Friday, September 25, 2009

Jason watches EXTRACT

And it's OFFICE SPACE from the boss's perspective. Or, at least it's about Joel (Jason Bateman) who's unhappy at work and at home (because he spends too much time at work and can't get back in time to spend any time with his wife). So he spends all his time at a bar talking to a very unhelpful drug-addled bartender (Ben Affleck, actually in a really good role) and getting into crazy shenanigans.

The kicker, Joel is the boss. He makes flavor extracts, and he owns his own company, but things still aren't working to his satisfaction. He hopes to sell out to General Mills, retire, and finally live the life of luxury. A freak accident, a lawsuit (with Gene Simmons as a flamboyant lawyer), and a beautiful con-woman Cindy (Mila Kunis) conspire to make his life more difficult. Plus, that drug-addled bartender convinces him to hire a gigolo to tempt his wife just to see if she'd be faithful (the idea being if she isn't, he can have an affair with Cindy guilt-free). Got that?

Doesn't matter. Mike Judge, in his short live-action big-screen career (OFFICE SPACE and IDIOCRACY. Of course, he also did "Beavis and Butt-Head" on TV and the big screen and "King of the Hill" on TV) has earned a reputation for making very funny movies that so displease the corporate masters that they get released to very few theaters with no advertising and only hopes of gaining a cult following (which his previous movies did). So it's easy to predict that when EXTRACT is getting advertised quite a bit it means he's probably toned down the corporate satire to the point where it's palatable to the bosses (i.e., bland to his audience). And well, it kinda is. It's not the same sharp corporate/cultural satire we've seen before. But it's still very funny, in large part because of a great comic cast.

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