The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Dolby Digital Trailer-Egypt
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Interviews-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||1994|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (79:47)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Frank Darabont|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
I envy those of you who haven't seen The Shawshank Redemption yet. You are yet to enjoy one of the best movies ever made. For those of you who are returning, there is plenty of subtlety here to enjoy again and again. This film combines a number of elements that all-too-rarely come together in Hollywood; a brilliant story, brought to life by brilliant performances from brilliant actors, brilliant direction propelling the story along at just the right pace, brilliant cinematography which is expressive in its own right, and a brilliant musical score underlining all the appropriate moments. Yep, you guessed it, The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favourite movies, and one which both myself and many other people were eagerly awaiting on DVD.
Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is a banker. His wife is having an affair and leaves him. Both she and her lover are shot in circumstances pointing to Andy Dufresne as the perpetrator, and Andy is sentenced to life imprisonment at Shawshank Prison, despite proclaiming his innocence. Shawshank is a brutal prison. Warden Norton (Bob Gunton) believes in two things; The Bible and Discipline. Both are to be had aplenty within the walls of Shawshank Prison, with the discipline meted out by the brutal Captain Hadley (Clancy Brown).
Andy Dufresne befriends "Red" (Morgan Freeman), a long-term inmate who can "get things", and theirs is a long and fruitful friendship.
The Shawshank Redemption is not so much about life within the confines of prison as about the people within these confines and how they adapt and survive. This is one of the great strengths of this movie - it is about people whom we gradually come to know and care about, and the sometimes brutal atmosphere within which they survive.
Both Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are absolutely perfectly suited to their roles, particularly Morgan Freeman. In my personal opinion, this is by far the best performance of Morgan Freeman's long and illustrious career, and how he was overlooked for a Best Actor Oscar for this role is beyond me. These two, however, are not the only stand-out performances in this movie; James Whitmore as Brooks is also worthy of particular mention in a magnificent supporting role.
In short, if you haven't seen The Shawshank Redemption yet, see it!
It is presented at an aspect ratio of somewhere between 1.78:1 and 1.85:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.
The picture is extremely clear and sharp at all times, however there are a couple of scenes where some of the finer detail seems to come and go. These occurrences are very minor and are not noticeable on a TV set. There is no low-level noise present. Some minor edge enhancement was noticed in several scenes, but again it is very minor. I also found the picture brightness to be just a little on the dark side. If this bothers you, it can be easily fixed by just bumping up that brightness control ever so slightly. Just remember to put it back again once you've finished watching the movie.
The colour, well what can I say? It was exemplary. The drab atmosphere of the prison environment is captured beautifully whilst retaining perfect skin tones. The shots of the outside world are deeply saturated, rich and vibrant.
No grain was ever noticed.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. I noticed a couple of panning shots that seemed a little jerky, but after checking my VHS copy of this film, I concluded that this was caused by camera shake. Aliasing was pretty rare and was usually very mild when it did occur. The subject material and the sharpness inherent in this transfer would lend itself to aliasing being a real problem, but this artefact is well-controlled.
Film artefacts are very rare and are always small and unobtrusive.
This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring at 79:47, during Chapter 14. There is a definite pause, but it is not too disruptive to the flow of the movie.
There are two audio tracks on this DVD; the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. I listened to the 384Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.
The dialogue was always clear and easy to understand, and was an exemplary example of how clear dialogue should be.
There were no audio sync problems.
The musical score by Thomas Newman is nicely matched to the on-screen action.
The surround channels had only subtle usage for this movie. They were mostly used for music with the odd sound effect thrown in. The sound mix is predominantly front hemispheric since this movie is largely dialogue-driven. None of these problems are caused by the audio transfer itself, it's just how the studio decided to mix the sound.
The subwoofer was used subtly to support the music but was not called upon to work very hard at all - it was simply not the sort of soundtrack that needed that much bottom end.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This is a magnificent video transfer which falls short of being reference quality mainly because of two things; a slightly dark picture and some minor but noticeable edge enhancement.
This soundtrack is of very good quality.
This disc has a fair selection of extras, which I found reasonably interesting.
|DVD||Sony DVP-725, using Component output|
|Display||Sony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Fronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)|