Movies and television shows arriving on DVD and Blu-ray this week include:
"The Heat" (R, 117 minutes, Fox): The team of Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy looks on paper to be a sure-fire formula for comic gold; both gifted comediennes, they possess temperaments and physical packages diametrically opposed enough to recreate the kind of comedy made famous by such duos as Abbott and Costello or Jackie Gleason and Art Carney.
In "The Heat," they play mismatched law enforcement officers who bicker and bumble their way into solving a crime and finding a friend. The conceit of the film, written by Katie Dippold and directed by Paul Feig - who directed McCarthy to stardom in "Bridesmaids" - is that for all their differences, both share an essential loneliness that has kept them isolated and miserable. That sad subtext gives much of the humor in "The Heat" a melancholy edge, especially when it comes to McCarthy, who again is asked to do little more than swear like a stevedore and bear the brunt of undignified slapstick centered around her generous figure.
Bullock plays McCarthy's opposite number: uptight, put-together and prim, so you know going in that "The Heat" will feature at least one drunken girl-bonding montage. Seen through one lens, "The Heat" is the product of a cheering trend in female-centered comedies, a feminist sister to "Bridesmaids." Seen through another, it revolves around the retrograde novelty of watching women swagger, spout vulgarities, brandish guns and toss around anatomical references.
Contains pervasive profanity, strong crude content and some violence.
Extras include commentary with McCarthy, Feig, the original "Mystery Science Theater 3000" critics and the fictional Mullins family; deleted, alternate and extended scenes, unrated version, a making-of and several other featurettes.
"Pacific Rim" (PG-13, 131 minutes, Warner): This big, lumbering, rock 'em, sock 'em mash-up of metallic heft and hyperbole sucks its characters and the audience down a vortex of garish visual effects and cartoonish action. And you know what? It's not bad!
Leave it to Guillermo del Toro - that overgrown fanboy with a heart of gold and a mind of impressive philosophical complexity - to bring some sense and sensibility to this overproduced disaster flick. As an example of del Toro's abiding love for comic books, pop culture and movie genre excess, "Pacific Rim" ranks with his less intellectual but equally imaginative efforts, maybe somewhere between "Blade II" and the gloriously bodacious "Hellboy." In fact, "Hellboy's" mordant star, Ron Perlman, shows up for a cameo in "Pacific Rim" as a black marketeer working Hong Kong's neon-noir byways.
It's in that port city, sometime in the future, that an apocalyptic invasion of sea creatures called Kaiju will or won't be repelled by a ragtag army of Jaegers, 25-story robots that look like super-size versions of Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, right down to the whirring mechanical hearts that glow in their tungsten-clad chests. The central standoff between fantastical creatures bears echoes of "Mothra vs. Godzilla," as well as the anime classics that del Toro has cited as inspirations. The visual design recalls "TRON," some plot elements recall "Inception," the crunching action recalls "Transformers" and the relationships recall "Top Gun," wherein a group of cocky flyboys try to one-up each other in the name of saving the world.
Contains sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and for some profanity.
Extras include commentary by del Toro, deleted scenes, blooper reel, four making-of featurettes. Also, on Blu-ray: "The Directors Notebook" featurette.
"The March" (TV-PG, 60 minutes, PBS): Documentary on the 50th anniversary of the original March on Washington, a watershed moment in the Civil Rights Movement. The Aug. 28, 1963, demonstration for racial and economic equality issued a clarion call for racial justice that would help usher in sweeping civil rights legislation and a sea change in public opinion. It also will forever be remembered for Martin Luther King Jr.'s stirring "I Have a Dream" speech. Narrated by Denzel Washington, the film features interviews with Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond, Diahann Carroll, Clarence B. Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Andrew Young, Joan Baez and others..
Also: "Ingenious," "The Colony," "A Hijacking" (Denmark), "Notting Hill" (1999), "Dracula: The Dark Prince," "Come Dance With Me" (Hallmark Channel movie), "Drug War" (Hong Kong), "Lost and Found" (2008, animated), "Hitched for the Holidays" (Hallmark Channel movie), "Last Will & Testament" (PBS), "Maniac," "Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle" (PBS documentary), "Wild Style: 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition" (1983), "Merry In-Laws" (Lifetime Channel movie), "Hitched for the Holidays" (Hallmark Channel movie), "The Eagle Has Landed Collector's Edition" (1976), "TCM Greatest Classic Films: Legends - Barbara Stanwyck" (Warner, also Legends box-sets for Gary Cooper, Ronald Reagan and Val Lewton), "Home For Christmas: A Golden Christmas 3" (Dove-approved family film), "David Starkey's Music & Monarchy," "Shrek the Musical" (Broadway production), "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" and "The Halloween Stories Collection, Volume 2" (three-disc set, Scholastic Storybook Treasures).
Television Series: "Defiance: Season One," "Anger Management: Volume Two ," "Bewitched: The Complete Series" (33-disc set, Sony), "I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete Series" (20-disc set), "Hart of Dixie: Second Season," "Gentle Ben -- Season One" (1967-68), "Counting Cars: Season 2, Volume 1," "The Untold History of the United States" (Showtime), "The Partridge Family: The Complete Series" (12-disc set), "Vikings Season 1" (History Channel), "The Fall: Series 1" (BBC series starring Gillian Anderson, Acorn Media), "The Pallisers: 40th Anniversary Edition" (eight-disc set of classic PBS series, Acorn Media), "The Dark Ages: An Age of Light" (four-part BBC documentary, Athena), "Monsters vs Aliens: Cloning Around," "Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness: The Scorpion Sting" (2011, Nickelodeon) and "Bubble Guppies and Team Umizoomi: Into the Snow We Go!" (Nickelodeon). - - -
Washington Post staff writer Kay Coyte contributed to this report.