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DVD review: "Extract"

January 2, 2010 - Andy Gray
Mike Judge may depend on a studio or investors to bankroll his movies, but a writer/director is a boss, not an employee. Not surprisingly, a decade after making “Office Space,” Judge now sees life from the perspective of the boss, rather than the workers. And he wishes those workers would shut up, quit worrying about everyone else and just do their job.

That’s the perspective of Jason Bateman’s character in “Extract.” Joel founded the company but spends most of his time refereeing petty bickering between employees. That’s one of the reasons he’s considering selling out to General Mills. The workplace scenes have the ring of truth and reflect Judge’s distinctive voice.

But while an extract concentrates flavor, ``Extract’’ dilutes the elements that work with an illogical, unworkable plotlines. One involves an employee (Clifton Collins Jr.) who loses a testicle in freak work accident and the con artist (Mila Kunis) who hopes to cash in on his misfortune. And the other involves Joel’s sexual frustration and a drug-fueled plan where he arranges for his wife (Kristen Wiig) to have an affair so he can have a guilt-free fling with Kunis.

Judge’s "Extract" also features what must be a “green” factory, because there’s definitely some recycling going on. As much fun as Ben Affleck may be as Joel’s drug-munching, bartender buddy, the character is cut from the same hairy cloth as Diedrich Bader’s character in “Office Space.”

Like “Office Space” and “Idiocracy,” “Extract” didn’t find an audience in theaters. Unlike those movies, it won’t be embraced on DVD either.


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