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HTF REVIEW: Office Space - Special Edition With Flair!



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#1 of 35 Michael Osadciw

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Posted November 02 2005 - 07:31 AM


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OFFICE SPACE
SPECIAL EDITION WITH FLAIR!







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Studio: 20th Century Fox
Film Year: 1999
Film Length: 89 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Aspect Ratio:[*] 1.85:1 enhanced widescreen
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Colour/B&W: Colour

Audio:[*] English Posted Image Posted Image 5.1 Surround[*]Spanish & French Posted Image Posted Image 2.0 Surround

Subtitles: English & Spanish
Film Rating: Posted Image

Posted Image Posted Image





Release Date: November 01, 2005.


Entertainment Rating: Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Starring: Ron Livingston (Peter Gibbons), Jennifer Aniston (Joanna), David Herman (Michael Bolton), Ajay Naidu (Samir Nagheenanajar), Gary Cole (Bill Lumberg), John C. McGinley (Bob Slydell)

Written by: Mike Judge
Directed by: Mike Judge


Work Sucks.



I can’t believe that I have not seen this little movie called Office Space. I remember when it came out in the theatre in 1999 but then it disappeared in a heart beat. Apparently ticket sales were shredded at the box office and it was pulled rather quickly. Thankfully there has been a little cult following of this film and it’s finally treated as a special edition. But how special is it in comparison to the previous release?

If you’ve ever wanted to watch a movie about an average working day for a cubical worker this is definitely the film to see. You won’t feel the stress about your daily job while watching this flick, you’ll just laugh at the things that you HATE about your job everything from: road rage on the way to work in rush hour traffic, chirpy people who you want to punch in the face, memos, and photocopying machines that give you error messages saying it’s jammed when it doesn’t appear to be.

Based on the “Milton” animated shorts by Mike Judge (who did Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill), Peter Gibbons is a man who represents you: the office worker. He works in a generic looking cubical workstation at Initech and hates it. Like me, he believes that people were not meant to do this for life. The repetition of getting up and going to work all day and coming home again only to do it the next day is boring and unhealthy. Unfortunately, the way society is, it’s a necessity.

Fortunately for Peter, a hypnosis session opens his mind to his life and he decides to do nothing. He doesn’t show up for work when he should and he doesn’t care anymore. In fact, the company is going under “restructuring” because it’s hired an outside firm to evaluate the company, or, aka: make layoffs. Peter doesn’t care to bare all about the company to these guys which in the end proves positive for him. But a little plot to extract some money from the company by using a computer virus turns wrong and Peter and his friends from Initech find themselves in an illegal situation…

This movie is absolutely hilarious and I enjoyed it from the moment it started to the last second. The movie has a love interest subplot as well but heck I’m not going to give it all away for you. The priceless scene in this movie is Peter’s dream with his boss Lumberg (marvellously played by Gary Cole) working it with Peter’s girlfriend Joanna (Jennifer Aniston). Be careful not to spill your coffee!

So how does this movie look compared to the previous version??


Posted ImageVIDEO QUALITY Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


I’ll be honest with you: I don’t have the previous release. What I do know is that it was NOT enhanced for widescreen televisions and that itself is a problem. This release will automatically give you about 33% more resolution than the non-anamorphic release. When watching it, I couldn’t help but think how much the image looked like “a film” at the movie theatre. I’m not saying that it is a reference picture quality because the picture on DVD only represents about 4% of the information captured on film. What I am saying that the image doesn’t ask for attention. Its colours are nicely rendered and are “there” but not overwhelmingly colourful. Skin tones look great and black level is acceptable but just a little high. I also think resolution is very good too but was disappointed in the obvious amount of edge enhancement applied. On a small screen you may not see it; but on my 110” it’s about as thick as a pencil.

The aspect ratio is 1.85:1 and the black “bar” is at the bottom of the screen.

A full frame version is also available…but why would you want to upgrade to that?


Posted ImageAUDIO QUALITY Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


This Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is about as exciting as an office job. All of the dialogue is placed in the middle of the soundstage. There is the occasional effect in the left-right speaker location. Surround channels were quiet for almost the whole movie. There was a slight bit of music and ambience in the back channels but nothing to create an enveloping experience. I didn’t expect much from this soundtrack; although I do wish that the front channels would blend together better than what I’ve heard here. They sound to “distinct” from each other rather than worked together to create a nice wide soundstage up front.

The gangster rap music is about the only thing that gets subwoofers working on the main channels as well as the LFE.


Posted ImageSPECIAL FEATURES Posted Image Posted Image / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


There are two releases of this disc: one as a DVD only and the other has a kit with a ceramic mug, the red stapler, amongst other things. I didn’t receive this kit but I’ll tell you what is on the disc.

There is a 27-minute featurette and it’s with interviews with Judge and some of the actors and an old clip of Aniston talking on the set when the movie was filmed. They talk about the story of the film and the characters, but beyond that there isn’t much more to this. It was o.k. to watch and I’ve certainly seen better.

Of interest to fans will be the deleted scenes. There are 8 of them and they total to about five and a half minutes. They are in rough shape and are 1.85:1 and enhanced for widescreen TVs. The sound is stereo. These scenes don’t add anything to the movie and I’m glad they were cut. They seem to put a little bit of repetitiveness to the movie – but fans will love to see them anyways.

The theatrical trailer is here and it’s in 2.35:1 and is widescreen enhanced. I did not experience any freeze-up problems as I’ve read elsewhere.

DVD-ROM content is limited to some audio clips, screensavers and wallpapers.

What happened to the audio commentary by Mike Judge? What happened to the original “Milton” shorts? All of these seemed to have disappeared off this release as special features. Should you avoid this release because of it? Absolutely not! But I have to complain about it so hopefully they will be added to the HD release. I wouldn’t count your paperclips on this title being released on SD-DVD again.

IN THE END…

Now that I’ve gone and put a cover page on all of the TPS reports (didn’t you get the memo?), I’ve decided to not go to work today. I’m going to stay home and watch movies all day and then tell you about them. I think you should do the same – although go take a jog or something because it’s healthier for you. Live a little. Stop living a repetitive life. Don’t get caught up in your job because remember: humans weren’t born to work.

It’s unnatural.

Now, while you are out on your jog, I want you to get this movie. Put down your Dilbert cartoons and watch Office Space. Then set your work office on fire.

Michael Osadciw
November 02, 2005.

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#2 of 35 Mark Lucas

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Posted November 02 2005 - 09:17 AM

Seems like a disappointing release with no commentary or shorts, and thick EE? Yuck. I'll still pick it up though. Why is the trailer in a 2.35:1 ratio though? Weird.

How is a dvd only 4% of what is captured on film? 35mm film?

#3 of 35 DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 02 2005 - 09:22 AM

I saw this movie for the first time last night on DVD and LOVED it. What an entertaining, and intelligent, comedy. Well done. Great review.

Interestingly, I didn't notice any distracting edge enhancement on my 106 screen (oppo DVD player with sharpness set to 0, BenQ 8700+ DLP projector with no sharpness applied). What's your projector set up like? I'm curious why our impressions were different in this regard...though in sync on all other points. I concur that the image presented a very "film like" character on the big screen.
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#4 of 35 Jason_V

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Posted November 02 2005 - 09:27 AM

I so wanted to pick this up yesterday, but finances being what they are (going to remedied in the next two weeks...) this is going to wait until at least Thanksgiving. Disappointing extras, though, especially for a movie that runs on Bravo/Comedy Central 18 times a week.

#5 of 35 Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 02 2005 - 09:54 AM

(in my best Gary Cole voice)
Uhm.....yeeeaaaah....

Well, I heard a lot about Office Space during
the past few years that HTF members have been doggin'
Fox to put out a Special Edition.

...sounds like the studio finally gave in! Posted Image

True story...they even sent me a red Swingline
stapler!

I had never seen this film either until now. It
was actually pretty damn good. I must say that I
was very well entertained during its nearly 90 minute
length.

Go see it!

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#6 of 35 Frank@N

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Posted November 02 2005 - 09:57 AM

Quote:
How is a dvd only 4% of what is captured on film?

I was wondering about that too. Remember reading in WSR many years ago that film has 'about 2K lines of resolution'.

I imagine that's an estimate because film is an analog media and don't know if they were referring to horizontal or vertical resolution.

Even so, I'd think that a good DVD captures about 30% of the information in film media.

#7 of 35 DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 02 2005 - 09:57 AM

That'ud'be'GREEAAATTTT...
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#8 of 35 Malcolm R

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Posted November 02 2005 - 10:16 AM

Very disappointing, this so-called "Special Edition."

I think I'll just stick with the disc I have.
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#9 of 35 Jason Hughes

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Posted November 02 2005 - 10:21 AM

I have a feeling studios are going to start doing this a bit. Hold up some extras for the HD version (I bet the eventual HD version of Titanic has the fourth disc avaliable overseas). Like I always say - Support the economy! SPEND!
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#10 of 35 Steve Tannehill

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Posted November 02 2005 - 11:01 AM

Hi Michael, how ya doing, great review. I'm going to need you to come in and work on Saturday.

I ordered the gift set. It should be here Friday. And the black swingline stapler never worked, so I got a red swingline stapler but he tried to take it away from me and I'm going to set the building on fire.

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#11 of 35 Michael Osadciw

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Posted November 02 2005 - 11:24 AM

Thanks for the comments guys!

DAVID: I run a Monster M1000 HDMI cable from my Denon DVD-3910 @ 720p into a PT-AE700. The PT-AE700 creates a hair of edge outlining when connecting HDMI compared to the PT-AE500 using DVI (I know that because I used to own it). I know this because I tested for the lowest Sharpness setting using a Sencore VP401 generator that I use for my ISF calibrations. So now that I'm familiar with the projector's "haloing", I put on the Sharpness pattern on any of the calibration DVDs to see what - if any - edge haloing the Denon DVD-3910 is outputting (a hair, but virtually nothing).

Now that I'm familiar with what these artefacts look like with my equipment, when watching DVDs I know what "haloing" is caused by my equipment and what is actually on the DVD. Too often I believe people cite edge enhancement on a disc when in fact it's their equipment creating these undesireable effects.

In the case of Office Space, a white line (enhanced edge) down the side of a person is not my equipment at fault. It's definitely something on the DVD that happened somewhere in the chain from film to disc.

Mark & Frank: I'm mistaken: he actually said 8%. It came from someone (I can't remember his name) that I met at THX last year during HTF's Hollywood Meet and I think we were at DeLux when we were viewing how films were colour timed. Anyways, he said that by the time 35mm film is compressed down to RGB for high-def and then put through more compression and resolution reduction for DVD - the result is only about 4% of the what's actually contained on the film. Remember, that also includes information that we CANNOT see and is discarded when compressing to video formats.

4% apparently is what we hear of the original 5.1 audio master when we listen to Dolby Digital lossy audio. In my head this seems about right - so correct me if I'm wrong. If you think about it, at 384kbps, five full range channels and an LFE are delivered. Uncompressed PCM at 16/44 is about 1.5MBPS. Five channels uncompressed at 16/44 I'm assuming would be 7.5MBPS, plus whatever LFE would be. Factor in resolution of the source material of 20/48 or even 24/48 and that would significantly increase the data rate needed for uncompressed audio. Who knows? 20MBPS? Suddenly 384kbps for 6 channels seems pretty small. Given that it is lossy audio and tonnes of stuff is discarded, it's no wonder that achieving 24 bit resolution is difficult this way. I'm no audio codec pro nor do I claim to be, but with this much compression I believe we must be missing a lot somewhere.

My reference for that 4% is from Richard Hardesty at The Audio Perfectionist Journal.

www.audioperfectionist.com

He could be right or out to lunch.

Mike

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#12 of 35 CraigF

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Posted November 02 2005 - 11:50 AM

I just got the SE...it was cheap and needed as part of my non-anamorphic disc upgrade program. Am a bit disappointed about how few extras there are...this is one of those times where I really wanted a commentary, but I knew there wasn't one.

I am shocked at how many HTF luminaries had not previously seen this movie!!

Those Swinglines are good staplers, we don't get *them* anymore where I work.

#13 of 35 Jason Adams

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Posted November 02 2005 - 11:58 AM

Quote:
Remember reading in WSR many years ago that film has 'about 2K lines of resolution'.


Film has way more info then that. It's said however that on newer films, they have to be scanned at 4K to get all of the immediate info, like say for a digtal intermediate.

Wow...my DVD buying list is backlogged...the Hitchcock set, the Batman set, Office Space...

#14 of 35 PeterTHX

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Posted November 02 2005 - 12:48 PM

Dolby Digital on DVD is 448kbps.
Compression also depends on efficiency of the codec, say like AAC is over MP3.

LD and some early DVDs (notably by Warner) were 384kbps.

DTS is typically 754kbps.

#15 of 35 DaViD Boulet

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Posted November 02 2005 - 02:41 PM

DD on DVD can use either the 384 or 448 datarate. I thought that WB still issues exclusively 384-rate 5.1 tracks. I wasn't aware that most studios were doing 448 as a rule...I thought that was more the exception. Does anyone have a good estimate for the actual percentage of DVDs using each of these data rates for 5.1 encoding?

BTW, wasn't AC-3 on laserdisc actually a tad less...I thought that was 348 kbps (whatever the actual number, I remember it being slightly less than the 5.1 384 rate on DVD). Funny because the AC-3 on LD typically sounds so much better than the 5.1 DD tracks on DVD. Whether it's something like "jitter" or just bad mastering...it's so frustrating that DVD typically sounds worse than laserdisc...even when comparing Dolby digital to dolby digital!

BTW, I remember the ratio of "10 to 1 data reduction" being touted regarding comparing the PCM original and the DD compressed version. Simply comparing bit-rate and the number of channels to the comparable LPCM signal doesn't work...because not all of the compression applied is "linear"...some of the compression algorithms are lossless "packing" in addition to psychoacoutic lossy processing (ie, after lossy compression takes place, the remaining signal can be additionally "packed" for storage efficiency).

Before I sign off let me mention that the DD on D-VHS which is almost double the rate of DVD sounds MUCH better...and to my ears even sounds better than 754 DTS...at least the soundtracks I've been able to compare.
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#16 of 35 Michael Osadciw

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Posted November 02 2005 - 03:54 PM

David

You are correct that DD on laserdisc was lower. I believe it was 348kbps. I remember at the time there was concern with noise problems because being either on the left or right analogue track posed a problem in that regard...that's history now.

I know I can't compare data reduction as being linear. But that's a heck of a lot of compression.

Peter

Some DVDs are still encoded with 384kbps Dolby Digital.

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#17 of 35 Sean Patrick

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Posted November 02 2005 - 08:24 PM

i also watched this on a projector and noticed no apparent EE....and EE stands out BIGTIME on my setup whenever it's there.

i thought it was a good transfer, nothing special, but MILES ahead of the crap Universal just dished out with BIG LEBOWSKI. i still can't believe many of the dvd reviews that say it looks good. it's a soft, filtered mess.

#18 of 35 Brett_M

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Posted November 02 2005 - 10:59 PM

Great review and a very funny flick. It's a good one to watch in a small group. Lots of subtle humor.

Beware when ordering the Gift Set! I pre-ordered mine from Best Buy.com and it came in a huge padded envelope. I opened it and to my dismay the box was crushed. Totally inane shipping method. I returned it for the disc-only version.
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#19 of 35 ZacharyTait

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Posted November 03 2005 - 01:21 AM

Quote:
Beware when ordering the Gift Set! I pre-ordered mine from Best Buy.com and it came in a huge padded envelope. I opened it and to my dismay the box was crushed. Totally inane shipping method. I returned it for the disc-only version.


Why didn't you just exchange it for a gift set in the store?

I got the gift set and it was definitely worth the extra $10. It was great, mmkay? Posted Image

#20 of 35 Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 03 2005 - 05:45 AM

Damn!

Been thinking about this film all day.

Have been asking many co-workers
if they have seen this flick, and
surprisingly -- they have. All good
comments, too.

I guess this film had more of an impact
on me than I expected. I really liked
it, and I think I'm going to watch it a
second time.

Coincidently, I have been watching my DVD
set of American Gothic this entire
week so it was sort of neat to see Gary Cole
in a totally different role (he was also
terrific in The Brady Bunch films).

Yeah guys, all this hootin' and hollerin'
you did to Fox was justified. It reminds
me of the campaign we took to Paramount to
get Better off Dead released. These
are really underated films that are extremely
funny and deserve proper recognition.

Sorry to hear you guys are disappointed in
the extras. I thought they were kind of bare
myself -- but it was probably the best the
studio could put together.

Ronald J Epstein
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