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  • Hi. I'm Doug Van Doren, the writer and producer of this movie and I just checked in with some of the user comments and votes for the first time in a while. Always good to see those who like and don't like your work. However, after reading the comments of Hunterdu below, I'd like to offer my own two cents -- not because I think he's wrong per se, but because I think he's unnecessarily nasty and unfair with his comments. Here goes:

    "Parodies are only funny if they can stand on their own somewhat."

    True, but I think this one does, and not merely "somewhat". I've received hundreds of e-mails from people who have worked both in Hollywood and in other jobs, all of them able to relate to the oppressive conditions and the abusive bosses who think they can get away with murder simply because they make a lot of money. One does not need to see the original to get that, although it certainly helps with this one, especially since Alfonso Freeman (Morgan's son) is so darned dead on with his impersonation of his father.

    "It does not take a good writer to simply take dialog almost word for word from one of the best movies of all time and put it into an office situation."

    That's EXACTLY why I think this concept is so good, because it is so simple: working in a bad office job is like being in prison. You want to break free, but you can't because you need the money/security. How many people in this work are working in jobs they can't stand? How many have never had the courage to follow their real dreams and thus "settle" for what they've got? I'll bet anyone a shiny new dime HunterDu is probably doing exactly that in his life. This movie is about finding the courage (or "hope") to break free despite being in a dark place, which is the EXACT same message in the original "Shawshank Redemption".

    "And three year old can do this. But most don't because they know better."

    I think he meant to say "any". Perhaps HunterDu should proof his own work before criticizing the work of others. Plus, I didn't take the movie word for word. "Shawshank" is nearly two and a half hours. Ours is 21 minutes. It takes a lot of effort and skill to boil down a movie as great as Shawshank and pull out all of it's thematically meaningful and emotional scenes and then transcribe them as a comedy that's 121 minutes shorter. I'm not saying I'm the best writer in the world, but comparing me to a three year old is juvenile in itself and obviously said just to be inflammatory.

    "The funniest thing about this is that it was released as an Oscar engagement. As if this movie was going to get any Oscar recognition."

    No, we didn't get an Oscar nom, but neither did the other couple of hundred very good films that were eligible. That said, we just landed another film because of it (the entire purpose of making it in the first place) and HBO, the biggest cable movie network on the planet, liked it enough to fork over a good chunk of money to buy it, not bad considering they only buy a handful of shorts every year.

    "But I guess it would make any sense to release it for a Razzie engagement."

    I don't know what a "Razzie" is, but this smacks of yet another childish insult. I think the best way to close is to quote a personal e-mail I received from Frank Darabont (the director of "The Shawshank Redemption") after he saw it:

    "Message to Natalie and Doug: Just saw SHARKTANK and loved it. Very clever and loving send-up, but with a core identity of its own which prevents it from being mere spoof. Good stuff. Congratulations to all. Odd (though wonderful) sensation, I must admit, to be the one being riffed. Honestly, I love it. Makes me feel like I finally arrived. Again, what a treat. Thanks. -- Frank"

    And thanks to IMDB for letting me have my rebuttal. I feel much better now! ;-)

    Bottom line: like all movies, everyone should just see it and judge for themselves. I think I know where the large majority will fall.
  • My favorite of the Sundance shorts series. The music from Shawshank adds a lot and is surprising - most shorts don't pay up to get access to good music. Freeman, of course, is Morgan Freeman's son, and he does a great imitation of his famous father's voice and cadence.
  • fenevar20 April 2013
    This was absolutely horrible. This film should not even connect itself to Shawshank in any way. Shawshank is an absolutely incredible film, and this doesn't live up to even spoof quality. I had the unpleasant experience of watching this with some friends, and I had to say 'I'm sorry' at the end. They also thought it was horrible. The lines that are slightly related to lines from Shawshank are horribly executed and written, and acted. The acting. The acting is just so absolutely horrible throughout this film. Andy Dufresne's parody character, who's parody name isn't worth remembering. This whole film is just bad. Don't watch this. It's a bad experience that will have you cringing at nearly every line, and despairing for the future of film spoofs.
  • phipsi_0930 April 2002
    The movie has the insight of Office Space while loosing none of the style of Shawshank. The deep voice of Freemen and musical score adds to the overall strength of the movie. I hope to see more like this. This producition took guts.
  • boxingguy13 December 2002
    Alfonso is as gifted an actor as his dad. It's a work of genius to capture the essence of "Shawshank", turn it into a comedy, and then squeeze it all into a 21 minute film...It would be great to see Morgan and Alfonso in a movie together portraying father and son...
  • There are lots of short film parodies out there, but this is unquestionably the best one I've seen. Actually, to simply call it parody doesn't do it justice. Whereas most parodies are disposable little one-joke pieces of fluff, this one is actually ABOUT something universal and profound, kind of the way "Shawshank" was. It's funny, yes but it's also very touching and very well made. Morgan Freeman's son is hilarious in that he mimics his dad in any uncanny fashion, yet brings his own style to the role. Really well directed and written, with fantastic music.

    See it if you can.
  • Shawshank Redemption is one of my all time favorite films. So when I spotted the spoof "SharkTank Redemption" on my cable guide, I just had to watch it!

    Couldn't help but laugh the entire time! It was so wonderfully done and for those very familiar with Shawshank, this is absolutely hilarious!

    Enjoyed seeing Morgan Freeman's son Alfonso and would love to see more of him. Like someone else mentioned, it would be wonderful to see Morgan and Alfonso in a film together as father and son.

    If you're a fan of "Shawshank" and you get a chance to catch this hilarious short film, don't miss's definitely worth seeing!
  • I enjoyed this film very much. It was entertaining and comical and superbly produced! The correlations between the original Shawshank Redemption were masterfully orchestrated. Additionally, the actors performances could should be closely watched as they did a phenomenal job!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I liked this short movie. It seemed like a nod towards Shawshank while at the same time mocking Dilbert farms. They (prison and cube farms) are quite similar and I think this short film demonstrates this. The fact that they have Morgan Freeman's son playing his part was fun. The guy in Tim Robbins role was also a very close likeness. I ran across this movie on the Sundance Channel.

    I really liked the promotion hearings. It really felt like Shawshank in 30 minutes. You had to have seen Shawshank recently or more than a couple times to notice all the little things that this film copied so well.

    I only noticed a couple glitches or places that I didn't care for. The very ending scene while panning to see the sun I thought was a little overdone. But all in all I think they paid homage to The Shawshank Redemption quite well.
  • zoraca30 September 2002
    I've been watching this every night it's on Cinemax recently. My favorite parts are when Fred is pointing the sub at Randy and when Fred reads the letter and says "Sharktank." I wish they used the part where the boss tells Red "You don't have to tell me everytime you have to take a p**s," because I would have just lost it. I think another reason I like this so much is because I find Shawshank to be somewhat cliche and extremely manipulative (for creating loveable prisoners and for that sappy closing monologue). Don't get me wrong...I think Shawshank is very well done, but it has become overrated, and this is exactly what it needed.
  • hunterdu30 July 2001
    Parodies are only funny if they can stand on their own somewhat. It does not take a good writer to simply take dialog almost word for word from one of the best movies of all time and put it into an office situation. And three year old can do this. But most don't because they know better.

    The funniest thing about this is that it was released as an Oscar engagement. As if this movie was going to get any Oscar recognition. But I guess it would make any sense to release it for a Razzie engagement
  • "The SharkTank Redemption" seemed to indicate that the DVD would contain a humorous spin-off parody of the movie involving sharks trying to escape their tanks at an ocean exhibit. That sounded rather lame, but it's a better plot than what's here.

    Basically Alfonso Freeman (Morgan's son) works at a Hollywood agency. It's a ruthless place a bit reminiscent of the movie "Swimming with Sharks" - which is ironic, for obvious reasons.

    A new guy starts working there and receives a lot of criticism from his boss, but he seems able to ignore it. Freeman wants to know how he does this, but it seems Randy (the new employee) just has a way of keeping his cool.

    Finally Randy snaps, but first he provides his fellow workers in the office environment with a moment of inspiration.

    Let me get something straight: THIS IS LAME. Really lame. I tried to laugh. I wanted to laugh. But I couldn't. IT'S JUST NOT FUNNY.

    It has to be just about the lamest idea was already done in "Swimming with Sharks" and even as a short film it seems dry. In terms of "spoofing" "The Shawshank Redemption" (which is what I had hoped for), all they can come up with are stupid puns on words from the movie, like "Randy" instead of "Andy." The movie's ending is disappointing and just not very funny at all. I suppose if you were a huge "Shawshank" fan you might get something out of this, but for casual viewers, it's just one big (or small, depending upon how you look at it) mess.