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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Extract

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Jason Bateman and Mila Kunis star in a scene from the movie "Extract."
"Extract" (Miramax), writer-director Mike Judge's comic portrait of a personally and professionally beleaguered entrepreneur, boasts some undeniably clever dialogue, and its story line moves toward a generally moral wrap-up. But the antic proceedings also showcase skewed marital values, with adultery treated as fodder for laughs.
 
Successful self-made businessman Joel (Jason Bateman), whose company produces flavor extract for cooking, is burdened with a factory full of squabbling employees. When their quarrels lead to an industrial accident that wounds good ol' boy Step (Clifton Collins Jr.) in a particularly sensitive area, Joel and his No. 2, Brian (J.K. Simmons), fear that the fallout could spoil a pending deal to sell the concern.
 
At home, Joel is contending with wife Suzie's (Kristen Wiig) recent lack of interest in joining him in the bedroom, a development that has left him not only frustrated, but drawn to Cindy (Mila Kunis), an attractive newcomer to his workforce.
 
Joel confides his troubles to his best friend Dean (Ben Affleck), the bartender at a local sports lounge. Dean comes up with a convoluted scheme to have a young gigolo named Brad (Dustin Milligan) seduce Suzie so that Joel can stray with Cindy guilt-free. With his mind muddled by a combination of alcohol and a sedative Dean gave him to calm his nerves, Joel agrees.
 
He repents the next morning, but the plan is already in motion.
 
Further complicating matters, as some early scenes have shown the audience, the ostensibly sympathetic Cindy is, in reality, a ruthless con artist whose arrival at the plant is part of a plot to manipulate Step into suing Joel, so that she can make off with the injured man's award money.
 
While the tale concludes on a note of forgiveness and reconciliation, and most of the sinful behavior is shown to be emotionally damaging, in at least one instance Judge's script gives infidelity a pass. It also includes a recurring gag about the name of a punk band that, although meant to satirize the musicians themselves, is both obscene and extremely sacrilegious.
 
The film contains adultery, a repeated blasphemous joke, much sexual humor, some profanity and rough language, and frequent crude and crass terms. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
 
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Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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James of the Marche: Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop! 
<p>James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. St. Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances. </p><p>James studied theology with St. John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people (250,000 at one estimate) and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence. </p><p>With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching. </p><p>To combat extremely high interest rates, James established <i>montes pietatis</i> (literally, mountains of charity)--nonprofit credit organizations that lent money at very low rates on pawned objects. </p><p>Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James died in 1476 and was canonized in 1726.</p> American Catholic Blog We all have fears, but we don’t have to be afraid. Jesus is always with us to protect us and give us courage. We only have to remember that the battle is the Lord’s. When Jesus gives us the victory, let’s be sure to thank Him and praise Him for what He has done.

 
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