Sure, now Office Space is a cult classic, with dialogue quoted by millions (or maybe just thousands…with very loud voices) and fans scattered all over the world. Though not an immediate success by any means, Office Space broke even in theaters but the real windfall didn’t come until the film found its way onto home video. Since then the film has seen two DVD releases and now this all new Blu-ray release, complete with a few new extras (nothing major though, so calm down), is making its way onto fans shelves.
Work sucks, but the Office Space Blu-ray Disc will cure anyone who is suffering through a case of the Mondays. Mike Judge’s cult classic about one man’s struggle to break down the walls of his cubicle and do absolutely nothing is a must-own for everyone “working for the man.” Starring Ron Livingston (“Sex and the City,” “Band of Brothers”) and Jennifer Aniston (“Friends,” Along Came Polly), OFFICE SPACE has become one of the most quoted films by paper-pushing, fax machine-pounding, boss-hating working stiffs everywhere.
While I didn’t get into this film until after everyone else it seems (in 1999, the film’s original year of release, I was busy with seeing The Phantom Menace twelve times in the theater [it should be noted I’ve only watched the film about three times since]), it doesn’t make it any less funny. It really is like a fine wine, as it only gets better with age. The first time I watched it I was entertained, sure, but I wasn’t exploding with laughter. But it’s almost kind of a communal type film, as the real enjoyment of it stems from when you begin to quote it relentlessly around your friends and, in turn, they toss something back at you. It has the same type of longevity as Anchorman, in that neither are absolutely terrific films (Anchorman even less so), but damned if they don’t make you laugh and want to quote the absurdities that arise from the film.
Office Space works because of its simplicity. One man (Ron Livingston) breaks down the walls of his cubicle (literally, at one point) and ends up being promoted. On top of that he eventually finds where he wants to be in life by the end of it and that is really what makes the film so much fun to watch—it’s overly simple, but often the best pleasures in life are simple (I may have eaten a fortune cookie that said that, I don’t remember). So that’s why the film works. Well that and the cast of characters.
Livingston’s character is what holds the film together, but when it comes to cult classics like this, it’s the supporting cast that sometimes gets more of the glory. Take the woman who sputtered the “Monday’s” quote that is now so popular or the boss’s long drawl of “Yeaahhhhhhh” that is spread across T-shirts. No matter what was said in this film, fans remembered it and everyone from Diedrich Bader to Jennifer Aniston were no doubt the better the better off because this movie existed. Well maybe not Aniston, but still.
Essentially I could go on and reference everyone of the films fantastic qualities or mention that I still find myself imagining beating the snot out of printers whenever one of them jams on me (complete with the “Die mother—-“ song in the background), but instead I’ll just leave the review off here and say that this is a cult film for a reason. It’s highly entertaining and it may actually take a few viewings to fully appreciate it. If you haven’t, for whatever reason, seen this film yet then do yourself a favor and just add it to your collection. Don’t even worry about if you don’t like it at first, as the film will slowly grow on you. After watching it you will join the cult of followers who quote the film in their everyday life, so you’ll no longer be left in the cold when someone exclaims excitement over a Swingline stapler. Highly Recommended.
Fox has released Office Space in a single disc release without any notices other than a firmware upgrade and disc art that mimics the cover. No slipcover is included and the menus for the film are simple and easy to navigate. If there were such a thing as a barebones Blu-ray, then this would be it in terms of appearance.
The AVC encoded transfer of the film looks great, with plenty of details around the office and a sharp picture from start to finish. I was really surprised by just how clean this film looked, as it didn’t suffer from any real softness in the image that so many older films are prone to. But that’s just another element of a Fox Blu-ray—even when the film doesn’t deserve it, they load it up with a ridiculously strong video transfer and an audio track that will blow you way. Okay, so the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track here may not actually make your hair toss in the wind, but it does have a decent mix. Office sounds are abound in the surrounds, while the dialogue remains clean and clear in the front channels. The only time the subwoofer kicks in is when the films bass-heavy music soundtrack kicks in, causing the room to thud (the aforementioned printer scene? Yeah, it’s pretty loud).
All extras included on this release are in standard definition and are ported over from the previous ‘Flair’ DVD edition (aside from the Blu-ray exclusive extras, which I’ll get to in a bit). These extras include:
Deleted Scenes – eight deleted scenes, running around six minutes total.
“Out Of The Office: An Office Space Retrospective With Mike Judge” featurette – a retrospective featurette with comments from the cast and crew.
Theatrical Trailer – the original trailer for the film.
The Blu-ray exclusive extras include:
Jump to Conclusions 2.0
Grab The Stapler and Printer Beat-Down
Last Piece of Cake
Post-It Pandemonium/The Apathy of Man: History Track
If they sound uninteresting…well, they are. The first four are merely games you play with the remote (oh joy!), while the last is a trivia track that can, at times, devour nearly the entire screen with its “information.” None of the new extras here are worth checking out as you’ll spend more time waiting for them to load up than you will actually playing them.
It’s a shame Fox couldn’t just bit the bullet and request a commentary for the film, as that’s really all this film needs to feel complete on DVD. The retrospective is great, but a little bit more info on the film itself couldn’t hurt, but instead we’re just given a series of pathetic Blu-ray bonuses.
Overall if you own the previous “Flair” DVD edition, then don’t even bother with this release. The film looks and sounds great, but by no means is it worth the cost of upgrade (perhaps if Fox would include $10 rebates like Paramount and Buena Vista did for awhile, it wouldn’t be so hard to swallow). Skip It, unless you absolutely need to see the film in high definition.
Office Space is now available on Blu-ray.