Sunday, September 30, 2007

Foreign Charm

The charm and novelty of a face from a different country is sometimes underestimated. When you look, though, at the offerings of Playmates across the globe, you'll find right away that beauty comes in all sorts of different styles. In my mind, the fun of Playboy is the fact that you never see the same face twice. But recently, and in the past few years, you might not see the same girl twice, but you might see girls who look exactly the same as each other. It sometimes feels like Americans have created a blueprint, and that's what they want to see day after day, week after week.

Foreign Playmates can change that monotony. I just wish some of these girls would come to the USA to show the folks here that Americans love girls from eastern Europe and South America just as much, if not even more, than their North American counterparts.

Take Tina Kovacevic of Serbia, for example. She's a refreshing, smooth starter for anyone new to European Playmates. Her look isn't overpoweringly unfamiliar, but it's still unique and exotic enough to get someone excited about that freshness. Her sexuality is immediately noticeable, and she goes on to show off her assets in a full-on shot. Tina is skinny and large-breasted at the same time, and her jet black hair isn't very commonplace for a light-skinned girl in the USA. Look down, and you even see something between her legs that you don't see here anymore. Kind of refreshing, huh?

The pictorial now takes a more artistic feel, since one thing that characterizes European pictorials is a touch of artsy processing. It makes each pictorial unique, but sometimes also makes the girls feel more idolized and less natural. The first shot is gorgeous, and has an uncanny way of really putting some light on Tina's body and making her skin look flawless. She stumbles a little with some slouched shots like this one. You know I can't stand bad posture and form, although lots of photographers feel like it brings out a familiar humanness in the models. I'll pass on that. Miss Kovacevic continues with sexy full nude shots like this pose, and this black and white teaser. She tops it all off with a full wide-angle shot in a familiar setting, showing her nice posing posture and beautiful eyes.

Tina is a great example of how foreign Playmates can make their mark on American audiences by bringing a unique mark. I think she'd be a fantastic import... (Giuliana Marino or Janine Habeck anyone?)

Consensus... B+

Tina Kovacevic
International Playmate Pictorial

An even more exotic and interesting face is that of Romanian model Andra Chiorascu. What's special about Andra is that she's very petite and a pretty small package. Not to mention that she captures the scene and she's completely beautiful. Right away, you see her gorgeous face and unique hair laid out for you. Her innocence carries through the pictorial, but it's tinged with sexuality, where she lets the audience have a dose of her ability to completely take the focus of the pictorial and deliver. Andra's little package is accentuated with great passion and her lovely eyes. I mean, look at her eyes and tell me they're not perfect. Her youth and innocence really shows in this photo, which looks really natural and cute at once.

Andra's presence is ultimately something that lots of girls have lacked here in the States for quite some time. Her engaging ability should inspire some girls of the same lineage, who are able to capture a scene without necessarily having DD breasts, to come forth and join the ranks.

Consensus... B

Andra Chiorascu
International Playmate Pictorial

If you want to take exotic to the next level, you have Katcha Novak, Miss November 2006 in the Czech Republic. Katcha is nothing like you'd see in American girls... she's alluring, refined, mysterious, and completely unique. She has a glow to her, with her interesting hair and bronzed sexiness, that can't be compared.

Katcha's fantastic butt is really her main asset when it comes to body alone. But what you'll notice is that she's different. Her hair is short, her face has noticeable cheekbones, and her eyes are small and engaging. The truth is, Katcha doesn't have to show off her nude body to show that she's an awesome Playmate. All it takes is a look. Nobody can deny that Katcha's stare wouldn't make them melt. She's something that's different. Check out Pic 08, which really caught my attention with the way she poses herself to accentuate that stare of hers. Brilliant.

After Katcha pulls back her hair, she's already pretty different. Her body immediately takes centerstage, since her hair removes the volume of her face and the centerpiece of the previous pictures. She looks like a completely different girl, and her breasts don't do her justice. But when she flashes that look, it's classic Katcha all over again. Indeed, Katcha's got a classic zeal to her, like the great pin-ups of the 40's and 50's.

Katcha is what dreams are made of. Exotic dreams where the sex partner is saucy and kinky, and out-of-this-world. Her fantasy looks and movie star curves are something I'd love to see a lot more of. In fact, Playboy, bring Tina, Andra, and Katcha ALL to America! There's my two cents.

Consensus... A-

Katcha Kovak
International Playmate Pictorial

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cyber Girl Report

With the recent downturn in quality Cyber Girls of the Month, I've been feeling particularly dejected about the quality of recent Playboy girls. I mean, we haven't had a truly superb CGOM since January (which was, by the way, one of the greatest Cyber Girls in recent history, Kortnie O'Connor). Since then we've just had too many flops, like the overdone Nancy Erminia, the cute-but-inconsistent Ashlee Jae, the extremely bland Samantha Harris, forgettable Jillian Beyor, overplayed Jennifer Hurt, small-breasted Marie Francis, and awkward Patrycja Mikula. Not to mention that the current CGOM, Stephanie Olson, is a complete disaster.

Stephanie's body is tatooed, gritty, and nothing short of unattractive. It's too skinny, oddly proportioned, and her face is completely undynamic. She doesn't change facial expressions throughout many of her pictorials, and she barely even shows any distinction between her pictorials, anyway.

It gets worse if you look at Stephanie's hair. It's completely overprocessed, showing a platinum look that's dated and completely unnatural. It makes her look like a robot or Barbie doll, completely defeating the trend that Playboy has established with Playmates of late.

I know you're going for a hard approach with more mixed girls and a more edgier look, Playboy, but come on. Stephanie isn't suited for any role of Cyber Girl, especially after the superb ladies we've seen as CGOM in years past. There is hope, and that hope lies in the new CGOW's that are emerging lately. But on this one, I've seen one of the worst Cyber Girls in recent history make it to the next level towards annual greatness.

Consensus... D

Stephanie Olson
Cyber Girl of the Month pictorials
September 2007

As I've been meaning to discuss for quite some time now, the Cyber Girls of the Week have recently become something to take notice of. In the past, I didn't even see great CGOM's with quality weekly pictorials before their ascent. But now, new girls are coming out every week that are top-notch... some maybe even Playmate material. But let's not jump the gun. Let's take a look at this month's awesome lineup.

This month has been very enticing for Cyber Girls of the Week. Lots of fresh faces and potential stars are on the rise, starting with Week 1 and Angi Mari Yangas. Angi is sexy and fresh, but brings a touch of mature sexuality to the table. Her body is awesome, not to mention her sexy stare. It was certainly a refreshing change to see a more mature, put together girl in a weekly pictorial.

September continued with Week 2's Meghan Allen, a blonde Texas bombshell with plenty of southwestern blue-eyed goodness. Seriously, Meghan is the real deal, and is definitely a future star, from what I've seen. Her presence in front of the camera is breathtaking, as she does it here, and again, and repeatedly shows off her gorgeous face and awesome posing technique. Her body is stacked, hard, raw, and picturesque. Her backside shots were some of the best I've ever seen for a CGOW pictorial, and I can only imagine what she'd bring to the table for a monthly issue.

Week 3 brought Francessca DeMarco, who came in with her cute little babydoll, waiting to impress. Francessca is charming and alluring, with a beautiful smile always complementing that rock-hard body. Hell, even when she isn't smiling, she's got the camera's attention with her undeniable beauty. She's an example of what sets September's class apart from CGOW classes of the past: the sheer ability to speak to the camera with their bodies and to capture a scene without much effort. Fran is natural and gorgeous towards the end, and I wouldn't mind one bit if she was CGOM, either. Just look at her, she's so youthful and has lots of potential.

All in all, it's been a good month, and the hits just keep on coming. July was also an excellent month for Cyber Girls, as Mary Karola and Jessica Jones stole the show with their great posing skills and beauty. It's only a matter of time before CGOM's are picked from these exciting classes, where we'll see a real influx of awesome pictorials and tons more to go over!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Playmates of the Fall

The year has been good to fans so far, wouldn't you agree? With tons of Playmates that have a unique vibe and an uncanny sense of beauty (Jayde Nicole, Heather Smith, Tyran Richard, Shannon James, Brittany Binger, Tamara Sky), there are already a plethora of girls to choose a PMOY from.

But the year still has four Playmates left, and Playboy has a knack of saving the best for last. The Fall and Winter seasons bring about the most exotic of girls, since each girl matches up with a season according to her image, overall. So what's Playboy got in store for September?

Patrice Hollis is a black beauty with a great image of her own, separating her from black Playmates of the past. Unlike Neferteri Shepherd and Nicole Narain, Patrice has a simpler look with a fuller, more voluptuous figure and large, natural breasts. Throughout her pictorial, her domesticated look and exotic, mature presence make for an interesting change.

The pictorial begins with a photo that sums up Patrice's essence. She's relaxed and sexy, and you can immediately see that she's got some unique breasts, because of the fact that they're actually real. Patrice's football segment falls flat with a weak makeup job and poor posing.

Indeed, if there's something that prevents Miss Hollis from being a better Playmate than she comes off as being, it's her off-and-on posing. Her face just doesn't look right in lots of different shots, and her body isn't always in the perfect spot for a good shot. In Pic 09, Patrice looks beautiful, sprawled out upon the bed and looking like her body was made for that sort of profile. Pic 12 also is a hit, with Patrice's great behind and amazing smile (I almost wish she smiled more often!) stealing the show. But when you take a look at the previous picture (pic 11), you wonder what happened. The photographer caught Patrice off-guard with an awkward shot across a chair, with her nostrils flared and just off-center quite a bit.

Okay, so she's no Neferteri, but Patrice has some bright spots, albeit being a mostly mediocre poser. This photo looks great, with simplicity often being her best bet. When Patrice gets back on the bed, she looks superb, with photos like this showing off her wilder side. That's the kind of action photo that she can pull off, but nothing too exotic. She slips here, with her face again being a hindrance to the photo, but recovers with a fantastic finish, showing off her sensuality by working that ass, and stripping down completely for an awesome last shot, showing off the number of curves on her golden brown body.

To sum it up, Patrice is beautiful, but often way too inconsistent for any kind of real recognition. She's obviously a part of Playboy's campaign to put a unique touch to all the girls they choose this year, but ultimately an unfortunate miss.

Consensus... B-

Patrice Hollis
Playmate of the Month Pictorial
September 2007

Another new pictorial is a preview of Miss October, Spencer Scott. She looks to be a very generic looking girl... a cute blonde with a nice smile and smooth skin. But it seems like she's got a problem with posing: she just doesn't do it! She stands in one place for almost the entire pictorial, with no dynamic movement until the end.

Spencer starts the pictorial with a strange photo theme. The schoolteacher look just isn't suited very well to Spencer.. either that or the outfit just sucks. And Spencer's awkward smile and voluptuousness doesn't help, either. It just doesn't flow, but don't worry, it gets better. Spencer continues to look awkward, but starts to strip things off. Her breasts are wonderful, and her full smile makes her look especially bright. Spencer is a pretty girl, but even when she's completely nude, you wonder what it would be like if she was a bit slimmer so that her curves would be more... well... curvy.

It's interesting towards the end, rewarding those who stuck around for the finale. As soon as Spencer turns around, her sexy butt takes centerstage. It's smooth, shiny, and perfectly flows with her long legs. She just looks really great from behind... far better than her front. Look again, and Spencer flashes a cute stare as her skirt can barely contain her am
azing ass. The last pic is promising, maybe showing some doggy-style poses that Spencer is appropriate for in her main portfolio entry.

All in all, Spencer looks disappointing, but I always reserve judgment after a preview pictorial. It just doesn't represent girls well most of the time. Spencer is obviously very beautiful, and I'm sure her curves will be "better exposed" later in the month. We'll just wait and see.

Oh, and as for reserving judgment...

Consensus... C+

Spencer Scott
Miss October 2007
Playmate Preview Pictorial

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Girls Club

One of Playboy's timeless traditions is the inclusion of girl-on-girl pictorials. They've acknowledged this with their "Girl on Girl" pictorials, which have largely been uninspired and classless, especially when compared with the great girls only pictorials of all-time.

When you analyze and leaf through a pictorial with two girls, you look at completely different things... you look for interaction, and it brings out a sexuality that can't be achieved between a single girl and a camera alone. It goes a lot deeper than that.

So deprived of many new quality girl-on-girl issues lately, I came across a new entry in the Girls With Girls section... "Pictorial #7," featuring beauties Charlie Laine and Nadia Styles.

Let me just say... these two girls are fantastic. They contrast each other extremely well, and are very saucy and incredibly gorgeous from head to toe. They also have impeccable chemistry, as you'll see as you leaf through the pictorial yourself.

First thing that hit me was Pic #3, where Charlie's hair looks voluminous and gorgeous, and Nadia complements her with her brunette charm. Both girls look exotic, since Charlie's face is unique and beautiful. The next photo is perfect, with hand contact in all the right places. The girls perfectly contrast with each other, and the result is one that completely sizzles throughout.

By Photo #8, things are in full swing. The traditional "near-kiss" shot tantalizes. Both girls' parted mouths and nude curves mesh perfectly, with natural lighting falling on their bodies and creating the perfect scene.

The next series of photos goes into another phase of the girl-on-girl pictorial: the mutual pleasuring, or at least the simulation of pleasure. The girls stimulate each other and get their acting skills in line. The first photo kicks off with Nadia lightly touching her mate's breasts and flashing her sexy eyes in an inquisitive stare. The moments continue, with Nadia in a submissive position, where her awesome butt is a center of attention. Pic 11 is an interesting twist (pun intended), with playful Charlie pulling on Nadia's sexy nipple. Charlie's face is luscious in that photo... I'd love to see her as a Playmate sometime.

The hits keep on coming in the fast paced pictorial, with Pic 13 as another submissive role played by Nadia. Nadia's role in the pictorial is well adhered to, as she's the one who's being toyed with, and in this photo, it looks like it's setting up for some surefire pleasure. It continues to the next photo, where the girls make eye contact and touch hands in a super sexy moment. Photographer Mizuno does a great job of capturing the emotion in these photos, making it look like these girls really are falling for each other. The pictorial finally finishes with making contact with the audience.

The pictorial was very well-done and simple, and the two girls were excellent for each other. They touched and felt in all the right ways, and the result was very engaging. It was a pictorial that's definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of dual-girl photo shoots. I just can't wait to see if either of these Playboy TV stars one day show up on centerfolds. *Crossing my fingers*

Consensus... A-

Girls With Girls #07
Charlie Laine and Nadia Styles

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Return of a Classic

Back in 1995, Rhonda Adams was a woman who painted a picture of what Playmates were supposed to look like for years to come. She had a fresh, modern look, more advanced posing technique, and better photographic qualities for the later half of the 90's. Rhonda's influence extends into the 2000's, where many Playmates still replicate her style today.

If you disagree, just think about it. Before Rhonda, the only other Playmate to bring a more edgy style into the forefront was Elisa Bridges, who would hardly be comparable to many girls we see today. After Rhonda, we saw Alicia Rickter, Gillian Bonner, and several other revolutionary Playmates take it a step further. But it was still Rhonda's appeal and maturity that took centerstage in the transformation.

A new serving of Miss Adams just hit the Cyber Club. Her test shots, which sparked these winds of change, have been released.

The pictorial is fresh and sexy, as for usual Rhonda fare. Let's just say that her body looks as sharp as ever. Rhonda's main point, as I've observed of her over time being a fan, is that she exudes youth physically, but she has an uncanny aura of maturity. Rhonda was only in her early 20s when she started posing, but when she got dressed up, she looked like a finely aged queen of sexuality. This photo, for example, pits Rhonda in her natural environment... sensible and perfectly proportioned. Rhonda never went overboard, and always did just enough in her photos to come out gorgeously.

With all of her grown-up sensibilities, she still looks ravishing when she's playful. Here, for instance, she's still in her element. Pic 12 is a classic shot of Miss Adams, reminiscent of her great pictorial moments. She's at her best when her curves are out, but she's not making a scene of it. It's not overt, but completely sexy nonetheless. That's what made her a revolutionary... her balance. An angel at work, that's all. I thought this photo was a good touch for the end of the pictorial, showing off Rhonda's cheer and charm in one shot.

All in all, Rhonda's new pictorial follows the trend of what she was best known for... simplicity and sex appeal, wrapped in one neat package. Although she's a girl who can be summed up in a finite number of words, that's what made her so unique, in the first place.

Consensus... B

Rhonda Adams
Miss June 1995
Playmate Test Shots