QUICK THOUGHTS: First off, I love this film and have ever since first seeing it back in 1999 when I was unknowingly introduced to a pair of stars I would come to enjoy over the next ten years as well as another I was already familiar with who continues to turn in great work.
First for the two stars, Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles. Of course, Ledger has passed on, but he didn’t leave us without first sharing some entertaining performances such as the one here in 10 Things I Hate about You and others such as A Knight’s Tale and, obviously, The Dark Knight. Stiles went from 10 Things to a personal favorite of mine, Save the Last Dance, and then onto the Bourne trilogy. She has now taken to the stage, most recently opposite Bill Pullman in “Oleanna” with nothing theatrically currently on the horizon.
Then we come to Joseph Gordon-Levitt who was best known for “3rd Rock from the Sun” before breaking out in 10 Things and then breaking even bigger in the indie Brick and is now everyone’s favorite with 500 Days of Summer. It’s amazing to look back at this film and realize it brought us this core trio along with supporting work from the likes of David Krumholtz, Gabrielle Union, Larry Miller and Allison Janney. No wonder it’s a favorite of mine, and I am happy to now own a copy for myself, but is it really worth the Blu-ray treatment? Let’s take a closer look.
SUPPLEMENTS: As far as deciding between the DVD and the Blu-ray you only have to ask yourself how important picture quality is as both of these new 10th Anniversary releases bring the same group of special features. However, that isn’t exactly boasting considering there are only two features in total.
First off is the 36 minute documentary titled “10 Things I Love About 10 Things I Hate About You 10 Years Later”. Unfortunately this doc is primarily made up of archived EPK interviews from ’99, but there are a smattering of newly recorded interview segments with director Gil Junger and screenwriters Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith. Added to the conversation are also a collection of deleted scenes presented as part of the documentary as well as footage of Heath Ledger’s screen test, which is sure to add to the sentimentality of the release.
The only other feature is a newly recorded audio commentary with co-writers Karen McCullah Lutz and Kristen Smith, and actors Andrew Keegan, David Krumholtz, Larisa Oleynik and Susan May Pratt. It’s actually a rather good commentary in terms of information and entertainment value. I personally found it interesting considering I grew up only a few miles from where portions of it were filmed in Tacoma, Washington and hearing the actors complain about the Tacoma smell caused by a local paper mill and refer to it as it’s notorious moniker, “The Tacoma Aroma,” was quite funny.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I like this film and this is a decent release considering there couldn’t have been much to pull together to make this release all that “special”. Of course it would have been nice to get Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Julia Stiles on camera talking about the film as well as offering up a few words about Ledger rather than having Krumholtz tackle it with Keegan on the commentary, but that’s just the way it goes.
If you don’t own this film already I would say this is a worthy buy, but with the Blu-ray priced at $7 more than the DVD at Amazon I would probably suggest the cheaper option considering this isn’t a film that screams for a beautiful picture and intense DTS surround even though that’s mostly what you get here, expect the picture wasn’t exactly pristine with a noticeable amount of tweaking going on, but it is still a visual improvement over the DVD edition, which I also gave a once over for comparison.