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Office Space (1999) Print E-mail
Friday, 20 February 2009
Image“Office Space” will go down in history as one of the best stupid comedies of all-time.  The film certainly has flair (pun intended).  The film is full of witty lines, superb silly acting and a story that is not original, but pulled off as original.  It would be getting a full five stars from me if it just had a little more body to it.

The film goes to the top of comedy without going over, which is pretty rare for comedy films nowadays.  Mike Judge, from the “Beavis and Butt-Head” fame, writers and directs this film.  It is disappointing that he hasn’t done anything truly major since this film given the following for both “Office Space” and “Beavis and Butt-Head.”  In addition to his writing and directing credits, Judge is often the voice in animated shows and films.  He is more versatile than most filmmakers.

The simple premise of “Office Space” is that Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) and his friends are tired of working in the same office with the same monotonous workload and bosses that have their heads up their butts.  When Gibbons meets Joanna, a waitress at a local restaurant, his life changes,  Of course, when Gibbons learns that Joanna slept with his boss, Lombergh (Gary Cole), he flies off the handle.  During their separation, Gibbons attends a group therapy sessions in which he is hypnotized.  Gibbons no longer has a care in the world.

Gibbons returns to work where he tells his boss where to stick it and meets with the efficiency experts.  Naturally, the experts are impressed with Gibbons and provide him with an opportunity for promotion.  Meanwhile, they give the boot to many of the office employees, including Gibbons close friends.  It is then that they come up with the “Superman III” plot.  They plan to take fractions of a cent from the company’s business transactions and funnel them into a bank account.  Of course, it is supposed to happen over time, but instead the decimal place in the algorithm is in the wrong spot and a large chunk of dough appears in the bank in a matter of days.

Gibbons mulls over what to do.  Eventually he decides to do the right thing and confess and give the money back.  Fortunately for him tragedy befalls the office building before anyone finds out.

The film’s biggest star really lies in Milton (Stephen Root).  He is a babbling employee that we can rarely understand, but find extraordinarily funny.  Gary Cole is also hilarious as boss Lumbergh.  His lines and demeanor are truly memorable.  As always, John C. McGinley does a magnificent role as an efficiency expert.  The whole cast plays together very nicely.  “Office Space” is a true comic masterpiece. The biggest surprise with this Blu-ray release is the high quality of the video transfer.  For a decade-old film, with a low budget, I was expecting a mess of a transfer.  Fox gives us a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC encode at 33 Mbps with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  The colors are spot on.  The office is dull and gray, while the objects in the office are nicely contrasted with color.  The outdoor sequences are also blessed with a vivid color palette.  Details are sharp in the foreground, but lack definition in the background.  The black levels are near perfect, boosting a deep image.  Grain is minimal, without digital noise reduction added.  Otherwise, the print looks really good for its age, with rarely a spot or blemish popping up.  This is a very sharp presentation and most definitely a worthy upgrade over the standard DVD release of the film.  You will be stunned.

The audio is not nearly as good as the video transfer.  Still, it is more from a lack in sound design than in the Blu-ray transfer.  As always, Fox presents us with a DTS-HD 5.1 audio track.  The original Dolby Digital 5.1 track is also available.  This track will not provide an immersive experience.  The film is primarily dialogue oriented.  The dialogue is presented clearly and strong in the center channel.  Office ambience is nicely spread across the front channels.  The rear channels and LFE channel may as well have been turned off, but I won’t hold that against the transfer.  The dynamic range is standard for the dialogue-centric film.

The Blu-ray comes with the original DVD special features.  “Post-It Pandemonium – The Apathy of Men” is a trivia track that appears at random during the playback of the film.  The random information that is provided is presented on large post-it notes.  “Grab the Stapler,” “Printer Beat-Down,” “Whack-a-Drone,” and “Jump to Conclusion 2.0” are all games corresponding exactly with the actions taken on the items in the actual movie.  “Out of the Office- ‘Office Space’ Retrospective with writer/director Miek Judge” is an interesting look at the film from its creator.  This is probably the most worthwhile bonus feature if you are a true fan of the film.  Finally, there are eight deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer.

“Office Space” is without a doubt a great comedy film.  If you haven’t seen it (which I doubt anybody hasn’t) then definitely pick this up.  Likewise, if you love the film pick the Blu-ray up as well.  The video transfer is the best this film is ever going to look and the audio track is more than adequate.  “Until I was 12 years-old and that no talent a** clown became and famous and started winning Grammys…Why should I change?  He’s the one who sucks.”

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