No love for "Into the Wild" ? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 108 Old 03-28-2009, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Some people really just can't stand the idea of a story about someone who does something that they wouldn't do in the same circumstances.

No, not at all.
It is about spending 2 hours of one's life empathizing with idiocy...or not.


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As presented in this movie, Christopher McCandless is a very flawed character. Penn doesn't shy away from depicting that. The kid is naive. He makes bad decisions. He follows through on a dangerous course of action even though he should have known better, and he doesn't realize the mistake until it's too late to save himself. That's what makes the story a tragedy, as in the classical form that's been used as the basis of drama ever since the ancient Greeks.

Did Oedipus make good decisions? How about Shakespeare's Hamlet or MacBeth? What ginormous pieces of crap those stories were, right?

This exact dramatic form has been in active use for literally thousands of years, and yet some people still seem to be utterly incapable of recognizing or understanding it. It boggles the mind...

I wouldn't say tragedies are not relevant in cinema.

When we READ a Greek Tragedy or Shakespeare, our minds attempt to imagine the story...within our imperfect understanding of the context of the times they are set in.
Of course, none of us have actually been or seen Greece @ 800 B.C. or Elizabethan England.
Nevertheless, our imaginations try anyway.

Into The Wild is set in our times....in a world we know (not an ancient one).
Therefore, we can easily understand the context (unlike Oedipus's Thebes).

An Alaskan winter is something most of us understand, without actually being there.
As I have said before, I live in an environment similar to the one shown in the film.
It is difficult to sit and watch every single rule of survival being broken by someone portrayed as being bright by the filmmaker.
I don't feel sympathetic to his situation...I got better things to do.
This is why, for me, Into The Wild doesn't resonate.

As always: YMMV.

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post #92 of 108 Old 03-28-2009, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

An Alaskan winter is something most of us understand, without actually being there.
As I have said before, I live in an environment similar to the one shown in the film.
It is difficult to sit and watch every single rule of survival being broken by someone portrayed as being bright by the filmmaker.
I don't feel sympathetic to his situation...I got better things to do.
This is why, for me, Into The Wild doesn't resonate.

As always: YMMV.

The vast majority of us live in environments nowhere near as harsh as the Alaskan wilderness, especially at its most extreme, and wilderness survival is something that has been romanticized since well before the comforts provided by the industrial revolution.

While McCandless may likely have been a bright young man, that really has no correlation with his level of ignorance of his intended destination. Intelligence and knowledge are at best indirectly related.

I, being in both the unenviable yet rewarding position of preparing a 20 year-old young man for eventual life on his own, can vouch for the instability of males at that age. For a time, they are invincible and immortal in their own minds. There is often little reasoning behind the decisions they make, and those decisions sometimes cost them and their families dearly.

"Into the Wild" was most definitely a tragedy, and one that at times was difficult to watch. I saw aspects of my own son in McCandless' behavior, and, while being fortunate enough not to have experienced it directly, understand his parents' grief.
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post #93 of 108 Old 03-28-2009, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jdrumm View Post

I, being in both the unenviable yet rewarding position of preparing a 20 year-old young man for eventual life on his own, can vouch for the instability of males at that age. For a time, they are invincible and immortal in their own minds. There is often little reasoning behind the decisions they make, and those decisions sometimes cost them and their families dearly.

Yep, sh*t happens on a daily basis, but not everyone gets a movie made about their experience.

I’m fortunate I didn’t kill anyone or myself (I’m not concerned about myself) because of my ignorance and carelessness when I was younger. I’m thankful I avoided those life-changing experiences.
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post #94 of 108 Old 03-28-2009, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by oink View Post

When we READ a Greek Tragedy or Shakespeare, our minds attempt to imagine the story...within our imperfect understanding of the context of the times they are set in.
Of course, none of us have actually been or seen Greece @ 800 B.C. or Elizabethan England.
Nevertheless, our imaginations try anyway.

Into The Wild is set in our times....in a world we know (not an ancient one).
Therefore, we can easily understand the context (unlike Oedipus's Thebes).

Do you not understand that the examples I cited were written to be performed in front of audiences for whom the story would be contemporary? Are you trying to say that the entire concept of a tragic story doesn't apply to the modern world anymore, and that it would only work if set in some magical far-away time that the audience can't relate to?

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post #95 of 108 Old 03-28-2009, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

Or maybe just not entertained by it?

Entertainment is relative. I can't possibly fathom how anyone could be entertained watching a movie like Paul Blart: Mall Cop. The fact that it exists at all makes me weep for humanity. And yet it's made $150 million dollars at the box office so far. Go figure.

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post #96 of 108 Old 03-28-2009, 02:52 PM
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Do you not understand that the examples I cited were written to be performed in front of audiences for whom the story would be contemporary?

Yes, I do understand.
My point does not take into account interpretations audiences of the past had for those works (it would only be a guess, after all).
Rather, from today's perspective...looking back.


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Are you trying to say that the entire concept of a tragic story doesn't apply to the modern world anymore, and that it would only work if set in some magical far-away time that the audience can't relate to?

Absolutely not.
Where would written literature be without it?
Where would opera be?
I can, and do, sit 3+ hours to watch opera at its most tragic.
Heck, most opera IS tragic....and I can't get enough of it.

BTW, I watched The Kite Runner last night and cried my eyes out.
The wife and I went through an entire box of Kleenex.

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post #97 of 108 Old 03-28-2009, 03:42 PM
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BTW, I watched The Kite Runner last night and cried my eyes out.
The wife and I went through an entire box of Kleenex.

Did you read the book? If you haven’t, I would recommend it. I did, and shed a few tears, but the movie didn’t emote the same response in several areas. I thought the book was very powerful, more so than the movie. YMMV.

His follow-up book was also very good.
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post #98 of 108 Old 03-29-2009, 02:13 AM
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Did you read the book? If you haven't, I would recommend it. I did, and shed a few tears, but the movie didn't emote the same response in several areas. I thought the book was very powerful, more so than the movie. YMMV.

His follow-up book was also very good.

I haven't read any of his books...but I will now.

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post #99 of 108 Old 04-02-2009, 12:20 PM
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The movie is about a post-adolescent young man who leaves a dysfunctional home to follow his dream. His "loser pals" are simply some folks that, for better or worse, have chosen alternative lifestyles. I doubt most of them think of themselves as losers; it's distressing that some can so cavalierly categorize them.

Penn has provided us with a moving story about an individual that decided to follow his own path unapologetically, showing both the positive and negative impact on those he meets and those who love him. I found Chris McCandless portrayed in some scenes as noble/heroic, in others foolish. Arrogant? I didn't see that. Idiotic? Yes, at times . . . like any young person.

As far as length is concerned: There are some films that are enhanced by a longer and more thoughtful treatment. This is one of them. One of the most affecting films of the past decade . . .


I thought the main character was dumb. Sure he got to follow his heart but he should have taken that money he had and put it to good use. To die that way when he didn't even have to is dumb any way you cut it.
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post #100 of 108 Old 04-02-2009, 07:16 PM
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I thought the main character was dumb. Sure he got to follow his heart but he should have taken that money he had and put it to good use. To die that way when he didn't even have to is dumb any way you cut it.

Dumb? I don't think so. Ignorant and overly optimistic . . . absolutely.

There are plenty of corpses on the climb to Everest's summit. Were they dumb?
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post #101 of 108 Old 04-04-2009, 01:54 PM
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Finally I saw this. I would agree with those who thought this was tragic, rather then dumb. There is a line Chris/Alexander says to the Hal Hallbrook character that how people define their lives through their personal relationships, and how they should change that. Yet this very movie concentrated about the relationships he had with the people he met during his traveling, and how they were indeed affected by it. I didn't think he was dumb, I think he was naive and certainly unprepared for his final destination, and yes his death was unnecessary and tragic. Of course for those who constantly devalue human life [at the beginning of it or at the end] with their SP ideology could easily dismiss this as "dumb" and passing judgement, something they never do when there is a real issue is at steak however. Interestingly Penn a known SP stayed true to that and offered very little judgment on his character even portraying him as a "tragic hero", however he also abandoned his larger political views on society in general[exception maybe of the parents] and concentrated on the main character instead though he left the narration to the sister as far his motives for his actions, which wasn't defined by him clearly at all. I also like EV's music here though I've never been a big fan of his. I also like the style of the cinematography and editing as well.
This was a well made movie IMO. YMMV.

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post #102 of 108 Old 04-05-2009, 12:43 AM
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There are plenty of corpses on the climb to Everest's summit. Were they dumb?

Uhhhhhhh......

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post #103 of 108 Old 04-17-2009, 07:13 AM
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I just watched this a couple of days ago. Really liked it and am planning on picking up the book. I vaguely remember this story when it originally broke.

But I guess I missed why Vince Vaughn's character was arrested by the FBI. I didn't think I had zoned out or anything, but was confused when all of a sudden they swooped in and hauled him off.
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post #104 of 108 Old 04-17-2009, 08:02 AM
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Wasn't illegal Cable Boxes?

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post #105 of 108 Old 04-17-2009, 08:07 AM
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Wasn't illegal Cable Boxes?

Cable boxes? Ok, maybe I did zone out, because i thought he was running a wheat farm....I don't remember nuttin' 'bout no stinkin' boxes....
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post #106 of 108 Old 04-17-2009, 08:50 AM
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Cable boxes? Ok, maybe I did zone out, because i thought he was running a wheat farm....I don't remember nuttin' 'bout no stinkin' boxes....

He ran a farm, but he also ran a side business stealing cable.

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post #107 of 108 Old 04-17-2009, 09:01 AM
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He ran a farm, but he also ran a side business stealing cable.

Ok. I guess I should've rewound. I somehow missed that entire thing.
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post #108 of 108 Old 06-30-2012, 01:19 AM
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Resurrecting an old thread, but I just got around to seeing this one, and it flattened me completely. I thought it was incredibly powerful. Can't believe I never heard of it before.

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