By day, this reviewer is not just a writer but a glorified cubicle jockey. For lack of a detailed job description, I am a computer software administrator. So as many cubicle jockeys, I’ve watched Office Space. To be honest, I’m not in love with it. I did find it mildly funny and there were a few “I’ve been in that situation before” moments. But interestingly enough, I was pretty excited to see Extract (Mike Judge had directed both). Perhaps it was my infatuation with Mila Kunis or seeing how Jason Bateman has progressed in comedic films or maybe I just wanted to see Ben Affleck in a full grown beard.
Joel (played by Jason Bateman) built the Reynolds extract factory from the ground up. His is still in charge of the factory but does yearn to sell the factory to somebody like General Mills and retire. However, he has other issues more pressing at the moment. His wife, Suzie (played by Kristen Wiig) works at home and once she puts on the sweat pants (8pm), Jason has no chance of getting any from his wife.
The problem is that he never seems to get home before 8pm. The hours are long and even if he gets home in time, he is usually delayed by his neighbor, Nathan (played by David Koechner) who won’t stop talking. Joel is also quite bored with his marriage and decides to concoct a plan with the help of his best friend, Dean (played by Ben Affleck) to hire a gigolo named Brad (played by Dustin Milligan) to seduce his wife. The idea is that if Brad is successful then Joel won’t feel so bad about cheating on her.
Back at the plant, life isn’t so rosy. Workers are restless about the temps, production isn’t at peak and injuries are just waiting to happen. As a result, Step (played by Clifton Collins Jr) gets one of his testicles shot off due to a terrible accident. He goes home to consider a settlement or lawsuit. Meanwhile, we are now introduced to a criminal drifter named Cindy (played by Mila Kunis) who sees a newspaper article detailing that Step had this injury and could be facing a million dollar settlement.
Cindy decides to get a job at the factory and in the process flirts with Joel. Joel decides that this is the woman he would like to have an affair with. In the process, Cindy gets the address for where Step lives and proceeds to have a “chance” meeting with Step. Step of course falls for the lady and Cindy starts the process of convincing Step that he needs to sue rather than settle. However, when they get Joe Adler (played by Gene Simmons) involved he may just bring the company to bankruptcy affecting the lives of everybody working inside it. Can Joel figure out what Cindy really is and save his company?
The casting for this movie is very strong. Everybody from Jason Bateman to even Javier Gutierrez who plays Hector come as appropriately cast for the part. The story is also very interesting and comes across as a great American blue collar comedy. The story starts off fairly simple, gets a little more complicated but then tidies up when its done leaving you with a feeling of completion and most importantly hope.
My only small issue with the movie is character development. We really don’t learn too much of anybody except for Joel, Dean and perhaps Cindy. Even Cindy doesn’t get that much screen time as she probably should have. There were a lot of middle range supporting characters that could have benefited with about 10-15 minutes total in screen time. It would have made for a longer movie but I think it would have made the comedy that much more funny than it already was.
The video is presented in 1.85:1 1080p Anamorphic Widescreen. I found the video to be very satisfactory for a fairly simple comedy flic. Colors were very strong and there was a good amount of detail in the factory and on-set. As an example & often overlooked, the selection of clothes for the cast made each actor & actress stand out and the Blu-ray really helped to bring that out. Mike Judge certainly did a great job of directing his shots on this film.
Audio is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD MA English (and also includes a French DD 5.1 Mix). Much like the video, the audio is a lot better than I expected. The first thing you will notice is that music is piped in very clearly and well used. Dialog is very strong and resonates well in the speakers. The few effects were dead on heard in the surrounding speakers and were appropriate and not overblown. Subtitles are provided for English SDH, French and Spanish.
- Automatic Trailers: When in Rome, Surrogates & The Boys are Back
- Mike Judge’s Secret Recipe 10:48: This would be the behind the scenes featurette and it has comments from all members of the major and minor cast who look like they had a ton of fun on set. They also explain that this was filmed in an actual bottle watter assembly plant. Real work would occasionally go on while they were filming the movie. The featurette is in 1080p and is one of the stronger “Behind the Scenes” I’ve seen.
- Extended Scenes 4:29: Five different extended scenes here all featuring a ton of Jason Bateman & Ben Affleck riffing longer than the original scene. Great stuff and could have easily been re-included. Another thing I liked is since they are extended scenes, they tell you which part is the extended scene. Video quality is same as original picture.
- Deleted Scene 0:39: The night after Joel gets punched in the face, Dean and Joel talk over the phone about it. Not much here but appreciate the inclusion.
As mentioned in the opener, I am not a strong fan of Office Space, Mike Judge’s first comedy about the workplace. However, after watching Extract, I can say I’m back on board with Mike Judge for the first time since Beavis & Butthead (I couldn’t stand Idiocracy, sorry). The casting is fantastic, the jokes are solid and the story comes to a pleasing conclusion.
The disc is also well done, with superb video and audio and well done extras. I do wish there would have been more extras (a commentary with Mike & Jason would have done wonders) but the movie only did $10 million at the box office. Hopefully, as with Mike’s other comedies this will develop a cult following on DVD & Blu-Ray. I give this a strong recommendation.