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Release Date: December 22nd, 2009 Movie Release Year: 2009

All About Steve

Overview -

Sandra Bullock (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!

Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Two-Disc Set
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p/MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect Ratio(s):
Audio Formats:
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Cantonese Subtitles
Special Features:
Still Gallery
Release Date:
December 22nd, 2009

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Those of you who enjoy film classics have surely heard of and probably seen Joseph L. Mankiewicz's masterpiece, 'All About Eve.' This biting backstage drama from 1950 earned a record 14 Academy Award nominations, and its witty, literate script still stands as one of the finest ever produced. I bring the movie up only because it's the total antithesis of the horrendously awful, utterly pointless, completely unfunny debacle, 'All About Steve,' which will earn nothing except a few well-deserved Razzies and the umbrage of outraged audiences who wasted their time and money on this misguided, over-the-top farce. Whereas 'All About Eve' exudes style and class, 'All About Steve' is simply vile and crass.

It's no secret, if you've read any of my previous reviews, that I'm a bit partial to actress Sandra Bullock. Her perky personality, self-deprecating sense of humor, and innate warmth have brightened many potentially dreary vehicles, including 'Miss Congeniality' and 'The Proposal.' But Bullock makes a fatal error here (one even more deadly than agreeing to appear in such horrific sequels as 'Speed 2: Cruise Control' and 'Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous') and comes perilously close to killing all the rom-com goodwill she's built up over the past 15 years. As I watched 'All About Steve,' I kept trying to decide what annoyed me more – Bullock's insufferable character or the actress' grating portrayal of her. And I still haven't made up my mind.

How this ridiculous vehicle ever got the green light, let alone attracted such stars as Bullock, Thomas Haden Church, and Bradley Cooper, remains one of the great mysteries of modern film. Yes, there's a flimsy message attached to the rambling, cringe-inducing story (embrace your inner weirdo and/or crackpots are people, too), but one must endure more than an hour-and-a-half of sheer torture to find it. 'All About Steve' is labeled a romantic comedy, but it may be the only genre entry in which the object of desire spends the entire film frantically trying to escape his potential mate. Though Mary Horowitz (Bullock) may be a harmless stalker, in many ways she's much more frightening than Alex Forest in 'Fatal Attraction'…and that's saying something!

There's something about this Mary, to be sure. At the very least, she's one very odd bird. A professional crossword puzzle constructor, she's highly intelligent, but chatters incessantly, dresses strangely, and lacks the social skills necessary to forge and maintain even casual personal relationships. She meets the hunky Steve (Cooper), a cameraman for a cable news station, on a blind date and falls instantly in love. And I mean instantly! Seconds after he picks her up at her parents' house, she begins ravaging him in his car, and even after he spurns her, she continues to pursue him, doggedly tailing him across the country as he covers various news stories. It doesn't help that Steve's co-worker, reporter Hartman Hughes (Church), eggs her on just to get his colleague's goat, but even without his prodding, Mary is such a nutcase, we want just as little to do with her as Steve.

This is the type of film that has you shaking your head after the first 10 minutes, and staring in dazed disbelief for the next 89. I kept waiting for a clever retort or funny situation, but there's not one inspired moment in the whole movie. The script rambles, the direction is clunky, and the sappy turn the picture takes at the eleventh hour only drags it further down the drain (or in this case, the mineshaft). Sadly, 'All About Steve' doesn't even qualify for the "it's so bad it's good" category. At times, I almost felt like Dustin Hoffman sitting in Laurence Olivier's dentist chair in 'Marathon Man.' Yes, 'All About Steve' is that torturous, and no, it's not safe to buy, rent, or get within 50 feet of this awful film.

Do yourself a favor; rent 'All About Eve' instead.

Video Review


It's too bad the plot and execution of 'All About Steve' are so pathetic, because the transfer is pretty darn good. Crisp, clear, and blemish-free, this 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC encode exudes a healthy vibrancy, thanks to well-modulated contrast, a lush color palette, and a smooth film-like appearance. At times, the image errs on the bright side, but never exhibits an overblown, washed out look. Fine details and textures come through nicely, and close-ups possess plenty of sharp accents. Mary's all important red boots fairly burst with bleed-free saturation, and though none of the other hues can match such intensity (the cloudless blue sky in a few scenes, however, comes close), they often lend the picture a healthy sheen. Black levels are appropriately dense, but fleshtones often look a little orangey. No banding, noise, or other imperfections, however, distract from the antiseptic look of this new release.

Audio Review


The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is a little more active than most rom-com tracks, with a healthy surround presence that expands the sound field well. While most of the sonic action is indeed anchored up front, a few scenes take full advantage of the track's multi-channel capabilities. The tornado sequence especially ramps up the rear activity, and some subtle details in the mine shaft scenes provide essential ambient accents that lend a hokey situation a touch of realism. Dialogue always comes through clearly, and the various soundtrack tunes possess above average dynamic range and fidelity. Bass frequencies run a little on the anemic side, however, but this type of movie doesn't require much low-end punch. This is certainly one of the better romantic comedy audio tracks I've heard, but the film itself is so weak, I doubt I'll ever sample it again.

Special Features


A healthy spate of supplements perk up this disc, and ease the pain of the main feature. Almost all the material is in high-def, so that's a plus.

  • Audio Commentary – Rarely is an audio commentary more entertaining than the movie it's describing, but that's exactly the case with this rollicking track featuring Bullock, Church, Cooper, actor Ken Jeong, director Phil Traill, and writer Kim Barker. The relaxed, respectful, and easygoing rapport between all the participants makes the discussion a pleasure to listen to, and though the content is not particularly substantive (I mean, how could it be? It's 'All About Steve,' for heaven's sake!!), the quips, jabs, and jovial banter keep the chat fest rolling along. It's also rare for such a heavily populated commentary to be so easy to follow and not turn into a cacophonous mess. Every voice is easy to distinguish and understand, and very little interrupting mars the track. A four-star commentary for a half-a-star film.
  • Deleted/Alternate Scenes (with optional commentary) (HD, 9 minutes) – Five of the six deleted/alternate scenes are pretty negligible, except for one featuring Mary's mother, which engenders some necessary sympathy for Bullock's flighty character. There's also an alternate introduction for Cooper, Church, and Jeong.
  • Gag Reel (with optional commentary) (HD, 5 minutes) – An amusing collection of outtakes that features more natural comedy than the film itself.
  • Bradley Cooper and Ken Jeong's A Capella Duet (with optional commentary) (HD, 2 minutes) – A bit of green-screen clowning that manages to elicit a few chuckles.
  • Hollywood Dish with Mena Micheletti (HD, 18 minutes) – This spoof of 'Access Hollywood' and 'Entertainment Tonight' behind-the-scenes news spots contains sporadic humor, but drags on far too long, and by the end becomes just as annoying as the movie itself.
  • Featurette: "All About 'All About Steve'" (HD, 10 minutes) – In this brisk, breezy featurette, Bullock discusses how she approached her bizarre role, how she cast the rest of the parts (she also served as one of the film's producers), and the importance of improvisation during filming, while the other actors praise director Phil Traill and his collaborative spirit, and their personal affinity for crossword puzzles.
  • Crew Snapshots to Mary's Rap (HD, 3 minutes) – Not that I don't appreciate the contributions of a film crew, but why we need to see random pictures of everyone who worked on this production escapes me. And the rap is pretty lame, too…
  • Featurette: "Fox Movie Channel Presents Life After Film School with Phil Traill" (SD, 24 minutes) – Traill sits down with a trio of film school students for a spirited discussion covering his background, how he broke into the biz, how he got involved with 'All About Steve,' his attitude on set, and how he directs his actors. He also shares a few amusing anecdotes, such as his disastrous first pitch to a studio exec.
  • Theatrical Trailers (HD) – Previews for 'Whip It,' 'Fame,' 'Jennifer's Body,', 'Adam,' and '(500) Days of Summer.'

Certainly a front-runner for the dubious honor of worst movie of 2009, 'All About Steve' proves all the talent in the world can't mask or even salvage a bad idea. This light-hearted look at a kooky stalker and her hunky yet obnoxious prey may have been a lark to make, but it's torture to watch, even in the splendor of 1080p. Fine video and audio and a slew of extras can't rescue this painful comedy, which like the film's heroine, should be avoided at all costs. Remember, you've been warned!