The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 99 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, Thomas Haden Church, Ken Jeong, Howard Hessman, Beth Grant, Keith David
Directed by: Phil Traill
Music by: Christophe Beck
Written by: Kim Barker
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 22, 2009
"A comedy that clings"
(The Proposal) and Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) star in this off-the-wall comedy about a blind date gone hilariously wrong. When eccentric, but lovable, Mary gets set up with Steve, 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!
Mary Horowitz is (Bullock) an eccentric, thirty something, spinster type that lives with her parents and writes a weekly crossword puzzle for the local paper. She doesn't date much (hardly at all) and reluctantly agrees to a blind date with Steve (Cooper) after their parents set it up. Not expecting much she is surprised when Steve arrives to pick her up. He is well spoken, works as a cameraman for the local news network, and is good looking. She dons her shortest skirt, tightest blouse, and sixties style knee high red boots and off they go. The date ends before it begins though when Mary literally forces herself on Steve before they have left her parent's driveway. Steve excuses himself by feigning a call from work but not before indirectly (and unintentionally) inviting Mary to come along on his next assignment. She immediately becomes infatuated with Steve and goes so far as to make the answers in her next crossword puzzle All about Steve. She considers him her soul mate and seeks to connect with him which leads to her following him and his news team on an assignment half way across the country. Once Steve realizes what is happening he continually tries to give her the slip while his wise cracking glory seeking news reporter associate Hartman Hughes (Haden Church) seizes the opportunity to have fun with Steve by leading Mary on with false information about Steve's feeling etc. When Mary inadvertently falls down an old mine shaft while pursuing Steve the story becomes a media blitzed event. The incident and ensuing outcome opens Mary's eyes regarding self worth and the strange direction her life has been going in while simultaneously teaching Hartman Hughes a thing or two about himself.
I wouldn't qualify myself as a Sandra Bullock fan per se but it would be fair to say that I like her and generally enjoy her films. I can recall my first experience with her was in 1993's Demolition man starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. I remember liking her enough to want to find out who she was and what else she had been in. Over the years I have probably liked more of her films than I didn't but I haven't seen them all. Most recently I reviewed her romantic comedy The Proposal and found it to be entertaining. In looking at the trailer for All about Steve it looked to run along similar lines and seeing as I like both Bradley Cooper and Thomas Haden Church I figured it had a chance. Unfortunately this just didn't work for me. I found the characters uninteresting and the plotline to be shallow and bordering on ridiculous. Her character was too annoying and the concept of her existence too silly to lend credence to both the story and her portrayal. This left things up to Cooper and Haden Church who both had little to offer thanks to the bland and incongruous script. This film was far from entertaining and left me disinterested and waiting for the credits to roll.
The rating is for sexual content and innuendo.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
All about Steve comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 mbps.
This is a great looking video encoding from Fox on Blu-ray. High level high definition detail is present throughout so that images are rendered with pristine quality. Colors are bright and overly saturated which made them sometimes appear exaggerated in instances where hues were present onscreen in multiple layers. I wouldn't define this as a shortcoming since to my eyes colors are visually pleasing with vivid detail and lush variety. Flesh tones are naturally rendered with discernible complexional delineation among the various members of the cast. Contrast and black levels are good enough that blacks have good depth and whites don't appear overblown. I didn't see any signs of video related artifacts or compression noise. The audio presentation was quite good and easily rendered the source elements with excellent clarity and punchy dynamics. The surrounds are active at times and were used to good effect for panning sound effects and reproducing music related ambience. The mix isn't very aggressive but does create an enjoyable surround sound experience that perfect matched the tone of the film. Dialogue and front channel audio is delivered with excellent tonal variation and crystal clear sonics. I thought that this soundtrack sounded great.
- Commentary by writer Kim Barker, director Phil Traill, and cast members Sandra Bullock, Thomas Haden Church, Bradley Cooper and Ken Jeong
- (HD) 6 deleted/alternate scenes with optional commentary
- (HD) Gag reel (5 minutes) with optional commentary
- (HD) Bradley Cooper and Ken Jeong's acapella duet - with optional commentary
- (HD) Hollywood Dish with Mena Micheletti (Kerri Kenney)- Faux insider show - 17 minutes
- (HD) All about All about Steve - 10 minute featurette
- (HD) Crew snapshots to Mary's rap - 3 minutes
- Fox Movie Channel presents Life after film school with Phil Traill - 23 minutes
- (HD) Trailers - Adam, (500) Days of Summer
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc
All about Steve is a rather disappointing comedy that lacks likeable characters, genuine humor and steadfast direction. Sandra Bullock was miscast in this role and the screenplay just didn't provide the cast with material that evoked laughter. Its high definition presentation from Fox on Blu-ray looks great although I found the bonus content to offer little in the way of meaningful extras. If you liked this film this disc is worth picking up otherwise I suggest a rental or catching it on cable TV.
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