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Office Space: Special Edition with Flair!

Review Written by: Will Penley
Film: A
Video/Audio/Extras: B+/B+/C+

Directed by: Mike Judge
Written by: Mike Judge
Based on the animated shorts by: Mike Judge
Produced by: Daniel Rappaport and Michael Rotenberg
Starring: Ron Livingston, Gary Cole, Alexandra Wentworth, David Herman, Ajay Naidu, Jennifer Aniston, Diedrich Bader
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Buy it

"I could set the building on fire."

Office Space originated with Mike Judge's animated short by the same name about an odd office worker named Milton who can't stand up to his domineering boss (who later became Bill Lumbergh in the film). Eight years later, Mike Judge was able to make a film adaptation of Office Space. The film is a lot like Kevin Smith's Clerks in a way as both are about men who are stuck working in an awful place and are looking for a way out. I can't help but think that Clerks influenced this one a bit. I mean, Chotchkie's waiter Brian wears 37 pieces of flair -- that's clearly a reference. Supported by a great cast and Judge's sharp and witty screenplay, Office Space is one of the greatest comedies of all time.

Peter Gibbons (Swingers' Ron Livingston) is sick and tired of working in an office all day and continually having to answer to the annoying boss, Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole). His girlfriend, Anne (Alexandra Wentworth), persuades him to go to a hypnotist to possibly rid him of his misery. The experiment goes tragically well and Peter leaves with a whole new outlook on life. He no longer cares about his job and lives to lie around at home and watch TV. However, when two "efficiency experts" interview all the office's employees, they see Peter as a promising worker and decide to promote him, much to the dismay of his friends Michael (David Herman) and Samir (Ajay Naidu).

I laughed a lot during this film and I'm sure it's even funnier to those that have worked in an office. Mike Judge has said that he never wants to make a sequel, but I would welcome one if he ever changed his mind. This is an excellent film and it gets an "A." For the longest time, Office Space was only available in barebones DVD editions. There still aren't many extras on this new edition, but what we do have here is good material. The film is finally presented in anamorphic widescreen (the original DVD featured a non-anamorphic transfer) and it looks pretty good! The colors still appear a bit washed out, but overall it's a good transfer. The Dolby 5.1 track also serves the film well with all the dialogue and various rap songs featured on the soundtrack heard very well. A "B+" for both.

Like I said before, there aren't many extras here. The first and best is the documentary "Out of the Office," a thirty-minute retrospective featuring dozens of interview with members of the cast and crew. The documentary doesn't last for a long time, but it's all good stuff. Next up is a selection of eight deleted scenes, all of which have their moments, but are better left cut out of the film. The final extra is the film's original theatrical trailer. A "C+" for the extras. I really would have hoped for more, such as a commentary with Mike Judge or the original "Milton" shorts, but I guess I have to be satisfied with what's given. I still have to recommend the DVD, though, because the film is one of my favorites.

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