PicturePresented in a new all digital transfer framed at 1.85:1 this new release certainly improves over the non-anamorphic DVD from the past. Colours are well saturated with solid blacks and plenty of shadow detail on show. The image is sharp for the most part with fine details shining through. There were a few niggles here and there, edge enhancement is seen in bright backed scenes and there are occasions of line shimmering here and there. Overall however things look pleasant enough and a real step up from the original release.
SoundStill no dts track, unlike the Japanese release, but in reality you don't need it. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundmix is atmospheric and enveloping. Dialogue is natural and intelligible at all times and the score uses all the speakers to surround the viewing position.
ExtrasAt last we get a director's commentary and it is certainly worthy of a listen. Writer/director Frank Darabont takes us through the characters and sets and discusses in quite some detail the actual shooting problems and solutions. Moving on to disc 2 and we get two full length documentaries, first “Hope Springs Eternal” at 30 minutes and British documentary “Redeeming Feature: The Shawshank Redemption”. Both are extensive and well produced and discuss every aspect of the movie possible without using the same interviews and clips. Next up is a spoof film, “Sharktank Redemption” which is mildly amusing. Finally we have The Charlie Rose interviews with cast and crew and various galleries. It is a shame that the three disc edition never made it as advertised, but this edition is worthy of a place in your collection.
VerdictA cinema classic finally gets an anamorphic release with interesting extras. Shawshank is a must for any film fans DVD collection.
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