“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 comedians, they possess temperaments and physical packages diametrically opposed enough to re-create 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. Contains pervasive profanity, strong crude content and some violence.
“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. 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. Contains sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and for some profanity.
“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. 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), ““Shrek the Musical” (Broadway production), “It’s a SpongeBob Christmas!” and “The Halloween Stories Collection, Volume 2” (three-disc set, Scholastic Storybook Treasures).
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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), “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),