OFFICE SPACE SPECIAL EDITION WITH FLAIR! Studio: 20th Century Fox Film Year: 1999 Film Length: 89 minutes Genre: Comedy Aspect Ratio:[*] 1.85:1 enhanced widescreen Colour/B&W: Colour Audio:[*] English 5.1 Surround[*]Spanish & French 2.0 Surround Subtitles: English & Spanish Film Rating: Release Date: November 01, 2005. 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 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?? VIDEO QUALITY / 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? AUDIO QUALITY / 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. SPECIAL FEATURES / 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.