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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A movie, and soundtrack, that stay with you
I came to this movie on the back of a diary entry by one of my Chinese students - and was as such, happily oblivious to the "hype" that apparently surrounds it. I notice its detractors are as careful in their complete deconstruction of the film, from its actors and soundtrack to its existentialism and moralising, as those who love it are genuinely moved.

As for...
Published on 2 Jan 2009 by LittleMoon

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Plodding, overly-long portrayal of what is probably quite a good book
A film needs to stand up in its own right, not just because it's based on a true story. Not enough happens in this film and so, while it's well acted, it's a fairly empty viewing experience that doesn't come close to justifying a 140 minute running time.

I imagine that your enjoyment of the film will largely rest on how you feel about the central character...
Published 8 months ago by Discerning Reader/Viewer


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A movie, and soundtrack, that stay with you, 2 Jan 2009
By 
LittleMoon (loving my life in the rain) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Into the Wild [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I came to this movie on the back of a diary entry by one of my Chinese students - and was as such, happily oblivious to the "hype" that apparently surrounds it. I notice its detractors are as careful in their complete deconstruction of the film, from its actors and soundtrack to its existentialism and moralising, as those who love it are genuinely moved.

As for me, I liked this movie precisely because it shows the flaws and the cracks in a beautiful theory. The Alaskan wilderness proves the fatal downfall of our hero, even as it provides him with the answers. He gives all his money to charity, burns the rest and then has to go and find a job.

Nature is beautiful and terrifying. So is society. You might get killed on the street outside your house, having never lived, and that's the most scary thing of all. McCandless went out there to ask questions of himself and to find out what really matters in this life - he may have lived more in those few years than most people do in a lifetime - and he was foolish, young and pretentious. So what! This is the stuff of life!

I thought the acting was solid and believable, with Hal Holbrook shining as the old man looking to fill the gap in his life by adopting McCandless. Eddie Vedder's soundtrack is perfectly haunting, particularly "Long Nights".

Philosophers, travellers, aspiring vagabonders and anyone who's ever asked themselves who they are, and what they are doing in this life, will like this movie, because it tells the tale of one young guy doing precisely that.
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137 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ouch..., 17 Mar 2008
By 
MORTEN AASTAD (Oslo Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Into the Wild [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I have to say at first I came to this film through Eddie Vedder (big Pearl Jam fan), and I'm very happy I did.

I just watched the movie on DVD, and I have read all the other reviews here, which are much better than mine as far as going into details about the film, great camera work, the history behind the story, Sean Penn's ultimate vision and so on. So I'll just convey what this film did to my emotions, while the bruises to my senses are still raw.

I was expecting to have a tough time watching this. Like most people who watched it, I knew the outcome, and felt I was prepared... I wasn't.

I really liked this kid, and I felt in a way, what he felt as he went along exploring, whatever it is he felt he had to explore. In getting me along for the ride, this movie works on every level. And the way it brings us back to that buss, little by little, while telling the story leading up to it, jerks you in and out of danger so to speak, so when the final breath is exhaled, you, or atleast I, felt like I was right there, helpess and unable to stop this from happening. And that's the crux of the whole thing to me, now, 12-15 minutes after the end credits. And when a movie does that to you... It's a work of pure art.

To me.

As for all the rest. I loved this actor, I loved the others, the hippie couple, the young girl, the old man, Vince Vaughn, the danish couple (I'm half danish, so thanks Sean, for having real danish people speak real danish in your movie!) and the sisters narrating.

And on top of it all, there's Eddie Vedder, and it's just so good!

Thank you for leaving my feelings raw like an exposed nerve. Feels good to be alive.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern day masterpiece?, 9 April 2010
By 
Luke Downing "LukeeD" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Into the Wild [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
With Into the Wild, Sean Penn; whom takes both screenwriter and director credit, sets about telling the story of estranged student, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch). The film, based on the non fiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer, follows Chris after his graduation as he goes about removing all materialistic elements of his life and also leaves his home and family behind. Chris renames himself `Alexander Supertramp' and journeys, as the title so obviously suggests, into the wild.

We are told the story by McCandless' sister, played by Jena Malone (of Donnie Darko fame). This offers an outside insight into our ascetic travellers reasoning, ensuring that we can not resent him for his potentially reckless decision.

This film is a true journey, brought to life superbly by Hirsch's portrayal of McCandless as well as the various other supporting roles that open up a world full of intriguing characters with a lust for adventure and experience.

Of course, what coming of age film would be without a love interest? Into the Wild is no exception. However, as our `Supertramp' befriends the undeniably appealing free spirited Tracy Tatro (or should I say Twighlight's `Bella Swan'?) we realise that even love can't tear him away from his adventurous escape.

If nothing else grabs you about this film, the cinematography, courtesy of Eric Gautier, surely will. We are bombarded with landscape after landscape, from sun kissed beaches to snow frosted mountains, that are photographed in a way that have to be seen to be believed. You may argue that any one could make these places look amazing, in that case I'd challenge you to do the same.

Into the Wild is a film filled with adventure, awe inspiring scenery and most of all; emotion. All backed up by an incredible soundtrack. Penn has done himself proud here and (if he wasn't already) he must be taken seriously as somebody that can work just as well behind the camera as in front. He cant take full credit though as the film is undoubtedly thrust higher by its characters, its story and of course one of the real stars, its scenery.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look Again, 7 Aug 2008
This review is from: Into the Wild [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Wow!!....This film is truly a hidden gem.

I had no expectations when I bought this film and didn't know the story, but by the end of the film I looked at life a little differently.

The images on screen along with the soundtrack works to take you into this lads life, the way he looks at things around him is a eye opener. So many people go though life looking but not seeing what's around them.

The film will effect you; and at the end it haunted me for a couple of days after and to a point still does. Buy or borrow this film it is a must see film. Not a bockbuster but a film that will touch your soul.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hit whether you knoiw the real-life story or not, 17 Mar 2008
By 
S. Williams - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Into the Wild [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I think how much you enjoy this film will depend upon two things; 1) Whether or not you have read the book and are familiar with the story of Chris McCandless, and 2) What you're looking to get out of this film. I had read the book and been keen to find out as much as possible about Chris, and so when I watched this film I viewed it as a chance to get a more visual version of his life. I think for this reason I didn't enjoy it quite as much because of the various inconsistencies between this and the real story, and also I didn't really enjoy the way it was told through flashbacks. I think it would have been better told in a more traditional way.

However, if you approach this as I will upon next viewing as simply a FILM and forget the real-life events, you will probably enjoy it a lot. Each and every actor and actress plays their roles superbly and the story is engrossing. My only gripe besides the way the events are laid out (which I think comes purely from knowing them beforehand) is that there are occasional moments when the camera work is a bit distracting. Such as, in some of the quiet scenes leading up to his death, there are moments when the camera wobbles and zooms. No doubt the intention of this shots was to convey his disorientation, but I found them a little too distracting.

Despite these points it's still a great film and well worth a copy in your DVD collection. I was personally surprised that it didn't include any full documentaries on the real McCandless as an extra, though.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why have we lost sight of what's important !!, 20 Oct 2013
By 
David H J Ashdown (Wales) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Into the Wild [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Why do people like Christopher McCandless have to embark on an aesthetic voyage to tell us what we should already know that the pursuit of money possessions and status are actually meaningless concepts forced on us by human society. If we really want to discover what we're here for we can learn a lot from this true film that is both poignant and soul - searching. Abstract concepts that we all adhere to , about how we should think and behave , are blow apart in this excellent film and if we realise just a little bit about what motivated Christopher to give it all up and search for his soul we'll be better people. Beauty is all around us you just have to have the ability and clarity to perceive it mind you most of us are so blinded by what society demands of us that we can't see it. The truth is out there you just need to be able to feel it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Deeply Moving Experience, 30 Dec 2008
This review is from: Into the Wild [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I don't understand how anyone can criticize this movie..
Emile Hirsch is excellent in the lead role and he portrays a convincing Christopher McCandless. The story itself is beautiful.. and I have identified with it and the character deeply and completely.
I have cried several times simply because I was so moved, not necessarily because something sad or bad happened. The movie has also provided me with several tips for books or writers worth reading and I have re-discovered Leo Tolstoy and his late "philosophical" works after watching "Into the Wild".
The music by Eddie Vedder is great, but the first song "Long Nights" became one of my all time favorite songs.

All in all a truly unique and unforgettable experience - highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Wild One, 10 Feb 2009
This review is from: Into the Wild [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Whenever a young person dies their family always tell us that they were beautiful, intelligent and incredibly popular, almost as if the loss of a life in itself is not quite tragic enough. Sean Penn's film concerns an idealistic, screwed up graduate (Christopher McCandless AKA Alex Supertramp) who shuns a potentially successful but bland life for something more...real. "Into The Wild" is a distant relation of the mother of all road movies "Easyrider" and covers many of the same bases, however this is a true story and says something important about modern life and the measures of success within it. This was made with the help of McCandless' family and, perhaps, as a result our hero is an attractive, intelligent guy who proves to also be incredibly popular. Hell, he's practically Jesus - a comment actually made by one or two of the characters. With that in mind the conclusion was never in doubt.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars highly recommended, 15 Jan 2009
By 
This review is from: Into the Wild [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
After watching this film I am left overwhelmed by how good it was. I guess like so many people that watched this movie, it has left its mark. I cannot understand how the Oscars work in Hollywood and after watching and being disappointed by so many oscar winning films, it baffles me as to why such a wonderful film didnt get recognition.
The cinematography is stunning, the acting is fantastic and the story is inspiring and also so sad. This film touches the emotions and really makes you think about life.
In my book any film that leaves its mark on you like this is a work of art.
I have seen some poor reviews about this film and I guess it is people that like to watch hollywood dross that requires no thought/attention that will not like this movie. If that is you do not buy.
If you want to be moved by an amazing film, it will be the best movie out of hollywood for years. At this price it will be a steal, as you will watch it over and over.
To top it off the music is also outstanding.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb film, 27 May 2009
This review is from: Into the Wild [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
You can tell this film is superb due to the presence of the 1-star reviewers who say such things as 'it's boring', or 'nothing much happens'. This is not meant as intellectual snobery, but you either 'get' this film or you don't. Sadly there are more than should be who don't get it.

It is a superb portrayal of a young man's quest for truth, enlightenment and the answers to life's questions. Ultimately there are no answers and our lead character finds this out at great cost. The themes of fulfillment, control, forgiveness, family relationships etc etc etc are all played out here, in what is none other than a stunning film.

His relationships with the other characters are again stunning. His immaturity and naivety in failing to recognise his affect on other people is brilliantly developed against his own possible self-indulged reaction to his upbringing. Whatever your views on the main character, the film is an epic look at humanity and the trials and pitfalls of basic human nature - the things that can often make us unhappy: always looking for more than is actually out there, searching for 'truths' that may not be there. Ultimately if we don't take comfort in who and what is around us, and seek to run rather than to challenge, we will always be left searching and wanting.

An epic film. Nothing short of brilliant.
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Into The Wild [Blu-ray] [2007]
Into The Wild [Blu-ray] [2007] by Sean Penn (Blu-ray - 2009)
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