Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mike Judge Returns to Workplace in 'Extract'; His Latest Film, Now out on DVD, Has Makings of a Cult Classic

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mike Judge Returns to Workplace in 'Extract'; His Latest Film, Now out on DVD, Has Makings of a Cult Classic

Article excerpt

Byline: MATT SOERGEL

Mike Judge specializes in finding humor in the lives of ordinary people - those who aren't saving the Earth from asteroids, those who aren't concealing secret identities as superheroes, those who aren't tracking serial killers.

He made "Beavis and Butt-head" and "King of the Hill" for TV. "Office Space," his exploration of the quiet desperation of cubicle life, became a much-quoted cult hit on DVD. And his "Idiocracy" featured an average guy in a dumbed-down future.

His latest movie, "Extract," comes out on DVD today after a not-so stellar run at the box-office. It tells of suburban homeowner/food-flavoring extract factory owner Joe Reynold (Jason Bateman), beset by problems at home and work.

"Extract" is offbeat, rambling and sneaky-funny, a break from all the dude-comedies out there. Could it, like "Office Space," become something of a cult favorite? Judge, over the phone, said he isn't sure, but he sure hopes so.

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF HUMOR?

It's hard to describe, which is probably why I never pitched any of this stuff - I just did it. I always think it's the down-home kind of stuff that would make my friends laugh, my brother, people I know. Like when you're sitting around doing imitations of people from work. It's just sort of making a movie that way.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TELL STORIES LIKE THAT, INSTEAD OF COMIC-BOOK OR ACTION MOVIES?

When I first saw "Do the Right Thing," there wasn't a cliche in there. It's really refreshing. So why not do something like that about where I was living when that came out, which at the time was the distant suburbs of Dallas.

THE SUBURBS?

I feel like there's a gold-mine of material out there for anyone who cares to look, in places where there aren't hundreds of people writing screenplays.

YOU SAID ON THE DVD EXTRAS THAT DAVID KOECHNER WAS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER IN "EXTRACT" (HE'S A NOSY, CHATTY NEIGHBOR WHO NEVER TAKES A HINT THAT THE CONVERSATION IS OVER). …

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