The year 1994 was filled with some pretty great films such as Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, and The Shawshank Redemption which sadly was overshadowed by some of those aforementioned movies. Thankfully as time moved on and more people watched it on cable TV, it quickly became known as one of the best films ever made. At long last this masterpiece can be experienced in 4K with HDR and Dolby DTS audio that makes this redeeming classic even better.
Much like The Green Mile, this prison story is also based on a short story by Stephen King, and stars Tim Robbins as Andy Dufrane, a mild-mannered banker that’s framed for the murder of his wife and the man she cheated on him with. He’s then sent to the infamous Shawshank prison for life where it doesn’t take long for him to form an unlikely friendship with Ellis “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman), an inmate “who can get things” for those inside.
Slowly but surely as the years go by, Andy’s kindness and being ever resourceful brings some much needed hope and happiness to the prison. This soon catches the eye of Warden Norton (Bob Gunton) who uses Andy’s resourcefulness to his advantage. One day some evidence arrives that could prove Andy’s innocence, but of course it’s never that easy as every bit of red tape and other obstacles get in his way, leaving him with no other option than to break out of prison.
From here the film turns into an epic masterpiece of cinema as Andy works with Red to get himself out of prison and all of the hardships and tough choices that come with it. To say anymore would spoil things and this is a film experience you really need to see for yourself if you haven’t already. Needless to say it’s one of the best movies out there and the finale will show you why.
I already loved this film when it was released back in the day and watching it again in 4K with HDR was like seeing it again for the first time. Featuring a new 4K scan from the original camera negative, everything looks clean and neat as the HDR colors and lighting improves the picture. The Dolby DTS audio doesn’t let up either as Thomas Newman’s beautiful score and Morgan Freeman’s narrative voice that he would go off to become famous for comes in clear and perfectly.
The special features are sadly recycled for the old DVD release, but they’re still nice to check out. First there’s audio commentary by the always great Frank Darabont. Here the director goes all in as he discusses the production of the film, his love for the Stephen King story, and more that’s one of the best commentaries I’ve listened to. “Hope Springs Eternal: A Look Back at The Shawshank Redemption” has interviews with Darabont and the cast as they go over the film and how it slowly became one of the greatest movies of all time.
“Shawshank: The Redeeming Feature” was originally produced for the BBC and takes viewers even further behind the scenes with pre-production footage such as visiting the prison locations that were used in the film and more interesting tidbits. “The Charlie Rose Show” has the episode from his series that highlighted the film’s (back then) tenth anniversary where Rose interviews Darabont, Robbins, and Freeman about the film becoming a phenomenon and more.
There’s also a silly short film that pokes fun at the movie and Hollywood in general, and there’s a load of image galleries from the film, and the theatrical trailer to round out the extras. The Shawshank Redemption is a must for any movie lover’s collection and even more so with this 4K release you’ll want to be redeemed with.