There’s a line in The Shawshank Redemption where Morgan Freeman’s character, Red, tells us, “Prison is no fairy tale world.” Except that’s exactly what it is in this movie. Make no mistake about it: Frank Darabont’s 1994 prison drama, based on a Stephen King novella, endures as a kind of modern fairy tale, albeit one that transplants the most basic of all human emotions to the least romantic of all story settings. Instead of happening in space, like The Empire Strikes Back, this tale unfolds in a penitentiary.

Interpretations of Shawshank abound; depending on who you ask, the film might resonate as everything from a simple bromance to a biblical allegory. However, by using the prison as a canvas for a humanistic hope parable, the film managed to tap into something sublime and all-inclusive, something that cuts across demographics and appeals to people’s innermost yearning selves. Or, as Red puts it, “something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it.”

The story of wrongfully convicted inmate Andy Dufresne, played with glassy-eyed stoicism by Tim Robbins, speaks to the imprisoned dreamer in all of us. He’s a man, Red tells us, “who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side.” Anyone who’s ever felt trapped by their circumstances, anyone who’s ever hoped for a better life, can relate to Andy’s decades-long struggle in Shawshank State Prison. As The Shawshank Redemption turns 25, it remains essential fuel for the film-lover’s soul: inspirational and heart-aching, but also perhaps richer and more multi-layered than you remember.

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The Shawshank Redemption in Theaters

This month, Stephen King fans have been swarming to theaters to watch Pennywise the Dancing Clown terrorize the grown up Losers’ Club in IT Chapter Two. But in a few days, they’ll be able to enjoy a different kind of story from Stephen King, one that warms your heart instead of trying eat it.

The Shawshank Redemption is considered one of the best Stephen King adaptations of all-time. Hell, it’s simply one of the best films ever made. It’s hard to believe, but this year the film is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and in honor of the milestone, you can catch the movie back in theaters for a few days. Find out when you can see The Shawshank Redemption in theaters below. Read More »

here and now trailer

Talk about a modern family.

Alan Ball, the creator of acclaimed HBO series like  Six Feet Under and True Blood, has returned to the network with a new series called Here and Now, which follows a multi-racial adopted family who is suddenly thrown into disarray when one of the kids starts having strange visions.

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Here and Now trailer

Six Feet Under and True Blood creator Alan Ball returns to HBO with the new drama Here and Now. The series focuses on a multi-racial, adopted family who find themselves under duress when one of their members begins seeing things. A new Here and Now trailer provides an early, deliberately vague look at the show to come, while hinting at much more.

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Marjorie Prime trailer

Jon Hamm as a hologram sounds like a future I want to live in. He stars alongside Lois SmithGeena Davis, and Tim Robbins in director Michael Almereyda‘s (Experimenter) science-fiction drama, Marjorie Prime. The movie was well-received at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

Below, watch the Marjorie Prime trailer.

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Jacob's Ladder remake

Jacob’s Ladder recently turned 25 years old. Adrian Lyne‘s (Unfaithful) thriller didn’t perform spectacularly at the box office, but like some of the director’s other films, it’s aged considerably well. Back in 2013, we heard about a Jacob’s Ladder remake, which is finally moving forward with Michael Ealy (Almost Human) in the lead role.

Learn more about the project below.

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HBO Cancels ‘The Brink’ (After Already Renewing It)

The Brink cancelled

HBO has cancelled The Brink, the dark geopolitical satire starring Tim Robbins and Jack Black, after one season. Which isn’t too shocking at first glance, given that the series never garnered much buzz and earned only modest ratings. What makes it weird is that the news comes after HBO already renewed The Brink for Season 2, way back in July. More about The Brink cancellation after the jump. Read More »

Shawshank Redemption prisoner caught

Those of us who have seen The Shawshank Redemption are quite familiar with the tale of Andy Dufresne, the man who (spoiler alert) “crawled through a river of sh*t and came out clean on the other side.” And today we have a peculiar set of coincidences where life imitates art to some extent. An escaped prisoner caught after 56 years on the lam has been revealed to be a 79-year-old man who once did time in the reformatory where The Shawshank Redemption was shot on location, but escaped incarceration.  Read More »

Jack Black / Tim Robbins

After chronicling the 2000 Bush-Gore debacle with 2008’s Recount and John McCain’s failed 2008 presidential run with last year’s Game Change, Jay Roach is once again diving into the world of politics for HBO. But this time, the crisis being depicted is totally fictional.

Roach has just cast Jack Black and Tim Robbins in the HBO comedy pilot The Brink, about three “disparate and desperate” men facing the possibility of World War III. More plot details after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

spoils-of-babylon-trailer

While the mainstream is fetishizing the ’90s, a crew is still looking back at the forgotten corners of ’80s pop culture. IFC mini-series The Spoils of Babylon is from exec producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Matt Piedmont, Andrew Steele and Nate Young. (Steele and Piedmont wrote.) It is designed as a spoof of ’80s event television, and skewers stuff like The Thorn Birds; beach lit stories that, in their small-screen incarnations, are forgotten by most people who weren’t around to watch them the first time.

The series is about the Morehouse oil tycoon family, with Tobey Maguire, Tim Robbins and Kristen Wiig among the leads. (Jessica Alba, Jelly Howie, Val Kilmer, Michael Sheen, and Steve Tom also show up.) Below, watch a trailer in which Maguire narrates a brief history of the family, culminating with the ominous memory of the Morehouse son Winston. Read More »