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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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Sharbel Makhluf: Although this saint never traveled far from the Lebanese village of Beka-Kafra, where he was born, his influence has spread widely. 
<p>Joseph Zaroun Makluf was raised by an uncle because his father, a mule driver, died when Joseph was only three. At the age of 23, Joseph joined the Monastery of St. Maron at Annaya, Lebanon, and took the name Sharbel in honor of a second-century martyr. He professed his final vows in 1853 and was ordained six years later. </p><p>Following the example of the fifth-century St. Maron, Sharbel lived as a hermit from 1875 until his death. His reputation for holiness prompted people to seek him to receive a blessing and to be remembered in his prayers. He followed a strict fast and was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. When his superiors occasionally asked him to administer the sacraments to nearby villages, Sharbel did so gladly. </p><p>He died in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Christians and non-Christians soon made his tomb a place of pilgrimage and of cures. Pope Paul VI beatified him in 1965 and canonized him 12 years later.</p> American Catholic Blog You cannot claim to be ‘for Christ’ and espouse a political cause that implies callous indifference to the needs of millions of human beings and even cooperate in their destruction.

 
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