The Heat


Every year, there seem to be unintended themes emerging from movie releases. It’s almost as if the studios called each other to coordinate projects like friends in high school planning to wear matching outfits on a Friday. Sometimes this effect is unintentional, like when an emerging movie star manages to have multiple films comes out the same year (see Melissa McCarthy below); other times, it’s a result of executives switching studios and developing similar projects (like the infamous Disney and DreamWorks 1998 double-header grudge match of A Bug’s Life vs. Antz and Armageddon vs. Deep Impact). This year is no different, producing a slew of movie doppelgangers. For the sake of creativity, I left the painfully obvious off. Still, who can forget offerings like Olympus Has Fallen up against White House Down as well as This Is the End paired with The World’s End? And, if you really hate yourself, you can watch a terrible trippleganger of A Haunted House, Scary Movie 5 and 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Whether it’s similar themes, the same actor in noticeably similar roles, or parallel stand-out moments in two films, this list of 13 movie pairings can provide a nice selection of companion pieces for your viewing pleasure.


discs abducted

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. See You Tomorrow Everyone (UK) Satoru Watarai (Gaku Hamada) graduates from primary school with only one certainty. He plans on never leaving the “projects” where he lives. The gated community of apartment complexes also features stores, restaurants, recreation areas and more, and Satoru sees no reason to leave. As the years pass by he watches as his friends move away, he loses the love of his life, and he begins to question his physical inability to set foot outside the projects. Director Yoshihiro Nakamura is no stranger to ridiculously good cinema, and anyone who’s seen Fish Story, Golden Slumber, or A Boy & His Samurai knows that he mixes entertainment and emotion in wonderfully rare ways. His latest lacks a fantastical element or song-related hook, and instead focuses on the presumably stunted life of one man affected by a singular traumatic moment. The first half plays like a loosely melancholy comedy before a shift sets in to up the emotional stakes dramatically, and the result is an incredibly affecting look at the intersection of fate and the life we make of our own will. [Region 2 DVD extras: Introduction, interview, trailer]


Melissa McCarthy

Well, turns out that Melissa McCarthy is bankable, and not just as an amusing bit player (though she can do that) or an Emmy-winning television actress (yup, she did that, too) or as a scene-stealing supporting actress (even though she does that, and particularly did that while also stealing puppies), but as an honest-to-goodness comedy star. Not sure about that, are you? What if we told you that McCarthy is now a half-billion-dollar star, co-starring in just five films in the past two years that have racked up more than five hundred million dollars at the domestic box office alone? McCarthy’s latest starring film, The Heat, is currently estimated to have pulled in a tidy $40m at the weekend box office, which brings McCarthy’s domestic box office haul since her breakout role in Bridesmaids to a cool $521m (including Bridesmaids, This is 40, Identity Thief, The Hangover Part III, and The Heat). With The Heat going like a house on fire, that number will only rise (numbers do tend to that, after all). McCarthy’s global box office success from those same five films currently stands at just over $928m, with The Heat not yet even open in overseas markets, suggesting that McCarthy’s total take will soon surpass $1b. What we’re saying is, yes, she’s bankable, and she’s especially bankable when she gets to flex her comedic chops alongside other funny ladies (like Bridesmaids’ Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph or her excellent cohort in The Heat, the also-notoriously-bankable Sandra Bullock). Women […]


review heat

In 2011, Paul Feig‘s Bridesmaids became a break out hit. Feig had mostly been known as a TV director up until that point (so we won’t remind you about Unaccompanied Minors). That’s not meant as a put down in any way, the man worked on some great shows like The Office and Arrested Development, but Bridesmaids was bigger than anything he’d done before. It was a rare animal indeed, an R-rated comedy with a predominantly female cast. But it worked and now Feig is back with his take on the buddy cop comedy starring two women in the lead roles instead of men. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. There’s this cop right? And he’s hot-headed and crude, hates authority and refuses to play by the rules. And then he ends up getting partnered with this totally straight-laced dude, a real square, I mean the guy may as well wear a pocket protector. So, of course, they hate each other. Despite their polar opposite approaches they’re both great cops. But trying to work together, they’re at each others throats to the point that their bosses are fed up. This work complication happens around the same time that the two dudes realize they have more in common than they think…in fact, they may actually like each other. Kicked off the case and on the outs, their only option is to put their differences aside and solve the case together. This is the plot of pretty much every buddy cop […]


Iron Man 3

Harmony Korine and friends already gave us a taste of sand, sun and heavy weaponry, but it doesn’t quite feel like summer yet. Maybe that’s because global warming is making everything so cool or because President Obama keeps delaying all of our vacation planes, but the hugeness of the season still hasn’t fully descended. That’ll change this weekend when Iron Man 3 drops an arc reactor into theaters. Then, the parade of unbelievably massive summer movies commences with buddy cops, mischievous teens, people probably named Khan, bald Matt Damons, super men, and the end of the world itself in tow. It’s a tight race this year. Optimism runs high, and the next few months are packed full with studios and indie outfits hoping to entertain and score big, so the task of naming the 13 most-anticipated summer movies was a tough one. So instead of hurting our brains over it, we let math do the work by putting the question to the whole staff and tallying up the results. It’s a slightly eclectic mix, displaying the powerful potential of cinematic storytelling to bring us into the cool, dark room with a single light source. As luck would have it, we found a fittingly seasonal place to start:



Here comes the best way to start your Thursday morning: Melissa McCarthy and her gratuitous yet creative use of the f-word. It comes in the form of the new red band trailer for Paul Feig’s The Heat, his follow-up to Bridesmaids and Sandra Bullock‘s raunchy lost sequel to Miss Congeniality. Bullock is the straight man, an FBI lady who plays by the rules. McCarthy is a rough-and-tumble cop who grew up on da streets. Together, they seem like a ridiculous pair. Ridiculously fun to watch, that is.


The Heat Trailer

Entertainment doesn’t necessarily have to be original to be good. Sometimes things get used over and over again because they make sense and just work. Tried and true, the expression is. This is good news for Paul Feig’s (Bridesmaids) new film, The Heat, because, while its new trailer makes it look like it’s probably going to be a good time in the theater, it also doesn’t seem to have an original bone in its body. What Feig has given us appears to be typical buddy cop fare, where a straight-laced officer gets partnered up with a loose cannon, and while there’s an initial period of friction, eventually they end up bonding. It casts Sandra Bullock in the frigid shrew role that she knows so well, Melissa McCarthy in the role of the slovenly loudmouth that she’s been continually revisiting ever since Bridesmaids, and it seems to follow the usual formula right down to the letter. Heck, this trailer even uses that M.IA. song, “Bad Girls,” that’s already appeared in ads for For a Good Time Call and TV’s The Mindy Project, and that’s starting to feel played out. But, you know what? It’s using that song because it has the sort of hook that sells movies.

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published: 02.01.2015
published: 01.31.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015

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