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Office Space (SE)
DVD disk
Nov 8, 2005 By: Scott Weinberg
Office Space (SE) order
Director:
Mike Judge

Actors:
Ron Livingston
Jennifer Aniston
Gary Cole

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A mild-mannered office drone has a life-altering epiphany after being hypnotized and hatches a vengeful scheme to get back at his soul-crushing workplace.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Not so much a "laugh out loud like a hyena" comedy as it is a sly, knowing, and insightful satire of the modern workplace, Mike Judge's OFFICE SPACE has become a bona-fide cult sensation since its release six years ago.

Well, actually, it's been a well-adored flick since it hit video. The movie didn't do so hot at the box office, but that's probably because it's a fairly smart comedy that showcases pitch-perfect character actors instead of high-end "bankable" movie stars.

As with most comedies that you "first discover" on cable and then fall crazy in love with, OFFICE SPACE boasts a distinct style of humor, a fast-paced pacing, and a seriously colorful collection of oddly endearing characters. Ron Livingston, also known for great supporting performances in SWINGERS, ADAPTATION., and BAND OF BROTHERS, creates an unflashy "everyman" who's easy to like and fun to cheer for. Livingston might be the leading man here, but he's more than happy to share the spotlight; OFFICE SPACE is laden with great, goofy performances, from Dave Herman's hilariously profane office geek to Stephen Root's ever-mumbling malcontent known as Milton. Heck, OFFICE SPACE even throws in one of Jennifer Aniston's most lovable performances, John C. McGinley in full-on tight-ass mode, and Diedrich Bader as a sleazy neighbor!

And Gary Cole as "Lumbergh," the perpetually droning, dismissive, and quietly hateful office manager -- absolutely worth the price of the DVD. All by himself. (Just resist the urge to imitate Lumbergh when you're around friends. It's hilarious when Cole does it; not so much when we do it.)

OFFICE SPACE works as a quiet-yet-aggravated satire that just about any viewer could wring a few chuckles from -- but it's those of us who've toiled in Cubicle Hell who will find the most pleasure in the parody. If the movie suffers from a slight dose of aimlessness and editorial confusion, and it does, those are relatively small speed bumps to endure for such a canny and quick-witted affair.

Plus it's absolutely one of those comedies that improves with repeat viewings. So if the flick didn't do much for you back in '99, this new SE is a good opportunity to give it a second spin.

THE EXTRAS
I know the teeming throngs of OFFICE SPACE fans have been clamoring for an "SE upgrade" for quite some time, which means that the extra goodies included here will be met with much approval ... even if the pickings are a little slim.

Out of the Office is a suitably entertaining 26-minute retrospective featurette. Chiming in with some interview segments are writer/director Mike Judge and actors Ron Livingston, Stephen Root, Gary Cole, Dave Herman & Ajay Naidu. Fans will certainly appreciate the behind-the-scenes anecdotes and overall sense of affection for the flick, but hey ... where's Jenny Aniston?

You'll also get a collection of eight deleted scenes, most of which are pretty funny but were clearly snipped for good reason. The original OFFICE SPACE theatrical trailer is also included, as are some DVD-ROM doohickeys like audio clips and screensavers.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Every time I see OFFICE SPACE, I like it just a little bit more. No, it's not exactly a fall-down-on-the-floor sort of outrageous yukfest, but it comes from a real (and frustrated) place, and it manages to be as bleakly satirical as it is quietly optimistic. (And it's worth seeing just for the Gary Cole stuff.)
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