Tag Archives: Jena Malone

Into the Wild captures the spirit

16 Aug


Sean Penn waited nearly a decade to make the  film about a driven young man’s desire to abandon his comfortable, civilized world and embark on an adventure that would lead him to the Alaskan wilderness. Into the Wild is based on Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction novel about the inspiring, but tragic story of Christopher McCandless. Penn assembles a thought-provoking film filled with refreshing messages about life, passion, and the pursuit of happiness.

The film intermingled a narrative that can become tedious and the 148 minute run time should have been addressed, but there is no denying Emile Hirsch’s hauntingly powerful performance as Christopher. It keeps the film engaging and on a personal level. His journey of self-realization is unforgettable and his decisions become a topic of debate concerning liberation and destruction. Love it or hate it, the film captures the life and death of young man trying to live life on his terms.


Adam’s Grade: A-

Chuck’s Grade: A-

Donnie Darko: The Director’s Cut fills in the holes

22 Feb


I am torn between the theatrical release and the director’s cut of Donnie Darko. The theatrical version left me perplexed and wondering what just happened.  Richard Kelly’s updated version fills in many of the holes that made the original such an off the wall cool movie. Both versions are good, but I like the director’s cut a little better because it allows me to fully appreciate the intricacies of the plot and the mysterious performance by Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko). The main addition to the script is the explanation of the book, The Philosophy of Time Travel and how the Primary Universe and Tangent Universe are connected by vortexes made of water. Trust me, it does make much more sense and audiences still have to interpret the strange events for themselves, but the theory provides a more solid footing. The film is a contemporary cult classic that has become a transcendent piece of filmmaking and staple for most DVD collections.


Adam’s Grade: B+

Chuck’s Grade: B