Monday, May 4, 2009

Into the Wild and Then Back to Work

Since I haven't posted anything in a while, I thought I'd at least put something up today. I have no fabulous news about my book projects. No fabulous news about anything, to be precise. Same old boring stuff. I am in the middle of reading a long awaited book at the moment and havent had/made much time for anything else. I know that I probably shouldnt be reading much right now. I've got a book to write, dammit. But, I can't seem to stop myself. I have a mountain of books to read and not enough time to read them. I need two or three of me to get it all done!

One of these days I have to prioritize, though. Because writing is important to me. Right now I have a sick husband and a busy day job, so not much writing has gotten done this past week.

So, with all the swine flu and working and reading and procrastinating going on, I made time to watch a movie this weekend that I'd gotten from Netflix 2 weeks ago (yes, I am that person that has the movie that you want but hasnt returned it yet, so you have to keep waiting on it). I'd heard about this story but never really though much about it. If you havent seen this movie, do. It is really good. There are parts that make you happy. Parts that make you angry. Parts that are sad. And then there are the parts that really make you think. The kind of deep reflection where you wonder and question things about yourself and the kind of person you are. Anyway...It is based on a true story of a young man trying to find himself in the early 90's. If you don't know of the story, don't google it, just watch this movie first. You'll see why. I don't want to ruin anything. Sean Penn directed and I really do love Sean Penn's work!
Happy Monday! (total contradiction of words...blagh!)


  1. Wow, thanks for posting this! I have heard of this and have been wanting to watch it so, it is good to hear that it is a good watch! I am also a bit of a Kristen Stewart fan ever since Twilight... ;-] Thanks for passing on the information.

    I hope your Monday went well! I lost my favorite writing pen today so my day was not so good... I may even blog about it, LOL! I have lots of things written down to blog about, but only had time for a couple last weekend. Thanks for checking in. I have been checking in with yours too. ;-]

  2. Yes, Kristen Stewart is in this but only for a short time. I should warn you that the movie is 2.5 hrs long. I don't know why, but I am really bugged by this story. It is definitly worth watching. I love Sean Penn, he's one of my faves. He did an excellent job telling this story.
    I also recently watched Cake Eaters w/Kristen. Very different from other characters she played. It's an indie film. I liked it and thought it was sweet. Might want to check it out too!
    I have favorite writing pens also so when they die on me or I cant find one, I feel ruined until I can get another in my hands! I have no excuse for not getting busy on my books. I am such a procrastinator! Always have been. Maybe if I actually gave myself deadlines I would be pressured into getting some good work done. That's always when I did my best writing for school projects.
    Now I am going to mosey on over to check your blog out...

  3. Thank you for the info! And for the Cake Eaters bit too, I heard of that one as well... Lots to watch and read right now!

    I'm right there with you on the pressure and deadlines mode. I just wish I could turn that into a more steady, productive mode without the pressure... Don't we all, eh? ;-)

    I just responded to your comment on my blog so I won't reiterate all that here except to say I'm at and my email is I'm also on facebook as I also mention. Oh, and I posted my Indie Buys and some other tidbits... AND I forgot to post, but I did see Wolverine and it was really good (I thought). We saw it Sunday afternoon and there's one character, Gambit, who was awesome (and cute)!! ;-)

    Okay, I'm up way too late and have to go to work tomorrow (darn day job, I keep saying that, yikes!) so I'm going to bed, but I'm sure we will be in touch soon. Take care.

  4. My best friend just saw Wolverine also and said Gambit is pretty cute. Cant wait to see it!

  5. Prioritizing is my greatest challenge, as a writer and as a human being. Keep fighting the good fight : )

  6. Yes, Alissa, Gambit was pretty awesome! He's from Friday Night Lights if you watch that at all. Also, I just re-read a comment you made about Into the Wild, are you still bugged by it? Maybe I'll try to rent it this weekend and then we can chat about it. ;-)

    I agree with Klo too; I'm searching for BALANCE, in writing and in my life! It is so nice to have the encouragement from other writers as yourselves. Keep up the good writing & living, and thanks!

  7. I am not so much bugged by it now...I just keep thinking about the guy. Dwelling on it at times. I dont want to say too much until you see it. I've since looked up more about the real story, but I am just...unsatisfied, I guess is the best word for it. Do rent it! I hope you like it. It is very long. I would be curious to have other takes on it.

  8. I finally rented and then finished this over a few days... WOW, I'm glad I finally watched it. I LOVED most of it, except the last 26 minutes or so of course, oh, and the meat part, but that's all I'll say about that gross part. I think I know why you are bugged, but do tell if I'm off base. I don't want to say too much either in case others still want to see it. I have considered how it could have or I thought should have ended, but I really think there is no other way. I know! I said it, yes. I can very much relate to him. I was the oldest and grew up under a lot of pressure and always rose to everyone's expectations, but at some point, we have to be allowed to do things our own way, be who we are and not who others, including well intentioned parents, think we are. I could and will go on if you'd like, but let me know if any of this rings true for you. I didn't go as drastic as the wilderness in Alaska, but I did once leave California for a summer in Boston that I almost didn't come back from. I packed EVERYTHING I owned that was important, seriously. But in the end I realized the same thing, that there were some things I couldn't live without to be happy. I'm glad I didn't have the same fate. So I saw the end coming and I struggled with it, but somehow felt freedom in knowing, or at least knowing enough, of what he was learning and saying and writing about. Overall, it was very well written, message speaks for itself, and I of course loved the "joni mitchell" Kristen Stewart part. I'm finding I love most of her movies, she picks great stuff to work on. I also ordered the soundtrack and should get it in the mail this week. It's one of those movies I'll always remember. Let me know if I missed anything here or if there were other things you thought of or saw that maybe I missed!

  9. Spoiler abound if anyone else happens to read this!
    I absolutely loved the movie. I watched it twice. Once by myself and then again with my husband because I knew he'd appreciate it. What mostly bugs me are some of the choices he made. I can completely understand and appreciate the need to be who you are and to get away from a way of life you arent happy with and "find" yourself. All of that I get. I can get inside his head for most of it. Although, I am not of the hippy mentality myself. The carefree, make friends with anyone kind of person who can make good out of all kinds of situations. That's just not me. But I get it.
    It bugs me because this is, of course, a true story. This is a real guys life, not a made up tale. It bugs me that he didn't survive!! I sort of knew going into it that there was this guy who went into the Alaska wilderness and never returned. I just thought he was never found. Just disappeared. But still, somehow, I convinced myself that this wasnt that story...that he was going to make it home ok. It really started bugging me when I googled more about this guy. Based on the items of his that were found, I think they did an excellent job telling his story. Of course, some things were over dramatized to make the movie exciting, but it was pretty dead on with what was believed to have happened. Vince Vaughan's character guy is where they confirmed most of the info. The words that were written across the screen during the movie were Chris' actual words. The last letter he wrote to that guy. They apparently became really good friends. Enough so that they met up with eachother on more than one occasion. I think what sucks the most is how CLOSE he was to making it out alive. The odds were all just against him, and that breaks my heart. I kept saying to myself, "if only he'd...", but none of that matters. If he'd just taken a map! He would have seen that not far from where he stayed there was a ranger station that was fully stocked! He could have made it thru the winter and had food. And yes, the meat part was awful. Really gross. But I think that part was important to the story so you could feel his frustration and panic at not being able find food and take care of himself like he'd anticipated. It helps to understand how his mental state started to decline. But it certainly doesnt make it any easier to watch. Blech! Also, if he'd only had a compass! He could have easily found a way out. And the biggest thing that absolutely kills me is the part in the movie when he finally decided he was happy. He'd accomplished what he'd set out to. He missed home. He missed his family. He set out and got to the river which was now rapidly flowing and nothing like when he first trekked across. He just turns around and gives up. He's defeated. Of course, no one knows what actually happened other than his extremely brief one line journal entries written in the back of his plant book. I cant remember now what the exact mileage was, but it was something like 4mi down the river there was a hand cranked trolley that crosses the river and leads out!! Ah! That drives me nuts! How didnt he find that? I think the first thing I would do if I was lost/trapped near a river would be to follow it several miles in either direction hoping that the river would narrow somewhere and make it possible to cross. 4mi isnt that far! But, I guess when you are already weak and on the verge of giving up, maybe that never crossed his mind.

  10. And the 2nd biggest thing that bugs me is that literally within like 2 weeks of his dying, 2 or 3 different groups of people hiked by the bus! They are the people that found him. So, if he'd just been strong enough to hold on for a few more weeks, he could have been rescued! They said there was a sign on the door of the bus that said he was out hunting for berries, that he was critically ill and needed help and that it wasnt a joke, but to please not leave him because he needed help. How sad is that?! The actor did a wonderful job making the viewer FEEL all of those emotions. The hopelessness and lonliness. *sniffle* I am getting myself all worked up again! They did show a photo that he'd taken of himself at the end. That's what made it all real for me. This really happened to someone. How awful. I saw a few more pics of him online. I think there were only a few photos from his roll of film that came out and the rest of the rolls of his film were all exposed and able to be processed. There is one where he holds up his goodbye sign saying he had a good life, etc. He was so thin, even with layers of clothes you could tell. When they found his body, granted it decayed for 2 weeks, it only weighed like 67 lbs. How terrible.
    Ok. Let me know what you think...
    Next movie review: Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaborations (haha)

  11. Wow, you are really good with the movie reviews, excellent!

    Okay, yeah, the ending sucked, and I didn't know some of what you posted here, about the trolley downstream or the ranger station, both of those are unbelievable! I think he was just so weak that he didn't think he could make it back to the bus if he didn't find anything in another direction. I think the bus became his safety zone. I would also think that as soon as the meat went bad like that, that he would have started to think, "okay, I can't do this on my own" and I was hoping he'd turn back then, but it all went downhill from there. The scene that got me the most, was when he was standing in the river or near the banks shooting his gun and saying where's the meat now, where did all the animals go, or something to that affect. I mean, that broke my heart!!!

    I guess though that there was a part of me that agreed with the sister when she said that he had his own story to tell and that no one could do it for him. I do wish he'd made it out though. I kept thinking after, and still now, if only he'd had a cell phone or that someone could have even dropped him a charged one every so often so that he could call it quits when he was ready and someone could have flown in and gotten him. I know, not very realistic, but it seems that that friend of his or someone should or could have checked in on him more often. I think he just had everyone so convinced that he was going to do this no matter what that they all just let him, but really someone SHOULD have thought, "okay, this is long enough." You know?

    I truly cried when he was flashing back to his parents and he was thinking "would you get it now even if I was with you?" I mean, wow, it's true though, would they have gotten it if he had come home at that point? I hope so, but we'll never know. Crazy, but amazing that at least after all of that his story was told. I mean what if it wasn't and he went through all of that, that would be worse. But, still, he was so young and so smart and it was a waste that he didn't make it through. Ugh!

    Great post! :-) Sad story though...