Of all of the Austin filmmakers, Mike Judge seems to be the guy who (A) keeps the lowest profile and (B) gets the least respect.

I know he's got fans, and he's had some success with things like the long-running "King Of The Hill," just wrapping up its life on Fox right now, but Judge has always been an underdog, and it seems like he's always had a hard time getting his finished work in front of people.

"Office Space" seemed like it was mishandled by Fox when it came out, but that's only by comparison to the way they treated "Idiocracy," which basically got tied in a sack and thrown in a river.  Both films have built their audiences on home video, and it seems like Judge makes movies with a long fuse on them.  Even if they don't blow up into giant blockbusters right away when they're released, they eventually reach the people they were intended to reach.

I'll give Miramax credit for this:  they have actually spent some money and some effort trying to get "Extract" into theaters this coming weekend, and I'm glad there's a chance here for a wide audience to actually see one of his films in the theater during its initial run.

[more after the jump]

Still not convinced?  Well, maybe these close personal friends of Mr. Judge can convince you:

 

 

It's funny... Judge has sort of lost the Beavis voice over the years, but he'll be able to perfectly summon up Butt-Head for the rest of his life.  I'm always glad to see him bring the characters back, especially when he does it like this... just a quick taste, and then they're gone.

I sat down with Mike Judge at the end of my time at the "Extract" press day, and I have to admit... I was thrilled to finally get some face time with one of the most quietly impressive guys working in film comedy today:

 

 

If you notice me freeze up at the end, it's because there was a question I wanted to ask him, and at the exact second I was ready to ask it, I went blank.  One of the few times that's happened to me in an interview, and I was gutted.  It's a terrible feeling.  I wanted my final question to be, "Does it freak you out that with each passing year, 'Idiocracy' plays less like fiction?"

"Extract" opens this weekend in theaters near you.  Don't turn this wonderful writer/director into a three-time loser theatrically.  If you like original comedy with a great cast, give it a shot.

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