‘All About Steve’ in Blu-ray
Love crazy: Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper in “All about Steve.”
Updated: July 31, 2012 5:20PM
NEW THIS WEEK
ALL ABOUT STEVE: BLU-RAY DEBUT
★ ★ ★
Rated: PG-13 for sexual content including innuendos
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Thomas Hayden Church, Bradley Cooper
Bullock seems to be enjoying herself thoroughly as Mary, a professional crossword puzzle constructor who knows the meaning of every word except no. It’s a little unclear at first whether Mary is borderline unhinged or admirably upbeat in the face of an unappreciative world. But Bullock eventually comes down on the side of likable eccentricity after falling ultra-passionately in love with a cable TV cameraman (Cooper) and pursuing him cross-country from one absurd news scene to another. Things go slightly awry near the end when “All about Steve” threatens to get overly sentimental, but for the most part it’s smart and surprising and consistently funny.
THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH: BLU-RAY DEBUT
★ ★ ★
Rated: No MPAA rating
Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Tom Ewell, Evelyn Keyes
Monroe’s character isn’t even given a name (she’s simply referred to as The Girl), which says a lot about the thinness of the scenario in this Broadway comedy adapted and directed by Billy Wilder in 1955. Nonetheless, she makes a vivid impression as the pure-of-heart sex bomb who tempts lonely hubby Tom Ewell (nervously torn between lust and trepidation) while his wife and kid are away on vacation. The ’50s sex farce is seriously dated but Ewell (who won a Golden Globe) is occasionally funny and, of course, the iconic shot of Monroe’s skirt shwooshing upward while standing on a subway grating makes it a must-see. “Itch” is also featured in the four-disc “Marilyn Forever” Blu-ray box set along with “How to Marry a Millionaire,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “Some Like it Hot.”
THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO BLU-RAY DEBUT
★ ★ ★1/2
Rated: R for some elements involving sexuality and drugs
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny, Mackenzie Astin, Chris Eigeman
The final chapter in writer/director Whit Stillman’s “doomed bourgeous in love” trilogy (after 1989’s “Metropolitan” and 1994’s “Barcelona”), “The Last Days of Disco” takes a fairly serious (considering the film’s wealth of witty dialogue) look at a group of recent Ivy League post-grads trying to navigate early career moves and contemplating settling down as the ’70s morph into the ’80s. Considering their advantages, this is an oddly awkward and even unlikable group of friends (especially womanizing club manager Eigeman and passive-aggressive ice-queen Beckinsale), firmly in denial of their yuppy-hood. Stillman summons a certain amount of sympathy for all of them, though, as they flounder their way through early adulthood. This Criterion Collection release features a new high-def restoration, supervised by Stillman, plus audio commentary, four deleted scenes and a stills gallery.
MYSTERY MEN BLU-RAY DEBUT
★ ★ ★
Rated: PG-13 for comic action violence and crude humor
Stars: Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Paul Reubens, Hank Azaria, Geoffrey Rush
This wonderfully silly superhero parody, based on the cult comics by Bob Burden, is all the more welcome now that blockbuster movies based on comic book heroes have become such common currency. When Captain Amazing (Greg Kinnear), goes missing from Champion City, clearing the way for evil Casanova Frankenstein (Rush), to take over the town, he fails to reckon on The Mystery Men, a team of wannabe heroes with semi-super powers that reside mostly in their imaginations. Even so, when Mr. Furious (Stiller) throws a hissy-fit, evil-doers beware! Extras include commentary by director Kinka Usher (best known for his talking-chihuahua Taco Bell TV commercials).
ALSO NEW THIS WEEK
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Fifteen episodes from the fifth and final season of ABC-TV’s 1950-55 crime drama about government agents investigating fraud and deception.
HATFIELDS & MCCOYS
Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton star in this History Channel production about the famous feuders. The top-rated program was the number one non-sports telecast in ad-supported cable-TV history.
THE JODI PICOULT COLLECTION
A three-disc set featuring a trio of Lifetime Channel movies based on Picoult novels: “Salem Falls,” “Plain Truth” and “The Pact.”
After her boyfriend breaks her heart, a high school girl (Miley Cyrus) discovers that her best guy-friend (Douglas Booth) has feelings for her. French filmmaker Lisa Azuelos wrote and directed the remake of her 2008 comedy.
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE 3000: XXIV
The space-sarcastics snarkily comment on four clunkers from Russia, Mexico and Japan: “The Sword and the Dragon” (1956), “Samson vs. The Vampire Women” (1962), “Fugitive Alien” and Star Force: Fugitive Alien II.” Extras include the MST3K shorts “Snow Thrills,” “A Date with Your Family” and “Lucha Gringo: K. Gordon Murray Meets Santo.”
A THREE-STOOGES CELEBRATION
This double-disc set features more than five hours of Stooge-mania including short films, live footage from the vintage TV show “Camel Comedy Caravan” and the documentary “The Three Stooges Celebration.”
TOTAL RECALL: MIND-BENDING EDITION
Director Paul Verhoeven approved this high-def restoration of his 1990 sci-fi actioner about a man (Arnold Schwarzenegger) whose virtual vacation on Mars turns into the real thing — or does it? Just in time for the upcoming remake starring Colin Farrell. Extras include commentary by Verhoeven and Schwarzenegger, a making-of feature and photo gallery.
AVAILABLE NEXT WEEK:
Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket” and Mel Brooks’ “Spaceballs” both make 25th-anniversary Blu-ray debuts and (if you’re not already weary of the real thing), Prince Will and Kate are immortalized in the Lifetime drama “William and Kate: A Royal Romance.”