There are just some movies we can all relate to. Regardless of your place in the American work force, "Office Space" has something in it you've likely experienced. Oh, it's relentlessly funny too.
Typical employee Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) has had enough of his 9-5 job at Initech. His girlfriend takes him to a occupational hypnotherapist to try and find out what's bothering him, but when something goes horribly wrong, Peter takes a whole new lease on life. Through a series of incidents, Peter not only gets a major promotion (even though he no longer shows up), but also manages to rip the company off for over $300,000Ö. Just not like he intended.
This isn't just a movie about Mr. Gibbons. There is a wide platter of likable characters, but stealing the film is the always likable Stephen Root as Milton, probably the most oppressed employee in the company. He's not on payroll and they took his red stapler, but he keeps on coming back, at least until the building goes under some unwanted "remodeling."
Along for the ride with Livingston Ajay Naidu and David Herman, two more of Initech's finest. These are the two that go in on Peter's money scheme gone wrong that makes for some of the best comedy the movie has to offer. Jennifer Anniston plays a waitress at a restaurant not far from the software firm and becomes Peter's love interest as the movie progresses. Stuck in nearly the same position as Peter, she becomes yet another rebel, this time against director Mike Judge who plays her boss.
The entire film has a laid back feel, much like Peter himself after the "transformation." The real plot doesn't even begin until 45-minutes in, but it still manages to spread the humor out enough to keep the laughs going all the way through. Running gags, included the ever-popular "TPS reports," are a source of fuel the movie thrives on.
If you ever want to get an idea of how to get fired from a job, here's the movie to teach you. Though is did extremely poor at the box office, "Office Space" remains a favorite to almost everyone who has got their hands on it. Comedies are rarely this funny and it's a real shame it doesn't have more exposure. (**** out of *****)
Fox presents the film in 1.85:1 widescreen, and this is nothing short of a brilliant transfer. Yes, it's a bit soft and you can make out some mild grain, but the clarity along with the fine detail make this one a winner. Compression is firmly under control, chroma noise is remarkably absent considering how many solid-colored walls this movie contains, and there are no issues are all with edge enhancement. It may not blow you away from the start, but given time, this is a transfer that will grow on you. (*****)
The key to the 5.1 track included here is the soundtrack. Filled with mostly heavy rap containing deep bass, it really uses the sub like it should. There's a brief dream sequence involving Livingston that effectively uses the rear channels and both stereo speakers. It's a great, immersive scene. Dialogue is clear with no distortion. Much like the transfer, this is a track that will surprise you as the movie moves along. (****)
Due for a special edition, this disc contains nothing. There is an insert that provides some actor information, but unless you enjoy watching trailers, this disc isn't going to do much for you in the extras department. (No stars)
Director Mike Judge turned down the opportunity for a sequel when the studio approached him. He claims he's sick of people only wanting to talk about the movie and completely ignoring his other work. Hey Mike, you created an underground classic. You should be proud of that.