By Ryan Parsons | Image property of Paramount Vantage
Into the Wild
When I received Into the Wild on DVD I also received a copy of the book. Considering that I'm a big fan of reading, this might have been a bad idea.
I greatly enjoyed the book. Besides the author's interesting estimates on what Christopher McCandless might have been up to when away from civilization, the book provides a detailed journey into the psyche of people just like Christopher/Alex. By the time you turn the last page, you can honestly say that you at least understood Alex, no matter how naive or off the charts he may have seemed.
The film, on the other hand, didn't exactly do it for me. Sticking close to the book with its estimates on what McCandless was up to in the wild, I found it to be less thought provoking than the book.
On DVD: Into the Wild
Like just about every adaptation out there, Into the Wild misses some of the scope that the source material had. Some of the nature shots lasted way too long, causing me to phase out from time to time. While I wanted to learn more about McCandless, there were times when I thought I was watching a Greenpeace training video. Expect hippies without televisions to own this on DVD.
When it comes to special features, the DVD comes with less than McCandless was willing to take into the Alaska backcountry.
Disclaimer: I read the entire book immediately before watching Into the Wild, so the film had a lot to live up to. If I had given some time between reading and watching, I'd expect that I would have liked the film a lot.