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Thoughts on 'Extract' . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Worth Full-Price, Matinee or Rental: Matinee. If you’re starved for comedy, then ‘Extract’ delivers a solid value at discount prices, however, it would probably work the best as a really enjoyable rental.

Will I Own It On DVD: No. I would be fine watching it on a lazy Sunday one more time, but it’s not funny enough to own.

Overrall Grade: B-


1) ‘Extract’ is the new comedy from Mike Judge, and it provides a steady stream of solid laughs – though only a few hilarious moments – in a shaggy dog work comedy that returns Judge to the corporate world where he made his name with the cult success of ‘Office Space.’ ‘Extract’ serves as a completion to that theme as it takes on the business world not from the cubicle viewpoint of ‘Space,’ but rather from the headaches and tribulations that a boss must endure when forced to manage a group of people with their own eccentricities and competing agendas.


2) But the corporate world of ‘Extract’ is only part of the battle as the other war is being waged by Jason Bateman with his wife (Kristin Wiig) as she no longer wants to sleep with him and instead, starts wearing sweatpants earlier and earlier each day to ward off his advances. Under the influence of drugs and questionable advice from his bartender friend (an excellent Ben Affleck), Bateman decides to hire a dim-witted gigolo to seduce his wife so he can feel better about potentially cheating on her with a new factory temporary worker (Mila Kunis).

3) The cast of ‘Extract’ elevates the material, and pulls more laughs than the writing often deserves. Jason Bateman is an adept everyman character as the head of the extract company, and his reactions to the increasingly odd situations are funny and also help ground the absurd into some semblance of reality. But everyone in the cast is good even though Kunis and Wiig deserved more richly conceived characters to work with as both roles are a bit lacking in depth. Affleck fares much better as a bartender. Hidden behind a beard and long stringy hair, Affleck gives a very funny and relaxed performance and it is to the movie’s detriment that he disappears during the second half of the running time (and it’s been a long time since audiences were probably wishing for more of Affleck).


4) I generally find Mike Judge movies to be better to quote among your friends than to watch repeatedly and enjoy as full-fledged projects. I’ve never found anyone who can actually remember what happens during the last 1/3 rd of ‘Office Space’ yet most people like the film. ‘Extract’ also suffers from a last act paralysis as it doesn’t follow ‘Space’ into the abyss, but neither does it rise much above serviceable in wrapping things up.

5) Overall, ‘Extract’ is a solid comedy. It has an appealing cast, and you could do far worse for an end of summer project than this film.

-BDS

18 comments

  1. TROLL Y2K Says:
  2. Wow. I was going to ask you to review this. Mike Judge is one of the few people not on my boycott list.

     
  3. Heff Says:
  4. I'm gonna pass on this, as Judge hasn't been worth a shit in my opinion since the Beavis & Butthead days.

     
  5. JLee Says:
  6. I saw this Saturday and really liked it. I hate to say it, but it's probably the most I've enjoyed Affleck in a film. ha I agree though about the female characters, but perhaps he didn't want too much sympathy considering their part in the whole scheme of things.

     
  7. Troll Y2k - Wow. Now I'm surprised. Ha. You should go check this one out then (at matinee prices). I like Judge's stuff, but don't love it.

    Heff - This is a perfect DISH comedy on a Sunday afternoon (when football season is over).

    Jlee - I liked it too. It's a pleasant comedy, and I thought Affleck was hilarious (he might be funnyier in 'Dazed and Confused' but just barely and he plays an asshole there). You could be right about the females, but Wiig is pretty funny in general and I thought he could have at least used her a bit more for laughs.

     
  8. I haven't even heard of this movie. Sounds like it could be okay. I may check it out if I can find some time.

     
  9. BostonPobble Says:
  10. You know, you're right ~ I have no clue what happens in the last 1/3 of Office Space. Hmmm...

     
  11. JLee Says:
  12. That's true about Wiig, she is pretty funny and was not used for her comedic ability much. I also forgot to mention I like the Dallas references he always uses, like the attorney. lol

     
  13. kmwthay Says:
  14. I saw this over the weekend, and I laughed so hard in some parts that I actually had tears. (I'm thinking the reason is because we saw it really, really late and I was really, really tired.)

    The best surprise to me was seeing Gene Simmons playing the scummy lawyer, (and he wasn't willing to smash his Family Jewels in the door.) I just felt like there were several situations in the movie that were relatable – which also helped to make this enjoyable.

     
  15. Boxer Says:
  16. I'll probably see it, I love Jason Bateman and think ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT was hysterical and he was a large part of it. I watched ADVENTURELAND this weekend.. have you seen it? Meh.

    Thanks for the review. When are "we" going to hear about coverage?

     
  17. Linda Says:
  18. I think this one will do well in mutiple viewings. So much of the humor is subtle and observational. The female characters were definately underused. This was Bateman and Affleck's film. Nice review. PS I just re-rented Office Space because I can't remember a damn thing about it.

     
  19. Native Minnow - It's an enjoyable, low-key comedy. Matinee prices would be just fine, but if you're slammed, rental is just fine too.

    Bostonpobble - Don't stress your brain - it's not worth it. Ha. The movie just falls apart if I remember correctly (though like you, I'm not really certain).

    Jlee - I caught that attorney reference too. Kept waiting for the Texas Hammer to come through. Ha.

    Kmwthay - Yeah, even the asburd gigolo plot was grounded in a certain reality. Ha. And Simmons didn't have to strech much to play that role I think. I'll settle this right now if you let me slame your balls in this door. Not a good idea . . . Glad you liked the flick.

    Boxer - 'Arrested Development' is quite simply the best sitcom I've seen in a decade and maybe of all time. It is just phenomenal and works on so many levels. 'Extract' isn't as funny as that show, but it's a solid choice for a matinee if you want some laughs. As for coverage, I checked in last week pre-holiday to spur action and was told it's in quque (sp?)for coverage . . . which means I'll probably have to keep riding them (but I will. Ha.). Finally, to add to your taping of new shows post - I'm going to try 'Modern Family' as I've read enough good things on it to give it a try.

    Linda - I'd like to watch it one more time to catch some stuff that I missed. I agree about Bateman and Affleck running the show which was why I was disappointed that Ben left for so much of the second half. Let me know how 'Space' ends as I own it on DVD and still don't know. Ha.

     
  20. Farzan Says:
  21. Some good points 2 Dollar Productions, but I just really couldn't get into this film. I mean it was still a decent comedy and definitely worth a rental, but it just didn't make me burst into laughter like Office Space did. I mean their were some funny parts especially parts with Affleck in it, but most of the jokes were already shown on the trailer. Jenkins also wasn't as funny as I was expecting him to be.

     
  22. Farzan - I agree with you as I never burst out laughing very hard and still found it to be a decent enough comedy with a cast that I generally liked. It's rarely as funny as the first 1/2 of 'Space,' so maybe it should have been a C+ grade . . . it was just very solid in my mind and would probably fit best as a rental.

     
  23. Miss Ash Says:
  24. Shitty to hear as Office Space is one of my all time favorites as far as comedies go. I'm more of a Usual Suspects/Goodfellas type of gal but Office Space made me laugh so fucking hard. I hoped Extract would have the same impact.

     
  25. Gypsy Says:
  26. I might check this one out but I wanted to ask you if you've seen Funny People and if you have reviewed it. I'm too lazy to look. My daughters and I would like to see it when it gets released here in the next week or so and I wondered what you thought of it.

     
  27. Miss Ash - Then do you remember what happens during the last part of that movie? Seriously, nobody I've talked to can recall . . . this one is funny, but not nearly as amusing as 'Space' for most of its running time. Still, it's worth a viewing for you.

    Gypsy - I did see 'Funny People' and reviewed it. I think if you check the July archives you'll find it. It's a solid movie that is like a dramedy. It's too long (like 2.5 hours), but overrall, pretty good as I had to respect Apatow trying to blend the serious with the dirty.

     
  28. Linda Says:
  29. Watched Office Space last night. The ending? Boys screw up the embezelment, try to return the money, buiding burns down, Peter ends up working with Lawrence. I think I liked Extract better. For me, the best Mike Judge piece to date is Idiocracy.

     
  30. Lindda - Thanks . . . I do remember now, just a little bit. Ha. And I never saw 'Idiocracy' - think I'll add it to NetFlix.

     

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