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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) is a very modern spin on Shakespeare's comic battle of the sexes, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, 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, the plan has a few problems of its own- including bribery and using the financial resources of another (and none-too-bright) suitor, who is also interested in the hand of the fair Bianca.

While 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU contains none 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, David Leisure. 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU also sports two standout supporting performances. One from Larry Miller, who plays Kat and Bianca's semi-deranged father, and the other from Allison Janney, who play the school's flighty guidance counselor Ms. Perky. Both had me rolling with laughter. By the way, don't ship the end credits, which feature a number of really funny outtakes from the film.

10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU arrives on DVD via Touchstone Home Video, in a good looking Letterboxed transfer that has NOT been enhanced for 16:9 playback. The wide screen presentation restores the film's 1.85:1 theatrical proportions and the image appears sharp and very clean- a perfect reflection of the film's bright, glossy cinematography. Flesh tones look very appealing, while the rest of the colors are well saturated and reproduced without any chroma noise or bleeding. Solid authoring disguises all traces of compression artifacts.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack has a typical mix for a youth comedy. There is very little by way of active sound effects, however the discrete channels are utilized for reproduction of the film's cool, song laden soundtrack. Additionally, dialogue is very clear and never buried under the music. A French language soundtrack and English subtitles are also encoded onto the DVD. The interactive menus are of the basic variety and provide the standard scene selection and setup features. A theatrical trailer is the only supplement included on the DVD.


10 Things I Hate About You (1999)


DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 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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