The Heat Blu-ray Review
Buddy movies have been a staple of cinema for a long, long time. What started to form in the 1939 Laurel and Hardy film THE FLYING DEUCES or with the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby flick ROAD TO MOROCCO, solidified in audience’s minds with movies like BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969), and carried us into a new semi-subgenre of film. I don’t know if the frequency with which Hollywood has made these films has recently increased but I can certainly name a ton from recent memory. The buddy movie subgenre has become such a trope of modern cinema that it has even introduced another subgenre unto itself, the “buddy cop” movie. These were a staple of my adolescence, movies like the LETHAL WEAPON franchise, RUSH HOUR (and it’s awful sequels), or even arguably 48 HOURS and TANGO AND CASH… I could make this list forever (in fact, we chronicled the top 10 buddy cop movies in a great article you can find here). The most recent flick from this genre, THE HEAT, doesn’t stray far from the basic conceits of all buddy cop movies, but is it worth your time?
In THE HEAT we meet two very different characters; the always on FBI agent who rubs everyone the wrong way and can’t connect to people (Bullock’s Agent Ashburn) and the gruff, from-the-streets police officer who may be a little too involved in the current case (McCarthy’s Officer Mullins). Ashburn is sent to Boston to look into a drug ring that has become increasingly violent. When she arrives she meets Officer Mullins and the two immediately start to gnaw away at each other. We get some genuinely funny stuff here (looking for her captain’s balls is particularly executed well, and is the first scene with Bullock, McCarthy and underrated genius Tom Wilson, who played various Biff’s in the BACK TO THE FUTURE movies) though it all feels a little bit more disconnected than we would hope.
Other particular highlights include scenes with the large Mullins family, featuring Jane Curtain (3rd ROCK FROM THE SUN), Michael Rapaport (most recently from televisions JUSTIFIED), Dan Bakkedahl, Joey McIntyre (yes, that Joey NKOTB fans), Michael Tucci, Nate Corddry, Bill Burr (DATE NIGHT), Jamie Denbo, and Jessica Chaffin (and ‘Jessica Chaffin’s Boobs’ which get their own credit). The family dynamic here is actually believable for the exact reason the rest of the movie doesn’t come together; the improv actually strengthens the feeling of family while it generally weakens the believability of the rest of THE HEAT.
THE HEAT is the newest film from director Paul Feig, who brought us the breakaway success BRIDESMAIDS (2011) and also brought us some of the funniest episodes of the U.S. version of THE OFFICE. Feig works entirely in his element here, with THE HEAT focusing a lot more on character and laughs than on being a full, self-sustaining crime story. Sure, the beats are all there but they’re presented with such casual blasé (is that repetitively redundant? I don’t care, it’s true!) that the stakes for the characters never really rise above ‘nominal.’ The most important thing with a movie like this is to convey the story and then allow the funny to happen from the moments driven by the story. But instead of the situation happening to these characters, it’s more like they happen to the scenes… and this is why THE HEAT never comes close to reaching the heights of a movie like BRIDESMAIDS. It just feels a little bit sloppy.
That isn’t to say that THE HEAT isn’t fun… there are many ‘unhinge you jaw’ moments throughout the film, but they occur seemingly at random based on the funny improvisation of the amazing cast rather than driving the story forward (or backward, furthering our heroines distress in the case of BRIDESMAIDS). For two-ish hours you’ll watch and you’ll laugh but at the end of the day you’re left with something much more forgettable and mediocre than Feig, Bullock, McCarthy or their fans deserve. The blu-ray package almost makes up for the problems with THE HEAT, but in the end it feels too self-indulgent for the filmmaker’s fun to carry over.
THE HEAT BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2.40:1) The video presentation for THE HEAT is nice but there isn’t anything really spectacular. The video keeps you involved and immersed in the film without doing anything negative.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) THE HEAT features a nice audio track that hits the highs and lows really well without losing any of the fullness.
Unrated Cut (02:00:20) The unrated version of THE HEAT is available on the same disc and is, well, pretty much exactly the same as the theatrical version. I only noticed about 4 places where I thought something had been added. They were pretty negligible so I say just pick either version. You’ll have a fun time either way.
The Commentary Track in Which the Director of THE HEAT Talks Endlessly About THE HEAT (02:00:20) Only available on the Unrated version of the film, director Paul Feig speaks at length about the movie, the cast, the scenery, his process, etc. He really covers everything during this commentary, which I enjoyed much more than THE HEAT. This commentary is best for the person who wants real insight into the process.
The Commentary Track in which Melissa McCarthy and Other Great People from THE HEAT Talk About THE HEAT (01:57:04) Feig is joined by several people including Katie Dippold, Michael McDonald, Adam Ray and Jesse Henderson for this commentary track to THE HEAT, which is fun but sometimes difficult to listen to due to the fact everyone talks over each other quite a little bit. Still, it’s a fun commentary you might enjoy, especially for the casual fan.
The Commentary Track in which Some of the Mullins Family Discusses THE HEAT (01:57:04) From the theatrical version of the film, several members of the family attend in character and provide ongoing, dirty commentary for THE HEAT. Probably the most fun only because of the originality, it’s still not worth the time.
Attend the June 23, 2013 Premiere of the THE HEAT at the Ziegfeld Theater in the Comfort of Your Own Home (01:57:04) Not really a commentary track to THE HEAT, this is just an overlay of the audience noise from the premiere of the film. It actually sounds a bit like a laugh track and is really annoying. This is where the special features surpass being fun and begin being self-indulgent… but we’re just getting started.
The Original Lineup from Mystery Science Theater 3000 Comments on THE HEAT (01:57:04) Again over the theatrical version of THE HEAT this one has some funny comments but I miss being able to see the guys in front of the screen like they’re sitting in front of us. The voices don’t all match my MST3K memories. Not enough to be worth the effort of watching the movie AGAIN and it’s too full of inside jokes that don’t play.
Welcome to the Bonus Features! (00:27) Director Feig sits in front of a fireplace and welcomes everyone to the “home-video release” Blu-ray edition of THE HEAT.
Mullins Family Fun (09:20) Some additional outtakes and moments from the family scenes. There’s some pretty funny stuff here, Feig presents the best stuff from the improvised moments that made THE HEAT work.
Acting Master Class (08:28) Bullock and McCarthy improv part of the bar scene, and the outtakes are presented as an acting master class for THE HEAT. This one is not very good overall but there are a few really funny, unhinge your jaw moments.
Let’s Get Physical (06:31) Physical comedy outtakes that didn’t make the final cut of THE HEAT. Some pretty funny moments but I was hoping for more.
Police Brutality (05:43) More outtakes, this time from the police scenes. Feig introduces everything with devolving humor.
Von Bloopers (15:41) More bloopers from throughout THE HEAT. As someone who enjoys bloopers I appreciate sharing everything they have but honestly this is a little bit much.
Supporting Cast Cavalcade (07:44) Smaller roles from THE HEAT are given the same outtake/blooper treatment here with another special feature.
Over & Out (00:35) Feig thanks you and closes out the blooper portion of THE HEAT Blu-ray.
All the Stuff We Had to Take Out But Still Think is Funny: This section of THE HEAT Blu-ray includes all of the following:
Deleted Scenes (10:12) Eleven scenes that were completely cut from THE HEAT are presented here (not outtakes). These are pretty hit or miss, not great but if you’re still in the mood for more of THE HEAT after everything else you’ve seen, you should check these out. Features Advice, Jail Talk, Pimp Walk, Dogs & Cats, It’s a Code, Battle of the Minds, Make Some Pants, Darts, Hospital Visit, Nip It In The Bud, Cur-tan
Extended Scenes (14:45) Again, multiple (count them – TWELVE) scenes that didn’t make THE HEAT in their full version are included. This special feature includes the following scenes: Let’s Go, Hot/Cold, Drop a Deuce, Target, Two Truths and a Lie, Strong Stream, Bad-Minten, Scrotum, Clarice Starling, Bottom of the Bowl, Wink, and finally Toast.
Alternate Scenes (03:41) THE HEAT features as many alternate scenes and takes as there are minutes of actual footage. It’s a bit ridiculous at this point, but at least there are only four. Featuring: Squeeze Out, You’re Leaving, In a Weird Place, and e.e. cummings.
How THE HEAT was Made (19:44) Director Paul Feig, cast and crew all talk about their process working on THE HEAT. Features a lot of moments directly from the film with few neat behind the scenes moments.
THE HEAT on Blu-ray also features an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film, and this set also came with the DVD and with an option for “Live Features” which did not work on my Blu-ray player.