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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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Thomas Aquinas: By universal consent, Thomas Aquinas is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and of divine revelation. He is one of the great teachers of the medieval Catholic Church, honored with the titles Doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor. 
<p>At five he was given to the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino in his parents’ hopes that he would choose that way of life and eventually became abbot. In 1239 he was sent to Naples to complete his studies. It was here that he was first attracted to Aristotle’s philosophy. </p><p>By 1243, Thomas abandoned his family’s plans for him and joined the Dominicans, much to his mother’s dismay. On her order, Thomas was captured by his brother and kept at home for over a year. </p><p>Once free, he went to Paris and then to Cologne, where he finished his studies with Albert the Great. He held two professorships at Paris, lived at the court of Pope Urban IV, directed the Dominican schools at Rome and Viterbo, combated adversaries of the mendicants, as well as the Averroists, and argued with some Franciscans about Aristotelianism. </p><p>His greatest contribution to the Catholic Church is his writings. The unity, harmony and continuity of faith and reason, of revealed and natural human knowledge, pervades his writings. One might expect Thomas, as a man of the gospel, to be an ardent defender of revealed truth. But he was broad enough, deep enough, to see the whole natural order as coming from God the Creator, and to see reason as a divine gift to be highly cherished. </p><p>The <i>Summa Theologiae</i>, his last and, unfortunately, uncompleted work, deals with the whole of Catholic theology. He stopped work on it after celebrating Mass on December 6, 1273. When asked why he stopped writing, he replied, “I cannot go on.... All that I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.” He died March 7, 1274.</p> American Catholic Blog We talk often about how we are God’s “hands and feet,” which is true. That being said, we can’t fall into the trap of thinking God needs us like we need Him. He’s God—which makes the reality that He wants to use us and be in a relationship with us an even sweeter, more profound truth.

 
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