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All About Steve (2009) Print E-mail
Monday, 04 January 2010
ImageSandra Bullock has a habit of starring in romantic comedies.  Most of the time she succeeds in this endeavor.  However, when it comes to “All About Steve,” it is a flop all around.  I failed to see much entertainment value in this film.  I kept waiting for something more elaborate to present itself.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.

“All About Steve” is about Mary (Bullock), a crossword puzzle creator for a Sacramento newspaper.  In the simplest terms she is a geek.  She runs at the mouth 24/7.  She has an extremely high I.Q., but fails to see why everyone steers clear of her.  She just can’t stop talking or spewing useless facts.  While I didn’t find it annoying from the start like the characters in the film, it does get old by the end of the film.

Bradley Cooper stars as Steve, a cameraman for live-action news reports.  Mary and Steve’s parents set them up on a blind date.  Mary only makes it into Steve’s car before she throws herself at him.  Steve is into the action at first, but as the mouth doesn’t stop running he begins to realize that she is a little nuts.  He makes an excuse and his getaway.

Unfortunately, Mary doesn’t realize the blow off.  When she dedicates an entire crossword puzzle to things about Steve, she gets fired.  Taking this as a sign, she sets off across the nation, following Steve on his camera duties.  She goes from one disaster to another, not getting the hint that she is not wanted.  Then the tables turn.  When Mary finds herself in a predicament, the world and Steve begin to realize the good nature of Mary.

What goes wrong with this film is that it is missing the right act structure.  It spends more than 90 percent of the film in Act II, which isn’t clearly defined to begin with.  Act III occurs within seconds and poof, it is over.  Nothing is resolved come the end of the film.  The acting is simply sub par and the writing is bland as ever.  This is a film where the writers laugh at their own jokes and no one else does.
“All About Steve” comes to Blu-ray with an MPEG-4 AVC transfer with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  This a very good transfer for a film that falls squarely into the romantic comedy image.  Details and textures are strong throughout the film.  There are instances of soft shots, but they are easily overlooked.  Colors are nicely saturated.  In fact, the colors are quite excellent.  The reds and blues are exquisite.  Contrast runs a bit hot over the course of the film.  Occasionally edges are blown out.  There is no major artifacting in this transfer and film grain is subtle and stable.  Fleshtones have a tendency to waver.  They mainly appear toward the hot end of the spectrum, making everyone look overly tan.  Nevertheless, I was quite pleased with the transfer.

The Blu-ray comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track.  For the most part this is a typical romantic comedy, front heavy mix.  However, there are times in which the surround channels come alive.  The tornado sequence offers a fair amount of detail across all the audio channels.  Placement and panning is a bit sloppy, but that is probably due to the original sound design.  The LFE channel is decent, but absent for more than half of the film.  Music and sound effects are blended together nicely, but dialogue sometimes falls too low in the mix.  Overall, this is slightly immersive mix for the genre of film.

This Blu-ray package comes with a fairly standard set of bonus materials.  First there is an audio commentary track with the writer, three actors and the director.  This is an entertaining audio commentary, and for the first time ever, I recommend that if you are only going to watch this film once, watch it with the commentary track turned on.  There is a collection of deleted and alternate scenes with an optional director commentary.  The gag reel is self-explanatory.  “Bradley Cooper and Ken Jeong’s A Capella Duet” has the duo “singing” over various scenes of the film.  This also comes with an optional commentary.  “Hollywood Dish with Mena Mitcheletti” is an interview with the basis for Mary’s character.  “All About ‘All About Steve’” is the behind-the-scenes featurette.  “Crew Snapshots to Mary’s Rap” is a horrible rap that plays over still photos.  “Fox Movie Channel presents Life After Film School with Phil Traill” is an interview with the director.  Lastly there are some trailers and a Digital Copy of the film.

“All About Steve” is basically a dud.  I would advise spending your movie watching time watching Bullock in “Blind Side.”  The video and audio transfers are quite good for a romantic comedy.  If you are a diehard fan of Bullock then by all means get this film.  However, I would advise either skipping it or renting it.

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