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By Doug Brunell | April 7, 2004

This short film has a lot of good things going for it. It has a slight homage to “Se7en,” some great sight gags (check out the poster for Vin Diesel in “Great Exxxpectations”) and some dead-on Hollywood humor. Of course, Ernest Hemingway (played expertly by George Milton Hoth) doesn’t seem to find any laughs in the fact that a big studio wants to change “The Old Man and the Sea” to fit a teen demographic … with Adam Sandler as the lead. Great idea! The studio executives also want to change that whole fishing thing. It’s almost enough to make a guy want to blow his head off with his favorite hunting gun.
There was a chance this film could fail. A slim chance. The material is so ripe for satire that it almost writes itself, though that is not a swipe at Eric Champnella. As the writer/director of this superb short, he nails all the Hollywood truisms while applying them to a classic story considered to be a masterpiece of American literature. I hope he does a few more of these, perhaps delving into the film hinted at toward the end of this short: “Employee of the Month” starring Harrison Ford. I’d love to see the process behind that one. In the meantime, though, we’ll always have Havana.

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