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10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
(10th Anniversary Edition)

Shakespeare is, without question, the most durable playwright in the history of the world. It seems that his plays are virtually indestructible, no matter how much one updates them. 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU ($30) offers a youthful, very modern spin on Shakespeare's comic battle of the sexes, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, with this version being set inside that strange microcosm known as high school.

The plot of 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU concerns a new transfer student at Padua High School named Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who becomes immediately infatuated with a beautiful girl named Bianca (Larisa Oleynik). Unfortunately, Cameron will have deal with one serious roadblock on the highway to love. It seems that Bianca's father refuses to let her date, until her older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) does likewise. On the surface, it wouldn't appear to be a problem, since Kat is even more beautiful than Bianca. However, Kat is an angry young woman, who proves to be virtually unapproachable… let alone dateable.

Enter the school's resident bad boy Patrick (Heath Ledger), whose legendary nasty reputation makes him the only man remotely capable of dating the indomitable Kat. The only missing ingredient in this comedy is a convoluted plan to get Patrick interested in mean-tempered Kat. Don't worry; Cameron's new best friend Michael (David Krumholtz) is the man with the plan. Of course, said plan has a few problems of its own, which include bribery and using the financial resources of another (and none-too-bright) suitor, who is also interested in winning the hand of the fair Bianca.

While 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU contains a minimum of the immortal Bard's fabulous prose, the screenplay by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith keeps the major plot points in place, plus it is filled with hilarious moments and sharply drawn characters. The cast of 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU also includes Andrew Keegan, Susan May Pratt, Gabrielle Union, Daryl Mitchell and David Leisure. 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU also sports two laugh inducing supporting performances. One from Larry Miller, who plays Kat and Bianca's semi-deranged, teen pregnancy obsessed father, and the other from Allison Janney, who play the school's flighty guidance counselor Ms. Perky, who writes racy romance novels in her spare time. Both had me rolling with laughter. By the way, don't skip the end credits, which feature a number of really funny outtakes from the film.

Touchstone Home Entertainment has made 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU has been given a very pleasing 1080p presentation that maintains the film-like quality of its cinematography. For a ten-year-old film, the picture maintains a sharp appearance, as well as offering some nice levels of fine detail, texturing and dimensionality. Some softer shots exist, especially those involving complex camera work, and those that were tinkered with in postproduction. Under controlled lighting, colors are rendered with strong saturation and produce attractive flesh tones. Of course, there are some moments, where the colors appear just a bit more subdued. Blacks appear accurate, as do the whites. Contrast is fairly smooth, but has a few anomalies. Shadow detail is more than adequate for this type of material. The elements from which 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU has been mastered are in very good shape. A grain structure is noticeable throughout the presentation, with it becoming slightly more noticeable during darker sequences.

10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. No surprises here, this is a fairly standard comedy mix- and one from ten years ago to boot, so it is taken to the nth degree. Most of the sound localized front and center, while some very modest ambience is directed into the rears. That said, the outlying channels do engage consistently, where the film’s musical component is concerned. The track features wall-to-wall music, which has been given a nice spread. Thanks to the lossless encode, the music also gets a nice boost in fidelity. As for the bass channel, it adds a bit of weight, as the material doesn’t require anything else. Dialogue is cleanly recorded and is always easy to understand. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the extras. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with writers Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith, plus actors Andrew Keegan, David Krumholtz, Susan May Pratt and Larisa Oleynik. Next is 10 Things I Love About 10 Things I Hate About You, a thirty five minute retrospective that includes new and vintage interviews, with the cast and crew. Bonus Trailers close out the extras.

Ten years down the line 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU continues to offer a fun, youthful spin on a Shakespeare classic. The Blu-ray release offers a terrific upgrade to standard definition. Recommended.

 

10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU (10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION) 


10 Things I Hate About You - 10th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] (1999)

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DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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