The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Warner Home Video
Cast: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, William Sadler
Extras: Theatrical Trailer, Still Gallery

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it does exist! “The Shawshank Redemption”, the DVD that has been announced and canceled mulitple times, has finally been released. And while the Morgan Freeman audio commentary which had once been advertised didn’t make it onto the disc, it was still worth the wait.

The film is presented in an anamorphic widescreen and is letterboxed at 1.85:1. The picture is very clear, revealing few defects in the source print and showing little artifacting. The film appears to have been accurately framed and the color balancing (showing all of the browns and greys of the prison) is just fine. The newly remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix works well. The dialogue is clear and audible, and there’s some nice surround sound touches with the prison sound effects. The DVD includes the theatrical trailer and a still gallery of photos that director Frank Darabont took on the set.

The verdict on this DVD is rather simple. If you like “The Shawshank Redemption”, get this DVD. If you’ve never seen “The Shawshank Redemption”, then see this movie (and then get the DVD). The film was adapted from a novella by Stephen King and it tells the story of a wrongfully accused man who is sentenced to life in prison. Tim Robbing gives a great performance as the man who must adjust to prison life, and Morgan Freeman is superb as the prision veteran who befriends Robbins.
The film has its tough moments (hey, it’s a prison movie!), but it is ultimately an uplifting and moving story that leaves the viewer feeling very satisfied. With most outlets selling this DVD for under $15 dollars, it is a steal, and I can’t recommend it enough.