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Movie Review: Extract

Alternate Title: Flavorless

Story: While exiting the theater after seeing this movie about an extract flavor company I was left with the taste of vanilla. The movie was written and directed by Mike Judge and plays more like a TV sit/com than a movie.

Woebegone Joel owns an extract flavor company. He should be happy but his marriage has gone sour. His life seems a bit flavorless when suddenly he spots the bodacious Cindy, the new temp at his plant. Between Cindy, a potential lawsuit by an injured employee and a possible buyout of his company, Joel is spinning out of control. While all of these things make great fodder for comedy, most of the jokes hit only first base. I wanted doubles and triples.

This bland comedy can easily be missed or just wait for it to be on cable in a couple of months.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzJI08YUNik

Acting: Jason Bateman as Joel, is always pleasant to watch. There is something extremely likable about him. Mila Kunis as Cindy, was fine but I did not buy turn of events at all. Kristen Wiig as wife Suzie, did not have much to do. J. K. Simmons as Brian is consistently good. David Koechner as neighbor Nathan was terrific. Clifton Collins Jr. as Step seemed more like a cartoon than a real person. Gene Simmons as lawyer Joe Adler was frightening.Dustin Milligan as gigolo Brad was funny. Ben Affleck as bartender Dean was pretty funny.

Trivia: Director and writer Mike Judge was born in Ecuador and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He created "Beavis and Butt-Head" (1993) for MTV and "King of the Hill" (1997) for Fox. The characters of Mr. Tom Anderson (from "Beavis and Butt-Head" (1993)) and Hank Hill (from "King of the Hill" (1997)) are based, in part, on his experiences with his neighbors in Texas. Mila Kunis and her family moved from Ukraine to LA when she was 7. Auditioned for "That '70s Show" (1998) at age 14. Though actors had to be at least 18 to get the part, she truthfully claimed she would be 18 on her birthday, not specifying which birthday, and won the role. Jason Bateman is best known for his role as Michael Bluth on the television sitcom "Arrested Development" (2003), as well as his role on "Silver Spoons" (1982) as a child actor.

Predilection: I like Jason Batemen

Critters: None

Sex Spectrum: Sex is talked about but no sex is shown.

Blatant Product Placement: Heineken, Pepsi, Dominos and Xanax.

Soundtrack: Whimsically fine.

Opening Titles: An introduction to the sexy grifter's character then an interlude with all of the credits showing the extract factory in the background.

Theater Audience: About 10 guys and me.

Weather: It is filmed in a sunny, warm California place.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: Gene Simmons gave me the creeps.

Drift Factor: I drifted a bit.

Predictability Level: High with one neighborly surprise.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: 90 minutes.