Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 21, 2004)
A staple of the Playboy home video releases, their Video Playmate Calendars offer a simple but satisfying presentation. Here we get the latest iteration, the 2005 Video Playmate Calendar. As the title implies, we get 12 different vignettes, one per Playmate. Here’s how they break down:
Stephanie Glasson (Miss July 2004): Stephanie appears in two segments. For the first, she romps around a beach setting, while the second show her as she stomps through various dark urban abodes. Neither shows much creativity, as she does little more than pose for the camera.
At 28, Stephanie is a little older than the average Playmate, and she seems a bit tougher-looking as well with her angular face and moderately muscular body. Unfortunately, these factors make her breast implants stand out in a rather obvious way that detracts from her other charms. Still, she’s a sexy woman, and this segment is acceptably entertaining.
Sandra Hubby (Miss March 2004): Sandra’s first segment alternates between shots of her as she plays in fall foliage and some interiors where she tries on lingerie and toys with a bowl of water. The second maintains a storyline, as she reads from a letter to an absent and desired lover and strips while she fantasizes about him. The first works fine, as its playfulness makes it enjoyable, but the forced storyline - and stilted line readings - of the second create a silly feature.
In some ways, Sandra looks like Stephanie, but she’s a softer version of Glasson. Her implants blend more naturally with her softer body, and she also smiles more, which allows her to seem more natural. She’s not a great Playmate, but she’s lovely.
Divini Rae (Miss November 2003): For her first piece, Divini wanders through an outback setting. After that, she heads into a sauna, where we examine her body as the DVD’s producers oddly choose to flash the names of body parts as we see them. The outback part’s decent, but the sauna scene’s too goofy to work, as it focuses too heavily on short close-ups of body parts.
Unquestionably the least interesting of Playmate yet seen in this program, Divini displays the worst-looking implants of the three. These sit so far apart on her chest that they distract from her other charms. Actually, she doesn’t do a ton for me otherwise, as she’s attractive but not exemplary.
Krista Kelly (Miss April 2004): The Canadian Krista starts with poses in outfits and situations that highlight her heritage. The second segment shows Krista as a Peeping Tom watches her strut nude in a mansion. Neither scenario goes much of anywhere, but Krista’s provocative posing in the second one makes it pretty good.
Are we ever going to get a Playmate without implants? At least Krista’s succeed better than Divini’s; they’re modest and fit her body fairly well. Krista’s also sexier, as her face displays something of a wicked look that makes her less “cookie-cutter” than many.
Luci Victoria (Miss September 2003): In her first scenario, the British Luci goes for a sexy picnic. The second shows her as she tries on outfits prior to a date. These are pretty standard set-ups, but Luci’s easy sensuality makes them feel fresh.
Yeah, Luci’s another Playmate with implants, but her body’s soft enough to allow them to mesh well. She’s also got a slight quirkiness to her face that makes her memorable and not just another standard blonde. She’s a winner.
Colleen Marie (Miss August 2003): An odd scenario, the first piece shows Colleen as she poses amidst all sorts of grapefruit, many of which have been cut open. I guess there’s some sexual metaphor there, but it’s still weird. More straightforward, the second clip lets us watch Colleen strip in bed in the usual provocative manner. The first is too strange to succeed, but the second better shows off Colleen’s beauty and works pretty well.
Miracle of miracles - an unenhanced Playmate! Actually, we’ll do well in that regard as the program continues, as all the rest of the women lack the dreaded implants. It’s a relief to finally get a natural model, and Colleen’s a good one. Playmates were always touted as the “Girl Next Door”, but Colleen’s one of the few who actually looks like a fairly real woman. (Though most regular women don’t have pierced vaginas, I suppose.)
Tailor James (Miss June 2003): Another weird choice, the first clip displays Tailor as she models nude in front of a painted sunflower backdrop; we then see it moved multiple times to reveal the real setting. I guess it’s supposed to fool us, but it doesn’t, and it’s an ineffective scenario. The second one puts a disheveled Tailor in a telephone booth. She gets a call that apparently turns her on, for she strips and fondles herself. It’s a little too artsy for its own good but it manages some sexy moments.
I know Tailor’s a fan favorite, but I can’t claim to like her a lot. Of course, she’s very pretty, but she smacks me as too much of a generic blonde. She’s generally lovely but not a standout Playmate.
Hiroshi Oshima (Miss June 2004): Hiroshi poses with a Popsicle, a big inflatable ball, and other wacky items in the colorful opening segment. The second inevitably puts her in a vaguely Asian setting. She lightly touches herself amidst falling cherry blossoms. Hiroshi looks great but both scenarios seem dull.
The first Japanese Playmate, Hiroshi makes us hope for more. Of course, I don’t think too many of her country mates are quite so stacked. She has a stunning, virtually flawless body and a very cute face; her smile lights up her segment.
Audra Lynn (Miss October 2003): Midwestern Audra poses on a farm for the first clip, which shows her in and out of chaps among other outfits. The second puts her in a funky photographer’s studio setting where she showers. The farm piece is dull, but the shower clip offers some sexy imagery.
Probably the least attractive of the Calendar’s models - at least in terms of face - I don’t care much for Audra. However, her body helps compensate to some degree. She pales in comparison with the audacious Hiroshi, though, and she’s a pretty ordinary Playmate. Even with the natural breasts, she’s likely my least favorite of this DVD’s bunch.
Pilar Lastra (Miss August 2004): From the Lone Star state, Pilar’s first clip shows her on a street and also in a bathroom as she brushes her teeth. The second one places her in a bedroom that sits on a beach, as she fantasizes about the lover with whom she spent the prior evening. Neither piece offers much imagination, but the naturally sexy Pilar makes them winning anyway.
I love Latin women, and Pilar is an absolutely amazing example of one. A true natural beauty, she has a wonderful smile and bracing sensuality. She’s unquestionably the best Playmate in this collection.
Nicole Whitehead (Miss May 2004): In the first clip, Nicole spins around a purple backdrop with a vaguely science-fiction feel to it. The subsequent clip casts her as a commuter plane pilot of all things; apparently she misses some dude, as she strips in her office while she thinks of him. The first segment’s ineffective, while the second works a bit better.
Think of Tara Reid and you’ll have an idea of Nicole’s look. I don’t normally go for models with that image, but I’ve always liked Nicole. Unfortunately, she sports too much makeup in her videos. She’s got a nice casual loveliness that the makeup slightly negates.
Carmella DeCesare (Miss April 2003/Playmate of the Year 2004): For the opening piece, a couple college-aged guys spy Carmella as she does laundry by hand and watch her take an open-air bath. In the second one, Carmella catches a cab ride with a hunky stranger. We then see two separate fantasies that result from this encounter. The bath scene’s very good, but the bits with the cab rider don’t go much of anywhere.
For Playboy fans, it’s an annual sport to decry the choice of Playmate of the Year. However, very few complaints greeted to selection of popular Carmella. Personally, I’d have preferred Marketa Janska, but the day I complain about an unenhanced Latin woman as PMOY will be a cold day in hell. I’ve always thought I should like Carmella more than I do, but she remains quite gorgeous and sexy. (I never noticed how much she looks like Posh Spice, however.)
Historical gaffe: at the start of her piece, Carmella states that it’s an honor to be named PMOY because “there’s only been 50 of them”. Actually, she’s the 45th PMOY; the magazine didn’t start that concept until 1960 with December 1959’s Ellen Stratton.
Inevitably, the Video Playmate Calendars are hit or miss affairs. They lack a unifying theme like many Playboy collections and act mainly as a catch-all for video centerfold clips. The Calendars can be good or mediocre.
This one’s not extraordinary, but it’s better than most. Part of that stems from the high quality of most of its Playmates. Only a few minor disappointments appear. The set lacks too many real standouts, but the caliber of model is generally very good. Ultimately, I think this is a solid release.