DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

Extract - DVD Review


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</script></div>{/googleAds}Mike Judge's Office Space failed to initially strike a chord with mass theater audiences because its brand of satirical humor was largely missed on those it poked with its ridicule stick... same with Idiocracy, another understated jewel. It takes a clever satirist to make a victim laugh at his own imperfections. Sacha Baron Cohen proved with his â"throw the Jews down the well" routine in Borat that he certainly knows how to do it, and time (as well as an eventual cult following) has shown that Judge knew what he was doing after all with Office Space and Idiocracy.

Judge goes down that same Office Space road with Extract, but rather than telling the story from the point of view of the employees looking up at evil management, he shoots from the view of a company owner looking down on the incompetent workers who are a big pain in the butt to him.

ExtractThat company owner is Joel (Jason Bateman), who owns an extract factory on the verge of selling out to General Mills. All he has to do to cash in is keep things running smoothly long enough for the big proposal to finally come in. Problem is, a workplace accident that violently separates an employee from his testicles threatens to squelch the lucrative deal. Joel can either scuttle the entire agreement or reach a financial settlement with a bus-bench attorney (Gene Simmons) that would bankrupt the company.

To make matters worse, Joel's workplace demands have sapped the sexuality from his marriage to Suzie (SNL's Kristen Wiig), who hasn't slept with him in weeks. This lack of carnal delight plays itself out in a humorous scene that depicts his wife's sweatpants being cinched up nightly at 8:00 pm sharp... just before Dancing with the Stars comes on TV. The sound of Suzie's drawstrings pulling tight is not unlike that of a rusty dungeon door slowly creaking itself shut with a heavy metallic slam.

The sexually frustrated Joel spends his evenings at a sports bar run by sleazy friend Dean (a shaggy-haired Ben Affleck) who dispenses horrible but well-meaning advice like a drug dealer pushes pills. In fact, one night, following an accidental dose of horse tranquilizer, Dean convinces Joel to hire a male gigolo (90210's Dustin Milligan) to seduce his wife. The drug-tainted logic goes that if she gives in to the temptation, Joel will have no moral compunction from making his own moves on workplace tart Cindy (Mila Kunis) who first brought attention to herself by showing interest in his food additive and flavor extract prowess. No one has ever gone for his heart in quite this way before.

Some of the film's more hilarious moments follow, including one featuring a hysterical pot-smoking scenario that emphasizes an explosively violent drug dealer and a water bong the size of an aboriginal didgeridoo. Think of the first time you saw Cheech and Chong smoke the giant joint in Up in Smoke. It's that effective.

Extract probably won't have the longevity of Office Space, nor will it likely attract the same loyal cult following. Its tone is a bit too sweet for that, and since it reaches for a more widely accepting audience, it doesn't carry the same sharpness of satirical wit as its older brother. But its extremely likable cast - led by a sympathetic Jason Bateman - elevates the material above the drone of typical cinematic drivel slated for mass consumption. Mike Judge fans that've been clamoring for another Office Space won't be completely satisfied, but if they stop and give it a moment, they'll notice that Extract is vintage Mike Judge... letting the idiocy of real people drive the comedy.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
3 Stars
2 stars
DVD Experience
2.5 stars

DVD

DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.85:1 (Theatre Wide-Screen)

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish.

Language and Sound: English: DTS 5.1 HD French: Dolby Digital 5.1.

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; behind-the-scenes featurette.

Supplements:

Commentary

  • No commentary track available.

Featurettes

  • Mike Judge's Secret Recipe - (11:00)

Number of Discs: 1 with black amaray case with a glossy slipcover.

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