Into The Wild (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-17-2008, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=124724&d=1227121357
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

86






Studio and Year: Paramount Vantage - 2007
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 148 Minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, Hal Holbrook, William Hurt, Catherine Keener, Jena Malone, Vince Vaughn
Written & Directed by: Sean Penn based upon the book by Jon Krakauer
Music by: Michael Brook with Kaki King and Eddie Vedder
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 16, 2008







"The great Adventure on Alaska"



Film Synopsis:

This is the true story of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch). Freshly graduated from college with a promising future ahead, McCandless instead walked out of his privileged life and into the wild in search of adventure. What happened to him on the way transformed this young wanderer into an enduring symbol for countless people -- a fearless risk-taker who wrestled with the precarious balance between man and nature.




My Take:

I found this film somewhat disturbing. I think it bothered me more because it is based on actual events. It is obvious that Chris McCandless was deeply affected by his relationship with his parents and their relationship with one another. He channeled this in his own way which attributed to the events that transpired in this film. He was bright, outgoing, and fearless but clearly eccentric in his thinking. What a great story of adventure, trust, desire, and recklessness. In watching this film I really couldn't imagine having a desire to leave my entire identity and life behind in favor of living a hand to mouth nomadic type existence. Chris was fortunate that he encountered many good people along the way. I think that they too felt fortunate to have met him. I felt for his parents as they were never afforded the chance to try and make things right with him. His sister had to not only deal with her parents but had to live with the fact that Chris, whom she was very close to, didn't trust her enough to confide in her. Ultimately she was left with no answers and probably some level of guilt. I thought that Emile Hirsch did an excellent job in this role and from what I could tell was a great physical match for the part. Catherine Keener and Hal Holbrook were terrific as well. William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden, two A list actors, weren't in the film long enough to really stand out. The direction and cinematography were really very good although I did feel that the pacing was a little slow at times. It is told in a back and forth timeline that worked well. This was a very good but somewhat depressing film. I think it did a wonderful job in relating the story of Chris McCandless. It garnered a range of emotions from me so I would say that it certainly is a film worth watching.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for language, nudity and brief sexuality.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 84



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699



Video: 88


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Into the wild comes to Blu-ray Disc featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 mbps and lossless Dolby TreuHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 3.2 mbps.

This was a solid high definition video presentation that looked great. This film features beautiful cinematography. There are vista views of mountainous regions, beautiful, flat farmlands, and breathtaking long range shots of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. These looked superlative in high definition. Detail was characterized by intricate and beautifully rendered images that had three dimensionality, discernible texture, and definitive resolution. This was the case in all but a few instances where definition softened and didn't retain the perception of crystal clarity. Colors were natural in depiction and maintained perfect balance with the source material. The various shades of green, brown, gray, and golden hues were rendered with aplomb. Blacks were stable and quiet with deep highlights and good depth in dark shadowy scenes. Grain is preserved naturally in fine, even layers that don't call strict attention to its presence. Skin tones were noticeably lifelike with subtle tonal delineation that resulted in realistic looking complexions.

The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack excelled at crisp, well textured dialogue that made even subtle variances in tonal character or vocal inflections detectable. The interesting variety of music used throughout the film was rendered with high level detail and excellent instrumental separation. Its presentation was delivered across the front soundstage with a light ambient splash through the rear channels that broadened the sound field nicely. Surround use wasn't prevalent but atmospheric effects and occasional panning sequences created a believable listening environment that blended well with the front three channels. There isn't a lot of bass associated with this soundtrack but the mix generated response was palpable when present.





Bonus Features:


  • Into the wild: The story, the characters

  • In the wild: The experience

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer




Final Thoughts:

Into the wild is a poignant and rather depressing film that is based upon the real life and tragic story of Chris McCandless. It is told well and features an excellent performance by Emile Hirch in the part of Chris. Its debut on Blu-ray Disc from Paramount features solid audio/video quality and a rather disappointing set of bonus supplements. For me this isn't the type of film that I would watch more than once but it is recommended viewing. In light of that I would say that a rental is a good place to start.






attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-17-2008, 09:21 AM
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I was really interested in the book when I read it 9 years ago and been waiting for this to be released on blu-ray since I missed out on the theatrical release. Glad to see you liked it Ralph

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post #3 of 15 Old 12-17-2008, 12:17 PM
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I'm looking forward to getting this on Blu-ray. I read a review a while back about the DVD version at dvdmg.com and the writer made a comment about how this movie is like a cinematic Rorschach test for viewers. I thought that was apropos because everyone seems to come out of it with something different. Some are depressed, others inspired.
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-17-2008, 10:49 PM
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Hi Ralph,

88/100 score for the video is slightly disappointing to hear considering the near reference PQ on the HD DVD.

Blu-ray : 340
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-18-2008, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgans316 View Post

Hi Ralph,

88/100 score for the video is slightly disappointing to hear considering the near reference PQ on the HD DVD.

Greetings,

lgans316, 88 is near reference in my book.. It looks great.


Cheers,

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post #6 of 15 Old 12-25-2008, 05:55 AM
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I am definitely putting on my Blue Ray list. I saw this film when it was first released to a few select theaters. i was entranced by the soundtrack and the story. I was so much like this character in the movie that it was scary. I took a similar journey almost at the same time he did. However, mine was much less exciting and I had no intentions of burning what little money I had. Also, I was with 3 friends and although we left town with no plans other than getting to the northwest coast we knew there was a "plan" afterward. Anyway, great film and don't knock the Producer just because of his beliefs.
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-25-2008, 06:30 AM
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definitely will buy this movie...
Emile Hirsch did great in this movie...
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-30-2008, 05:37 PM
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I'd give the PQ a better rating.

Don't get me wrong, an 88 is a very, very respectable and high rating. But this film has many, many reference-quality scenes-- Tons of em.

I'd say PQ on scale of 100 should be 92-94 or so. It's definitely a top tier PQ title for me.

I highly recommend every PQ fanatic buy this Blu-ray release because of it.

As Ralph said, the audio is surprisingly much better than you'd imagine in such a film. The Dolby TrueHD track is fantastic as there are many instances in the film where there's background music.

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post #9 of 15 Old 02-25-2009, 07:12 AM
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I like to call this book and movie "The Most Selfish Boy Ever". The film was well done (though they added that entire bit in the hippie commune with the love interest), but as sympathetic as they try to make McCandless, I can't get over how selfish and hypocritical he is.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-02-2009, 11:36 AM
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Fantastic looking Blu-Ray with all the outdoors scenes.
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post #11 of 15 Old 03-31-2009, 08:46 PM
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i'm having problems watching this disc -- i've tried two different discs and both discs did the same thing; it tries to load, then basically just stops (& goes to the default blue blu-ray screen)...

has anyone on this film watched it on a panasonic bd30 and/or through a hk 354? i'd like to confirm whether or not i have a faulty bd player (oddly enough, all other bd discs have worked fine) or it's some other component in my system...

thanks in advance,
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-01-2009, 06:27 AM
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I finally got around to watching Into the Wild last night and liked it a lot. The film is beautiful to watch and is filled with lovely music, too. Add to that the performances of such talented actors as Hal Holbrook (nominated for an Oscar here) Catherine Keener (nominated for two Oscars), and Marcia Gay Harden and William Hurt (both Oscar winners), and there is much to admire here.

I made the mistake of checking out the real life story of the film's protagonist, Christopher McCandless before I watched the movie and wished that I hadn't. Knowing too much brought me in with too many preconceived notions, which I had to struggle to overcome as I watched the film. Despite the problems, I found this movie to be richly rewarding. Although it is utterly devoid of humor, a failing that ordinarily turns me off, this strange but beautiful and almost otherworldly film works. It's the best thing Sean Penn has done, by far. Highly recommended.
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-04-2009, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

It's the best thing Sean Penn has done, by far. Highly recommended.

I'm a huge fan of the criminally underrated THE CROSSING GUARD so if what you say is true, I'll be awestruck. I've done a blind-buy of this title during the DeepDiscount 25% sale and am now just waiting for them to get it back in stock to ship...
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-04-2009, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filmmaker View Post

I'm a huge fan of the criminally underrated THE CROSSING GUARD so if what you say is true, I'll be awestruck. I've done a blind-buy of this title during the DeepDiscount 25% sale and am now just waiting for them to get it back in stock to ship...

I saw The Crossing Guard a long time ago but remember little about it, other than that I wasn't blown away. I may take another look sometime, though, if for no other reason than the presence of Jack Nicholson, David Morse, and Anjelica Huston. That's a big time lineup.

I fear that Into the Wild is one of those films that viewers either love or hate. It is beautiful and poetic but it is odd and a little bit sad, too.
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post #15 of 15 Old 08-08-2009, 05:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post


I fear that Into the Wild is one of those films that viewers either love or hate. It is beautiful and poetic but it is odd and a little bit sad, too.

I completely agree with this assessment. This was evident from the dedicated thread over the DVD section. I also agree with your opinion of this film, and that this is Penn's best to date.

sent via Morse code...........

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