Blu-ray Disc Review
Release Date: February 03, 2009.
Entertainment Rating: /
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
I’ve seen Office Space a number of times now and love it each time. Back in 1999, dismal ticket sales made the theatrical release come and go like a pencil in and out of an electric sharpener. Thankfully there has been a little cult following of this film and after a special edition DVD released a few years back, Fox has given this title the high-def green light.
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. You know the road rage on the way to work in rush hour traffic? Check. Chirpy people at work who you want to punch in the face? Check. Annoying memos that take up more desk space than your actual work? Check. Oh, and those photocopying machines that give you error messages saying it’s jammed when it doesn’t appear to be. Dammit!
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. He believes that people were not meant to do this for life (don’t we all share this philosophy?) 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!
VIDEO QUALITY: 3/5
Office Space looks nice in HD, much like the DVD did on SD. The colours look about as normal and neutral as reality can be. Nothing is pumped up and nothing looks taken away. Image contrast appears fine as the whites always look acceptable and blacks are dark enough for the program. Most of this film is shot in a bright office and there are many outdoor scenes. I never felt like I was missing anything in this regard.
Now I can’t confirm this to be true, and I can only go by my eyes see and comparing it to what I’ve seen on other titles, but to me it looks like the HD source for Office Space had edge enhancement applied to it and this BD has had some sort of softening applied to either make the enhancement not so objectionable or to reduce some other sort of artefacts. The DVD released a few years back had the “case of the enhancements” as if the DVD was trying to compensate for something it didn’t have. Now it seems to be the reverse and this BD has the “case of the reductions.” Hmm…luckily I’m not reviewing this on a Monday. As I’ve said, take what I’m saying for what it is. It’s not serious in any case, but the edge enhancement that is present appears muted since it can’t be eliminated if it originated in the HD source. At best, this title looks a little better than the DVD since it’s completely clean of compression artefacts that are unavoidable on any big screen. Fine detail and image depth are wanting and it doesn’t rank up there with the best HD discs. The aspect ratio is preserved at 1.85:1.
AUDIO QUALITY: 3/5
This DTS-HDMA encoded soundtrack is about as exciting as Peter’s office job. Virtually all dialogue and effects are placed in the middle of the soundstage. The movie is mostly monaural. Left and right effects are few and far between and when they happened they were too distinct from the rest of the soundtrack making it feel like multi-channel mono. The 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. Only the gangster rap music gets the woofers working on the main channels as well as the LFE.
TACTILE FUN!!: 1/5
TRANSDUCER ON/OFF?: ON
The bass shaker will rattle your seat with the rap music. It adds to the fun when smashing the daylights out of the photocopier, but it’s quiet for the rest of the film. What do you expect at an office job?
SPECIAL FEATURES: 1.5/5
New to this BD is the Post-It Pandemonium – The Apathy on Men trivia track. Pop ups happen throughout the film and feature random facts about people in history, and their failures.
Some BD-exclusive games are included such as Grab the Stapler and Whack-A-Drone (playable only when the movie is playing – note that you cannot chapter skip with this feature turned on), and Printer Beat-Down and Jump to Conclusions 2.0.
The 27-minute featurette Out of Office is an Office Space retrospective with Mike Judge and some of the actors. It’s the same one that’s on the DVD. They talk about the story of the film and the characters, but beyond that there isn’t much more to this. (SD, 1.78:1 enhanced)
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 it’s OK they were cut. They seem to put a little bit of repetitiveness to the movie – but fans will love to see them anyways.
A 2.35:1 theatrical trailer is SD and widescreen enhanced.
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 (seriously, I didn’t). I’m going to stay home and watch movies all day (and did just that) and then tell you about them (I’m doing that right now). I think you should do the same – although go take a jog or something because it’s healthier for you (I’m going to the gym in an hour). Live a little (keep your work out of your personal life). Stop living a repetitive life (do something out of the ordinary) and don’t get caught up in your job because remember: humans weren’t born to work. There is a real life passing you by.
February 13, 2009.