10 Things I Hate About You (1999) - 10th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]
|Genre(s): Comedy / Romance|
|Buena Vista || PG13 - 97 minutes - $29.99 || January 5, 2010|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-12-23|
Writer(s): Karen McCullah & Kristen Smith
Cast: Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, Larry Miller, Andrew Keegan, David Krumholtz, Susan May Pratt
Theatrical Release Date: March 31, 1999
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I must have watched 10 Things I Hate About You 50+ times over the years and it never gets old. And of course with the passing of Heath Ledger it took on another angle seeing a great talent in his first Hollywood role, one that would catapult him into fame, a status he took seriously taking the road less traveled rather than going after the easy dollar doing more teen comedies. And that makes 10 Things even more special.
The story, based loosely upon Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”, is about new kid in school Cameron (JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT) who immediately falls for the vain and self-centered Bianca Stratford (LARISA OLEYNIK). Michael (DAVID KRUMHOLTZ), his new friend, explains the school hierarchy as well as the status of Bianca and her shrew of a sister, Kat (JULIA STILES).
The thing is, despite Michael’s protests, Cameron wants to ask Bianca out but discovers that their over controlling father (LARRY MILLER) has made a rule that Bianca can date when Kat does. Of course, Kat being the non-conforming chick that she is, the likelihood of that happening is unlikely. So, being a teen boy with raging hormones, Cameron devises a plan: he would get the school jock (ANDREW KEEGAN) to finance the fearless and outcast Patrick (HEATH LEDGER) to woo Kat and in return Bianca would date the jock, of course Cameron would use the opportunity to pursue her as well. And slowly but surely, Kat’s heart begins to thaw as she begins to fall for Patrick, but what will become of them when everything comes to light?
10 Things I Hate About You is just an all around funny and sweet movie. I remember going to see it in the theater back in 1999 (my senior year of high school) and I loved it then I still love it to this day. I must’ve caught this on Encore a few times over the last 2 years and each time I noticed it on the grid, I couldn’t help but turn it on if not just for a few minutes; it’s that enticing and fun.
Even if you were to put aside Heath Ledger’s charming performance, the rest of the cast were absolutely perfect even if they played the typical teen comedy roles. Andrew Keegan as the overly self-confident jock with brawn over brains; Julia Stiles as the uptight sister who slowly allows herself to opens up; David Krumholtz as the geeky best friend; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt – who has come into his own over the past few years with fantastic performances in The Lookout and 500 Days of Summer – playing the dolting lovelorn teen. And this isn’t too forget Allison Janney in a small but hilarious role that sadly disappears after the first 20-minutes.
If for some crazy reason you missed out on this teen romantic comedy, now’s the time to see one of the better ensemble casts, a melancholy and charming performance by Heath Ledger and an all around funny script that never lets up. It’s also a film that takes the PG-13 rating to the limit as I cannot imagine some of the material making it through unscathed.
So finally Buena Vista has given fans a new edition in celebration of the film’s 10th Anniversary. There isn’t a whole lot to the features which is very disappointing especially since fans have been waiting all this time...
Audio Commentary – The track features *takes a big breath*: Co-Writers Karen McCullah Lutz & Kirsten Smith and Actors Andrew Keegan, David Krumholtz, Larisa Oleynik & Susan May Pratt. The commentators recount stories on the set, about meeting Heath Ledger (his first on-screen appearance seemed a bit awkward; later they did kind of break the silence over Heath’s passing and once that passed the commentary’s heaviness did seem to lift) and just chit-chatting about other things sometimes not related to the movie.
10 Things I Love About 10 Things I Hate About You – 10 Years Later (35:05) is a retrospective featurette on the film that intertwines old archive footage (including Heath Ledger) and behind-the-scenes footage with some new interviews with the director and writers. It also includes outtakes and deleted scenes, which I would’ve preferred if they were shown separately, but apparently they were hard to come by.
Unfortunately Buena Vista didn’t bother to carry over the theatrical trailer and apparently the DVD version comes with a digital copy, something that is missing from this release...
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
The movie is presented in its original 1.85 aspect ratio and now in 1080p high-definition. Although it’s nothing astounding to look at, given the film’s age, it’s not too bad and certainly an upgrade over the older (letterboxed I might add) DVD release. There was a minimal amount of dust but overall it looks to be fairly clean with more than a hint of natural graininess. The picture itself isn’t too sharp but still detailed enough for my taste, but don’t go in expecting top notch Blu-ray picture.
In regards to the audio, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is for the most part fairly impressive especially when it comes to the music soundtrack. Dialogue is clear coming out of the center speaker while the side channels are used for off-screen sounds. The rears aren’t used all that much but I did notice some other ambient noises. Again, nothing special here but a definite upgrade over the DVD.
All in all, even though this release is a bit of a disappointment considering fans have been waiting for years to get a better release over a craptacular DVD (released in what I think was the first wave of DVDs), I am somewhat pleased with a good updated audio and picture transfers and the cast commentary that, outside a couple awkward moments, was decent enough. If you are a fan, I would not hesitate to go ahead and pick this one up.