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Case Number 02368: Small Claims Court

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Say Nothing

Artisan // 2001 // 94 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Dan Mancini (Retired) // November 8th, 2002

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All Rise...

The Charge

Being unfaithful can be deadly…

The Case

Former model Grace Needham (Nastassja Kinski) is sexually frustrated and emotionally drained from sparring with her unemployed, heavy-drinking, lay-about husband Matt (Hart Bochner), so she hops off to Miami Beach and has a one-night stand with Julian Banks (William Baldwin). Wouldn't you know it, by the time Grace arrives home, hubby has landed himself a high-paying job, is drinking nothing stronger than mineral water, and wants only to engage in tender, selfless sex with his wife. Trouble's brewing, though, as Grace soon learns her one-time fling is the CEO of the company that hired hubby, and that it may be no accident Matt's job woes ended just about the time she was bumpin' Baldwin. Yep, you guessed it, old Julian is a megalomaniacal psychopath who will stop at nothing to possess Grace. I'll leave the mayhem that follows to your imagination.

If I told you Say Nothing premiered on Skinemax…excuse me, Cinemax…would that give you an idea about the caliber of film we're dealing with here? It has all the hallmarks of a crappy low-budget erotic thriller: predictable plot; characters who exist in one of two economic strata: rich and richer (and all live in sprawling modern mansions that probably belong to film's producers and financial backers because, damn it, it's a great way to save money on the production!); characters who fit one of two physical types: good-looking and more good-looking; a tense and suspenseful score performed by the composer on some cheesy Casio synthesizer; and the all-important brief music video-type moments in which dramatic and/or sexy stuff happens in slow motion.

Even if you're into this sort of thing, Say Nothing is an erotic thriller that is neither erotic nor thrilling. There just isn't enough nudity in this flick. I found it odd writing that sentence as I'm not fond of gratuitous content in movies, but isn't that the point in this case? I always thought the erotic thriller existed to meet the need of the guy who wants to watch soft-core porn while convincing himself he's watching something Hitchcockesque. Maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, there is a Grace Needham shower scene in this stinker, but it's so obvious a body double has taken Kinski's place it brings to mind the diner fight in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.

On the plus side, if you've ever wanted to see one of the Baldwin brothers beaten with a baseball bat, you'll want to run out and buy this disc immediately…the wait is over!

So, let's talk DVD. Say Nothing was pretty obviously shot on video and the transfer is fairly strong considering. Colors are vibrant, blacks are deep, and there's little noticeable video artifacts. True, it's not as sumptuous as would be if it were shot on film, but considering the source, it ain't bad. The 5.1 surround track might as well be 2.0 stereo. Use of surrounds is almost non-existent, but the front soundstage is perfectly rendered, clear, and fairly dynamic. Other than some static production notes and a red-bar trailer, there are no extras.

Well, let's try to end this thing on a high note. As bad as this movie is, it could've been far worse. At least Say Nothing isn't a low-budget sequel to Cameron Crowe's brilliant romantic comedy Say Anything, with Baldwin and Kinski stepping into the roles of Lloyd Dobler and Diane Court. Now that would be a crime against humanity.

This court is in recess.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 62

Perp Profile

Studio: Artisan
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (French)
• Spanish
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• Cast Biographies
• Crew Biographies
• Production Notes
• Trailer


• IMDb

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