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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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Augustine of Canterbury: In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless. 
<p>Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester. </p><p>Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors </p><p>Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”</p> American Catholic Blog A hero isn’t someone born with unconquerable strength and selflessness. Heroes are not formed in a cataclysmic instant. Heroism is developed over time, one decision after another, moment by moment, formed by a deliberate, chosen, and habitual response to life.

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