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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well told story. Great soundtrack. Powerful acting.
Penn does a lovingly beautiful job in retelling Chris' story. The research by both author and film maker must have been difficult. Superb casting. But don't misunderstand our 'hero'. Hubris has spoiled many. Chris was certainly an angry, self-centered fellow, and hurt, but what good did his journey do? (Perhaps as another reminder for us.) It is only when he is facing...
Published on Dec 23 2007 by J. Stiller

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2 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An ugly look at our species' stupidity...
I read the novel years ago and, like all of Krakauer's work, it is more about the twisted interpretations of the novelist than it is about the people involved. Only Krakauer can twist stupidity into heroics and turn a self-absorbed spoiled brat into a heartfelt character that we are laugh and cry with. Where was Chris McCandless's concern for all those people that loved...
Published on Nov. 14 2008 by James Sifert


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well told story. Great soundtrack. Powerful acting., Dec 23 2007
By 
J. Stiller "Jim, the teacher-- Been Around" (Montreal, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Into the Wild (DVD)
Penn does a lovingly beautiful job in retelling Chris' story. The research by both author and film maker must have been difficult. Superb casting. But don't misunderstand our 'hero'. Hubris has spoiled many. Chris was certainly an angry, self-centered fellow, and hurt, but what good did his journey do? (Perhaps as another reminder for us.) It is only when he is facing death that his vision is clear. Is this what Tolstoy and other writers who Chris admired meant? He was a rebel, but what was his cause? Still, we certainly feel for him, and those lives he touched.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I read somewhere... how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong... but to feel strong, Oct. 25 2012
By 
Jamie MacDougall "Film/TV Addict" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Into the Wild [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Into the Wild follows the true-life story of Christopher McCandless, a bright young recent college graduate, who chooses to embark on a journey of self-discovery that ended in the wilds of Alaska. He removes himself from his family and society for a two-year trek across the country, meeting and touching the lives of many along the way.

The film is a powerful and unforgettable character study and often inspires serious debate on the actions of the main character. The courage and conviction he shows is countered with the selfishness of the pain that his actions no doubt caused his parents and sister by disappearing without a trace. But on this journey of self-discovery he learns more about life, himself and the world.

Emile Hirsch’s portrayal (and physical likeness) of Christopher McCandless is astounding. He embraces both the good and bad of the character as well as his wide-eyed innocence and rock-solid convictions. No easy feat to be sure. The soundtrack to the film is simply amazing and the original songs by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder serve as a heart-wrenching narrative to the plight of McCandless and of the vastness of nature in all of its danger and glory.

Into the Wild offers great video & audio quality with some strong detail and a natural color scheme. Special features include two featurettes (totaling about 40 min) and a theatrical trailer.

With breathtaking scenery, strong attention to detail, fine acting and a beautifully haunting soundtrack, Into the Wild comes recommended. It’s not always an easy journey, but one worth taking.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie about the meaning of life, April 15 2008
By 
Matthew King - See all my reviews
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Into the Wild follows the real-life story of an early-20's recent grad who gives up his middle-class life, his car and all his money and sets off on a hitchiker journey through America, finally settling in Alaska.

This movie really struck a chord with me on an emotional level, I've also often thought of eschewing all material things before, realizing it can never be the true source of happiness. But as the main character tragically realizes, neither is loneliness and isolation. Great movie with a powerful, haunting music score by Eddie Vedder.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Into The Wild, Jan. 1 2010
By 
This review is from: Into the Wild (DVD)
Into the Wild is a great movie. Emile Hirsch is very good and it was a beautiful film to look at. I recommend this film.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Disturbingly Sad Tale, Sept. 11 2008
By 
Ian Gordon Malcomson (Victoria, BC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Into the Wild (DVD)
This recently-released film is based on the true story of Chris McCandless, as described in Jon Krakauer's original story, "Into the Wild". In this film version, the audience is treated to the haunting tale of a young college graduate who, for a variety of personal reasons, decides to breakout from his mundane existence and start life over again. The issues and demons that beseige a rather emotionally-fragile Chris are not ordinary: an unhappy family environment, a domineering father and a petulant mother, and the realization that he and his sisters are really only bastards after all. The film follows the course of Chris's escape into the Alaskan wilderness over a three-year period, as he abandons a career, a need for money, and any association with his old life. His journey is a troubled one because it is based on the dangerous assumption that all one has to do to start over again is to live alone in nature. All the way along the road to the top of the of world, this passion for living in the pristine wilderness by himself drives him to drop friends as quickly as he makes them. Naively, he thinks that all he has to do to enjoy a new lease on life, disencumbered of any worldly impediments, is to move out into the great beyond where there is no human contact from his past. However, the problem, as the movie describes, is not found in the initial undertaking so much as the low chances of surviving in the wilderness if something goes wrong. The inexperienced Chris, with all his Walden-type idealism, would prove to be his own worst enemy shortly after arriving in Alaska. Besides telling a sad story, the movie does a great job in capturing the natural beauty of the Lower 48 and Alaska itself. Also, Chris's sister plays an effective role as background narrator in helping to fill the audience with pertinent pieces of his earlier life. Well worth seeing just to capture the sense of life on the open road!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Honours the book, March 23 2014
By 
D. Karkut (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Into the Wild (DVD)
I read the book first and loved it. I was excited and afraid to see this film, as I was worried it'd wreck the jewel of a story. Happily, it was very close to the book. A few minor deviations actually made for a better film than if they had been 100% true to the book. Also, since the publication of the book and the production of this film, there has been great debate, and some revelation, about the main character's cause of death.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie, Jan. 19 2014
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This review is from: Into the Wild [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Watched it on TV and decided to buy it. The product came in good condition and was on time. What more could you ask for, right?
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great story, Jan. 15 2014
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This review is from: Into the Wild (DVD)
About a kid who just graduated high school and decides to take his rich father's money that he had ear marked for his college fund. Sell his car and all of his belongings, buys a bus and live in the wilderness in a bus, it isa very entertaining and fascinating true story to watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Into The Wild, Oct. 24 2013
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This review is from: Into the Wild (DVD)
I have loved this movie for some time and never "got around" to owning it. It's a must see and arrived in perfect condition - as does everything really from Amazon.ca . This movie will really make you think about what type of person you are - and what you want in your own life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoreau would be spinning in his grave..., April 19 2013
By 
NyiNya "NyiNya" (It was broken when I got here...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This is an excellent film, the cinematography is beautiful, the story-telling compelling, and it is based on an equally excellent book. Emile Hirsch is pitch perfect as young Christopher McCandless, a suburban kid who thinks he can go "into the wild" and make it his own. Hirsch's acting is reserved but nuanced. His gestures are spare but speak volumes. And then there's the scenery. From the Sea of Cortez to the Grand Canyon to the Denali wilderness, it's breathtaking. This is a movie that engrosses you from start to finish.

But lordy, that Mccandless kid was a sorry piece of work. The film does not portray the boy as a hero, but neither does it delve into the selfishness of this naive young man. Many reviewers find much to admire about him him as a free spirit and 'idealist.' Idealist my big toe.

What is idealistic about willful ignorance and a sense of entitlement? The kid goes into one of the most challenging and threatening environments on the planet without having clue one about what he's getting into, without adequate supplies and without a map. Idealism is best saved for politics and philosophy. In the wild, you need a willingness to learn. McCandless was so used to his family providing a safety net, it never occured to him that Nature would not bow to his needs as well. The movie, by the way, does hint that his parents are bad people because they offer the boy a new car when he graduates from high school and had the foresight to start a college fund for him. We should all suffer such abuse.

Chris McCandless certainly wanted people to think he was a selfless idealist, with his grandious handing over of his parent's money...not a cent of which he earned himself...to Oxfam. Plenty more where that came from, eh. He also doesn't waste time and effort learning how to survive. "Living off the land" has such a nice ring to it...why lumber yourself with any useful information on how it is to be accomplished. Naturally he becomes hopelessly lost. Naturally, after slaughtering a moose out of season, he eats a few bites and leaves the rest to rot. He doesn't even try to preserve it. What's so hard about slicing the meat thin and hanging it where the breeze hits it? It might not have worked, but he could have tried. His obliviousness is almost laughable: when he stumbles across an abandoned bus, which becomes his living quarters, he fails to connect the dots. Hello, it's a bus. Somebody drove it there, so there must be a road, probably right under the tires. Probably the same road the bus driver used to to get out of the wilderness.

Chris is no respecter of the wild, he's just lazy. Killing animals out of season impacts the species. So what. He was hungry. Even before getting to Alaska, he shows a woeful disrespect for nature; his trespassing in the Grand Canyon makes it clear he places far more importance on having fun than on preserving a wilderness.
No, I don't think McCandless was an idealist. He was certainy tragic: a tragic example of a middle class, pampered child.

Thoreau was an idealist and he didn't just wander blindly into the woods. He had some survival skills and certainly was wiling to learn more. Had he and the McCandless lad met, I would like to think that Henry David might have made an exception to his usual peace-loving ways. I can picture him placing one sensible and well-worn boot on the kid's backside and propelling him back toward his natural habitat...the nearest McDonalds.
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