Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Weeks Too Late: Extract

Extract. Written & Directed by Mike Judge.

Preconceptions: Gentle readers, my little cupcakes, it's time to tell you something about me. Something that I hope won't make you use my guts for marionette strings. I didn't care for Office Space. Are my bowels safe from you? Beavis and Butthead can still make me laugh and I was mighty sad that King of the Hill was canceled, but I just haven't really enjoyed Mike Judge's movies. Office Space didn't make me laugh or feel that "Ha! I know that person in real life" feeling that I got from King of the Hill. I liked Idiocracy a bit better, but it still felt undercooked and not as good as his TV shows. Overall I'm a Mike Judge fan, but I did approach this with some trepidation.

General Review: This review is coming more than just a few weeks too late. I saw Extract on the DVD, but I think a lot of other people missed this one in the theaters as well. If you have, it's well worth picking up (even if you share my secret shame). In more than any of his previous movies I think Judge managed to carry over the feeling that the characters are based on archetypes we all have in our lives (reasonably certain "archetype" is worth at least one Mike Judge smack).

Extract falls in a nice niche between Idiocracy and Office Space. Office Space, I thought, felt small and underbudgeted. And the sets were a bit cheesy. Idiocracy had a lot of sets but not enough good sets. ("Niche" is bound to earn me another smack). Despite being smaller in scope than Idiocracy, Extract felt bigger. Everything looked more real and fleshed out.This is possibly because it was set in an actual bottling plant, which I also think is kinda cool.

As far as female leads go I'll pick Kristen Wiig over Jennifer Aniston any day of the week. Jason Bateman is a favourite of mine and it was nice to see Ben Affleck in a movie where he had a chance to shine a bit. I generally dug the cast but it was Kristen Wiig that I really enjoyed. I was expecting her to be a standard frigid wife, but instead her performance mirrored Bateman's and was hilarious. She was funny and charming and a great choice (and one I wouldn't have thought of) to play with Bateman.

Extract seemed like the natural progression of Mike Judge. It's visually more polished and tighter in the script than his last few movies. The word of mouth feeling I got was that a lot of people didn't check this one out, even on DVD. You'll be doing yourself a favour if you give it a look some slothful afternoon.

Random Thoughts: This isn't really a thought so much as it is a recommendation. Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt (another favourite cartoon guy, if you don't know him, look up his stuff, damned funny) produce a festival called The Animation Show. You can find more info here: http://www.animationshow.com/ and buy DVDs. Very good DVDs.

No comments:

Post a Comment