On DVD & Blu-Ray: October 15, 2013


Much has been made of the fact it took so long to get a buddy cop film with two female leads made. There is certainly merit to this argument as The Heat is a ridiculously fun time even if the premise has been worn out for a good twenty years now. The plot is hardly what matters here though as the real story is who's finally filled the roles of those two lead women and the chemistry between co-stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy is so strong it will surely convince anyone doubting the power of women at the box office. From the opening scene in which Bullock's character is expertly set-up and the actress perfectly delivers one-liners that give us her idea of funny and her off-putting personality to our first encounter with McCarthy as she wreaks havoc on a number of guilty parties I was entertained if nothing else. Some folks will complain about the fact this is showing nothing more than women conquering the rather dumb genre of buddy cop movies while others will talk about the way in which McCarthy's character is so reckless with how she treats her suspects and the foul things that come out of her mouth. There is, of course, plenty to complain about when it comes to The Heat as it doesn't possess the effortless balance of comedy and heart that the directors previous, female-powered, film so easily conveyed. Instead, The Heat doesn't need or even try to be anything more than a raunchy, no holds-barred action comedy that is more that able to be held up against any number of buddy cop movies that feature two male leads. I've never taken issue with the idea of women getting the short end of the stick when it comes to having the responsibility of a big budget studio comedy or any other genre on their shoulders, but I'm also a white male which puts me in the most favored demographic and therefore I don't really have much room to speak. What I will say is that I had a consistently good time throughout this well-intentioned if not mean-spirited piece of fluff that isn't here to say anything new or break any ground, but simply to make us laugh and in that regard it succeeds with comedy to spare. Full review hereB-

As I sat watching the latest from director Guillermo del Toro I couldn't help but wonder how much I would have loved this had I seen this movie when I was seven or eight. It likely would have been an earth shattering event, a childhood defining piece of entertainment that would influence countless Halloween costumes and inspire me to want to make my own monster movies. Unfortunately, I'm not seven or eight but was still able to sit in awe as these giant, man-made robots did battle with these monsters from the deep that have come to be known as Kaiju. If you are going to see Pacific Rim it is likely due in large to this aspect and on that basis the film delivers in spades. It was admittedly nice to walk into a big summer action film in the vein of something that is usually part of a franchise (and if this does well enough financially, it soon enough will be) and being able to know you can expect something new and fresh that requires no prior knowledge or research. With so many of these comic book adaptations and reboots being produced with hopes of cashing in on name recognition it feels somewhat of a rarity to have a studio lend this type of film the budget it needs to be and look credible enough that we become so invested in these people and the world they live in that we want to go on another adventure with them. Pacific Rim is a sometimes cheesy, but mostly raucous good time that is aided by the fact it has a very straightforward story, characters we can root for and no intentions of being anything other than flat-out, B-movie entertainment. I wasn't overly looking forward to the project and have never really understood the fascination that has come to surround del Toro as I enjoyed the Hellboy films as well as Pan's Labyrinth, but besides a signature style didn't see much in the way of why his name was being singled out so heavily as being so creative. With this film, the director has given me reason to know that he really understands the audience he is making his films for. I still wasn't as enthralled or as wowed by the film as I'd hoped, but was at least entertained enough to say that Pacific Rim is the kind of summer action movie we don't get enough of these days. Full review hereB-

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