment of this scene happens to be when our main man attempts to balance a beer bottle on his forehead...

Xander Corvus

Did I mention that in addition to porn with plot and romance, I also enjoy productions that have comedic value? With this Ring has plenty of comedic value, from Stephanie's continuously ridiculous reactions to the mens' behaviors, to the oddball shit the different characters do (alone and to one another) throughout the film.

Eventually the girls decide to confront the guys via conference call. They discover that their boyfriends are with Max (Michael Vegas), who seems to be Stephanie's ex lover. An argument breaks out between Stephanie and Max, during which time Max busts out my favorite line in the entire film: "Still fucking power tools and vegetables?" (LMAO ..... Some serious giggle-snort action takes place whenever I even think of that damn line.)

Chaz and Alice have a semi-serious mini-convo about marriage after he gets his phone back. Much to my surprise, when Chaz asks Alice how she feels about marrying him, her response is, "I don't know." I guess of all the couples in the film I for some reason pegged these two as being the strongest. Perhaps that stems from Alice's calm nature when the rest of the girls are freaking the fuck out over the presence of the ring in their house. In any case, Chaz looks sad and Alice looks confused when the scene comes to an end.

Next we flashback to a scene of Stephanie and Max fucking in college. I guess now is as good a time as ever for me to fess up to the fact that this was also the first Michael Vegas scene I'd ever had the pleasure of viewing. The scene is fast-paced, and low and behold we find yet another actress with a natural landscape down below.

In all honesty, I was a little disappointed with Bobbi Starr's performance in this scene. I just didn't see her getting into the scene as much as the other female talent in the film did. I noticed more bland looks and seemingly forced reactions from her in comparison to the other girls. Now, I see this kind of stuff quite frequently in films, so I'm not by any means trying to judge Bobbi's acting abilities, because as I said before, she did a bang up job of playing Stephanie. I guess I was just expecting a little more from her in the bed given what I'd seen of her previously in the film.

My favorite part of this scene? The tongue action we get to see during foreplay...

Bobbi Starr and Michael Vegas

I'll confess, I love making out just about as much as I love sex. And Michael Vegas certainly looks like he excels in this department. The tongue play in this particular portion of the scene turned me on a little .... Okay, it turned me on a LOT actually. Furthermore, there wasn't a lot of spit, which made it even more hot for me. I'm not a fan of spitting all over everything and everyone, and it made me happy to see New Sensations keep that out of this particular film, especially since it's a romance film and not a fetish or hardcore fucking feature.

Bobbi Starr and Michael Vegas

I've never seen a couple get each other off in this position before. It takes some skill, but it's also something that those of us who aren't limber as a gymnast or familiar with every page of the Kama Sutra could pull off. ;)

Bobbi Starr and Michael Vegas

The scene goes on and the fucking stays hard and, well, fun. That's the one thing I will say about these two, they kept things very lighthearted during this scene, and there was actually laughter dispersed throughout it, at the right places of course. It seemed to me to be an indicator of how their relationship at that time was carefree and lighthearted. Then the scene ends .... and we get a glimpse of why Stephanie thinks Max is an asshole. (Of course, I think that she kind of brought the crazy behavior on herself, but hey, that's just my opinion.) Stephanie also shows her crazy, which I expected. Of course the more I think about it now, the more I realize how perfect those two characters truly were for one another. Crazy #1 and Crazy #2 ... they could commandeer the crazy train of into the sunset together and I don't think any of us would be disappointed to see them go.

The next morning, Alice comes looking for Chaz, only to find out he's gone home ... Where he confronts Stephanie about her involvement with the ring scandal. Now, up until this point I was kind of convinced that Chaz was the one who had purchased the ring, since he was the only one who seemed to be thinking about marriage and had the balls to ask Alice about it on the phone. Low and behold (SPOILERS AHEAD, FRIENDS!!) we find out that Stephanie was the one who planted the ring!

Xander Corvus

Fucking Xander is always so god damn attractive. The smile, the beanie, the eyes ... *fans self* What I love most about watching Xander in PWPs is getting a glimpse of his mainstream acting skills. We all know he's incredible at what he does, but he's also incredible at getting into character and playing a variety of different roles (which would explain why he's one of the most sought after male talent in the industry nowadays). I know I'm not the only fangirl out there who says this, but I would love to see him in a mainstream film at some point in time. Who knows - perhaps our wishes will be Hollywood's command one day? ;)

Chaz figures Stephanie's shit out pretty quickly, and he's not happy, to say the least. Once everyone is together, he calls Stephanie out. This is another thing I love about Xander - his ability to go from surprised to happy to pissed off in a matter of seconds in a scene. And he does this fluidly, without seeming forced or awkward like some actors make things. As the scene progresses, Stephanie fesses up to her actions, and we see a flashback of her planting the ring on the day everyone moved into the house.

Xander Corvus

Seriously ladies (and gents, cause I know there are a few of you who frequent our site), the man can make flannel and a baseball cap look amazing. And... gotta love the necklace. Another quality I admire about Xander - he is who he is and he doesn't give a fuck who knows. Now, I can't resist tossing in one last screen cap of Richie from the flashback too while I'm at it... Hehe...

Richie Calhoun
The story is winding down at this point, and eventually Stephanie kindly exits stage left after giving everyone a half-assed apology. Everyone in the house seems fairly baffled, the other guys are shaken up, but Chaz is calm as can be. In fact, he starts what I assumed would be a proposal speech for Alice, but then the two agree to take it easy ... At which point in time he still puts the ring on her finger. Which would lead me to believe that taking it easy might mean moving toward an engagement. Xander nailed the mood for this part. Shy, romantic, adorable, but most of all, showing the love his character clearly feels through his body language and expressions.

Xander Corvus and Katie Jordin

The grand finale of this feature is a passion-filled scene between Chaz and Alice. Now, as most Xander fans know, kissing is a must in a Corvus scene. The man never disappoints in this area, and in With this Ring, Chaz and Alice start their sexual adventure with some foreplay that includes a health amount of sensual, sexy kissing.

Xander Corvus and Katie Jordin

Another thing I love about Xander is that he doesn't come off as this "Adnois" (I fucking hate that word, for the record. It should be banned from all vocabulary.) like so many female fans claim to love to see in a male performer. Xander seems like a pretty typical guy. He doesn't have some outrageous six pack washboard set of abs or some stupid spray tan and a wad of gel in his hair. He's a regular dude, doing what he loves for a living, and that to me is more attractive than any ridiculous physical quality you can pump into a performer. I'm probably in the minority for feeling this way, but ... that was one of the first things I noticed about him when I discovered his work. And although he's been spending more time in the gym as of late (as mentioned on his Twitter and visible in his photos), he's still just your average, video game loving, twentysomething dude who stays true to himself and true to who he's always been. If I wanted to watch plastic I would, but that's not what I'm looking for when I seek out male talent.

Now that I've taken a momentary step up onto my soapbox, I'll kindly get off and continue my original train of thought. The sex ... Well, it's hot. It's not rough or rugged, it's slow, it's passionate, and it's sensual, which is exactly what I expected from this production, and these two characters in particular. From the very start it's been clear that Chaz and Alice are in love. The gentleness he shows her in the bedroom is a testament to that love.

Xander Corvus

Xander looks up at Katie a few times when he's going down on her, fixing her with a panty-dropping stare that I've grown to love. Yet another awesome quality of his acting - the emotions he conveys with something so simple as a glance.

Xander gets into all of his scenes, which makes them more of a turn-on for me. There are some features where you can just tell that two people are there to fuck for a paycheck and then head home. With Xander, I never feel that way, because he puts his all into his characters, and his acting, which gives his scenes a very realistic feel. And seeing Katie's toes curl and her stomach muscles clench ... That, my fellow fangirls and boys, is a testament to our Dark Lord's bedroom abilities in my book.

Xander Corvus and Katie Jordin

Xander Corvus and Katie Jordin

Xander Corvus and Katie Jordin

Mah gawd .... I'll probably find myself in need of a cold shower after finishing this. Ha. ;)

This scene is hot. Xander moans, he groans, and he grunts, and frankly, that's something that turns this woman on. There's plenty of male talent that stay silent in scenes, and unfortunately those scenes just don't do the trick for me. Katie is all in on this scene too, adding in just the right amount of vocals to make it apparent that she's not faking it. Of course more curled toes at the end also help prove that point, but .... Those are the things I tend to notice when watching the talent.

Xander's attentiveness is evident in this scene as well. He pays attention to the cues from his female co-stars, whether those are intentional cues or cues coming from her body. And then he changes things up accordingly. He puts and effort into making sure the other performer is pleasured, and judging from Katie's reactions to the different positions, rhythms, and angles in this scene, pleasure is what she found.

This scene contains just a few of my favorite Xander things. I've already mentioned some, but I'm going to mention more. 1 - The forehead press. Holy hell, it's in so many of his scenes, and he does it so god damn well. And when there's an intense stare accompanied by it ... I'm down and out at that point. 2 - The ass. This man has what I call a "come fuck me" ass. NOT meaning fuck me in the ass, but the kind of ass a woman can grab, can dig her heels into, can pull against her when she wants it harder, faster, deeper ... That kind of ass. And I'm not gonna lie, watching him thrust in missionary style is one of my favorite things, because I get a beautiful view of the ass, and then my imagination runs away from me. Hehe. And 3 - The O face. There's something about the expression on his face before the big release. I've seen it in more than one film, and I'm not even sure how to accurately describe it. It's like a combination of ecstasy, aggression, and pain all rolled up into one glorious look. That combined with the way he announces it ... *looks around* Maybe now is a good time to seek out that cold shower...

I was very impressed with this film overall. Then again, given the cast and the production company, the chances of my being disappointed were slim to none. This will stay on record as one of my favorite Corvus scenes, and will definitely keep a position in my top 10 favorite overall productions.

The cast is great, the story is great, and the sex is achingly good. I recommend checking With this Ring out sooner rather than later, as it will not disappoint.

As always, I will be looking for more New Sensations Romance films to watch, and hoping to see Xander appear in a few more of them as well.

On the O-Scale, I'd give this film a rating of 5:

Alice - Katie Jordin
Chaz - Xander Corvus
Kayla - Marie McCray
Xavier - Giovanni Francesco
Bailey - Jessie Andrews
Jack - Richie Calhoun
Stephanie - Bobbi Starr
Max - Michael Vegas

Written by Mona Sunoy
Directed by Eddie Powell

(All images are screen capped from the New Sensation's production With this Ring.)

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