Office Space

Fox Home Entertainment, $19.98.

BEFORE THE BBC The Office, or its NBC remake with Steve Carrel, there was Mike Judge's 1999 exposé of Initech, a generic edge-city software company rooted in his own pre–Beavis and Butt-Head cubicle days. This "Special Edition With Flair" reissue (Nov. 1) doesn't add much to the original value: only eight deleted scenes; a short featurette that revisits Judge and the original cast (except for Jennifer Aniston, too busy with Brad-related issues, I guess); plus some downloads for your PC. You'd call it a rip-off if it weren't priced to replace the 1999 disc that one of your friends probably ripped off (i.e., forgot to return because he was too stoned).

There is no Judge commentary for this oft-quoted cult fave, a big disappointment, but perhaps understandable when one of the cast says the director has the "fuck-you money" (especially after King of the Hill) to do only what he wants. Still, this places him in the parsimonious company of Woody Allen and the Coen brothers—the sort of guys who cultivate the most rabid fans, then kick them in the teeth. (See Kevin Smith for the opposite approach.)

These days Judge is preparing the long-delayed Idiocracy, a time-travel comedy with Luke Wilson that seems to have traveled all the way to 2006. It's hard to imagine that he hasn't been offered even more fuck-you money for an Office Space sequel or sitcom. Says Stephen Root of his passive-passive character Milton (Judge's original cartoon basis for the movie), "I think this comedy reached the soft underbelly of corporate America." Right, so what's stopping Judge? The now Brad-less Aniston is free after Friends, and I'm sure Ron Livingston and his buddies (David Herman's Michael Bolton and Ajay Naidu's Samir) could be lured back under the soul-killing fluorescent lights. And if that doesn't work, if Monty Python can take on Broadway, a musical version should be considered. There's got to be a song in "'PC Load Letter?' What the fuck does that mean?" And in the role of Michael Bolton? Michael Bolton.

NOV. 8 BRINGS The Devil's Rejects to disc, a little late for Halloween. Mike Judge's own Beavis and Butt-Head is packaged on three discs containing 40 episodes. Tim Burton avoids commentary duties on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (though with a second disc of extras). Warner Bros. is issuing some old holiday-season weepies including Boys Town. Criterion offers new, restored versions of Pickpocket and Ugetsu. Also out: Joan Allen in Yes, Glenn Close in Heights, and Audrey Hepburn in 1967's Two for the Road.

bmiller@seattleweekly.com

 
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