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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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Leopold Mandic: Western Christians who are working for greater dialogue with Orthodox Christians may be reaping the fruits of Father Leopold’s prayers.
<p>A native of Croatia, Leopold joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained several years later in spite of several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight and a stomach ailment.
</p><p>Leopold taught patrology, the study of the Church Fathers, to the clerics of his province for several years, but he is best known for his work in the confessional, where he sometimes spent 13-15 hours a day. Several bishops sought out his spiritual advice.
</p><p>Leopold’s dream was to go to the Orthodox Christians and work for the reunion of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. His health never permitted it. Leopold often renewed his vow to go to the Eastern Christians; the cause of unity was constantly in his prayers.
</p><p>At a time when Pope Pius XII said that the greatest sin of our time is "to have lost all sense of sin," Leopold had a profound sense of sin and an even firmer sense of God’s grace awaiting human cooperation.
</p><p>Leopold, who lived most of his life in Padua, died on July 30, 1942, and was canonized in 1982.</p> American Catholic Blog Good parenthood is a blend of yes and no. Knowing when to say no and enforce it leads to more yeses. No doesn’t shrink a child’s world; it expands it.

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