|Category||Drama||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced, DD 2.0 mono|
|Rating||Other Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital Egypt|
|Year Released||1994||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||136:29 minutes||Other Extras||Menu Audio
Scene Selection Audio & Animation
Picture Gallery (22)
Cast & Crew Interviews
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
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 1.78:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail is superb, with fine details being visible in the shadows at all times, expect when they were intentionally left dark. There was no low level noise.
The colours are perfectly rendered. The drab atmosphere of the prison environment is nicely portrayed with detailed greys and blacks and a muted colourscape whilst at the same time retaining natural and true skin tones. Shots of the outside world are vibrantly coloured and make for a vivid contrast between the colourscape within and without the prison.
There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Film-to-video artefacts were trivial and the only one worth mentioning was some aliasing on the grille of the bus entering Shawshank Prison. Film artefacts were rarely seen. There was a very minor burst of film artefacts approximately half-way through the movie that will most likely pass you by, but it was otherwise a very clean transfer.
This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring at 79:47, during Chapter 14. It is minimally intrusive.
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.
The dialogue was always audible, clear, and easy to understand. In particular, Morgan Freeman's voice-overs are all well-recorded and easy to understand.
There were no audio sync problems.
The musical score by Thomas Newman is nicely matched to the on-screen action. It is generally a slow-moving, sonorous score which provides an ideal accompaniment to the actions on-screen, whilst never calling attention to itself.
The surround channels had only subtle usage for this movie, which was predominately a dialogue-driven front hemispheric sound mix. Occasional crowd ambience and music made their way to the rear but that was about all.
The subwoofer was used subtly to support the music but was not called upon to work very hard at all - it was simply just not the sort of soundtrack that needed that much bottom end.
The video is of reference quality.
The audio is of very good quality.
The extras are ho-hum.
© Michael Demtschyna
9th February 2000
Addendum 22nd February 2000
|DVD||Start SD-2010VNK, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer|