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All About Steve

Release Date: September 4, 2009


Movie of the Day for Sunday, February 15, 2009
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 Jesse James is a lucky man.

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Position Staff In Brief
143/169 Max Braden Crazy, nutty bad. It's really hard to champion a main character you can't respect. But Thomas Haden Church is pretty funny.

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We, the movie going public, have learned several essential truths about Sandra Bullock. First off, she’s an attractive and talented woman. Nobody is ever going to deny that. Second, she has a penchant for picking horrible scripts to work with. (See: Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, The Net, Hope Floats…) Third, she is married to a very large, muscular, tattooed badass by the name of Jesse G. James, host of the now defunct show Monster Garage. Jesse is a gearhead with a penchant for building exotic creations out of spare parts, beating down gun waving speed freaks and presumably fighting crime at night while wearing a mask. He’s also supposedly a direct descendant of the original Jesse James, the gun slinging train robber who terrorized the old west.

Needless to say, the rest of this article will be incredibly polite to Mrs. Bullock. Mrs. James. Mrs. James-Bullock? Crap. Now I’m going to get my ass kicked.

All About Steve features Sandra Bullock (Speed, Miss Congeniality) as crossword professional (Yes, crossword professional. Sandra wins the award for most eccentric job title EVER.) Mary Horowitz, Thomas Haden Church (Spider Man 3, Wings) as newscaster Hartman Hughes, the always underutilized DJ Qualls (Road Trip, Hustle and Flow) as Howard and Bradley Cooper (Wedding Crashers, Nip/Tuck, Alias) as the titular Steve. The premise of the movie has Mary meeting Steve on a blind date and falling madly in love with him. Naturally, Steve does not reciprocate. Only in Movie Land does a woman like Sandra Bullock throw herself at you and the man is not interested. (Please don’t hurt me Jesse. Mr. James? Sir? Dammit, he’s going to demolish me…)

Mary’s perfectly rational response to being rejected by Steve is to go home, eat a pint of Hagen Dazs and move on with her life. Steve does as well and they both live happily ever after. The End.

Just kidding, Mary decides that she has to have Steve and starts following him wherever he goes to try and convince him to love her. This is complicated by Steve’s job as a cameraman for a major news outlet. Steve travels all over the globe covering major stories. This is made less complicated but presumably more humorous by Hartman, as he takes great pleasure in tormenting Steve, so he gives Mary inside information on where he and Steve are heading next, much to Mary’s excitement and Steve’s dismay. It’s not clear what DJ Qualls' character is going to be doing in this film, but adding him to the cast is always a plus. Shoot, he’s the anti-Paul Walker, practically a guarantee that at least part of the film will be entertaining.

The plot and concept make this an interesting film. First of all, who hasn’t crushed on someone so badly that they haven’t done dumb things? The majority of us have done that. Also, the concept of making Steve a globe-hopping camera person is a nice twist and opens up all sort of Forest Gump type scenarios for Mary to wander into while Steve helplessly records what’s going on. According to some of the press releases, Mary eventually wanders into an extremely dangerous situation with a little help from Hartman and the story turns serious at that point. Mary’s in Danger, Hartman feels guilty about a joke gone terribly wrong and Steve is stuck recording it all. It’s not clear how things resolve or which way it goes from there.

What is clear is this. The concept is solid and has potential. Bullock, Church and Cooper are all excellent actors with proven if somewhat spotty track records. This has potential as a drama, comedy, action film and possibly even a chick flick. Industry sources are pegging this one at about a $15 million dollar take, but given the concept and cast, I feel that’s ludicrously low. This is going to pull in at least $35 million, with potential to crack $100 million if this turns into a sleeper hit. It depends on the script and how well the production team capitalizes on what they have.

I’d also like to say that Monster Garage was one of the most underrated shows ever broadcast on cable and Jesse James is clearly one of the most talented, handsome and smartest hosts to ever exist. Clearly we were blessed to have him grace our airwaves. (Please don’t hurt me, Mr. James. Sir.) (Scott Lumley/BOP)


Vital statistics for All About Steve
Main Cast Sandra Bullock, Thomas Haden Church, Bradley Cooper
Supporting Cast Ken Jeong, DJ Qualls, Katy Mixon, Howard Hesseman
Director Phil Traill
Screenwriter Kim Barker
Distributor 20th Century Fox
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture


     


 
 

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