Office Space -- UMD Movie Review
Office Space tells the story of Peter Gibbons (played by Ron Livingston) who hates his job working for Initech, a typical software company. Gibbonsí girlfriend convinces him to see a hypnotist, who dies mid-session, leaving Peter in an ultra-relaxed state. Now content to do as he pleases, Peter sleeps an entire weekend, asks out his favorite waitress (Jennifer Aniston), and despite not going to work anymore, somehow finagles a promotion. After two of his co-workers, Samir (not-gonna-work-here-anymore) Nagheenanajar and Michael (Why should I change my name? Heís the one who sucks) Bolton are fired, the trio get mixed up in a scheme to get retribution on the company that has made their lives so miserable.
The movieís plot isnít that great, but thatís not why people love the movie. The characters are ones that you can find in almost every office, and the actors that portray them are spot-on in their portrayals of the people they are patterned after. Gary Cole is perfect as Peterís overbearing boss, and Stephen Root gives a career defining performance as Milton Waddams, the office hermit. The dialog is witty; there are tons of great quotes and some truly memorable scenes.
The UMD version of Office Space comes from the same transfer that the new special edition DVD, so it goes without saying that it looks nice. There are no noticeable artifacts, nor can you see any dirt or scratches at any time. The colors look a little washed out, though some of this can be attributed to the deliberate lack of color in the office scenes Ė theyíre supposed to look grey and boring.
When you start the movie, youíll see a notice that tells you that the movie has been re-formatted to fit the PSP's screen. Youíll see slightly less picture than you would on the widescreen DVD of the film, but the trade-off is that there arenít any black bars, which would make the already small viewing area even smaller. Since Office Space isnít a visual tour de force, the slight amount of cropping isnít a big deal.
The audio is solid, but like the visual presentation, thereís not a whole lot to get excited about. The dialog is crisp, and the music, which is integral to a few scenes, comes through loud and clear. My one complaint is that even with the UMD volume turned up to +2, it was very hard to hear the movieís dialog through the PSP speakers. It was fine with headphones, but if youíre planning on watching the movie without them, you can forget it, unless youíre in a completely silent area. English, French and Spanish dialog is available, but for some reason, captions are only available in English and Spanish. It doesnít get much better than hearing Miltonís mumblings in another language, especially since the guy that does his voice in French sounds a little like Kermit the Frog.
Thereís a pretty nice extra included on the UMD, which is a good thing, since itís the only one. Mike Judge hosts a retrospective thatís about ten minutes long on the making of the film, and surprisingly, all of the major actors from the film come back to discuss their roles Ė even Jennifer Aniston. You wonít learn anything earth shattering about the flick, but itís cool to see what inspired certain performances. There arenít any deleted scenes included, which is a shame. There are a few quick clips in the retrospective that arenít in the film, but it would have been nice to have some full-fledged scenes.
The UMD also contains trailers for three 20th Century Fox films, Napoleon Dynamite, Super Troopers, and Dodge Ball.
It might not come with flair, like the Best Buy exclusive DVD edition of the film, but Office Space is one of those movies that you can watch over and over again, so itís a solid purchase.
Trivia: Look for a pre-7Up fame, Orlando Jones playing the role of a crackhead selling magazine subscriptions.
11/10/2005 Aaron Thomas