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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents

Bare Witness (2001)

"I don't take my clothes off for a living."- Carly (Angie Everhart)

Stars: Angie Everhart, Daniel Baldwin
Other Stars: Catalina Larranaga, Willie Gault
Director: Kelley Cauthen

MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, some language and violence
Run Time: 01h:19m:22s
Release Date: 2002-04-23
Genre: crime

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Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
D- D-B-C+ D

 

DVD Review

Hmmmm. Let's talk truth in advertising for a moment, shall we? I'm all for gratuitous hyperbole, but the DVD back cover blurb states that Bare Witness "ignites a four-alarm fire of passion, heat and uncontrollable desire" in the "intoxicating world of prostitution and pornography." It also promises "the steamiest love scenes you've ever seen" in the "hottest, sexiest erotic thriller of the year!", starring a former Playboy centerfold. While it does in fact star former gatefold girl Angie Everhart, it should be noted that she only partakes in one fairly brief nude scene, and that is with melon-noggined Daniel Baldwin, here described as "handsome." After watching this film, it's safe to say that pretty much all of the back cover statements are false.

This lifeless project, executive-produced by Everhart and Baldwin, has only one thing in its favor, which is a mercifully short runtime of 79 minutes. If it weren't for the sporadic nudity, Bare Witness could easily be mistaken for an episode of a really bad cop show, like Hunter or Starsky & Hutch.

Sure, it opens immediately with a fairly frisky sex scene, and that seemed like a good way to start, especially for a film that supposedly contains "the steamiest love scenes you've ever seen." Turns out that the opening is about as hot as it gets, and the rest of Bare Witness is the story of a murder-for-hire scheme against some muckety-muck politician that had been accidently recorded on videotape. When Carly (Everhart), the roommate of a murdered prostitute who owned the incriminating videotape, is targeted for a similar fate by the bad guys, it is up to chubby-headed Detective Killian (Baldwin) to save her pretty derriere from harm.

Director Kelly Cauthen randomly interjects a few nude, pseudo sex scenes here and there, as if to reinforce the belief that Bare Witness is igniting "a four-alarm fire of passion." Most of them, including the anticipated romp by Everhart, are pretty tame, even by late-night cable standards. A distractingly odd bit of casting plops former Chicago Bear Willie Gault as a perpetually smirky detective, and in a film of this low caliber, he looks no better or worse than any of the so-called legitimate actors.

This could be one of the most pointless, non-erotic, just plain dull films I have ever seen.

Rating for Style: D-
Rating for Substance: D-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Rationo
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Released with an average looking 1.33:1 full-frame transfer, this straight-to-DVD title will never have to worry about becoming a reference quality standard. Image detail is tantamount to a decent digital cable signal, which is probably the medium through which most people might accidently see this film. Black levels are a little off, resulting in some overly dark shots during night scenes. Colors are stable, and the less than a handful of sex scenes features consistently natural fleshtones.

Image Transfer Grade: B-
 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: The audio transfer is offered in 2.0 surround, and I think the word "surround" is somewhat overstated here. The audio in Bare Witness plays like a second-rate cop show, with a transfer that has little in the way of any noticeable depth. Front channels carry all of the information adequately, without any serious punch. Imaging is minimal, bordering on the non-existent.

A 2.0 French track is also included.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+ 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Sexual Predator, Diary Of A Sex Addict, Mercy
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: In addition to a theatrical trailer for Bare Witness, a trio of similarly themed trailers are included (Sexual Predator, Diary of a Sex Addict, Mercy). 28 chapters and subtitles (English, French) are the only other supplementals.

Extras Grade: D
 

Final Comments

This is one dull cop flick, sprinkled with far too little nudity to make it even voyeuristically appealing. In the immortal words of Homer Simpson: "BORING!"

Thankfully it was only 79 minutes.

Rich Rosell 2002-04-29