Review by: Matt Brighton
Posted on: January 28th, 2012
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Plot: What’s it about?

There are very few movies out there that are really in a class by themselves. “Office Space” is one of those, however. It’s one of those movies that you really have to appreciate and “get” – otherwise it might be construed another entertaining movie and lost amongst the shuffle. If you’ve never been in love you won’t get “Casablanca”, if you’ve never wanted something so bad it hurt, you won’t get “Rudy” and if you’ve never worked in an office building (cubeland) then you won’t get “Office Space”. And that’s the rub. “Office Space” captured the corporate world that most of us live in and it’s something that anyone and everyone who has ever worked for a faceless corporation can relate to. I related to it perfectly. There’s always a disgruntled employee who constantly threatens to quit, the person whose job role is very shady and the all-knowing, condescending boss who doesn’t appreciate his employees. Yes, “Office Space” captured this way of life and a cult classic was born in the process.

The story is fairly simple. It revolves around Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) and his meaningless job that he hates. He confides in his friends at work, Michael Bolton (David Herman) and Samir (Ajay Naidu), but to no avail. Peter his hypnotized and left in a state of utter relaxation, misses work on the weekend and breaks up with his cheating girlfriend. Peter, Michael and Samir then launch a scheme to steal money from the company. It’s flawless and as Michael admits “Yeah, it’s the same thing they did in ‘Superman III’”. This serves a dual purpose as it gets them rich and they “stick it to the man” as well. However, their plan goes awry when they get too much money and paranoia sets in. This plot is mainly just a backstory as the real one is how much Director Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill) nailed Corporate America of 1999.

“Office Space” was a critical hit when it opened in 1999 and there was often talk of a sequel, but Judge opted not to do one. The movie is often criticized for the third act, which doesn’t hold water compared to the first two. Still, the cast of characters is amazing from the blue collar construction worker (Lawrence) to the two consultants brought in to do some firings (John C. McGinley and Paul Wilson) – “Office Space” hit the nail right on the head. The movie has had so much cultural impact that Swingline, who made Milton’s stapler didn’t even make a red model when the movie came out, but the demand was so high that Swingline now makes the infamous red stapler. And don’t me started on fax machines! Suffice it to say that “Office Space” is one of the more potent movies to come out in a while and it’s such a pleasure to be able to relate to a movie. Highly recommended.

Video: How does it look?

Fox initially issued this disc in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer that was not enhanced for widescreen TV’s. I’m happy to say that with this new “Flair” edition, they have remedied that problem. The old transfer wasn’t that bad, but this one offers up some warmer colors and a bit more detail in the inside scenes. Thankfully those old non-anamorphic transfers are a thing of the past and it’s a shame we had to wait 6 years for an amamorphic version of this fine movie.

Audio: How does it sound?

From what I can tell, this is the exact same Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that was used in the original release. The audio is strong at points, particularly when the guys exact their revenge on the fax machine. Dialogue is strong and natural and the surrounds kick in at times to offer some more ambiance. There’s not a whole lot more to say about this track, it certainly gets the job done but “Office Space” won’t be remembered for its soundtrack.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Ok (*cracks knuckles*), after a six year wait Fox didn’t really do much for this new “Special Edition”. Granted the transfer is now anamorphic, which is nice, but the extra features are really lacking. There are five deleted scenes, a theatrical trailer and a retrospective “Look back” featurette with Judge and some of the cast on the movie. Yep, that’s it. This probably could have been one of Fox’s all-time top selling discs, but this hardly necessitates a purchase if you own the original. I’m sorry, I’d love to recommend this to anyone and everyone, but if you already own the initial version then you might want to hold onto it.

Office Space: Special Edition (with Flair)
Mike Judge
Twentieth Century Fox
89 min.

  • (1.85:1)
  • Video Codec: MPEG-2
  • Audio: Dolby Digital
  • 1 Disc Set
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scene(s)
  • Featurette
  • Documentary
  • Digital Copy