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All About Steve (PG-13)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

The year 2009 has been pretty good to Sandra Bullock, although I'm fairly certain she'd like to scratch this little-seen misfire off the list. The not-quite-romantic comedy All About Steve, which was shelved for two years and released quickly in September — to bank on Bullock's hit, The Proposal, and Bradley Cooper's summer-smash success, The Hangover — is pretty bad and it's easy to understand why it was held back. The main reason? You don't know whether to be sympathetic with or scared of Bullock's character. She stalks a date (Cooper) who has no interest in her, across the country, and of course learns something about herself in the process. The jokes fall flat and seem to want to be mean-spirited (it might have been a better movie if they were). But ultimately, the film panders to rom-com fans with a bait-'n-switch, disappointing and embarrassing all parties involved. — Louis Fowler


Cinematic Titanic Live: East Meets Watts (NR)

Joel Hodgson and the other legendary refugees from the original cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000, collectively known as Cinematic Titanic, after releasing seven DVDs of movie-mocking material, are back with footage of one of their recent stage shows. It's a live disemboweling of the 1974 half-blaxploitation, half-chop-socky, all-bad, B-movie East Meets Watts. Up on the screen Stud Brown and Larry Chin are an unlikely duo on the run from stereotypical '70s crooked cops, while the CT crew is on the ground in fine form, delivering one brutally hilarious riff after another, even going as far as to retain the film's seedier elements to add extra laughs. A real audience makes the viewing even more enjoyable and I hope that, for future releases, they keep this format. It's probably the closest we'll ever come to seeing these guys live around here. — Louis Fowler


The Girl from Monaco (R)

Magnolia Home Entertainment

If you'd like to have a visual, cinematic, definition of the adjective "saucy," look no further than the French film The Girl From Monaco. While the title sounds like a James Bond spy movie, it's actually a twisty-turny, sexy flick that deftly mixes comedy and suspense, complete with an unexpected ending that turns the whole thing into a morality tale. A middle-aged, rainmaker lawyer, working on an important case in the beautiful city of Monaco, is seduced by a flirty, 20-something TV weather-girl. She turns his life upside-down, but not in that cute, quirky way we've come to expect from American movies. I'm actually surprised this was directed by a woman, Anne Fontaine, because it gets a bit misogynistic at moments, especially in the portrayal of the weather-girl. But, then again, maybe the enlightened French aren't as reactive? — Louis Fowler

Chai Lai Angels: Dangerous Flowers (R)

Magnolia Home Entertainment

As I have noted before, the Thai film industry is pretty much the current king of action cinema, with films like Ong-bak and Chocolate going places that American film wouldn't have the guts to go, what with insurance issues and safety laws and all that. And while the Charlie's Angels parody Chai Lai Angels isn't the best example, it's still an ass-kicking good time. Five somewhat-bumbling undercover agents are sent on a mission to protect the daughter of a professor/martial arts master but are thwarted by a flashy, cartoony, thoroughly un-PC underworld organization. The movie constantly swerves from goofy comedy to hard-core action to ultra-melodrama, maybe too often for audiences not accustomed to this style. But if you're game, sit back and enjoy, and allow this to erase that Drew Barrymore-Cameron Diaz-Lucy Liu atrocity from your memory. — Louis Fowler

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