The Shawshank Redemption remains one of the greatest films of all time. Everyone knows that. There isn’t much more to say about Frank Darabont’s amazing 1994 masterpiece that hasn’t already been said. Everything about the film, namely the well thought-out script (adapted from Stephen King’s short story), wonderful performances, solid direction and the beautiful Thomas Newman score, combine to create a monumental cinematic performance that does not have to show any signs of wear and tear.
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i have obsessed Shawshank in a variety of formats dating back to the VHS copy released after the movie’s mediocre theatrical run, followed by the boring single-disc DVD release which (from memory) included the film and a box office trailer, and the 2004 special two-disc edition that contained commentary by Darabont, some documentaries, some interviews, trailers and a curious parody entitled “The Sharktank Redemption” starring Morgan Freeman’s son.
In all fairness, the main draw for me about the 2004 special was the beautiful cover design by Drew Struzan. Everything else was pretty rudimentary. The specifics were surprisingly boring for such a great film – but what do you really expect from a production that is entirely set in a prison? – and Darabont’s commentary is revealing, but not particularly compelling for the listener. The picture and sound were on par for most DVDs of the time, and the Dolby 5.1 soundtrack was clear and concise.
The Shawshank Redemption 4K special features
- Commentary by Frank Darabont
- “Hope Springs Eternal: A Look Back at the Shawshank Redemption”
- “Shawshank: The Redemptive Feature”
- “The SharkTank Redemption”
- Stills galleries
- “Bogs Takes a Fall” storyboards
- “New fish are coming” storyboards
Let’s get the disappointing part out of the way Shawshank comes to 4K and includes the same features as the 2004 release – yawn – and a boring cover design that eschews Struzan’s artwork in favor of a still from the movie.
Still, the new 4K broadcast offers fans the greatest presentation of Darabont’s masterpiece. Roger Deakins’ atmospheric cinematography really comes through this time around, while details, mostly background elements, pop like never before.
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Since Shawshank With a lack of explosions or action sequences, it’s hard to tell if the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is better than its DVD counterpart. I mean, the flick sounds great, and die-hard audiophiles will likely notice the subtle changes in this new iteration, while your average moviegoer won’t process the newer sound elements despite the job well done.
So, this is the new version of The Shawshank Redemption worth buying? Absolutely! Although there is no new bonus material, the 4K broadcast more than justifies the purchase. The movie looks gorgeous which only adds to its overall quality. Really, I shouldn’t have to convince you to buy The Shawshank Redemption. It’s close to perfect and worth having in the best possible format.
GAME BOARD: 10/10
As the evaluation guideline of ComingSoon explains, a score of 10 corresponds to “masterpiece”. This is the rare release that transcends genre and must be experienced by all fans of the medium.
Disclosure: The publisher has a 4K copy for ours The Shawshank Redemption 4K review.