All About Steve (2009) [Blu-ray]
|Fox || PG13 - 99 minutes - $39.99 || December 22, 2009|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-01-30|
Writer(s): Kim Barker (written by)
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Thomas Haden Church, Bradley Cooper
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Plot: When eccentric, but ďloveableĒ, Mary (SANDRA BULLOCK) gets set up with Steve (BRADLEY COOPER), a news channel cameraman, she falls hard. He does not. Mary decides to follow Steve on a cross-country hunt for breaking news and soon finds herself entangled in the story. But despite the media storm surrounding her, Mary may just discover her true place in the world... and the man of her dreams.
** This review contains spoilers, if anyone actually cares **
All About Steve is an odd movie with odd characters and an odd mixture of genres, none of which oddly enough works.
I didnít have a big problem with this movie as some. Itís not the worst comedy ever, heck, not even the worst of 2009 (thank you Without a Paddle 2), but it sure isnít very good especially given the comedic talent involved especially Sandra Bullock who can normally take a less-than-stellar screenplay, cannot help at all primarily because her character is part obnoxious and part annoying, really annoying. Bullock has had her fair share of stinkers (Speed 2 or Miss Congeniality 2 anyone?) and although All About Steve doesnít nearly fall to the levels of those gems, it certainly is right down there...
I also must ask if the Thomas Haden Church is the same guy who was nominated for an Oscar for Sideways. Of course, one also can ask if this is the same Thomas Haden Church who played the big villain in the disastrous summer lackluster, Spider-Man 3. If it is the same individual, then he has taken yet another step back, though to be fair, he does do a half-decent job playing an egotistical field reporter who takes things to the extremes in drama.
And then you add in one of the hottest actors working in Hollywood; and no, it is not DJ Qualls. Bradley Cooper had the surprise $460 million+ worldwide blockbuster The Hangover and is now being seen nearly everywhere (and close to being cast in Warnerís Green Lantern feature film) including the upcoming A-Team big screen adaptation. Like his co-stars, he doesnít have a whole lot to do mainly because his character is as stiff as a corpse. And to be honest, there isnít much needed as he merely just needs to get frustrated with Bullock stalking him before turning the corner near the end to see and partially accept her uniqueness (although luckily it doesnít go to the extreme and have the pair failing in love).
So with a cast like this Ė Bullock, Church, Cooper Ė, one would assume that it would lead to comedy gold but instead itís foolís gold (and yes, you can confuse it with that awful rom-com starring Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson). The screenplay doesnít seem to go anywhere and the finale is way too convoluted. It also suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. Itís not a romantic comedy given the romance is only one-sided. Itís not strictly satire, although the film takes swipes (rightfully so) at the media frenzy that often converge on major ďeventsĒ. So what is it? Why should we care? Thatís the problem. I didnít care. Bullockís character is too abnormal for me to like or find endearing. Cooper and Church come off as jerks so their turn near the end feels hollow.
The one good thing I can say for All About Steve is that it isnít the complete wreck I read about before; however just because it isnít awful does not mean itís very good or even average. I would say that this might be worth checking out when it debuts on HBO or later down the line, on TBS.
Feature Commentary Ė Itís a bit surprising that we thereís no commentary on Inglorious Basterds yet this poor comedy gets a packed room. This track brings together Director Phil Traill, Writer Kim Barker and Actors Sandra Bullock, Thomas Haden Church, Bradley Cooper and Ken Jeong. The commentary isnít the greatest since there are so many participants, but the group seemed to be having a good time despite a couple awkward moments when Sandra Bullock playfully brought up the fact that Church turned down the role before the part was expanded.
Deleted/Alternate Scenes (9:15) consist of a few excised scenes that were thankfully removed to trim down an already below average movie. These scenes are available to view with an optional commentary with some of the participants of the feature track (I think minus Church and the writer). I love the fact that they bleep out the curse words yet the commentary is filled with f-bombs. Makes sense.
Gag Reel (5:29) has your typical flubbed lines and prop malfunctions but with a twist you donít see too often: an optional commentary track accompanies it.
Bradley Cooper and Ken Jeongís A Capella Duet (1:43) has the two actors doing a song in front of scenes from the movie. The commentary (minus Sandra Bullock) explains it was done in front of a green screen at a TV studio they had been filming at.
Hollywood Dish with Mena Micheletti (17:47) is an on-set interview featurette where Mena that pokes fun at these tabloid television shows... or something. Although I have no idea who she is, I still found this to be pretty darn funny.
All About ĎAll About Steveí (10:39) Ė This featurette gives a (basic) behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie Ė with scenes from the film interjected Ė and has interviews with the cast and crew. Itís not terribly fascinating so you can bypass this one.
Crew Snapshots to Maryís Rap (3:26) Ė Set against some bass-heavy rap music (about Mary) are photos of the various members of the cast and crew.
Fox Movie Channel Presents Life After Film School with Phil Traill (23:42) is where three film students ask questions of the guest for that episode and in this case, the director of All About Steve answers the questions set against footage from the movie.
And on the second disc is a digital copy (good until 12/21/11).
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
All About Steve is presented in its original 1.85 aspect ratio and 1080p high-definition (AVC encoding). The transfer, while not fantastic, looks pretty good on the small screen even with discernable amount of grain and noise throughout. Colors are nice looking and details are well defined from the foreground subjects to background objects. Youíre not going to get an amazing transfer, but overall itís not bad. Shame the movie is...
As with other Fox titles, we once again get a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. This isnít a very expansive track as it is mainly dialogue driven with a zany comedic score and some choice pop music thrown in to give a little more depth, but not much.
Itís a shame really that All About Steve wasnít a better comedy because the video is quite good and thereís a decent amount of features that larger caliber films donít get (Iím still waiting for a commentary on The Dark Knight), but I cannot recommend purchasing this disc. If youíre a big fan of Sandra Bullock it might be worth renting otherwise wait until it premieres on cable television.