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11 of 12 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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11 of 12 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant adventure story, June 26 2009
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Into the Wild (DVD)
When Chris McCandless (Emile Hirsch) graduated from college, he had one goal in life - to finally break away from his unhappy family and the constraints of society in general and live off the land in Alaska. The episodic film flashes back and forth between Chris' adventures in Alaska and the months leading up to it, focusing on the people who befriended him - including an aging hippie couple and a lonely, old man (well-played by the venerable Hal Holbrook).

Based on a true story and narrated with many of Chris' journal entries, the film is an emotional roller coaster; I was torn between admiring his youthful idealism and courage and hating him for the pain he inflicted on his family. The movie feels much like a documentary as it follows Chris hitchhiking and working his way across the country and then surviving, at first, quite well in Alaska.

Emile Hirsch is well-cast as Chris and makes you care about him right from the start. He did all of his demanding stunts himself and even lost 40 pounds to play the ailing Chris. It is a very touching story. Amid the splendor of the wilderness but ultimately alone, Chris finally understood that happiness is only real when it is shared. Highly recommended.
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5 of 6 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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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
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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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Wait to See this on Blu Ray, Jan. 6 2009
By 
W. Edward Sullivan "Grand River Kayak" (Dunnville, ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Into the Wild [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
We saw this movie when it was first released on DVD, and were completely impressed. The story of self-discovery, and the shrugging-off of the material world is wonderful. The soundtrack is incredible as well, but that's another review !
More important to the Blu Ray release is the astounding outdoor panaramas throughout this film. Whether it's kayaking the Colorado river (my personal favourite segment) or discovering Caribou in Alaska, this film is a real treat for those who adventure in the outdoors (or are armchair adventurers!)
This film was released at the height of the Blu Ray vs HD-DVD "war" and was one of the movies originally released on HD-DVD.
It has taken a year or so for the Blu Ray version to hit the market, but I wasted no time ordering it as soon as it was available.
This is one of those films that we will watch and re-watch, and recommend to everyone.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Emile Hirsch's movie, April 19 2009
By 
Travis J. Clark (Miniota, MB Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Into the Wild (DVD)
This was a great novel, so I was interested to see how Sean Penn would do as a writer and director, and who would take on the lead role. This is a well told story, although I have to admit Penn made some odd directorial decisions, and definitely needs more experience on that side of the camera. I was blown away by Emile Hirsch, as I hadn't actually seen any of his prior work, but he is amazing in this harrowing story of a young man who came from money, but gave it all up, and hit the road for Alaska to escape the materialism of this world.
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good movie!, May 3 2014
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This movie was filled with adventure, a journey of realizations, once purpose in life, and tragedy. Great acting and scenery!
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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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