January 6, 2010

10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You: 10th Anniversary (Disney) Apart from not being a particularly groundbreaking item, highlighting the 10th anniversary (11th, technically) release of a late-’90s relic seems like a bittersweet no-brainer. The last defining teen flick in an era flooded with teen flicks, this one is a loose prom-daptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, featuring a pre-heartthrob cast that would go on to bigger things. Cut to now: Heath Ledger is a posthumous prodigy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a rising indie darling. The universe has changed, but 10 Things I Hate About You remains an affable allegory that deserves to be seen by new generations. Extras:commentary with the film’s two writers and various actors, a featurette containing mostly old interview clips, with only the creators making fresh appearances to provide retrospect. 
Also Available
A Perfect Getaway (Alliance) With serviceable B-movie kicks and a third-act head-smacker you will either love or loathe, David Twohy maintains his knack for churning out respectable genre fare, though 2000’s Pitch Black is still his career highpoint so far. As far as survivalist thrillers go, this is a definite cut above the competition — just hit the play button with sound expectations. Extras: unrated director’s cut adding several minutes of backstory and alternate gore.  
Paranormal Activity (Paramount) For those who skipped its theatrical run, you can now skip the underwhelming theatrical finale that Spielberg foolishly suggested replace the more effective original. Sure, the faux-doc is a one-trick pony any way you watch it, with virtually zero filmmaking flair worth re-experiencing, but a single viewing is worthwhile. Turn out the lights and prepare to be mildly spooked. Extras: alternate, original ending. 

(Alliance) It’s nice that cartoons are starting to grow up, with the release of two vaguely macabre animated titles in 2009 (the other being Coraline). Sadly, in the case of 9, dismal backdrop and kinetic chase sequences fail to bolster the static script. In this Tim-Burton-meets-Terminator hybrid, everything looks remarkable, but things gradually lose their edge (and our interest) as the plot unfolds. Aside from sophisticated visuals and solid voicing, the sum feels underdeveloped. Extras: commentary, featurettes, nifty original short, more. 
The Final Destination (Warner) It's been nine years and three sequels since an utterly pissed-off death came back to reclaim the lives of several passengers who avoided a blood-soaked plane crash. The fourth movie’s unhelpful title notwithstanding, the formula remains in place, starting with a trademark catastrophe. Yet the franchise has deteriorated with each passing sequel and in this entry even the kills rarely satisfy. Pretty inexcusable considering its chic third-dimensional aesthetic. Extras: 2-D and 3-D presentations, deleted scenes.