intothewildblurayThere are films that want to give you a surprise ending with a monumental buildup towards the final act. Then there are other films that are not shy about how things will end in the film. ‘Into The Wild’ is one of those films that does not hide the fact that our main character has some internal issues and things do not bode well for him by films end. Sean Penn would adapt the non-fiction book ‘Into the Wild’ as a feature length film. This is a true story that really takes you for one wild ride as you become connected with main character.

The story begins in the year 1990 with Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) having just freshly graduated from college. Christopher is sitting at dinner with his parents telling them that he plans to attend law school. As things seemed to be great for him and parents that he was going to attend law school, the next day Christopher actually does the complete opposite. Coming from a wealthy family, the McCandless have a nice fortune. The next day Christopher takes everything out of his wallet destroying his ID and then burning any money left in his wallet. Then he proceeds to deplete his savings to donate the money.

He hops in his beat up vehicle and begins his road trip to Alaska, but before long the car dies out on him. At this point he decides that he will make the rest of his trip on foot and also hitchhike when needed. We are taken through his adventures leading to his destination as he meets several people along the way. Even though these people welcome him as family, he still had a goal in mind that wouldn’t stop him. Christopher wanted to just leave society behind trying to see how life would be without the things we depend on everyday.

Christopher only brought with him the bare essentials that he thought would be enough for him to survive. A book of plants, rice, and a rifle were the only items that he thought were needed to survive. I guess that he was wrong as after living in a bus in the wilderness of Alaska from April 1992 to when his body was found in September 1992 by a group of hunters. He didn’t last that long off of his supplies and he was said to only have weighed about sixty something pounds when they found his body. During those last few months of living on his own, he had nobody to communicate or interact with except himself. He did keep a journal depicting everyday in it, which is how much of his adventure was put to book and script.

It is one thing to test yourself in the wilderness by letting others know what you are doing. But this guy just went off on his own without his parents or even friends knowing what he was doing. I almost look at this story as a case of suicide, because how was he going to survive and walk away from this ordeal based with no supplies. Personally I don’t think this guy was all there to undertake an adventure like this if it was his true intent. One could be sitting there reading the book or viewing the film thinking that this guy is trying to commit suicide.
Movie Content: 4/5

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Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The print is the same exact as the HD DVD as it was one of the final releases for the format. The film is very scenic and offers some nice looking details. Colors are natural and a tad bit soft, but they look just right for this presentation. There is subtle grain throughout the film which helps give the movie some grit feel to it.
Video Quality: 4/5

The audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. Do not expect an aural experience going into this film as it is much more dialogue driven. The surrounds mainly have environmental sound effects that are pushed through giving the viewer that sound and feel as if they are in the wilderness surrounded by animals and birds. The soundtrack and score dominates the film quite a bit as Eddie Vedder provided music specifically for this film. Vedder’s music is very engaging and fits in well with the film.
Audio Quality: 4/5

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Special Features

  • Into the Wild: The Story, The Characters (22:15)
  • Into the Wild: The Experience (16:58)
  • Theatrical Trailer (3:00) [HD]

All of the special features are presented in standard definition, except for the theatrical trailer which is in high definition. This is a bit disappointing since there are only 3 features available, while the 2 disc DVD version actually has a whole set of features.
Special Features: 2/5

Final Thoughts:

‘Into The Wild’ is an emotional ride for the viewer and for Christopher McCandless. One of the final HD DVD releases is released on Blu-ray with a same transfer for audio and video. I highly recommend this film as a rental as it is a rather interesting film based off of a true story.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 (Rental)