DVD Review HTF REVIEW: The Shawshank Redemption - Two Disc Special Edition.

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Herb Kane, Oct 12, 2004.

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  1. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Wow, 1994, when Hollywood could produce 4 major motion pictures of such high quality (Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump and Quiz Show). I can't think of two major Hollywood films this year (not counting indie or pseudo-indie films) that I would rank alongside those four.
     
  2. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    Dude, don't look at 1993 - you may pass out. Roger Ebert called it "a year of miracles", and he was right. It was the best year of cinema since - ironically enough - 1939.
     
  3. GeorgePaul

    GeorgePaul Second Unit

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    The best year of cinema I have ever experienced was in 1980. Look up the films made by year on imdb.com and you'll understand why. So many memorable, resonant films were released that year that is almost an embarrassment to most subsequent years.
     
  4. Dennis*G

    Dennis*G Supporting Actor

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    Great review! I was standing in front of the SE last night debating to get it or not, I passed on it. Just could not see $20 for commentaries since pic/sound are almost identicle (I have the old version)

    and I actually like the ending scence, gives it more closure, the book ending works for the book, but the movie needed this....
     
  5. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    One of the best years for films as I love the big three of Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, and Shawshank Redemption.
     
  6. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    I am with Chris. Shawshank taps into a mythos that puts it in a league of it's own. As for the final shot, its a thing of beauty - especially since there is no dialogue. The hope is still there. And there are no tidy little bows in that scene anywhere![​IMG]

    Great review Herb! Of course I had to go for the Deluxe edition.
     
  7. Ravi K

    Ravi K Supporting Actor

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    I haven't watched the Charlie Rose episode yet, but I did watch the 2 docs and was disappointed they didn't delve more into the making of the film, how it was translated from short story to screen. I hope the CR episode and the commentary do this.

    I ended up buying the 2-disc version, as I didn't want the soundtrack, but I can buy the book for around $10 later if I want it.

    That cover art is fugly. Remove everything but Andy in the rain and it would be great, though it would be a spoiler.
     
  8. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    That's the thing, I'm not a big fan of special features. In fact, I've only really watched a few special feature discs out of my collection. However, I am crazy about the film.
     
  9. Joe Kamsan

    Joe Kamsan Stunt Coordinator

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    That final shot still gets talked about a lot, and apparently the movie was supposed to have ended with
    the bus that Red was traveling on continuing down the road, with the voice-over 'I hope' and then a fade to black
    I believe the test audience loved the closing shot of the movie and thus it was used. I have to admit that the sight of the camera pulling away to reveal the great expanse of the ocean
    still has a tremendous effect on me. It's still a great ending.

    Also, everyone knows that Pulp Fiction was the best film of 1994 [​IMG]
     
  10. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    Joe,

    I agree with you. I was familiar with the short story before I saw the film, and I do like the way the written version ends-the uncertainty of whether or not Red can reach Mexico is definitely a nice ending.

    But the last shot in the film is such a release from the strife that both characters face throughout the film, for me it's hard not to be moved by it.

    And for the record, I would rank them:

    1. Shawshank Redemption
    2. Forrest Gump (a close second)
    3. Pulp Fiction (a distant third)

    And none of these beat my absolute favorite film of 1994 (Shawshank ties): Leon.
     
  11. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Oh yeah, thanks for the review.
     
  12. Joe Kamsan

    Joe Kamsan Stunt Coordinator

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    (Hangs head) How could I forget Leon? Yes, 1994 was a great year.

    Sorry to temporarily derail this thread.

    Good review, Herb. You've just notched up another sale for Warners and I can't wait for my copy to arrive.
     
  13. ZacharyTait

    ZacharyTait Cinematographer

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    Herb,

    Great review. Oh yeah, it was nice being able to match the face to the name in the HTF National Meet scrapbook. I hope I can scrape up the money to go next year!
     
  14. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    The ending to this film always creates a debate in every Shawshank thread. Personally, I love the ending and it makes perfect sense to me. To expand on Joe Kamsan's post,

    to me it's obvious that what actually happens in the film, within its reality, ends with Red travelling on the bus. What comes up on the screen after that is imagined. My interpretation is that we never actually see Red and Andy reunite; the images of the beach are there because Red falls asleep on the bus and is dreaming about meeting his friend. Just look at that image of a deserted beach; the sand and the sea shot through a soft filter - it doesn't look real, and it isn't supposed to, because it doesn't happen.

    Perhaps Red will locate Andy but it's just as likely that since he is a fugitive who has violated his parole, he will be captured at the Mexican border or perhaps earlier during his journey. It doesn't really matter, because whatever happens to him after he boards the bus, happens to a free man. He has left the prison, managed to stay alive (he was worried about ending up dead by his own hand) and is leaving to find his friend. He finally feels alive and free.
     
  15. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    That's an interesting take - and the music supports it too.

    I agree with the line of thought that Red's narration on the bus is his last part in the story. The next shot at the beach is for the audience.
     
  16. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Guys, if you want it, I made a alternate cover for this release with the original poster art.

    [​IMG]

    Personally, I like the Struzan art, but I can see how some folks don't think it reflects the movie as well. Anyway, you can download this version right here.

    Great review, Herb!

    Ric
     
  17. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    I just listened to the Frank Darabont commentary. He notes that he digitally altered one shot for the 10 anniversery DVD, in order to correct a continuity error:

    Warden Norton's bullet wound after he commits suicide.
     
  18. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Now that's what the cover should have looked like - absolutely perfect.

    Great job Ric.


    Herb.
     
  19. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    Awesome cover, Ric. I was just thinking last night that I was wishing someone would make a good custom cover. Nice work! [​IMG]
     
  20. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    Damnit, Ric, how many times are you going to make me buy ink cartridges?! You better start making some crappy covers soon, or I'm going to have to get a new printer.

    Seriously, great job. I like Struzan, but like you said, the new "floating heads" cover doesn't really reflect the movie very well. Now if only DDD would actually ship my copy to me...
     

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