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The Shawshank Redemption

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 29-03-2010

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Description
A prominent banker unjustly convicted of murder spends many years in the Shawshank prison. He is befriended by a convict who knows the ropes and helps him to cope with the frightning realities of prison life.Amazon.com essential video
When this popular prison drama was released in 1994, some critics complained that the movie was too long (142 minutes) to sustain its story. Those complaints miss the point, because the passage of time is crucial to this story about … More >>

The Shawshank Redemption

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Comments (5)

It has long been my contention that it is the moviemaker’s task to hold the viewer’s attention, not to burden him with his self-indulgent, difficult-to-follow symbolisms.

That having been said, I find it difficult to find another movie I would recommend more highly than The Shawshank Redemption. Without any high-adrenaline action sequences or steamy sex scenes (two sure-fire ways to get the vewer’s attention), this film somehow has the power to make you sit through all 142 minutes without for a moment getting bored. And I challenge anyone who has seen it to delete any scene, even any minute, from the final edit. The fact is, you can’t. Because every single scene is an essential element that contributes to the final result: a masterpiece that captures the drama of enduring friendship and resiliency of the human spirit more powerfully than any other film ever made. Even those who normally do not watch movies with a critical eye will find themselves so drawn into this experience. I really can’t say enough about this film. Suffice it to say that this is certainly the Greatest Movie Not to Win an Oscar. (Since Citizen Kane, at least. )

Actually, I can forgive the Film Academy for not honoring this film with the Oscars I firmly believe it deserved. But when the American Film Institute in 1998 put together their list of The 100 Greatest Movies of all time (covering the period from 1896-1996), and so myopically overlooked Shawshank in favor of such titles as Rocky, Dr. Strangelove, Network, and Jaws, well, I thought that was absolutely ridiculous.

I wouldn’t hesitate to put it in the top five of all time.
Rating: 5 / 5

The Movie:

Every so often in everyone’s life, they walk out of a movie that they consider perfect. A movie where you don’t sit through it and think to yourself how you might have done it all differently had you been the director. I have a couple of movies like that, and “The Shawshank Redemption” is one of them. I still remember clearly walking out of the theater in 1994 and thinking that I’ve just seen one of the best movies that I’ll ever have the pleasure of sitting through. A movie so elegant and emotional that is perfect in its way of storytelling. A movie that is about how hope can never die. The movie earned several Academy Award nominations that were certainly well-deserved, but it left theaters all too quickly. Over the years though, it has gained a strong cult following.

The movie stars Tim Robbins in one of his very best performances as Andrew Dufresne, a quiet man who is convicted of the murder of his wife and is sent to Shawshank prison. It’s there he meets “Red”, a convict played by Morgan Freeman who gets things from the outside for a price. He first sees Andy as he’s lead into the prison and predicts that he won’t last long inside the prison walls. Over time though, he’s suprised that the young man is able to survive and soon, the two become friends with respect for each other. Andy is not a man who “fights the system”. He spends his days in his own quiet world, a courage that the other prisoners don’t quite understand at first. Robbins has built this character in a way that we the performance is not showy, but subtle. The result is that we want to know more and when we do begin to understand his ways, that only makes us want him to succeed that much more. I won’t go into much more in the way of detail about the movie; if you haven’t seen it, I don’t want to ruin any of the enjoyment of the movie; if you have, I’m sure you already have your feelings about the movie. This is a movie that’s not depressing; it has a lot of life to it and I think that when they look back at the 90’s, they will see that this is one of the best pictures that was released during this time.

Yes, Warner Brothers has proven to made an error in judgement about their way of going about putting this DVD out. There was an announcement over a year ago, I believe; then previous announcements came later after the first delay promising a director’s commentary, then a Morgan Freeman commentary, then, in the final moments before the DVD is released this week…nothing. It’s a shame, as “Shawshank” is a film deserving of much more. I suppose part of me is happy with the fact that this film is finally on DVD, although if this is the final product, there is no reason in my mind that this couldn’t have been released a long, is an excellent looking image. One of the best cinematographers in the business (Roger Deakins- “Fargo”) did the filming on this picture and the pale colors are represented well throughout the picture, mainly browns and greys. Like the movie, there is an elegance to the visual style on this picture that is apparent in every movie that Deakins has worked on. Images are clear and crisp throughout; sharp, but not overly sharp for a “smooth” feeling that looks very film-like.

There are few problems, and none of them are terribly distracting at all. There is a slight shimmering in a scene or two and some very small instances of grain. Other than that, this is an excellent looking image that will certainly beautiful sound mix. It’s also a newly remastered 5.1 mix. It’s not flashy or showy, nor does it need to be. It does however, do what it needs to do best very well. The score by Thomas Newman is absolutely wonderful and it sounds clear and crisp throughout the picture. Surrounds are put into use occasionally, but always in a subtle way that is right for the picture. What I was pleased about most though, was how rich and clean the score sounded on this DVD. Dialogue is clear and without problems as well. Again, Non-animated main menus that have the score playing in the dissapointment of this DVD; all that’s included is the trailer and some production stills.

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Final Thoughts Although it’s unfortunate that this isn’t the special edition that it should have been it is a must for any collection. I’m happy the film is finally being realized by more and more people as a classic piece of filmmaking, which I’ve always considered it to be.
Rating: 5 / 5

Every so often, a certain type of movie comes along that deeply moves anyone who watches it. This movie is grand in scope and scale, its character portrayals so moving and so real, that you cannot help becoming completely engrossed by it. I believe that the Shawshank Redemption is one of these movies. Often times, movies based on books are sub par, with the common complaint being, “The book is better.” Well I, for one, have read the book and watched the movie, and I assure you that the movie is not a let down at all, but rather a triumph of modern cinema. The DVD disc itself is a little thin on features, but at an average price of about $15, anyone with a DVD player and a taste for Drama(or anyone who simply likes excellent movies) should own this movie on DVD. Now, on to the movie itself. The Shawshank Redemption saw career-defining performances from many of its cast members,including Tim Robbins, who became a top star after his incredible performance, and Morgan Freeman, who added to his already impressive list of accolades with his perfect supporting role. Robbins plays Andy Dufresne, a Maine banker who is unjustly convicted of killing his wife and her lover after he discovers that she is having an affair. Andy is a true outsider in the bleak world of Shawshank prison, an educated man not used to violence and despair that are an everyday part of prison life. Robbins plays this part to perfection, showing emotional vulnerability, as well as the stregnth to overcome the greatest adversity. Freeman plays Red, “The man who can get it all,” a prisoner serving a life sentence for murder, who befriends Andy. Red adapts to his life in prison by becoming a source for bringing outside goods to prisoners. The interplay between Robbins and Freeman is one of the highlights of the movie, as these two wonderful actors test each other’s limits. James Whitmore plays Brooks Hatlin, a man who spends his entire life in Shawshank as a librarian. Once released,as an old man, Brooks finds that he would rather die that live another day in a unfamiliar world. His character is a tragic example of how the human mind can become so attached to its circumstances(even the blak setting of a prison) that it simply cannot let go of them. Bob Gunton takes a memorable turn as Bible-quoting Warden Samuel Norton, whose facade of morality is merely a mask for his depraved behavior and illegal activites. Frank Darabont, who wrote the screenplay and directed this movie,is a master of skilfully portraying human emotions. He deserves all the credit he gets for helping to shape this memorable movie experience. Stepen King’s brilliance shines through, as his ability to create complex and memorable characters is evident in this movie. The bottom line is this: The Shawshank Redemption is a monumental achievement in motion picture history. It is defined by a memorable story, engrossing character performances, and one of the most truly gratifying endings I have ever seen in a movie. This is truly one of the greatest movies ever made.
Rating: 5 / 5

If I were to rate this based on the movie alone, it would get 5 stars, no contest. But the fact that the DVD is so unremarkable drags the rating down much lower than the movie deserves. Keep reading and you’ll see my reasons.

I cannot praise the movie well enough, since it is one of my all time favorites. It tells the story of Andy Defresne (Tim Robbins), a banker who was wrongfully convicted of murder, and spent 19 years in prison for it. During his time, he befriends a pretty, but intellegent, crook (Morgan Freeman), and their bond solidifies as the years grow. Dufresne himself makes a difference in almost all the prisoner’s lives, by showing that the cruelty of the prison cannot darken his will and spirit. It is an inspiring movie, it’s almost hard to believe that it is based on a Stephen King story. Everything about the movie fits, the acting, the writing, and the entertainment. It is an exceptional movie.

Why is it that Warner decided to release this great movie in DVD devoid of quality extras. Next to one theatrical trailer, some totally uninteresting filographies, and a paper-thin photo gallery, there is nothinh else of interest beside the movie itself. There are no commentaries, no featurettes, and no insight from the filmmakers. Basically, everything you would want is not included on the DVD. But worse yet is the packaging. I don’t know why Warner thinks that it’s a good idea to sell DVDs in those cheap “Snapper” cased (The thin cardboard with a plastic frame that ‘snaps’ on the side), because it will not last long without getting dinged and scratched. As a principle, I refuse to buy movies in “Snapper” cases. This was the one exception.

If you already have the VHS version, the only real incentive to get the DVD is the anamorphic widescreen transfer, which gives the picture a crisp, clear look. The sound quality is also nicely kicked up, and it’s a special benefit to those with surround sound, because it’s the next best thing to actually being in the theatre.

One of the biggest qualms I have with the standard of DVDs today is that second-rate movies get the 2-disc “all inclusive” DVD treatment, while brilliant movies like “The Shawshank Redemption” get the minimalist, barren treatment. I am hoping that they will release a special edition DVD sometime in the near future, because this is not the “definitave edition” of the movie. Fingers crossed.
Rating: 3 / 5

The Shawshank Redemption is by far, one of the greatest movies of all time. It is ultimate story of how hope truly never dies, and how good things finally happen to good people.

Tim Robbins, in his finest acting job to date, plays the wrongly convicted Andrew Dufresne. He is sent to Shawshank Prison for killing his wife and her lover, and there he meets Red, played by the ever talented (and one of the best voice-over voices of all time) Morgan Freeman. The chemistry between the two is so amazing throughout the entire movie, and you can clearly see it flow.

You really begin to feel for Andy and his quiet demeanor peppered with subtle emotions. Just when you think the movie is going a certain way, the plot takes an incredible turn that leaves you sitting there with your mouth open. From this point, just when you think the film is heading towards its almost certain climax, it twists another way, leaving you sitting there, not being able to control your giddy smile.

The film is wonderfully written, and the actors were superb. It has a beautiful flow to it, and you can’t help but enjoy the masterpiece that you are viewing. You will definately be pleasantly satisfied. This film is an excellent addition to anyone’s video collection.
Rating: 5 / 5

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