10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

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Released 7-Aug-2000

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 93:32
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (54:14) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Gil Junger
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Julia Stiles
Heath Ledger
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Larisa Oleynik
Larry Miller
Andrew Keegan
David Krumholtz
Susan May Pratt
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music Richard Kendall Gibbs


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Italian
French
Hungarian
Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, during credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Occasionally, despite the formulaic ways of their organization, the Disney conglomerate manage to turn out something that is a little better than the norm. This is one of those occasions, and despite the obvious derivativeness of the whole thing, this actually is an enjoyable film with a couple of genuinely funny moments. But then again, why wouldn't it be? After all, this is simply another time-updated take on a rather witty piece of work by the name of The Taming Of The Shrew by that well-renowned hack, William Shakespeare. Why do they still teach Shakespeare in schools? This is the reason - he has as much relevance today as he did four hundred years ago, when he wrote his great works in that funny language called English. And I can guarantee this - 10 Things I Hate About You will not be the last film to be based upon what is argued to be possibly Shakespeare's first work.

    This is the story of the Stratford sisters (nice in-joke that one), Bianca (Larisa Oleynik) and Katerina (Julia Stiles). Bianca is the babe of Padua High, the heart's desire of all hormonally-charged young guys there. Elder sister Kat, is not. Now it just so happens that the rules of the Stratford household are that Bianca can get to date when Kat goes on a date. Since Kat is, by choice, date-challenged, Bianca is frustrated, as are her new French tutor Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and model/hunk Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan), both desirous of the attentions of Bianca. So Cameron and new Padua High nerdy mate Michael Eckman (David Krumholtz) hatch a little plan to get Kat a date with anyone and score a date with Bianca for Cameron. The plan involves the money-enhanced Joey Donner (who naturally thinks he is to be the recipient of the date with Bianca) paying one Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger) to date Kat. As you can imagine, a tangled web is created, especially when Patrick actually falls for Kat, Cameron realizes that Bianca wants Joey, and Bianca realizes that she cannot stand Joey and wants Cameron.

    This is the sort of tangled web of a story that only a hack like Shakespeare can actually carry off with ease, and this version of the tale has certainly been updated well. The story has been well brought to life by a cast of essentially up-and-comers, with some nice enough performances on offer. I would like to say that Australia's Heath Ledger was one of the notable performances, but here he is somewhat overshadowed by Julia Stiles in my view. In general, the consistency of the cast is the main asset here rather than any being especially stellar. The direction is not much more than a typical by-the-numbers effort by a rent-a-director type that seems to be the norm for the Disney conglomerate.

    10 Things I Hate About You is a better-than-expected film that I actually quite enjoy. It demonstrates the continued relevance of William Shakespeare in modern day life, and is a most worthwhile effort.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    One of the things that I most remember from the Region 1 version of this DVD was the slightly disappointing visuality of the transfer, which I put down to the lack of 16x9 enhancement highlighting the inherently less sharp NTSC transfer, so perhaps I was expecting a little more from this PAL 16x9 enhanced transfer. Since this is very similar to the Region 1 transfer in appearance, it would seem that the fault is actually in the original print and not as a result of the transfer.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and the transfer is 16x9 enhanced.

    Whilst this is better than most Buena Vista transfers I have seen lately, as I suggested I have some qualms about the visuality of the transfer. I find the transfer a little less sharp than perhaps I was expecting for a recent film, and this is one area where I felt the transfer lets itself down just a little. Detail is good if not especially spectacular, and this is another area where I feel the transfer could have been a little better. Certainly the film gives plenty of opportunity for a shining transfer and we simply do not get it. Shadow detail is also good without being spectacular. Clarity is good. There did not seem to be any low level noise problems with the transfer.

    The slightly disappointing image is perhaps best demonstrated by the colours, which whilst good, simply do no approach the vibrancy that they should. That is not to suggest that this is a flat palette of colours, but simply not as vibrant as I feel it should have been. The palette is nicely handled though, very nicely consistent and demonstrating a nice naturalness. Saturation is pretty much spot on and there is no hint of oversaturation here. There are no colour bleed problems here. The opening credits could perhaps have been better handled to make them a bit more legible.

    There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There was something of a consistent, although relatively minor, aliasing problem in the transfer. There did not seem to be any real problems with film artefacts.

    This is an RSDL formatted DVD with the layer change coming at 54:14. This is a relatively poorly handled change that is far too noticeable and mildly disruptive to the flow of the film. The change could have been placed a little better just a few seconds later, and been significantly less disruptive.

    The packaging omits to mention the Hungarian subtitle option.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are four audio tracks on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, an Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and a Czechoslovakian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. I stuck to listening to the English soundtrack.

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand throughout.

    There did not appear to be any hint at all of audio sync problems with the transfer.

    The musical score comes from Richard Gibbs, but this is subservient to a collection of popular music tunes that really sets a nice mood to the film.

    At its very core, this is a thoroughly serviceable soundtrack that has not an awful lot wrong with it. Whilst I would certainly suggest that rear channel ambience could have been better, and that front surround channel use was perhaps a little restrained at times, to really suggest that this is a faulted soundtrack is to be seriously wrong. It is simply a question that the standards of sound are always being lifted on DVD and this is simply not as spectacular as perhaps it could have been. Bass channel use was thankfully a little restrained, which gave a nice balance to the overall soundscape.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Sorry - 10 Things I Hate About Buena Vista DVDs are....

Menu

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version misses out on:     The Region 1 version misses out on:     A direct comparison between the two versions shows there is not a huge amount of difference between them. Still, 16x9 enhancement definitely tips the balance in favour of Region 4.

Summary

    10 Things I Hate About You is a film that I enjoy quite a lot, and certainly return to from time to time. It is hardly a timeless classic, but well worthwhile considering as an addition to the collection - and that in itself is a rare recommendation of a Buena Vista DVD from me!

    A good video transfer.

    A good audio transfer.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Saturday, September 16, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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Miscellaneous: Smoking (on the review of Ten Things I Hare About You) -
Brick - R4 release -