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on August 30, 2016
What could I possibly add to the hundreds of reviews done on this splendid movie that would be of interest or benefit to a reader? Only this: the last 20 minutes of this film are worth the whole of it; so beautiful in it's meaning that I have watched it over and over, because of how it affects me. A Friendship so special that it becomes the "bridge over troubled water" for one who has all but given up in despair across the miles from another whose sprit refuses to be broken or maimed and rises above it all; whole and seemingly unaffected by the horrific prison experiences.

The culmination of this unusual rapport between Andy Dufresne and Red Redding ends with keeping a promise made to an old friend while never dreaming that it will come to be when it was made. The writing in a "half way" room scratched above a table just right for completing a suicide tells yet another story of the difference inspiration can make; one life ends in death because there is no hope, one life goes forward because of the bond between two - provided by only one. And the remembered phrase coming back to give him strength - "Get busy living, or get busy dying."

The visuals and audio during this finale are what make it so fine; more poignant than any dialogue. Determined to keep his promise to his friend made while in prison, (almost as a deathbed promise) Red goes to the fragrant hay fields of Buxton seeking the rock wall and what is buried beneath by Andy. As he descends from an old red farm truck that has given him a ride to the area, it as though he has entered another world, one tranquil and peaceful; gravel crunching under his feet as he walks in the hot summer sun; corn and hay fields, bird voices, dense green foliage; untroubled life and sound is everywhere; and at long last the old rock wall that holds his salvation buried there.
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on August 14, 2015
I'm the 2436th person to review this movie. I first saw this movie on TV while at a girl's house I was dating. I came in at about 30 minutes into the movie but I was truly captivated by the movie and I never forgot it. More than 15 years later I saw it on DVD uncut and I liked it even more. Some things I'd forgotten about from the last time I had seen it. But one thing I will never forget is the brutality of that lead guard, played by Clancy Brown. This was a movie that wanted me to abolish maximum security prisons! The violence, the rape the intimidation the corruption! It didn't start with Attica (See My Review Of Against The Wall) but has been in existence since America's founding.

Tim Robbin's character had the worst luck of anyone in the world! He was at the crime scene but did not go into the room where his wife was cheating on him. He left bullets behind and then stupidly threw his gone into the river only to not have it be discovered. Had he kept his gun the ballistics would have proved that his gun was not the murder weapon. As it stands another killer did the murder and in essence got away with the crime. This led to Andy's (Robbin's Character) being convicted for a crime he did not commit.

I was amazed at the inner strength that Robbin's character Andy had. He was beaten, humiliated, raped and yet was able to still persevere without losing his mind. But that's what he had in abundance. He had a mind and he used it to outwit his enemies and friends too. In many ways his escape reminded me of the two fellows who escaped from prison a few months ago in New York. It was a tenacious desire to get one's freedom from the oppression of the Man! This is why I admired Tim Robbins and his character, Andy.

Redd was portrayed so well by Morgan Freeman that the story might just as well have been about him too. I'm glad that Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford were not cast in these roles. The film would have suffered I'm sure. But I will say this, the film might have done better at the box office had the title been different. Shawshank Redemption is not really a catchy title and may have turned women and some men off entirely to seeing the film. This is what at least one writer said. Despite this I give the film Four and a Half Stars. Leonard Maltin gave it Two and a Half out of Four Stars. I disagree with that but he may have been turned off by the length of the film.

The author Robert A. Berman in his fantastic book Fade In: The Screenwriting Process said something interesting. He said that he had read an article about films with bad titles. He said that almost every badly titled film did poorly at the box office. "The Shawshank Redemption, which did okay in theatres, might have done more business with a better title. I passed on seeing The Shawshank Redemption in the theatres. The title just turned me off." He went on to say that he saw it on Pay-For-View and liked it while adding that a good title can make a difference in box office sales. I concur with this observation. The title of this movie is nothing to write home about. This may have explained its average showing at the box office. Despite this, don't hold back from seeing this fine film. It's a true gem!

A. Nathaniel Wallace, Jr.
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on December 22, 2017
This is one of my absolute favorite movies of all time. A prison break story with many modern twists. The good guys win and the bad guys get their just deserts. Very satisfying, especially these days when many movies favor ambiguous morals in the characters and open endings that can leave one high and dry. I love the marriage of figaro, the opera that Tim Robbins plays to the whole prison from the warden's office, in a come-what-may move! Although you can watch this for free on national TV channels sometimes, I like watching it here because it has not been cut for language in some of the very critical parts. This is one of Tim Robbin and Freeman's best. A real surprise from Steven King. Highly recommended!
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on June 25, 2015
I know this review won't be in depth helpful, but there isn't much that needs to be said about the greatest movie ever made. I have never known ANYONE who doesn't think this movie is one of the best movies they have ever seen. The casting is spot on. Morgan Freeman's character was supposed to be a red haired Irish guy. Such a good call on going the other way. That is why they make a joke about his name being Red.

If you are disappointed with this movie, you must be devoid of emotions. Seriously.
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on September 8, 2016
A great screenplay by Frank Darabont (derived from a short novel by Stephen King that I haven't read, but imagine that some of the actual lines are found). The casting is simply perfect (including Morgan Freeman's brief narrations). This movie will take you on a roller coaster of emotion (especially gut-wrenching lows for me). It's interesting to me that this movie took so long to be recognized as one of the best films of the modern era. I felt that way when I first saw it in 1995, and this was the third time I've seen it, and it still feels like one of the best movies I seen.
Caveats: The R-rating still applies, and the violence in the movie is palpable.
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on November 22, 2017
Little about me. I absolutely love movies. I had heard so much praise about this film for my entire life. Part of me avoided seeing this movie, worried that it would not live up to the incredible amount of love it receives in so many movie conversations. After watching it tonight, I can honestly say it's as great as they say. Again, I love movies. Especially dramas that can weave their way into your heart, and deeply change the way you see the world. This film impacted me so hard on so many levels. Besides the brilliant script, and the beautifully realized technicalities of the filmmaking, The Shawshank Redemption speaks volumes about friendship, freedom, and society. A must watch. Will definitely revisit this film in the years to come.
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on October 16, 2009
I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered the Shawshank Redemption on Blu. It was my third, having already enjoyed the VHS and the DVD. It's one of my favorite movies, the all-time 'guy movie' (but all genders should love it), a show of friendship, loyalty, love of freedom and, above all, love of life in freedom. And who could tell a story better than Stephen King, the number one story-teller in residence? And who else practically exhales humanity if not Morgan Freedman as Red Redding? Add Tim Robins as the mysterious and never tired of living Andy Dufresne and it's a movie that at least I keep watching over and over again. I've already watched the Blu edition twice after having watched the DVD and the VHS who knows how many more times.

But I won't be reviewing the movie or the script - it's been done thousands of times already by others, much better qualified. I only want to discuss this most impressive Blu-ray rendition. So, here it comes.

THE BINDING

Physically, it comes in what I see it's called a 'book' binding. I have one other edition of 'The Matrix' put together in the same fashion. It is literally a book. Hard-cover style, the disk attached to the inner side of the back cover. If you open the book, carefully, you will find glossy, beautifully illustrated pages dedicated to the many great actors that played in Shawshank, to Stephen King, of course, the director, the writer. Being a book, it doesn't lock. It also doesn't open very well so, like I said, open it carefully.

I am not going to say that "this book binding alone should be reason enough to get yourself the Blu edition" because it would be silly but the pretty package shows that some TLC was invested when putting this together this release, unlike some other do-it-quick-and-cheap DVD-to-Blu translations - and they know who they are.

PICTURE AND SOUND

The quality is dramatically better when compared to the previous DVD edition. And, no, it does not compare with an upscaled DVD. I watched the first few minutes on the DVD and on the Blu on a PS3 that upscales DVDs and there is no comparison. There is some graininess in scenes shot in semi-dark surroundings but I would call the overall quality of the picture as somewhere between 'excellent' and 'spectacular'.

Almost the same to be said about the sound. The TrueHD makes a significant difference on a 7.1 surround system. I know it because the Dolby 5.1 track is also included and even my untrained ears can tell the difference.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Sadly, there's nothing new here. Three LENGTHY features (40-plus minutes each), including a full Charley Rose episode discussing the movie with all the two main actors and the director. The other two extras feature Stephen King, the script writer, the director, the actors, the town where the movie was shot, the 'Shawshank Prison' building (a former real prison in real life), even former 'true' prisoners, talking about how it really was. All three features are worth watching but, sadly, they are in the old 'narrow screen', low-res TV format with 2-channel stereo sound.

An alternative sound track with director's commentary is also available.

RATING THIS EDITION

With all the little shortcomings noted, it HAS to be a 5-star because I'm comparing it with any of the prior editions. There are very few movies I have on DVD that I would buy again on Blu but, this would be the one I'd get even if I could only afford buying one.

If you have a Blu player and you love The Shawshank Redemption you owe yourself getting this.
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on December 1, 2011
We can get into discussions all day and night long on what's the best movie of all time really is. The Godfather and Toy Story, without question, are the best trilogies. Yet if you have to talk about a single movie that defines breaking the mole of true picture telling and movie making then The Shawshank Redemption takes the prize. Now, as a fan of Forrest Gump, I never questioned whether it should had won a Best Picture Oscar, nevertheless, after finally watching Shawshank I'm beginning to think otherwise. I've always enjoyed Stephen King films for their psychological thrill, this on the other hand has to be the most unique and fanastic piece of storytelling and character development in his career. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins gives flawless peformances playing incarcerated inmates who develop a friendship behind bars. For 2 hours and 22 minutes this movie will have you captivated by the richness and cleverness of the film. Simply outstanding! And if you haven't seen it, I highly suggest you do.
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on October 2, 2012
This film is universally recognized as AMONG THE VERY BEST MOVIES EVER MADE. THAT'S A TALL ORDER. TIM ROBBINS and MORGAN FREEMAN have created characters that will live on in your heart and memory. This story flows from the depths of overwhelming DESPAIR to the heights of GLORY. Reminiscent of Les Miserable, a young man is accused of a crime he did not commit and is incarcerated for decades to endure the worst of what life has to offer. AND IT AIN'T PRETTY!! THE REST OF THE CAST IS STELLAR!! I guess this is the ULTIMATE OF BUDDY MOVIES. The prison friendship that develops and evolves over decades between TIM ROBBINS AND MORGAN FREEMAN is a beautiful thing to see. It's a horror story that's NOT ALL BAD. QUITE THE CONTRARY. How could something so REPUGNANT eventuate into something so JOYOUS?
If you have never seen this movie, VIEW IT. (It's about 20 years old) DO YOURSELF A FAVOR.
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on December 18, 2017
I couldn't tell you how many times I've watched this movie throughout the years. I am SUPER picky. I get bored easily...but not with this movie. Plus, there are FEW movies I would care to re-watch. This one is a classic for me. Great acting, fantastic story!
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