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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 79:47)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Production notes - trivia
  • Photo gallery
  • Animated menus
  • Interviews

The Shawshank Redemption

Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 136 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

It's the late 1940s, Rita Hayworth is making it big with Gilda and Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) isn't making it big in the court room. He's been tried for the murder of his wife and her lover and is sentenced to two life terms in a maximum security jail.

There he befriends Red (Morgan Freeman) who is also in for a life term. It seems all hope is lost for most of these inmates, yet Andy is composed and makes the most of his situation. It's not until Brooks (James Whitmore) finally gets his parole accepted and leaves the prison after 50 years that the inmates realise they are truly dependent on those walls.

Andy is determined not to let anything get to him, until 20 years into his prison term when young rocker Tommy Williams (Gil Bellows) arrives with a secret that will shock both Andy and Warden Norton (Bob Gunton). This is the turning point for Andy where hope begins to fade, or do they?

The movie is based on the Stephen King short novel Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption and was directed by Frank Darabont, who has brought another short Stephen King novel to the screen in The Green Mile.

  Video
Contract

Magnificent. Absolutely stunning. I'm speechless. Just as you think Village Roadshow are bringing out better transfers, they jump to the top of the pack and give us probably the best transfer I have seen from any region. That's a bold statement but I'll happily back it up by simply saying "See it for yourself".

Usually there is a compromise between shaprness and aliasing. The sharpest transfers out there at the moment exhibit an obvious amount of aliasing in the very prone scenes. This transfer has found an excellent balance of a high standard by producing the sharpest transfer possible with the minimum amount of aliasing.

Increased sharpness gives an immense amount of detail to the image. Prisoners' shirts exhibit every fine line in their fabric, aerial shots clearly define each onscreen element and close-ups show us if the actor has acne or a skin rash.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have deep blacks and excellent shadow detail giving the image a high contrast ratio which lends itself to a more three dimensional image. At times you'll be amazed that your TV can produce such an image - it's uncanny!

  Audio
Contract

Even though it boasts a 5.1 soundtrack, this movie doesn't need it and comes across as not utilising it at all. Based entirely around dialogue and narration, there is no aspect of the movie that calls for the full 5.1 spectrum to come into play.

Dialogue is always clear and intelligible. There are no audio synch issues to be seen, which is customary for Village Roadshow's latest releases.

Ambience and environmental effects make a minimal impact. Some sections of the musical score filter into the surrounds and there are only a very small handful of other scenes that use the surrounds for echo rather than effects. The front soundstage produces subtle directionality whereby opening and closing cell doors are followed across the screen.

  Extras
Contract

The initial slate of extras for this DVD included a director's commentary, but as Frank Darabont's schedule became more hectic it was decided to release this disc now rather than delay it any longer than the almost two years it's taken so far.

The cast of extras is minimal, yet still more than some other studios are able to include...

  • Cast Crew Biographies - Short filmographies on Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Gil Bellows and Clancy Brown.
  • Theatrical Trailer - The original trailer that seems to be taken from a mediocre source.
  • Featurette - The usual extended trailer with quick interviews and basic premise to the plot.
  • Interviews - These are extended interviews with the cast and crew that are present to a minimal extent within the featurette.
  • Trivia - A one page note on some interesting trivia about the movie.
  • Picture Gallery - 12 pages of photos from the production of the movie.

A nice collection of extras to compliment the movie.

  Overall  
Contract

This is an outstanding movie with an exceptional tale of hope in a place where there can usually never be any. Couple this with the best transfer I have seen to date and you have a huge DVD release.

Highly recommended.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=267
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  •  DVD NET Gold Review List 
      And I quote...
    "...an outstanding movie with an exceptional tale of hope."
    - Steve Koukoulas
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-505 Gold
    • TV:
          Hitachi CMT2979 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS777 THX Select
    • Speakers:
          Peterson Labs 100Watts
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sherwood SC-60E
    • Surrounds:
          Sherwood LS-502
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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