Director Frank Darabont’s take on Stephen King’s tale of the friendship between two prisoners arrives on 4K Ultra HD. So, should you take it into your warm place, or will you feel regret if you do?
The story: A bit of a flop upon original release, not even making back its relatively meagre production cost, The Shawshank Redemption has gone on to be regarded as a genuine movie milestone – and carries the top rating on film info website IMDB. Set in the titular Shawshank prison, it tells the stories of many inmates through the eyes of wrongly-imprisoned innocent man Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), in particular his relationship with fellow inmate ‘Red’ (Morgan Freeman).
“Get busy living, or get busy dying.”
The 4K disc: A new, native 4K transfer has been created from the original film negative for this release, and the result is magnificent. Complete with HDR enhancement and presented in its original 1.85:1 ratio, there’s plenty of detail throughout, a wonderful boost to the range of darkness through to brights thanks to that HDR, and nought but a super-fine, consistent level of grain that’s not really perceptible unless you jam your face up against the screen. Superb!
Rather than creating a new soundtrack, the very capable existing 5.1 mix comes to us via lossless DTS-HD Master Audio. This is a very talky film, and all of that talk comes through with striking clarity. Surrounds are used well for atmosphere, while there’s really not a huge amount of bass to write home about, but when it does present itself it sounds right.
The 4K disc itself house one extra feature, in the form of a commentary with Darabont. This also features on the handy bonus standard Blu-ray that’s included, as are three pleasingly meaty featurettes, The Charlie Rose Show with Frank Darabont, Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, along with a stills gallery and trailer.
Release date: September 15, 2021
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, William Sadler
Want help deciding what to add to your 4K collection next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.