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10 Things I Hate About You(1999)
Bianca Stratford is pretty and popular, but her strict family won't allow her to date until her older sister does: the problem is that sister Kat is an outsider who tries to alienate any guy who might be interested in her. So Bianca's would-be boyfriend bribes fellow outsider Patrick to ask out Kat, thinking that this sullen young man with a mysterious past might tempt Kat to rise to the challenge
For more about 10 Things I Hate About You and the 10 Things I Hate About You Blu-ray release, see 10 Things I Hate About You Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on December 31, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, David Krumholtz, Andrew Keegan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gabrielle Union
Director: Gil Junger
» See full cast & crew
10 Things I Hate About You Blu-ray Review
A surprisingly infectious Shakespeare adaptation oozes late '90s charm...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, December 31, 2009
It isn't often that a teen comedy defies expectation, but 10 Things I Hate About You does just that. Exchanging cheap R-rated gags for searing wit, meaningless sexual conquests for sincere passion and all-too-familiar pining, and shallow caricatures for memorable characters, director Gil Junger and screenwriters Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith manage to evoke the many frustrations of adolescence and the bliss of budding independence. A talented young cast and a clever script only help, making the film one of the more underrated, overlooked teen comedies in recent memory. Yes, a variety of pop culture references date the production; yes, a fondness for '90s kitsch is a must to completely enjoy everything it has to offer; and yes, the story adheres to a number of romantic comedy conventions a bit too closely, but it all holds up surprisingly well, even some ten years after its debut.
Loosely based on William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" (a rather misogynistic play modern readers tend to despise), 10 Things I Hate About You tells the at-times twisting tale of feisty teenage ice-queen Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles), a Padua High School senior whose prim and proper younger sister, Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), is desperate to find love. The only problem? Their father, Walter (a scene-stealing Larry Miller), refuses to allow Bianca to see anyone unless Kat, a self-proclaimed feminist and isolationist, begins to date as well. Enter Patrick Verona (the late Heath Ledger in one of his most endearing performances), a rebellious Australian student Bianca's smarmy beau-to-be, Joey (Andrew Keegan), hires to win Kat's heart. Of course, true to genre form, it isn't long before the rough-n-tumble troublemaker begins to fall in love himself. Elsewhere, Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) -- a soft-spoken, hopelessly meek romantic who wants nothing more than to earn Bianca's affections -- struggles to survive the ensuing emotional chaos, looking to his friend Michael (David Krumholtz) for guidance and support. It all comes to a head as hearts are broken, bonds are forged, and lives are changed.
Breezy and perceptive, lighthearted and spirited, 10 Things I Hate About You is more substantial than it might seem at first glance. More akin to the films of John Hughes than American Pie and its ilk, it relies on the rat-a-tat-tat interactions of its well-rounded characters rather than the sheer audacity of infantile humor. It prioritizes their development as living, breathing, believable human beings over scoring easy laughs by way of bodily emissions or perverse innuendo. Sure, Padua High's snarky teachers and flighty guidance counselors are one-note liabilities (albeit thoroughly amusing liabilities), but Kat, Cameron, Patrick and their winning classmates emerge unscathed, lending the film gravitas and weight even amidst the Stratfords' more cartoonish misadventures in love. Moreover, Lutz and Smith's script exudes intelligence and confidence, their story rings true on a number of levels, and the young actors' performances are bolstered by palpable chemistry and innate vulnerability. Junger's steady hand and remarkable restraint are refreshing as well, particularly considering how quickly the entire film could have devolved into yet another uninspired lose-thy-virginity romp. He rightfully takes the path less traveled, retaining the integrity of his characters and maintaining the relevance of his tale.
That being said, the film will appeal to some more than others. For those who spent their high school careers pursuing love and untangling its mysteries, 10 Things I Hate About You will be a bittersweet reminder of an uncertain time when counting lost opportunities consumed many a sleepless night. For those who were once the victims of teenage deception and manipulation, it will be a sugary, naive romantic comedy that paints young love in broad, brightly colored strokes. For cynics and misanthropes it will be a tragedy; for optimists and idealists a hilarious high school anthem; for romantics a glimpse at a familiar call to arms they answered so long ago. But regardless of which group you might fall in, chances are Junger's efforts won't be squandered on your sensibilities. Funny is funny, captivating is captivating, and clever is clever. As it stands, 10 Things I Hate About You is all three, making it a smarter, sharper, wittier comedy than its overpopulated genre arguably deserves. Don't make the mistake I made for nearly seven years: skimming past its box, assuming the worst, and renting another flick instead. Give it a chance and see how quickly it works its magic on you.
10 Things I Hate About You Blu-ray, Video Quality
For a ten-year-old catalog title, a modestly budgeted teen comedy at that, 10 Things I Hate About You looks pretty good in high definition. While excessive artificial sharpening undermines the integrity of the image, Disney's 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer boasts strong colors, deep blacks, vibrant contrast and warm, lifelike skintones. It's worth noting that faces flush on occasion, but the presentation continually bests its standard DVD counterpart, particularly when it comes to detail. Fine textures have been preserved, edge definition is crisp, and the film's grainfield is intact. Yes, grainiphobes will scowl at the sheer nosiness of the image -- the first ten minutes of the film are especially unruly -- but Disney thankfully decided to forgo applying any unnecessary DNR, instead allowing 10 Things I Hate About You to rest on its own laurels. Likewise, a few scenes struggle with wavering clarity (a sunlit shot of Kat on a staircase is notably soft), but each instance can be traced back to the original print, not the studio's technical efforts. Artifacting, crush, aliasing and other pesky anomalies are kept to a minimum, and ringing is the only issue that frequently rears its ugly head. All things considered, fans of the film will be fairly satisfied with the results.
10 Things I Hate About You Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Disney's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is a solid one despite the fact that it's somewhat limited by the film's oft-times two-dimensional sound design. Clear, intelligible, reasonably well-prioritized dialogue dominates the mix, even if a few lines delivered at Kat's prom are lost in the bustling crowd. The front-heavy sonics step aside on occasion, but only to make way for the film's eclectic alt-rock soundtrack. While the rear speakers offer up decent background chatter, passable acoustics, and a fairly immersive rom-com soundfield, they're never as aggressive as the activity in the halls and fields of Padua High School suggest they should be. Moreover, the LFE channel only pipes up when bands like Letters To Cleo and Save Ferris begin belting out a late '90s anthem. Still, it hardly comes as a surprise. Action in 10 Things I Hate About You never gets more intense than a fender bender, the soundfield is only put to the test during a drunken house party, and classrooms and living rooms comprise the bulk of the film's interiors. Ultimately, those familiar with snarky, quip-laden comedies will shrug off such shortcomings and embrace the track's finer qualities.
10 Things I Hate About You Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
For a 10th Anniversary release, the Blu-ray edition of 10 Things I Hate About You is a bit light on supplemental material. Even so, a lively, newly recorded "Audio Commentary" kicks things off properly as co-writers Karen McCullah Lutz and Kristen Smith discuss the film with actors Andrew Keegan, David Krumholtz, Larisa Oleynik, and Susan May Pratt. The track is breezy, chatty, and informative, and amusing anecdotes and memories come with fast, witty abandon. Inevitably, Heath Ledger's first on-screen appearance is accompanied by an awkward silence (one which everyone in the room tastefully acknowledges), but the remaining commentary is engaging and satisfying, even when the group candidly reminisces about their time with Ledger. The disc's newly produced documentary, "10 Things I Love About 10 Things I Hate About You 10 Years Later" (HD, 36 minutes), is a fitting companion, effectively filling in gaps in the commentary with countless interviews and a generous helping of behind-the-scenes footage. Note the "Deleted Scenes" mentioned on the back coverart actually appear in the documentary and can't be viewed separately.
10 Things I Hate About You Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Be careful not to write off 10 Things I Hate About You as another derivative teen comedy. Dated pop culture references aside, it's smarter, wittier, and more memorable than newcomers probably expect. Disney's 10th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release is quite strong as well. Its faithful video transfer is only hindered by excessive artificial sharpening, its DTS-HD Master Audio track is only limited by the film's original sound design, and its somewhat small supplemental package is surprisingly satisfying. It certainly isn't a perfect release, but it is worth some attention. Give it a spin and see if it appeals to your sensibilities.
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10 Things I Hate About You Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Today on Blu-ray - January 5th - January 5, 2010
Some of the best childhood memories often involve sitting down with family or friends to read books filled with fantasy and general nonsense. Hollywood, ever exploring ways to draw in new audiences, has adapted many of these childhood favorites to film, including ...
• More Details for 10 Things Blu-ray - October 21, 2009
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has announced the special features for the upcoming Blu-ray release of '10 Things I Hate About You: 10th Anniversary Edition', which is currently scheduled to be released on January 5th, day-and-date with the DVD re-release. ...
• Special Edition BD for 10 Things I Hate About You - October 15, 2009
In an early announcement to retailers it has been revealed that Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is set to release the romantic comedy '10 Things I Hate About You', starring Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles, on Blu-ray on January 5, 2010. No release details ...
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