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Gil Junger
Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, Andrew Keegan, Susan May Pratt, Gabrielle Union
Writing Credits:
Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith, William Shakespeare (play, "The Taming of the Shrew")

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.

The classic comedy that launched the careers of Academy Award winner Heath Ledger (2008, Best Supporting Actor, The Dark Knight) and Julia Stiles celebrates its ten-year high school reunion with 10 Things I Hate About You: 10th Anniversary Edition. This special edition is packed with a million things to love, including an exclusive sneak peek at Heath Ledger's screen test.

New kid in school Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is smitten with the beautiful Bianca (Larisa Oleynik). The problem is that Bianca isn't allowed to date unless her surly older sister Kat (Stiles) does. Cameron's only hope is to enlist the help of Patrick (Ledger), the school troublemaker with a reputation as nasty as Kat's. This special edition brings back the love-struck high school classmates of '99 with a treasure trove of never-before-seen footage. Also featuring a retro soundtrack of memorable nineties tunes, 10 Things I Hate About You is a comedy you can count on.

Box Office:
$16 million.
Opening Weekend
$8.330 million on 2271 screens.
Domestic Gross
$38.176 million.

Rated PG-13

Widescreen 1.85:1/16X9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Surround 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 1/5/2010

• Audio Commentary with Co-writers Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith and Actors Andrew Keegan, David Krumholtz, Larisa Oleynik and Susan May Pratt
• ď10 Things I Love About 10 Things I Hate About You 10 Years LaterĒ Documentary
• Sneak Peeks
• Digital Copy


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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10 Things I Hate About You: 10th Anniversary Edition (1999)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 31, 2009)

For years, no review on this site received more hits than my write-up of 1999ís 10 Things I Hate About You. I guess web searches for it or its stars mustíve led fans here, as the review attracted plenty of notice.

And brought me plenty of grief. Virtually all of the new readers were in their teens, and virtually all of them took exception to my less than laudatory review. Ah, the good old days Ė I miss the constant stream of ďU R a idiotĒ e-mails!

Maybe this new article for the movieís 10th anniversary release will stir up the dormant passion from those now-20-somethings. Young Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) transfers to Padua High and immediately becomes smitten with lovely sophomore Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik). He wants to go out with her but her father (Larry Miller) refuses to allow this unless Biancaís senior sister Kat (Julia Stiles) also dates.

The first problem? The anti-social, aggressive Kat actively swears off such interactions and shows no desire to change. Desperate to take out Bianca, Cameronís buddy Michael Eckman (David Krumholtz) comes up with a plan: theyíll bribe someone to woo Kat so Bianca soon becomes dateable.

The next problem? Cameron canít bankroll such an expedition, so theyíll convince smug, well-to-do male model Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan) Ė another guy with designs on Bianca Ė pay a prospective suitor to attract Kat. They choose notorious bad boy Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) to take on the task, and Joey uses his finances to make this happen. With plenty of money at stake, Patrick attempts this difficult challenge as Joey and Cameron vie for Biancaís affections.

In retrospect, I didnít get everything right when I reviewed 10 Things. My biggest mistake? My assumption that the film would be a teen flash in the pan that would be forgotten in a couple of years.

While I donít think 10 Things qualifies as a certified teen classic ala the 1980s John Hughes flicks, it clearly maintains an audience. After all, thereís enough of a fan base to warrant this re-release, and the movie spawned a TV series that launched in 2009. The movie didnít find much of an audience during its theatrical run, but it clearly still attracts a good following.

I admit that Iím not sure why this is so, as itís largely a generic piece of teen tripe. Theoretically, it aspires to more since it's a Nineties update on The Taming of the Shrew. To show us how clever they are, the filmmakers toss in all sorts of "subtle" Shakespeare references like naming some of the characters Verona or Stratford and having them attend Padua High. These references probably are lost on the target audience and likely just make those who did get them cringe.

Much of the first half of 10 Things also seems cringe-worthy, as it did its best to provide a crude and humorless experience. Of course, the crudeness is supposed to also be humorous, but it doesn't quite work out that way. When a movie starts with a shot of a school counselor writing a steamy romance novel, that's not a good sign, and it only goes downhill from there. What kind of society do we live in where a teenager drawing a penis and testicles on the cheek of another kid is deemed hilarious? Yeesh.

The film rebounds during the second half as it concentrates more on the romantic aspects of the story instead of the distasteful wackiness. The plot remains frightfully predictable; never for a second is any moment of the film in doubt, and not just because of its Shakespearean inspirations. Still, I think these parts work pretty well, mainly because of the surprisingly high-caliber performances of the young actors. Together, they're all very good and they make the film much more palatable than it otherwise would be. None of them give us anything Oscar-worthy, but at least the performers manage to rise above the terrible script and make the proverbial silk purse out of the sow's ear.

Of course, in 2009, the movie gains a certain poignancy due to the presence of Ledger. 10 Things was the movie that first brought him to the notice of a mass audience, and I suspect it continues to get attention because of him. He does quite nicely in the role, and the sight of him becomes somewhat bittersweet.

Still, this isn't much of a movie, and not one I wanted to watch again over the 10 years since my first screening. In 2009, itís interesting mainly as a glimpse at some now-notable actors early in their careers. The film itself lacks much charm.

End credits note: stick it out through that section if you want to see some outtakes.

The DVD Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

10 Things I Hate About You appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The disc offered an inconsistent but generally decent transfer.

Sharpness was up and down. Much of the film featured pretty nice delineation, though wide shots tended to appear somewhat soft. Digital artifacts also occasionally made the image murkier than Iíd like, and the picture could be somewhat blocky at times. Still, it usually held up pretty well.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, but I saw mild edge haloes in addition to some mosquito noise. In addition, a smattering of print flaws materialized. The film suffered from sporadic instances of specks. These werenít heavy, but they caused some distractions.

Colors tended to be fairly good. The artifacts made them a little messy at times, but the lively palette usually looked fairly full. Blacks were acceptably deep and dark, while shadows seemed clear and smooth. At no point did this become a strong presentation, but it worked fine for a standard-def DVD.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of 10 Things was pretty good given the nature of the story. Donít expect much from the back speakers, though. The surround channels received little usage and mainly offered some ambient fill for the nearly omnipresent rock or rap music that played. Other than that, I detected exactly one split surround effect when Mr. Stratford accidentally released a rubber exercise band and it flew to the rear right speaker. The nightclub scene used the back speakers nicely, though.

While they didn't make much use of the rears, the sound designers did a good job with the front speakers. 10 Things boasted a wide front soundstage that did its job so well I barely missed the lack of Surrounds, as it opened up the image well.

The quality of the audio remained positive. Speech could be a bit thin, but the lines always appeared concise and distinctive. Effects didnít play a big role, but they came across as acceptably accurate.

Music was an important part of the track but its quality varied. Some songs boasted good vivacity and range, while others tended to be somewhat tinny and without great low-end. All of this left us with a ďBĒ soundtrack.

This ď10th Anniversary EditionĒ of 10 Things packs a mix of new extras. We launch with an audio commentary from co-writers Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith and actors Andrew Keegan, David Krumholtz, Larisa Oleynik and Susan May Pratt. All of them sit together for this running, screen-specific chat. They discuss sets and locations, cast, characters and performances, and a few other aspects of the production.

Expect a highly anecdotal track here. The actors dominate and mostly get into their various experiences during the shoot. If you want tons of great filmmaking insights, youíll be disappointed, but it you desire a fun look back at the set, youíll be happy. The participants create a breezy and enjoyable take on the flick that will doubtless be satisfying to the movieís fans.

A retrospective documentary called 10 Things I Love About 10 Things I Hate About You 10 Years Later runs 35 minutes, three seconds. It includes new remarks from McCullah Lutz, Smith, director Gil Junger and executive music supervisor Ralph Sall as well as archival clips with Oleynik, Krumholtz, Keegan, Pratt, musicians Monique Powell, Kay Hanley and Brian Mashburn and actors Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Allison Janney, David Leisure, and Gabrielle Union. We learn a little about the flickís inspirations, the Shakespeare influence, and the script, what Junger brought to the film, cast and performances, shooting in Washington state, music, and deleted scenes.

Though somewhat fluffy, ďLoveĒ manages to offer a pretty good overview of the production. Since he didnít do a commentary, Iím glad we hear from Junger here; he adds a useful perspective absent from that commentary. The piece never becomes especially deep, but itís enjoyable and reasonably informative.

A few ads open the DVD. We get promos for When In Rome, Extract and Volume One of the 10 Things TV series. These also pop up under Sneak Peeks along with clips for Surrogates, Greek Chapter Four, Make It or Break It, the band ksm, Kyle XY S3 and Blu-ray Disc. No trailer for the 10 Things movie shows up here.

Over on Disc Two, we get a Digital Copy of the film. With this, you can move it to a computer or portable viewing gizmo. Whoopee!

Note that the DVDís package claims it will include deleted scenes. Donít look for a separate section with these; a handful of them show up in the documentary, but thatís it. It seems a bit misleading for the DVDís case to promise deleted scenes but present them in this manner.

10 Things I Hate About You ranges from puerile to simply predictable. Itís made watchable only through the charming and effective performances of its then-young cast. The DVD provides erratic but generally decent picture along with satisfying audio and a few interesting supplements. I canít say Iím wild about the movie, but I think this DVD is a reasonably good reissue.

To rate this film, visit the Special Edition review of 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main