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Extract (2009) Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Image“Extract” comes from Mike Judge, the creator of “Office Space.”  So, one might have high hopes for this comedic film.  Alas, those hopes are not dashed but certainly cut.  This film isn’t even in the same league as “Office Space.”  Still, “Extract” offers some laughs, but not much else.

Jason Bateman stars in this film as the owner of an extract company, a company that makes different flavored extract like root beer.  His employees are complete incompetent and it is a wonder how he ever got the company off the ground with such ineptitude.  Lack of communication is what drives the force of this film and it is easy to say that it gets old after a while.  Jason’s character doesn’t communicate with his staff or his wife, and vice versa.  The only communication that goes on is between Jason’s character and his best friend, a bartender played by Ben Affleck.

When a grifter, Mila Kunis, joins the extract team as a temporary employee, things begin to get dicey.  She is there to get a hold of contact information for an injured employee (the one whose testicles were shot off) in order to persuade him to sue the company for everything it’s worth.

Meanwhile, Jason has lustful cravings for Mila Kunis.  Wondering whether he should be feeling guilty, he hires a kid to seduce his wife.  Mind you, while this is an entirely idiotic idea, he did come to this decision only after being drugged with a tranquilizer.  Before he is able to cancel the order, he finds that the kid went through with it and his wife accepted, many times over.  The kid comes back day after day to have his wife.  This is my favorite part, when the showdown between Jason’s character and his wife occurs the wife is able to make everything seem like his fault.  He is the bad guy, like he did the cheating.  It is a complete double standard in filmmaking.  A man can do the cheating but can never be the one who is cheated on.

It is always a pleasure to see Mila Kunis and Kristen Wiig onscreen, but sadly the story is trite and uneventful.  This is a good attempt, but only an average succeeding. The video quality can probably be chalked up to Judge’s filmmaking techniques.  However, it is difficult to tell whether the quality is poor on account of the intentions or the transfer.  The transfer has its own issues, but may have only been limited by the source material.  This is the first transfer I have seen in quite some time that has many source artifact and telecine issues.  The rest of the issues lay in inconsistency.  The blacks are hardly ever fully resolved.  Contrast and brightness wavers from scene to scene.  Film noise also fluctuates.  Colors are generally bold, but fleshtones are inconsistent and primarily an orange hue.  Details and textures are also lacking overall.  This absence results in a rather flat-looking image.  This transfer is a disappointment, but somehow it seems to match the quality of the movie.  Fans or casual viewers probably won’t mind many of these issues, but Blu-ray aficionados will surely be disappointed.

When is comes to the audio transfer there really isn’t anything positive to say.  Now, I don’t mean that the transfer is horrible.  On the contrary, this is the best this film will ever sound.  The track limited by the pedestrian soundtrack.  There is nothing going on in the way of the surrounds, especially when it comes to a bustling bottle factory.  Ambience and acoustics are absent.  Dialogue remains intelligible throughout but without an anchor.  The mix is entirely front heavy.  The music is lost but slightly bled into the surround channels.  The LFE channel is a joke.  Dynamics and frequency response are spotty.  Directionality, when and if something does occur is barely passable.  Sorry, but this audio track will surely put you to sleep.

The Blu-ray package comes with three bonus materials that aren’t worth a whole lot.  There are a few extended scenes and one deleted scene, none of which have any interesting bits.  The only slightly interesting bonus material is the “Mike Judge’s Secret Recipe” featurette, which is basically contains behind the scenes footage.

“Extract” is pretty much a bombed movie.  It lacks any real impact.  The video and audio qualities are just bad.  If this is your genre of film then it might be worth a rent, otherwise skip it.

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