Plot: What’s it about?
It’s amazing how much you can tell about a movie just by looking at the poster, or in this case the cover to the Blu-ray. Yes, I know in past reviews I’ve said that I was guilty of judging a book by its cover though it’s a hard habit to break. Plus, a lot is put into posters and the like – literally they can make or break a movie. So when I see “from the director of Bridesmaids” and look at Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy on the cover – my mind goes to a few places. First I think that Sandra Bullock is playing the same role as she did in Miss Congeniality (and its sequel) and that Melissa McCarthy will be doing what she does best – being the female Chris Farley. Was I right? Sort of. Putting all of that aside, The Heat was actually one of the Summer’s box office surprises and showed that two leading ladies are every bit as bankable as two leading men (or a leading man and lady). So here we go!
Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) has her eyes on a promotion. She’s good and efficient at her job, though she lacks the social graces that might see her make the leap to “management.” Conversely Mullins (Melissa McCarthy) is her antithesis – she’s lewd, crude and though her heart’s in the right spot she does manage to get along with her co-workers. And so it is that Ashburn is sent from New York (her home turf) up to Boston to help try and put away a drug kingpin. She’s inadvertently tied in with Mullins who is working the same case, albeit at a much lower level. These two don’t exactly hit it off and Ashburn has to tolerate Mullins’ foul mouth and her even fouler-mouthed family. But as we know will happen, the two actually form somewhat of a mutual respect for one another while trying to get the bad guy. Along the way they learn that Jason (Michael Rappaport), Mullins’ brother, is involved in the drug ring and with the “assistance” from two DEA agents, one an albino, they’re not really getting th help they need or deserve.
We all know what will happen in the movie from the time the opening credits roll, but so what? It’s the journey that matters and not the destination. Putting it right out there, Bullock and McCarthy do have on (and off) screen chemistry. There’s already a sequel in the works as well. I think one thing that really surprised me was that the movie was a lot more vulgar than I’d have thought. Not that I mind crude language, but I felt that a majority of it wasn’t really needed. Having said that, I think the two funniest sequences in the movie, and these are recurring, are the scenes with Mullins’ family and the scenes with the albino DEA agent (Dan Bakkedahl). Also, judging by the sheer amount of deleted scenes, outtakes and bloopers – there was no shortage of material. This certainly isn’t a family movie by any means, but if you can handle foul language I can say that you’ll be doing a lot of laughing. And that’s the point.
Video: How’s it look?
As we might expect, The Heat looks darn good on Blu-ray and why shouldn’t it? A new to Blu-ray release from a major studio (Fox) is the closest thing to a slam dunk, technically-speaking, that you can get. With that said, the 2.40:1 AVC HD image looks good. It’s sharp, well saturated in color and the level of detail is second to none. In fact this might actually work against the viewer in this case since we might not want to see Sandra Bullock shoot a peanut out of her nose or the pinkish eyes of the DEA agent. I saw no evidence of artifacting, dirt on the print or anything else that could be construed as a negative. Simply put this movie, like so many others that grace the Blu-ray format, looks simply marvelous.
Audio: How’s it sound?
By and large, comedies don’t have that heavy of a soundtrack and that’s pretty much the case with this movie. Granted the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack does have a few moments (namely when a grenade goes off), but they’re actually few and far between. Vocals are top notch, we can hear every one of Mullins’ “F” bombs dropped and we can hear her dysfunctional Bah-stan family hurl insults at one another like they’re right there. Surrounds are used, though not to great effect and the front stage shoulders the burden of the remainder of the mix. It’s a good mix, but not one that will totally challenge your system.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Fox is clearly cashing in on the success of this movie and has loaded it down with plenty of supplements. Two cuts of the film are included, I watched the Unrated version for this review whichis aobut three minutes longer than the theatrical cut. That said, there’s a LOT to cover here, so let’s get started:
- Welcome to the Bonus Features – Director Paul Feig gives us a introduction to the bonus features as he introduces himself by name. Of note, he’ll do the same for a number of other features, though he gets a bit carried away and uses other monikers like “Hello, I’m Steven Spielberg…”
- Mullins Family Fun – If Mullins’ family was one of the highlights of the movie (it was for me) there are plenty of improv takes on the dinner scene and plenty more laughs. Some of these should have been included in the film.
- Acting Master Class – Actually just more outtakes under a different moniker.
- Let’s Get Physical – The physical humor of the movie is outlined here. Nothing too brutal I might add.
- Police Brutality – More outtakes featuring Melissa McCarthy (who has to be mentally unstable).
- Von Bloopers – You guessed it – more outtakes and gags.
- Supporting Cast Cavalcade – See above, only they involve more of the cast as opposed to just Bullock and McCarthy.
- Over and Out – Director Paul Feig sends us on our way in true slapstick fashion…
- All the Stuff We Had to Take Out but Still Think is Funny – A funny way of including deleted, extended and alternate scenes from those that appeared in the movie. Not a bad selection, either, as they run nearly 30 minutes. Though at this point, we’ve seen about 5 different versions of every scene, so it’s hard to tell which takes were cut for whatever reason.
- How The Heat Was Made – They try to get a bit serious on us, but it’s about as close to a legitimate supplement as you’ll get on this disc.
- Live Extras – I had thought the BD-Live thing had gone away. Evidently not. I got an error message when it tried to load the content.
- The Commentary Track In Which the Director of The Heat Talks Endlessly About The Heat – The first of a trio of commentaries, this one featuring Director Paul Feig going solo. It’s an upbeat track with loads of information and him laughing at his own jokes. Of note, this track is only available on the Unrated version of the film.
- The Commentary Track In Which Melissa McCarthy and Other Great People from The Heat Talk About The Heat – The first of two commentaries on the theatrical version which finds Director Paul Feig, Katie Dippold, Mike McDonald, Adam Ray and Jesse Henderson. Though we don’t get a whole lot of information about the film, maybe it’s nice to sit back and listen to these goofballs yell at the movie and each other?
- The Commentary Track In Which Some of the Mullins Family Discusses The Heat – The second commentary track found on the theatrical cut features Director Paul Feig and some of the “familly” with Jane Curtin leading the way and staying in character to boot. I’d have liked to hear Bullock and/or McCarthy chime in, but twas not meant to be.
- The Original Lineup from Mystery Science Theater 3000 Comments on The Heat – If you’ve ever seen Mystery Science Theater 3000 then you’ll know what to expect here, though it seems a bit forced and rushed.
- DVD/UltraViolet Copy