If you’re like me, October means horror movies. Any money I have put aside for Blu-rays goes exclusively to horror films, as does any free time I may have. Already this month, I’ve watched something like twenty-five horror movies and almost as many episodes of Tales from the Crypt. This is my favorite time of year by far and you’d find it mighty difficult to convince me to watch anything that couldn’t somehow be construed as a celebration of Halloween. Yet, here I am to tell you that you’d do well to take a break from your own horror movie marathoning (if indeed you’re that sort) for Paul Feig’s The Heat (2013).
Not only did I break my horror movie cycle for this one, but I even went against the general rule I’ve adopted about avoiding Sandra Bullock movies (FYI, I have no particular justification for the prejudice I bear against Sandra Bullock movies—it’s just there). And it paid off. Released earlier this week on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, The Heat brings some of the biggest laughs I’ve had in an already spectacular year of filmgoing.
Here, writer Katie Dippold (Parks and Recreation and MADtv) and director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) deliver what would otherwise be a standard “buddy cop” movie were it not for the film’s comedic feminine perspective being uniquely infused with all the violence and vulgarity of a more male-centric buddy cop picture. Academy Award-winner Sandra Bullock and Academy Award-nominee Melissa McCarthy play the requisite odd couple at the center of the film as an uptight FBI agent and a foul-mouthed Boston cop, respectively. Together, they storm the streets of Boston in an effort to take down an area drug lord who’s left a series of dismembered bodies in his wake. Bullock and McCarthy are joined in this by an equally hysterical supporting cast including Jane Curtain, Michael Rapaport, Tom Wilson, YouTube sensation Spoken Reasons, and Marlon Wayans.
Granted, although funny as hell, The Heat is still a mainstream comedy. And there are those out there (myself included 90% of the time) who will avoid such things out of, I don’t know, a sense of obligation to indie/retro comedy or something like that. Now if that sounds like you and you’re thinking to yourself, Aw hell no, I ain’t watching some Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy movie, just hold on. I’m about to sell you on this one. Tucked into the Blu-ray special features, of which there are MANY, is a commentary track in which the original Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast riffs on the film! As friends of Feig’s from their Freaks and Geeks days, Joel Hodgson, J. Elvis Weinstein and Trace Beaulieu provide a casual yet hilarious riffing of the film that feels so natural you sense that it must be what it’s really like to eavesdrop on the fellas hanging out to watch a movie. For MST3K fans, you’ll want to put this on your must-own list!
Additional special features include a host of featurettes; deleted, alternate and extended scenes, gag reels; four additional commentaries featuring the likes of McCarthy, Feig, and the Mullins Family (i.e. the family of McCarthy’s character in the film); and even a few Easter Eggs! The Blu-ray release also includes both the theatrical and an unrated cut of the film. Although at the time of this review I have yet to sit down with the unrated cut (since I’ve already watched the film twice now thanks to the MST3K commentary), I should think the already unbelievable level of vulgarity must reach a point of absurdity in that version.