The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 mathematical-expose and prison drama, based on the educational/erotic comic strip of the same name, created by Frank Darabont. The film, loosely based on the comic, was directed by Stephen King. It features Tim Allen as Andy, who is sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife and being a pretentious math nerd. With the help of his friend Red (Morgan Freeman/Bill Cosby), Andy must endure constant ass-rape, while solving perplexing math problems (often simultaneously). While not initially garnering much at the box office, The Shawshank Redemption has since been heralded as one of the greatest cinematic works of all time.
A stuffy math nerd and registered sex-offender named Andy Du...Fragne? Frain? (Tim Allen) is accused of murdering his wife in the late 1540's. He is tried by jury, and sentenced to two life-sentences of prison ass-rape (in the 2nd degree). Andy is sent to Shawshank Prison (somewhere in Mongolia), which is run by a cruel and corrupt warden (Tyler Perry). Every day in the prison yard, Andy is subjected to torment by the Shawshank-AssShankers, a local group of wildly homosexual ruffians. Every day, Andy is thrown to the ground and subjected to math complex math equations and occasional word problems. If Andy cannot solve these after a given time interval, the AssShankers proceed to Ass-Shank Andy with their razor sharp, titanium penises. Eventually, Andy meets Red, (Morgan Freeman) an aging, black sociopath with a hunger for white meat. As the two develop a deep friendship, Andy begins to accept his love of domination by other men, and views Red's massive shawshank as an escape from the daily toils of prison life.
- Tim Allen as Andy Du... Dufresne? DuFraine?
- Morgan Freeman as Red (one scene)
- Bill Cosby as Red (all other scenes)
- Tyler Perry as The Warden
- Gil Bellows as some kid no one knows the name of.
- George Carlin as Prison rapist #1
- Jimmy Carter as Prison rapist #2
- Atilla the Hun as Prison rapist #3
- Pope Benedict XVI as Prison rapist #4
- Pope Peter as Prison rapist #5
- Jesus Christ as Prison rapists #6-27 (uncredited)
A director I doubt anyone has heard of decided to turn one of Stephen King's few non-horror novels into a movie. He later made The Green Mile, another prison movie starring Tom Hanks, which was pretty shitty.
Upon initial release in 1994, The Shawshank Redemption was relatively unsuccessful, earning a mere international box-office gross of $5.01 (adjusted for modern day rates and inflation: $12.2 million). Contemporary film historians blame this surprising failure on a multitude of reasons. The first - and most prominent - pertains to the fact that the film was released on the same opening weekend as infamous blockbusters of the year, including Forrest Gump and Citizen Kane X: Roseblood. Additionally, moviegoers are believed to have been put off by an advertising mistake, in which the character Red (Morgan Freeman) was actually portrayed in commercials as the last-minute-omition character Tiny-Tony, the spunky, scruff, yet loveable goofball with a big attitude (originally to be played by Dany DeVito). DeVito's character was originally meant to be a comic relief to Andy, unintentionally creating sticky situations and goofy conundrums that would require he and Tiny-Tony to work together in order to get out of. This advertising goof led audiences to believe they would be viewing an upbeat, slapstick family-film, only then to be treated to a Stephen King drama featuring dark tones, suggestive posters, and pseudo-1940's prison-rape gang-bang.
Since its release, The Shawshank Redemption has been universally praised by critics. The film is particularly noted for its breathtaking cinematography, superb acting, advanced story-arc, and hidden celebrity cameos. In regard to the latter, esteemed film critic Roger Ebert (c. 1890-2017) noted: "The true brilliance of this film (The Shawsank Redemption) lies within the confines of its clever celebrity cameos. As soon as I spotted Robin Williams hidden in that prison-yard for that single second - eating that AlmondJoy and staring intimately into the camera, I knew that the warden would end up shooting himself while neck-to-neck with law enforcement officers. Of course, I didn't know at the time - but I realized after the fact just how obvious it was (laughs). Now that's good foreshadowing."
While its initial box-office earnings left much to be desired, excellent critical acclaim - plus a growing cult-following - has led to the mass purchase of VHS cassette tapes worldwide. This surge of interest has placed The Shawshank Redemption at the number three spot for highest-grossing films of all time, just after Tommy Wiseau's rivaled cinematic masterpiece The Room, and Ferris Bueller's Day On, the classic 1991 pornographic S&M sequel to the beloved 1980's film.
Two years after the film's release, director Stephen King admitted that Morgan Freeman in fact only appears at one moment in the film: when he is seen standing in the courtyard, listening to the opera music Andy is playing. This scene was the first shot for the film. In the following hours, Morgan Freeman is reported to have been summoned to the White House by president Bill Clinton. He was not to be seen again for nearly four years, and to this day grows pale and quiet at the mere mention of the former saxophonist president. According to King, "the whole experience - whatever it entailed - has caused nothing but emotional strife for the man (Freeman). As per our contract with him, we were obligated to cover his treatments and recovery, which included hypnotherapy, various antidepressants, animal sacrifice to various archaic Mesopotamian gods (notable Enkidu and Pazuzu), and years of dedicated emotional support. It was a tough road, both emotionally and financially - but we made it through." Freeman was replaced by Bill Cosby for all other scenes in the film.
Bill Cosby's Mathety-Bop-Obtusidy-zop-Puddin-Pop
With The Shawshank Redemption's release to VHS tape in early 1995, lucky buyers would be randomly awarded Mathety-Bop-Obtusidy-zop-Puddin-Pop, a floppy disk distributed by Bill Cosby with 490 minutes of audio, math-related content present. The disk's purpose - as per the film's status as a "mathematical drama" - was to make the various mathematical concepts displayed in the film more relatable to the average viewer. The disk was intended to be played simultaneously with the movie, though the former would have to be paused often, as both were meant to end at the exact same time. Each copy of the floppy came with a detailed list of instructions on what moments to pause and resume the film, as well as a skill-set of 30-60 math problems to be completed at various announced intervals. Cosby's floppy discussed multiple concepts from the film, including obtuse angles, basic trigonometry, tunneling calculations (comparative to the physical limitations of a rock hammer), Riemannian and metric geometry, advanced theoretical calculus and statistical proportioning, and basic illegal money laundering/false identity conception. It was the hope of Cosby and the film's producers that this floppy would help educate viewers - particularly younger demographics - leading to a better viewing experience and practical knowledge to be applied in the real world.
Despite its good intentions, Mathety-Bop-Obtusidy-zop-Puddin-Pop was condemned and recalled only two weeks after its release. Most viewers found that the Cosby floppy - contrary to the original hypothesis - actually made for a less enjoyable viewing experience. Former United States emperor and certified bitch Hillary Clinton remarked upon pairing the film and floppy: "The dialogue in the movie (Shawshank Redemption) is almost completely drowned out by the sound of Cosby Zippidy-Bopping and Boop-puddin-poppin' from my computer. I'd rather have Monica Lewinsky blow my penis again than endure this experience a second time. And let me tell ya, that's no big sacrifice - that woman has sharp chompers." In addition, some conservative parents complained that, when played backwards, the floppy disk features a gargled Bill Cosby's voice, instructing prepubescent and teenaged children to roll in patches of poison sumac, rub their nipples with melted dark chocolate, and trek to the aging African-American actor's home address. Cosby denied these allegations, but withdrew his copyright and namesake from the floppy disk shortly thereafter.
While a complete failure at the time, the floppy has seen some recent revitalization in the form of aid sent to various third-world countries such as India, Wisconsin, and The Vatican. Its purpose is to independently be used as an instrument of instructing modern mathematical concepts to underprivileged children, underprivileged government bureaucrats and business instructors, and underprivileged jungle guerrilla regimes (see: Catholic Church).