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MIRAMAX

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Mike Judge
Cast:
Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck, Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, J.K. Simmons, Clifton Collins Jr.
Writing Credits:
Mike Judge

Tagline:
A comedy for anyone who punches in and checks out.

Synopsis:
The creator of Office Space, writer-director Mike Judge, moves from cubicles to the assembly line with Extract his outrageous return to workplace comedy, featuring a hilarious ensemble cast of quirky characters. About to sell his successful flavor extract company, life is almost sweet for Joel (Jason Bateman) until a freak on-the-job accident happens. Add to that his bored wife (Kristen Wiig), his laid-back best friend (Ben Affleck), a sexy con artist (Mila Kunis) who blows into town with dollar signs in her bedroom eyes, and a dumb gigolo - and life as he knows it turns sour. Filled with laugh-out-loud one-liners and raunchy comedy, Extract is 100% pure hilarity.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$5.513 million on 1611 screens.
Domestic Gross
$10.814 million.

MPAA:
Rated R

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 92 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 12/22/2009

Bonus:
• “Mike Judge’s Secret Recipe” Featurette
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• Sneak Peeks


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Extract [Blu-Ray] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 17, 2009)

Though best known for his TV series Beavis and Butt-Head and King of the Hill, Mike Judge earned a good cult audience with his first live-action big-screen effort, 1999’s Office Space. Judge wasn’t able to replicate that success with his next flick, 2006’s Idiocracy. That one got only a very limited theatrical release and made little impact on video.

It remains to be seen what audience/legacy Judge’s third movie will enjoy. 2009’s Extract bombed at the box office, but that was also true for Office Space, so one can say for sure that it won’t also earn its own cult following someday.

But I kinda doubt it. Extract introduces us to Joel Reynolds (Jason Bateman), the owner of a flavor extract business. He doesn’t lead a particularly exciting life. He works too much and his wife Suzie (Kristen Wiig) actively avoids sex with him. In addition, a mishap at the factory threatens a potential takeover purchase from General Mills, an acquisition that would allow Joel to retire early.

Into this setting steps Cindy (Mila Kunis), a con artist who sets her sights on the money involved with the accident settlement. She takes a job as a temp at Joel’s company so she can cozy up to injured “Step” Wilkenson (Clifton Collins, Jr.) and snake off with his money.

This becomes one of many complications in Joel’s life. He needs to deal with Step’s lawsuit as well as his problematic romantic life. His bartender buddy Dean (Ben Affleck) convinces him to hire a gigolo to seduce Suzie; if she cheats, that frees him up to get his jollies elsewhere. Preferably with Cindy, of course.

I might be in the minority, but I was never particularly wild about Office Space. That may not be surprising, though, as most of its fans seem to dig it partially because they relate to the way it satirizes office life. I don’t work in that setting, so some of the humor doesn’t connect for me.

Does that mean you need to be a factory worker or business owner to enjoy Extract? I doubt it, and I don’t think that’s why the film leaves me cold. While Office Space doesn’t do a ton for me, it does work substantially better than the surprisingly tepid and bland Extract.

What went wrong? Actually, I hesitate to firmly claim that the flick trotted seriously off-course, as it’s not a bad experience. The movie manages to create the occasional chuckle and never becomes an unpleasant piece to view.

If that’s not faint praise, however, I don’t know what is. Without a doubt, Judge is a clever, funny guy; he proved that over and over with the witty satire of his animated efforts. When he sticks with semi-over the top parody, Judge is in his element.

That’s not the case with Extract, though, and the absence of real opportunities for satire mean that it leaves Judge out of his element. At times, the film veers toward “Office Space in a Factory”, but that’s not a major element. Those may be the best parts of the film, as they show a little bite.

When Judge attempts to explore the characters, however, he goes astray. The movie just has no real driving force behind it. Does it want to spoof factory life? Is it about a clever con woman? Is it an exploration of the sad state of married life?

Yes, no, and maybe. Obviously Joel’s tale comes to the fore, but it never really seems to kick into any form of active gear. Joel’s plot drifts and rambles along without much purpose. We assume that it’ll go down a certain path, but we don’t care if it does or it doesn’t.

This means Extract wastes a pretty good cast. In addition to Bateman, Kunis, Wiig and Affleck, we find solid supporting actors like Beth Grant, JK Simmons and David Koechner. I won’t say that the film completely fritters their talent, but it doesn’t use them to their best advantage. They add a few minor laughs but not much more.

Extract occasionally threatens to become fun and lively, but it never gets there. Instead, it comes with multiple unfulfilled comedic opportunities. Though it remains watchable, it doesn’t become memorable.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C-/ Audio B-/ Bonus D+

Extract appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The film came with a surprisingly dull transfer.

Sharpness was one of the erratic elements. While closer shots looked fine, wider elements had problems. Those tended to be somewhat soft and fuzzy, with mild edge haloes as well. Overall definition was pretty lackluster. No jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and source flaws remained absent.

Colors remained decent and not much better. Actually, a few shots offered pretty good vivacity, but most of the hues appeared average. The colors were acceptable and that was about it. Blacks also appeared reasonably dark, while shadows tended to be a bit thick; low-light shots weren’t bad, but they weren’t strong, either. The main problem was that the flick just looked flat and bland; this was a decidedly lackluster presentation.

While better, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Extract didn’t dazzle, either. Like with most comedies, the soundfield remained restrained. The most active sequences came from those on the factory floor; they opened up the soundscape in a moderate manner.

And that was about it, really. The spectrum provided decent expansion of the environmental audio, and music boasted good stereo imaging. Nothing much happened, though, and this remained a fairly restricted soundtrack.

At least audio quality seemed good. Speech was consistently natural and concise, without edginess or other concerns. Music showed nice clarity and range, and effects fared about the same. Those elements were accurate and tight; they didn’t have much to do, but they came across well. The track merited a “B-“ and that was about it.

Only minor supplements flesh out the set Mike Judge’s Secret Recipe goes for 10 minutes, 48 seconds and includes notes from writer/director Mike Judge, producer John Altschuler, and actors Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Lidia Porto, Beth Grant, JK Simmons, TJ Miller, Javier Gutierrez, Clifton Collins, Jr., Kristen Wiig, David Koechner, Gene Simmons, and Dustin Milligan. “Recipe” looks at the inspiration for the film, story and characters, the factory location, cast and performances, and Judge’s style.

“Recipe” provides a fairly perfunctory behind the scenes featurette. It gives us some production basics but doesn’t develop into anything special. It gives us enough meat to entertain, though.

We also find five Extended Scenes and one Deleted Scene. The former run a total of four minutes, 29 seconds, while the latter fills 40 seconds. The extensions don’t add much; altogether, they only last a little more than a minute and a half, so they’re minor elongations without much impact. As for the deleted scene, it shows more of Dean, as he apologizes to Joel after he abandoned him in a fight. It’s another minor piece without much substance.

A few ads open the disc. We get clips for When In Rome, Surrogates, and The Boys Are Back. These also appear in the Sneak Peeks area. No trailer for Extract shows up here.

As a fan of his TV series, I looked forward to Mike Judge’s Extract. Unfortunately, his usual comedic sharpness fails to manifest itself in this fairly bland offering. The Blu-ray provides surprisingly fuzzy visuals along with decent audio and a minor set of supplements. Leave this mediocre movie and disc for die-hard Judge fans – and even they probably won’t get much from it.

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