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MIKE JUDGE'S LATEST OFFERING IS NO VANILLA 'EXTRACT'

Director Mike Judge's best-known film is the cult classic Office Space, which set the standard for working stiff comedies about guys who hate their jobs - and bosses. Judge's new film, Extract, turns that concept on its head, creating a great amount of sympathy for Joel Reynold (Jason Bateman at his best), the head of a small factory that makes food flavorings. Everything in Joel's once-balanced life is going downhill; his wife would rather watch TV than head to the bedroom, and his business is facing a major lawsuit thanks to his employees.

Desperate for a release from work and sexual frustration, Joel agrees to a crazy scheme thought up by his friend Dean (Ben Affleck, his humorous side revealed by way of a shaggy stoner beard). Joel wants a guilt-free affair with the pretty new trainee, Cindy (seductive Mila Kunis), so he hires a brainless gigolo to seduce his wife. Yes, this all really happens.

The plot is strange and the characters stranger, although the movie is excellently cast. It's a weird movie experience with an even weirder ending. Extract won't attract a huge following as did Office Space, but with all its quirks and confusion, it's still a very entertaining film that does a good job of reminding you of Judge's signature brand of humor.

Mina Asayesh-Brown, St. Pete High TV/Movie Critic

Grade: * * *

Director: Mike Judge

Cast: Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, Ben Affleck, J.K. Simmons, Clifton Collins Jr.

Rating: R

Running time: 90 minutes

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