News Column

New on DVD: 'Pacific Rim,' 'The Heat'

October 15, 2013

YellowBrix

Fighting robots and battling partners highlight this week's new DVD offerings.

_"Pacific Rim," Grade B-minus: Giant robots battle giant monsters to save the world.

There's a monstrous battle going on in "Pacific Rim," and it has nothing to do with the giant robots (called Jaegers) and monsters (known as Kaiju) who trade blows throughout the film. The clash of the titans is between the fantastic vision of director Guillermo del Toro and the cookie-cutter demands of a big summer blockbuster.

The story goes for big emotional payoffs in the final act, but it's so sentimental, you expect the robots to cry.

_"The Heat," Grade B: Mismatched partners must find a way to work together. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy star.

Not since Mel Gibson and Danny Glover traded jabs in the "Lethal Weapon" movies has there been such an entertaining partnership. Director Paul Feig gets the most out of his leads' different comedy styles, using Bullock's more controlled humor as a buffer for McCarthy's often manic style.

Feig travels no new ground with the buddy cop genre, but even the familiar feels fresh in the hands of McCarthy and Bullock. They feed off each other's acting energy and give the movie its comic core. But they aren't on their own. Feig's loaded the movie with a sterling supporting cast.

_"Love Actually," Grade A: This sweet, funny and nearly perfect romantic comedy is being released in a special Blu-ray combo pack to mark the 10th anniversary. An all-star cast that includes Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson and Andrew Lincoln make this story about the aspects of love actually an extremely easy movie to love.

_"Defiance: Season One," Grade B: The Syfy Channel series offers the most interesting look on television at humans dealing with aliens since "Alien Nation." In this case, several alien races have come to Earth after their solar system is destroyed. Earth is having its own problems and the communities left _ including the one where St. Louis once stood that's now called Defiance _ have to battle for survival.

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Also new on DVD this week:

"The Fall, Series 1": Detective (Gillian Anderson) is on the trail of a serial killer stalking the streets of Belfast.

"Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain": Concert film of the comedian's appearance at Madison Square Garden.

"Les Miserables": The 1978 film version of the classic Victor Hugo novel.

"The Pallisers: 40th Anniversary Edition": Includes all 26 episodes of the British drama.

"Movies 4 You: Western Film Collection": Includes "Gunslinger," "Man of the East," "Pioneer Woman" and "Yuma."

"The New Three Stooges Complete Cartoon Collection": Includes 156 cartoons and 40 live action shorts.

"I Dream of Jeannie": The 20-disc box set features all 139 episodes.

"Merry In-Laws": A woman learns her future in-laws are Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.

"Thomas & Friends: 3-Movie Pack": Hop on board for three adventure films.

"The March": New documentary honoring the 50th anniversary of the original March on Washington, D.C.

"Gentle Ben: Season One": Follows the adventures of a boy (Clint Howard) and his tame bear.

"The Best of Jack Hanna": Includes 30 episodes from "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild."

"Dracula: The Dark Prince": When Dracula kidnaps a woman, Van Helsing must rescue her.

"Barney: 3 Movie Pack": The purple dinosaur is featured in three movies.

"Lost and Found": Film is based on the bestselling children's book by Oliver Jeffers.

"Hitched for the Holidays": A commitment-phobe is criticized by his family about his inability to keep a relationship through the holidays.

"Exploding Sun": First commercial space flight faces disaster. Julia Ormond stars.

"Shrek The Musical": Broadway production based on the movie.

"Bewitched: The Complete Series": Elizabeth Montgomery portrays the good-hearted witch.

"The Partridge Family: The Complete Series": All four seasons of the show about the TV's rock 'n' roll family.

"Hart of Dixie": Rachel Bilson continues her starring role in season two of the CW series.

"Bubble Guppies and Team Umizoomi: Into the Snow We Go": The Guppies share the joy of the holiday season.

"Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla": Film chronicles the Mexico's Battle of Puebla.

"Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 2000": Long-running British comedy about life in a small town.

"Ingenious": Two friends search for the next big idea.

"Anger Management: Volume Two": Charlie Sheen plays a therapist with his own problems.

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Rick Bentley: rbentley@fresnobee.com

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