50 Years of Playmates
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A celebration of fifty years of Playboy Magazine's famous centerfolds. The documentary goes into a recap of Playboy's history and a bonus disc features short vignettes of the Playmates of the 80s and 90s.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Over the last fifty years, Playboy's bunny logo and bouncy Playmates have become a trademark recognized worldwide. How exactly could two such seemingly harmless things have such a profound impact on what's happened in western society, for good or for bad, over the last half century? Playboy was at the forefront of the sexual revolution, at the base of countless starlets and pop icons and a publisher of some groundbreaking articles (many of which sadly went unread). In this collection, Playboy recaps fifty years of existence and beautiful women, from the Hugh Hefner's humble beginnings to the pinnacle of an empire.
The feature is quite satisfactory in explaining the major steps of Playboy's evolution and the basis of its philosophy. It pays special attention to the Playmate phenomenon, those stunning women who've appeared on the centerfold, from legends such as Marilyn Monroe to degenerate skanks like Pam Anderson. Unfortunately though, aside from the nudity, it never goes into much more than what we've seen countless times on A&E documentaries and other such examinations of the Playboy empire. A parade of semi-stars such as Kelsey Grammer and Drew Carey tell us about their fond memories of Playboy and their favorite Playmates and we get a flashback to some of Playboy's other side ventures such as the Playboy Penthouse TV show, Playboy After Dark and the many innovations Playboy brought forth such as the use of racially diverse models. The bonus disc is a tad more straightforward as it features each Playmate of the 80s and 90s removing their clothing in little vignettes. No sound is required! Overall, a decent effort because of the subject matter but I hardly see myself watching it again or learning anything new about Playboy from it.
The only real feature to speak of is a set of three Behind-the-Scenes photo shoots with photographers Arny Freytag, Richard Fegley and Pompeo Posar. I think it's safe to say theirs could be considered a "dream job". It's pretty interesting just because of that, but all three are pretty similar. There's also a set of Playmate Data Sheets for all 50 years worth of ladies and Playmate Videographies.
This DVD is interesting and definitely looks good, but I'm not sure I'd really ever sit down and watch it again so I definitely can't recommend a purchase unless you're a playboy vid collector. It's worth a rental, if you're an awkward teenager.