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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 3, 2014
Just wanted to comment on the limited edition blu-ray steelbook version. This is one nice steelbook! The front (as you can obviously see) has Tim Robbins in the rain, the back has Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman playing checkers in the prison yard, and the inside artwork shows the prisoners scattered around the prison yard. It looks really nice. Colours are nice. Great build quality.
This steelbook only contains the blu-ray version of the film (no DVD copy, no digital copy, etc). The 1080p picture quality is superb and the 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track is excellent. This release also contains a strong amount of special features (director's commentary, making-of features, interviews, etc.).
Overall, I can easily recommend this blu-ray steelbook.
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The Shawshank Redemption sits at the top of the IMDB Top 250 with a rating of 9.2/10, so it clearly appeals to the majority of those who have seen it. It's also hated by some because they can't agree that it's the best film ever made. While I understand that argument, I find it difficult to believe that the haters can't respect it on some level. However, I don't care about any of that, I love the film.

The story begins in 1946 with the trial of Andy Dufresne (Robbins) and we see him convicted for murdering his wife and her lover. The next 30 minutes shows him arriving at the prison and slowly adapting to life behind bars. Darabont uses a number of violent scenes to establish that prison life is somewhat brutal, but he doesn't dwell on it as the film progresses.

This is a film about hope and friendship more than anything else. It just happens to be set in a prison. Andy befriends Red (Freeman), because he's a man who knows how to obtain items from the outside world. Their friendship and mutual respect is there from the start and develops throughout the film.

Andy is an educated man and he finally attracts the attention of the most brutal prison guard in a memorable rooftop scene. The guard has inherited some money and fears that the IRS will take a big chunk. Andy shows him a way to avoid losing any of it. That single event is the catalyst for significant change in Andy's life. The guards begin to protect him and he's given a job which enables him to use some of his knowledge. He's well-liked by both the inmates and the guards.

Warden Norton (Gunton) is one of the most corrupt men in Shawshank, even though he runs the place. He seems fairly harmless, but he's actually evil, greedy and dangerous. He provides the main source of conflict in the film.

Andy strives to improve prison life for everyone, as evidenced by his campaign to win funding for the library. He makes the best of his situation at all times.

The final 30 minutes of the film is extremely uplifting. Stephen King wrote the short story on which the film is based and his influence can clearly be seen. One of the things I like about King is the sense of justice present in his stories. If you think back to The Green Mile, you'll see what I mean. The Shawshank Redemption covers 20 years of Andy's life. Darabont wanted the final scene to be omitted, but the conclusion is still incredible.

In the 18 years since the film was made, you've probably heard dozens of Morgan Freeman voice-overs. If you watch the film, you'll see why.

One of the themes present in the film is how inmates can become institutionalized. Imagine being in prison for 50 years. How would things have changed in the outside world? It would be bad enough missing 20 years. Think about the advances made since the early 1990s. If you stepped out of a prison cell after 20 years, wouldn't you wonder why everyone walked around talking into their cellphones? You might light a cigarette and be arrested.

I would recommend The Shawshank Redemption to anyone. You might not like it, but there's a strong chance you will. Robbins and Freeman are both superb. I watch the film twice a year and never tire of seeing it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon March 26, 2014
A timeless classic and a "must see" movie! There's a reason why this movie has been rated #1 by almost 1.2 million people on IMDB's Top 250 list. Just a quick note: this dvd is just the 10th anniversary two-disc special edition packaged inside an aluminum "steel" slipcase. I was hoping that it would be a steelbook but it's just a metal slipcover. This version has extra features not seen in the single disc version but if you already own this movie on DVD or Blu-Ray, it's really not worth double-dipping unless you're an extreme fan of the movie.
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on October 2, 2015
I hope to never know what prison is like. This might be as close as I want to get. Tim Robbins plays a banker prosecuted for a murder he might not have commited. He finds that miscarrage of the law continues in prison. Morgan Freeman plays a lifer who has given up hope of a poral. Injustice is corrected and a sadisfactory ending is given. I am not disappointed in my purchase as I like Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins.
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on June 30, 2013
Narrated by Morgan Freeman this is a well scripted, well cast, drama ultimately about the triumph of the human spirit over the very worst of circumstances. Tim Robins, a middle class banker, is wrongfully convicted in the 1940s of murdering his wife. Nothing has prepared him for the brutal realities of prison life, As the years roll by Robins becomes close friends with Morgan Freeman, a fellow inmate also serving a life sentence, and ultimately both rise above the cruelty of their fellow inmates, and a corrupt administration. While the very happy ending is predictable nevertheless it is a great movie.
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on May 4, 2015
One of my all-time favorites. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are superb and the story is one of Stephen King's best. I have watched this over and over and still will watch it again and again. The characters are so real you feel you know them. Excellent direction with a fine screenplay. I get greater appreciation for it every time I see it
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on January 11, 2009
The Movie itself: The Shawshank Redemption is not just another movie, its not another movie adaptation either. Its a tale of hope & redemption. Its rated No.1 on IMDB by users, and often ranks amongst top 5 movies on other internet ranking sites. Often dubbed as a modern classic, this movie has developed a cult following and is considered as best on screen adaptation of a Stephen King story. I can go on typing pages about how good this movie is and how absorbed I am in it every time I see it, but I think you all get the point, so let's move on to the fun stuff.

Video: I have owned this movie in all the formats ever released, the original DVD, the 10th Anniversary Edition and now this one. Yes this one by far is the best. The helicopter shots of the prison and its yards are simply gorgeous. I found the picture to be a little too smooth in some close up shots but sitting 6-10 feet away I doubt if anyone will notice that. The colors pallet is very consistent and gives us very little to complain. Warner's 1080p/VC-1 encode presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio is a wonderful upgrade for the previous owners of the movie who have upgraded to HDTV sets.

Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 is perfectly balanced. From the dialogue to sobbing, screams & whispers the sound is crystal clear. There are no action sequences and Bourne Trilogy type chases in this movie, so the soundtrack and the level of its loudness leaves very little to be desired.

Final Words: From "When those bars slam home, you know its for real" to "Get busy livin' or Get busy Dyin'" this movie is what true Hollywood cinema is all about. From being a box office failure to a moderate success (when it got 7 academy nominations) this epic has turned in to a must watch movie in Home Video history. Blockbuster and Netflix still rank this movie as one of the most rented movies in their database and there is a good reason for it........ its a brilliant movie with a huge replay value, one never gets tired of it. Highly recommended.
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on December 27, 2013
I got 4 copies for the male members in my family and they were all excited as 3 had already seen it but claimed it is a movie they would never get tired of watching. The 4th member was very keen to watch it !
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on January 13, 2013
we watched the movie and thoroughly enjoyed the story and acting. We had seen it before but it is well worth owning to "re-enjoy". The next night it was shown on TV and I was shocked at how much better the picture looks on BluRay.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon December 3, 2013
Sorry for such a late review of this film however this is not my type of movie. I shy away from any kind if institutionalized films. Never being institutionalized I can only assume that it is the way the films they picked it and do not normally want to waste my life watching this sort of thing. However the opportunity arose and I have great respect for the main actors including Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. I was surprised at how well acted this movie is. Even the period costumes in the background music matched so well that you forgot you were watching the movie. Now I guess the only thing left to do is to read the book.

Barring the twists and turns and subplots of this story is basically about two imprisoned men and how they bond over a number of years, surviving the many institutional foes. The question is not will they, but how they find redemption.

I'm glad that I watched this movie till the end and I suggest that you do the same.
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