Dead Man Walking

Dead Man Walking (1995)
MGM Home Entertainment
Cast: Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Robert Prosky, Raymond J. Barry
Extras: Commentary track, Theatrical Trailer

Over the past months MGM Home Entertainment has begun re-releasing titles that were previously available through Polygram Home Video. One of these re-releases is “Dead Man Walking”, the staggering and touching movie by Tim Robbins about the last hours of a man on Death Row.

The disc contains the film’s original widescreen version in a non-anamorphic transfer that restores the film’s theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, as well as a cropped pan&scan presentation on the disc’s flip side. The transfer is very clean and does not exhibit any notable signs of film defects or digital artifacting . Only the slightest hint of edge-enhancement is evident to give the image a sharper look, but no compression artifacts are visible in the presentation. The presentation contains a high level of detail and boasts a colorful image. Color delineation is flawless without noise or bleeding, nicely reproducing the somber, yet sometimes stark and carefully crafted, color scheme of the movie. Contrast is also very good with deep black shadows and good highlights.

“Dead Man Walking” contains Dolby Surround audio tracks in English and French language. Both tracks are very well produced with good spatial integration and without noise. Due to the nature of the film, the lack of split surrounds is not overly noticeable, as the surround field is used sparingly and mostly to create a breathing ambience that enhances the picture. The frequency response is very natural on this disc without exaggeration.

If you did not happen to catch “Dead Man Walking” when Polygram initially released the DVD in 1997, make sure to get your copy now. Not only is this a very good-looking DVD with a mesmerizing commentary track by director Tim Robbins, it is also a movie that will knock you off your feet!