The Dallas Film Society & The Lone Star Film Society hosted a screening of Mike Judge's latest film, Extract at The Angelika Film Center in Dallas on August 19, 2009.
The film stars Jason Bateman as Joel, an everyman in anytown whose life spirals out of control over the course of a few days, thanks to a confluence of his poor decisions, bad advice and the actions of some very flawed people that inhabit his world. Here's a trailer:
BTW, the music you hear during the first 30 seconds of the trailer is "Whatever Gets You By," track 1 from The Features' 2009 album, Some Kind of Salvation, which i can't recommend highly enough. That tune is not in the movie, though. :-(
Back to the film...Bateman is supported by an excellent cast that includes Kristin Wiig, J.K. Simmons, Mila Kunis and Ben Affleck. David Koechner and Gene Simmons add to the chaos as two more pains in Joel's ass.
As a big fan of Mike Judge's past film work, i came to the screening trying to temper my expectations. i knew in my head that Extract probably wouldn't attain the zeitgeist-skewering genius of Office Space, or the social insight of the criminally under-appreciated Idiocracy. The fact that the film stars three of my favorite actors in Bateman, Wiig and Simmons also makes it difficult to not judge this film on a generous curve. Having said that, i'd say that Extract made the grade. As comedies go, it doesn't lean heavily on juvenile jokes, nor does it insult the audience's intelligence with gross-out gags. Instead, most of the humor plays on the audience's empathy for Joel. As the events unfold, we are wincing and thinking, "What else could go wrong for this poor guy?" and laughing the whole time.
Writer/Director Mike Judge stuck around for a 20-minute Q&A after the screening to talk about the origins of Extract, Beavis & Butthead, casting Gene Simmons, drug use in the movies, and more:
Awesomeometer Rating: 98 units (out of a possible 113).
Extract is in theaters on September 9, 2009. Go see it!