Check out our review of this inspirational true story and chronicle of one woman's 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to reclaim her lost life.
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 115 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadowski,
Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallee
Written by: Nich Hornby based on the book by Cheryl Strayed
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 31, 2015
"Put yourself in the way of beauty"
Wild recounts the reckless behavior of Cheryl Strayed (Witherspoon), who makes a rash decision to embark on a challenging trek across the Pacific Crest Trail. With absolutely no experience, she sets out to hike more than a thousand miles all on her own — in what becomes an unforgettable journey of transformation and redemption that strengthens and ultimately heals her.
Based on the best-selling book by Cheryl Strayed and featuring Academy Award-nominated performances by Reese Witherspoon (Best Actress) and co-star Laura Dern (Best Supporting Actress), Wild brings Strayed’s inspirational true story to life. It seems that of late we have seen a host of true life stores brought the big screen. This is yet another that until this release I hadn’t heard of but that of course doesn’t make it any less engaging. This is a very personal story and the film aptly conveys that as we follow along with Cheryl’s sojourn along the Pacific Crest Trail. Her path is one of rediscovery after reaching the bottom point in a life that had gone off the rails after a personal tragedy. The narrative is reflective in nature as it portrays its events in both real time and via flashbacks that allow us to understand Cheryl’s pain, motivations and the depths of her resolve during her transformation.
I watched the film with my family and we were committed right from the start. It was easy to connect with Cheryl and while her actions may have been eyebrow raising at times, rooting for her was easy. The story has an emotional center and speaks to the human condition, on at least, some identifiable levels. I found elements of the plot to be thrilling, heartwarming and supportively melodramatic. I loved Reese Witherspoon’s portrayal as it wholly grounds the spirit of the film. The shooting locations are as integral to the story as the casting and direction, and add an enriching element that can’t be overlooked. I really enjoyed Wild and found it to be a resonating and compelling film that tells an inspirational story.
The Wild Blu-ray and DVD are packed with behind-the-scenes featurettes, an interactive trail map, audio commentary and deleted scenes, all designed to take audiences deeper into Nick Hornby’s adaptation of Strayed’s first-person memoir, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” which recounts her hike along the PCT, which stretches from Mexico to Canada.
The release also includes a chance for fans to go behind-the-scenes in “The Real Location Is The Best Location,” which delves into the authentic shooting process at the Pacific Crest Trail – the actual location where Cheryl Strayed began her journey. In “The Real Cheryl Strayed,” audiences can learn about the woman who inspired it all. Book and movie fans will also receive a touching story extension in a collectible booklet from author Cheryl Strayed when they purchase the movie on Blu-ray.
The rating is for sexual content, nudity, drug use, and language.
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)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
- DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
Wild comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.
This is a reference quality high definition video presentation that features resplendent colors and deep, image penetrating resolution. Images boast transparent imagery, with defining sharpness that highlights fine object detail. The sweeping pans and vista views of the various rustic landscapes offer three dimensional depth, lucid visual acuity and an almost tangible reach out and touch perspective. Contrast is boldly applied which adds punch to colors and crispness to the sun drenched sequences. Blacks and shadow detail are strong which provides dark scenes with excellent dynamic range and depth of field. Colors are rich and vibrant, with deep, beautifully rendered primaries that stand out but appear natural and tonally delineated. The flashback sequences have a noticeably stylized visual aesthetic that tamps down the contrast and chromatic palette but otherwise looks solid. All in all this is a terrific video presentation that compliments the source material.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s elements. The eclectic music score, coupled along with well integrated discrete and ambient sound effects, play an intricate role in the presentation. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is notable. There isn’t perpetual use of the rear channels and subwoofer however when applied the effects are both involving and emboldening. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I enjoyed this audio presentation and as with the video felt that it complimented the film’s elements quite nicely.
- (HD) 5 deleted scenes with optional director commentary
- (HD) The real Cheryl Strayed – 8 minute featurette
- (HD) The real location is the best location – 8 minute featurette
- (HD) How much does a monster weigh? – 3 minute featurette
- The Pacific Crest Trail interactive map
- Promotional Featurettes (7 segments totaling 26 minutes)
- Bringing the book in the wild
- Reese Witherspoon in the wild
- Wild: 94 days, 1100 miles
- Directing Wild
- Making Wild
- Pacific Crest Trail
- Real locations
- Filmmaker audio commentary
- (HD) Experience the Pacific Crest Trail: A special message from Cheryl Strayed
- (HD) Trailer
- Digital HD Copy
Based on the best-selling book by Cheryl Strayed Wild is a compelling and inspirational film that aptly conveys the very personal and true story of one woman’s path of rediscovery and ultimate redemption. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring top notch high definition video, excellent lossless sound and a comprehensive supplemental package that fans will enjoy. Wild is a film that is well worth your time and come recommended on Blu-ray.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package