Mike Judge must be going through some growing pains. After all, both of his TV shows—King of the Hill and The Goode Family—have recently been canceled. His last movie, Idiocracy, barely opened, and when it finally did, no one went to see it. And yet, though I hadn't seen it as of press time, I can't wait to catch his new one, Extract. Sure, it's another workplace comedy, but, let's face it, this is the guy behind Office Space, the definitive workplace comedy (also another movie that didn't do well at the box office, only finding its legs on DVD).
Still, there are some big differences between the two films. Obviously, Judge is more established these days, so he's got more money to work with, and there's no shortage of actors willing to work with him. The Extract cast includes Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, J.K. Simmons, David Koechner, Ben Affleck and even Gene Simmons as a sleazy, Gene Simmons-type lawyer. And if Extract marks a comeback of sorts for Judge, it's fitting that the lead is played by the Comeback Actor of the Decade, Jason Bateman, who plays Joel, a guy who runs a vanilla-extract factory and is hoping to have an affair with one of his employees (Kunis).
That's the other huge difference between Extract and Office Space—Judge has gone from examining the plight of the expendable office trench-dweller to focusing on the boss man. Yep, the little guy has become the guy in charge. We never expected this from either Beavis or Butthead.
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Afghan Star: Documentary about an Afghani TV show similar to American Idol. Simon Cowell wouldn't last two minutes there.
All About Steve: If you can buy into the idea that Sandra Bullock is smart enough to create crossword puzzles, this romcom, which also stars Bradley Cooper and Thomas Hayden Church, is for you.
Gamer: Hard to understand why Gerard Butler and Michael C. Hall would star in an R-rated futuristic gorefest that looks like it should feature some guy who used to be in the WWE. But it was made by the Crank guys.
Jerichow: A German adaptation of The Postman Always Rings Twice, about a gorgeous woman and the angry men who love her.
My One and Only: It's 1953, and Renee Zellweger takes to the road after hubby Kevin Bacon can't keep it in his pants. But even though she's MILFy, it's tough to find a husband when you've got two teenage sons.
World's Greatest Dad: Robin Williams does his best work in years as the father of a repellent teenager who dies while masturbating. Not surprisingly, it's directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. See our review.
Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love: Not many westerners know N'Dour, who's considered one of the greatest singers in the Muslim world.
One time only
Fados: Examines the Portuguese vocal tradition that came out of the 1820s. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, at Otay Ranch Marketplace. Free.
Young Frankenstein: Who doesn't love the mad scientist Gene Wilder / monster Peter Boyle team-up for “Puttin' on the Ritz”? Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, at the Birch North Park Theatre.
Fletch: He's Chevy Chase, and you're not. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
School of Rock: Before he jumped the shark, Jack Black was way fun as a rocker pretending to be a substitute teacher who gives a bunch of geeky band kids some self-confidence. Fact: first movie Zeppelin ever allowed to use their music. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, at Stone Brewery World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido.
The Princess Bride: Conceivable. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, through Sunday, Sept. 6, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
Beyond Hatred: Painful documentary about the parents of a young gay man killed by skinheads in the French town of Reims. Screens at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Man on Wire: Terrific Oscar-winning doc about the crazy Frenchman who walked on a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers in 1974. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
An Officer and a Gentleman: Even though the song “Up Where We Belong” will make you diabetic, this movie is stronger than you remember. Richard Gere wants to become a Navy pilot and woo factory worker Debra Winger at the same time. Lou Gossett Jr. won an Oscar. Screens at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
Strange Brew: Best comedy about beer, ever. Hell, best movie about beer, ever. Screens at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at Stone Brewery World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido. Free.
A Woman in Berlin: Heavy look at life for women in Berlin during the 1945 Russian invasion based on the one-time anonymous writings of journalist Marta Hillers.
The Final Destination: The fourth movie in the franchise—we're guessing not the final one.
Halloween 2: Technically, the second Halloween 2.
It Might Get Loud: Documentary about the art of guitar as played by Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White. Turn it up.
Taking Woodstock: Ang Lee turns one of the major cultural touch-points of the last half-century into a let's-save-the-family-farm unfunny comedy.
Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg: Documentary about groundbreaking TV pioneer Gertrude Berg.
Inglorious Basterds: Tarantino's new brutal, bloody, hysterically funny WWII movie isn't gonna be for everyone, but it certainly is for us. Take that, Hitler!
Cold Souls: Paul Giamatti plays a distraught actor named, um, Paul Giamatti who decides to have his soul extracted in order to play the title role in Uncle Vanya. Giamatti is terrific, and the film is nicely shot and entirely unique.
Post Grad: Foxy Alexis Bledel moves back home after she graduates college.
Shorts: Kid finds a magical wishing rock. Not surprisingly, grownups want to steal it.
Thirst: A Catholic priest becomes a vampire in this anti-Twilight movie from Park Chan-wook, the brilliant Korean director of Oldboy.
Ponyo: The new movie from legendary Japanese animator Miyazaki is gorgeous, good for kids and a nice break from the standard CGI cartoons we see today.
Adam: Hugh Dancy is the title character, a New Yorker with Asperger's syndrome who's charming enough to get together with his new neighbor, Rose Byrne.
District 9: This terrifically fun Peter Jackson-produced sci-fi flick has two messages. One, discrimination sucks. Two, alien guns rule.
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard: Jeremy Piven and crew are brought in to save a Temecula auto dealership from bankruptcy through intense liquidation and R-rated comedy.
The Time Traveler's Wife: Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams star in the massively delayed adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger's sci-fi romance.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: It was only a matter of time.
Julie & Julia: Meryl Streep is Julia Child, and Amy Adams is her biggest fan, Julie Powell, who got through life with the help of Child's My Life in France.
Funny People: Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen star in Jud Apatow's latest. Sandler's a comedian who thinks he might be dying; Rogen's the protégé he takes under his wing.
In the Loop: This crafty, satirical look at the methods behind the run-up to the Iraq war works because it—accurately—portrays people at every level of government as being average people, which means they're often self-involved, vicious and narcissistic.
G-Force: Animated guinea pigs save the world, destroy the art of filmmaking.
The Ugly Truth: Actually, the ugly truth is that this Katherine Heigl / Gerard Butler romcom looks really stupid.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: The latest entry in the Potter franchise is terrific summer entertainment, but only if you're already a fan.
(500) Days of Summer: A terrific film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. It's a date movie, sure, but be forewarned, this is a break-up story and not a standard love story.
The Hurt Locker: Kathryn Bigelow's tense new film focuses on an Iraq unit that specializes in defusing bombs. Well-made, well-written and well-acted—not what you expect for an summer action movie.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: In one of the last summer blockbusters of the year, giant robots blow shit up.
Food, Inc.: A documentary about how fucked-up the food system is in this country. Pass the buttered popcorn.
Moon: Director Duncan Jones delivers an impressive debut, and Sam Rockwell gives one of his best performances to date as a lonely miner on the far side of the moon whose entire worldview changes after he finds a body out on the surface.
The Proposal: Ryan Reynolds is Sandra Bullock's assistant. She pushes him into a marriage of convenience (at least for her), but we're guessing it sticks.
The Hangover: They cut a good trailer for Todd Phillips' new film, about three buddies—Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis—who wake up the morning after a brutal bachelor party with no memory of what happened or where the groom is.
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Space Theater: After undergoing significant renovations, the Fleet is re-opening its dome Imax theater, complete with a kick-ass new screen. Films vary week-to-week. Showtimes and prices can be found at www.rhfleet.org.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: No, it's not a time warp—the love-it-or-hate-it camp classic continues its midnight run in its 37th year of release. When the lead character of the film is a transvestite scientist named Dr. Frank-N-Furter, you know you're in for some seriously trashy viewing. And, of course, this is the one movie where you want the audience shouting at the screen. Screens Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theater in Encinitas.