Into The Wild (2007/Paramount DVD Set)
Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: C+ Film: C+
were high for Sean Penn adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s book Into The Wild, which made it out as a critically acclaimed film by
Penn in 2007 with Emile Hirsch as the recent college graduate who decides to
leave everything behind. The idea is to
show how this young man is so sick of material things and how dysfunctional his
family is because of them, that he wants to leave it all behind.
and we have seen this kind of story told before, but instead of effectively
making a break from the unnatural/junked/material world to the natural/spread
out/living one, the screenplay by Penn is so muddled and awkward, in addition
to his directing, that we never get the impact of the story or message as he
cannot deliver it despite a good supporting cast (including William Hurt,
Marcia Gay Harden, Jena Malone, Hal Holbrook (glad to see him again), Catherine
Keener and even Vince Vaughn) and a long running time of 148 minutes to say
what it needs to say.
good, but has moments where his performance does not gel with the character and
this is not the character study it should have been, though that is on
Penn. Though sincere and ambitious, this
is not Penn’s best directing and whatever alternative or counterculture ideas
offered, they are never fully realized.
The result is a good film that was also more disappointing than
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is visually pleasant and though detail
and depth can be weak, the better moments of performance just edge out the
problematic ones. This was issued on
HD-DVD, but Paramount is not sending any press copies, so we’ll wait to see how
much better the Blu-ray looks when it is finally announced. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is better than the
Dolby 2.0 Stereo, but is dialogue based, leaving the surrounds for good ambient
performance and the Eddie Vedder-sung songs.
Extras include two featurettes on DVD 2, The Story, The Characters and The
- Nicholas Sheffo