Dead Man Walking (Tim Robbins)

Rating: 3.0					Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

The parts of DEAD MAN WALKING that aren't excruciatingly bad are very 
good indeed.  I still don't think much of Robbins as a writer/director; 
in many ways, this film is as much of a one-trick pony as his painfully 
bloated (at a mere 103 minutes) BOB ROBERTS, and he still tends to work 
with the subtlety of a jackhammer on corrugated tin (the cross-cutting in 
the final scenes is a particularly egregious example, as is his choice to 
start shooting closeups of Prejean and Poncelet without the prison grate 
in front of their faces once they've bonded a little).  However, he did 
have the sense to cast extremely talented actors, and Sarandon and Penn 
overcome all deficiencies in script and mise-en-scene in their scenes 
together.  Only a stone could remain unmoved during Poncelet's final day 
(you all know he dies, right? that's not a spoiler, is it?), and it'd 
have to be a particularly stolid stone.  I also enjoyed several scenes 
that were only tangentially related to the narrative, such as Poncelet's 
younger brothers ribbing the youngest about a night he spent in a tent in 
the backyard; Robbins has a good sense of detail and, not surprisingly, 
is very adept with performers.  Not a great film, by any means, but a 
reasonably solid one; if Robbins ever makes a film less overtly 
concerned with politics, it could be something to see.