Connect with us

Disc Reviews

Extract (Blu-ray) | DVD Review

Mike Judge offers a wide range of flavors that practically guarantees there’s something in this Extract that will appeal to all fans of comedy.

Writer/director Mike Judge (Office Space) has always been able to accomplish a somewhat unique feat, delivering some of the smartest and most subtle comedy around while also satisfying the audience’s tastes for some low-brow humor. Extract, his latest from Miramax Films, is no different. It offers a wide range of flavors that practically guarantees there’s something in this Extract that will appeal to all fans of comedy.

Jason Bateman (Couples Retreat, TV’s Arrested Development) plays Joel, the owner of a successful flavor extract company who seems to be living the American dream. He’s got a beautiful house, a loving wife, and a top-of-the-line car. But things start to spiral out of control when a longtime employee (Clifton Collins, Jr, Sunshine Cleaning) suffers a freak workplace accident that threatens Joel’s plans to sell the company and retire. Before long, Joel falls for a con-artist temp at the factory (Mila Kunis, The Book of Eli), hires a gigolo to seduce his bored wife, and listens to bad advice from his bartender friend (Ben Affleck, who shines in smaller roles like this). Featuring an uproarious ensemble cast that also includes Saturday Night Live‘s Kristen Wiig as Joel’s wife, J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man) as Joel’s second-in-command at the factory, the hilarious David Koechner (Thank You for Smoking) as a pushy neighbor who won’t take no for an answer, and even KISS’ Gene Simmons as (what else?) a sleazy lawyer. To Judge’s and the cast’s credit, what sounds like a convoluted story actually turns out to be quite endearing and perhaps not so far-fetched a premise as it seems at first. Extract is written and performed in such a way as to make even this extreme situation seem almost normal and entirely possible.

At this point, one would hope that Extract will follow the same formula as Judge’s Office Space and the under-appreciated Idiocracy, both of which, especially the former, enjoyed a great deal of success on home video after initially under-performing at the box office. True to form, Extract grossed just under $11 million in theaters – more than enough to recoup its modest budget, but far below what anyone involved had hoped for. While not necessarily big screen material, the film does play well in the comforts of one’s living room, where the viewer can rewind certain scenes and marvel at the way the comedy seems to hit you over the head with blunt force while simultaneously artfully offering some subtle wit to go along with it.

As with any film on Blu-ray disc, Extract looks and sounds excecptional, with a pristine 1.85:1 1080p video presentation and a crisp 5.1 DTS-HD audio track in English. As for special features, the one complaint is that there aren’t enough. A commentary track from Judge and/or some of the cast could have been very interesting and highly entertaining, but all we get instead are:
A Deleted Scene, exclusive to Blu-ray, in which Afflec’s character apologizes to Joel for bailing on him the night before in a sticky situation. It’s actually a funny scene that should have been left in. A commentary explaining the reason for its omission would also have been nice.
Some Extended Scenes, also exclusive to Blu-ray, include a nice touch that lets the viewer know, by way of onscreen indication, what was edited from each of the scenes in question. Some commentary on the reasoning would have been nice here, too, though, as all we’re left to surmise is that the scenes were cut down to accommodate a more reasonable running time for the film…although an extra minute or two wouldn’t have hindered the flow of the film.
Mike Judge’s Secret Recipe Featrette – The ingredients for a classic Mike Judge film is an eleven-minute making of featurette in which we learn some interesting things, such as the fact that the factory scenes were filmed in a bottled water factory that remained in operation during the shoot. A bit where Judge directs himself as a worker trying to unionize is good for a few laughs as well. One would think that eleven minutes is rather short for a making-of, but it seems like a good fit in this case.

While not as classic as Office Space, Extract is smart and funny enough to be counted among the better comedies of the past year and is well worth renting for the performances alone, let alone the quick-witted humor. And with Bateman in the lead role, Extract is more than a little reminiscent of an extended episode of Arrested Development, and that’s a good thing.

Movie rating – 4

Disc Rating – 2.5

Continue Reading
You may also like...
Click to comment

More in Disc Reviews

To Top