Author Stephen King is generally known as the king of horror, and many of his novels have gone on to become very successful horror films. And it is that generalization that catches most people off-guard when they find out that one his short stories was the inspiration for 'The Shawshank Redemption', one of the greatest films ever created. Sure, "film critics" are more likely to select films such as 'Citizen Kane' or 'Casablanca' as the best of the best, but movie watcher lists, such as IMDb's Top 250, will place this modern masterpiece at the top.
Why has this film risen to the ranks of 'The Godfather' and 'One Flew Over the Cuckcoo's Nest'? Its because this drama presents a story of hope and brotherhood that inspires viewers to rethink their own barriers in order to achieve at a higher level. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) has his life stolen from him, but instead of being beat down by overwhelming circumstances, he continues to rise above them and never gives up hope. He is, in short, a leader. 'The Shawshank Redemption' is out on Blu-ray today.
For this wonderful film, Warner Brothers presents a beautiful VC-1 encode that shines in many places where the DVD failed. Blacks are rich and colors, when they appear, are deep and vibrant. The soundtrack too gets star treatment, with a Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that really heightens the emotional state of the film. Bravo to WB for making sure this classic got the proper treatment.
On the new release front, Universal releases 'Wanted' today, and I have to admit that I was surprised by this film. The story, while by no means deep, did keep my interest long enough to bridge the amazing action sequences. The Blu-ray release is, of course, excellent. If you haven't caught on by now, Universal has become the most impressive studio as far as Blu-ray releases, and 'Wanted' is no exception. Video looks great and the soundtrack is extremely dynamic. I thoroughly enjoyed the disc, and I imagine that any action film fan will as well.
Also of note for new release today is the second film in 'The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian'. I am a huge fan of these books, having read them in grade school (and once again before the first film came out), so I have a great appreciation for Disney creating these films. I still feel, however, that director Adam Adamson is trying way too hard to duplicate the success of 'Lord of the Rings' and should stick closer to the books. But regardless, the films are enjoyable and its sure to be a popular title this holiday season.
And finally Sony is releasing a Will Ferrell hit ('Stranger than Fiction: Special Edition') and a miss ('Step Brothers') on Blu-ray today. Will Ferrell's performance in 'Stranger Than Fiction' is exemplary, and gives me hope that he will soon begin rejecting horrible comedy scripts and get into some serious drama work. Seriously.
Oh, and because I can't believe how popular this film still is, Fox is releasing 'Home Alone' to begin the month with a holiday themed bang.
Best movie of all time? Just look at number 4 on that list - Dark Knight- good movie but
nowhere near its ranking on that site. Please avoid the careless proof texting it makes these
reviews seem biased and more about marketing than providing a well rounded and critical
Shawshank is a great movie, but not a "#1" movie. The IMDB list is hilarious though. Dark Knight at #4 and Pulp Fiction at #6? I like both of them but neither are top 50 material. The Deer Hunter at #134 and no Sling Blade? Enough said. Can't wait for next week.
Shsinclair, there are over 300,000 people on IMDB.com who disagree with you about The Dark Knight. I haven't seen it so I can't say whether it is the fourth best movie in existence. I can tell you definitively, however, that it is not the #1 movie of all time. That honor of course goes to Terminator 2: Judgment Day (The Director's Cut)!!!
I'd also like to mention that Step Brothers was a HUGE surprise. Each characters are so perfect in their role, and the scene where the real brother's family is introduced, singing so perfectly in their car (except for the wife who obviously hates her life) is beautifully hilarious.
today i buy mi blu-ray THE DARK NIGHT is on sale now in mexico hahahahahaha.
is AWESOME picture and sound TrueHD IS amazing THE BEST BLU-RAY since IRON MAN.
and buy PRINCE CASPIAN and WANTED, but for now i watch again THE DARK NIGHT the special features is cooooooooooooooool.
HELL YEAH! FINALLY! The Shawshank Redemption is finally out on BR! Now I'm just waiting for movies like: The Bourne Identity, The Green Mile, The Fast And The Furious, and more! Just give me more Stephen King movies (such as The Green Mile) and I'm one happy camper!
P.S: I know Bourne and Fast And Furious are not Stephen King movies, in case you should misread my comment. : )