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  1. #41
    CDT - 2013, PCT - 2009, AT - 1300 miles done burger's Avatar
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    I gave the movie 2.5/5 stars. I hated the book (1/5 stars at best), so this was much better. But it's probably not worth seeing unless you loved the book or are really into seeing movies about hiking.

    On the plus side, all of the actors were good in their roles, and despite her America's-sweetheart looks, Reese Witherspoon did a good job of portraying a woman whose life spiraled out of control. Despite their being only 3 scenes filmed on the actual trail (Tehachapi Pass, Crater Lake, and the Bridge of the Gods), the cinematography was really nice--the lighting was just perfect in almost every scene.

    That said, I felt no emotional attachment to Cheryl's character in the film. Having done thru-hikes, I guess I don't see how you can walk yourself to healthy. I find that the trail is a great distraction from real life but you are too busy hiking to battle your personal demons. So I didn't find it believable that Cheryl could go from pregnant heroin addict to healthy, functioning person in 4 months by hiking alone. I didn't see how what happened to her on the trail (which really isn't very much other than blisters and encounters with odd characters, benign and otherwise) made her better.

    Also, while there was a lot of nice cinematography, if I hadn't hiked the PCT before, the movie would lead me to suspect that the PCT isn't very attractive. The locations they filmed in Oregon were not impressive. The real PCT has incredible views almost every day, but you see few landscapes worth mentioning in the movie, with the exception of a brief shot of Crater Lake. If the actual PCT were as unattractive as what they showed in the movie, heroin and anonymous sex might seem like a better option.

  2. #42
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    I saw the movie on Christmas Day. Overall, I thought it portrayed a hiker's journey very well. The scenery was fantastic, the issues she had such as the wrong gas for her stove, boots too small, too heavy a pack, were all very realistic. And I'm glad that she completed her goal. I also realized that they had to have flashbacks to various aspects of her life in order to show what motivated her. I liked the movie. However, I thought that the shooting up and the 'doggie style' scenes were a bit too explicit.

  3. #43
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlyriser26 View Post
    Saw the movie last week. I do not know how closely it followed the book, but it sure seemed to portray most men as sexual predatat ors.
    Huh? You mean like her fellow hikers who were totally respectful of her? Or her husband? Her brother? She perceived the first trail angel - man who took her home where he and his wife fed her - as menacing at first, but he proved a gentleman and kind and supportive. That was about her perception.

    To my view, much of the film gently shows that many of Cheryl's fears and preconceptions were mostly in her head. But remember, the film's about her hiking out of a lot of bad junk in her head. So that fits. ...
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

  4. #44
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    First of all, I have not read the book.

    But, I thought the movie had way too many flashbacks.
    Also, I thought the ending was pretty much a bummer.
    She just talks about how she would get married nearby, and have children.
    I think the movie misses out on the most important day
    of Cheryl Strayed's writing career. That was the day Oprah decides
    to have "Wild" in her new book club as the first book.
    Instead of having so many flashbacks, they should have
    had a flash forward to end the movie.

  5. #45
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    I went to this last night with my two daughters, they hadn't read the book but I had.

    I wasn't sure what my reaction to the movie would be, but I must say - I liked it very much. I'm not sure that if I were a non-backpacker I would have appreciated all of it, but it's the very first time I've ever seen "backpacking life" portrayed on a screen so that was funny and cool. Although there were many sad or upsetting scenes, the one super-frightening one (for me) related to the two hunters at the watering hole. That brought back some very, very scary memories.

    My daughters, who of course didn't know the story beforehand, said two things about it - first, that every time there was a flashback to Chery's pre-hike life, it made them "nervous" because they didn't know what crazy thing would happen next. They also said they didn't like the portrayal of Cheryl as completely clueless and inept, as compared to the male hikers who were all shown as competent and secure. I said that was one of the points of the story, that Cheryl had gone out, unprepared, and developed later into someone who had a much better idea of what she was doing... but I did want to share that perspective also, from people who were strangers to her story.

    Jane

  6. #46
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    I just finished the book over Christmas. One really should read it prior to seeing the movie, and I usually don't say that. However, to gain an understanding of the flashbacks and her personal behavior/struggles, the book allows one time to reflect and perhaps compare our own "experiences" with hers. It's not about backpacking but a journey, backpacking the PCT is the vehicle in the journey.
    I have to give Cheryl praise for her personal courage re: hiking the hike, facing her demons, and writing the book.

  7. #47
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    I really gained a better appreciation for women hikers with the tense situations she had with the hunters or even with the farmer that gave her a meal after she got the wrong fuel. I felt anxious with her. I also wish they had some better shots of the Sierras too, but I understand they weren't easy to reach in a day's hike (as they shouldn't be). There were 6 people in the theater when I saw it, but did not really expect it to be as graphic as it was.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeful_hiker View Post
    I really gained a better appreciation for women hikers with the tense situations she had with the hunters or even with the farmer that gave her a meal after she got the wrong fuel. I felt anxious with her.
    at

    +1. It's one thing to "understand" another's fearful experience conceptually, another to feel that with her. The film, brings you close to that second. I agree it's valuable for male hikers to see for that reason alone.
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

  9. #49
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    I found it pretty boring.

  10. #50

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    I read the book a year ago or so and didn't particularly like it. For me it was not a good as some of the popular hiking books like Stumblin Through or a Walk in the Woods or even the Grandma Gatewood book.

    Today I saw the movie. I liked it better than the book but not enough to recommend. I don't think there is enough hiking in it to be a hiking movie but there is too much hiking in it to be much of anything else. I want to say that its a movie about coming to terms with issues around relationships but it doesn't really address any resolution of the various conflicts.

    There was a few nice views of the PCT (which I've never seen in person) as well as a few of the standby hiker scenes (like a gear shakedown, getting to the post just as they're closing, weird guy encounter on the trail etc) but I don't think there will be much of an increase in PCT traffic because of the movie.

    All that said, I think Reese Witherspoon was amazing in the role. She showed a wide range of emotions as well as what appeared to be genuine marvel at certain times like getting the stove working.
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  11. #51
    Registered User middle to middle's Avatar
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    Hay I loved it. Being an East coast AT guy I enjoyed the West coast view. Green tunnel view expanded was fun. She did a great job I thought. I have hiked and camped a lot and always encounter new stupid mistakes I make for whatever reason. So I am going back to see it again !

  12. #52

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    I saw it today and thought it was great. If you've hiked the PCT and know the trail, it's not a great representation of the trail, the PCT is much more scenic but it was still pretty nice. Kennedy Meadows looked a little different from what it does now but, "Fantastic Ed" or whatever they called him, is still around offering advice. I also used some of the same gear when I first started long distance hiking

    I'm sure there are many hikers that found the trail under similar circumstances as Strayed.

  13. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post

    As to the distance from Mojave to Kennedy Meadows, it's more like 170 than 100 miles - just looked it up. I don't remember that it was clearly said in the movie that CS had 100 miles from her start to KM, or 100 miles from point of meet-up with her first fellow hiker, as shown in the movie. Not a major point.
    IIRC, it's 100 miles from Tehachapi Pass to Walker Pass and another 50 to KM. Of course, most people seeing the movie won't have a clue.

  14. #54
    Springer to Elk Park, NC/Andover to Katahdin
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    I just came from the theater. I really enjoyed it. Unlike too many hikers I went with the right mindset, I knew that is was not a hiking movie, not a PCT movie. It was a personal discovery movie that happened to a female that just happened to hike some of the PCT. The movie was true to Cheryl's experiences. The pack, the gear, the tent, etc. were all the same as Cheryl carried. And yes Sly most people seeing the movie will not have a clue but most people seethe movie could care less. They are not going to see a how to hike movie, they are going to be entertained.
    I am not young enough to know everything.

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    In its 4th week of release, it had grossed a cumulative 16 million dollars.

    In its 2nd week, the hobbit movie has grossed 168 million.

    wild was 7th last week, 10th place this week.

    Its peaked already likely, and is ......not all that great according to box office receipts and the general public.

    Im glad most americans are more interested in make believe hobbits than hiking on a national scenic trail.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 12-30-2014 at 23:43.

  16. #56
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    Apparently Reese is almost certain to be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar.

    http://nypost.com/2014/12/03/with-wi...-in-the-bag-2/

    An Oscar nomination will probably create a "second wind" for the movie and there will be an additional boost if she actually wins. FWIW, I thought that her performance as Strayed was compelling but nowhere near the quality of work she did as June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line".

    So there might be a second peak in interest but it is obviously not a blockbuster by any stretch of the imagination. And I still don't think that the movie glamorizes hiking at all. It actually makes hiking look unpleasant and much more difficult than it would be using modern gear. And the PCT is portrayed rather negatively, being either horribly hot and arid or a rain forest.

    I would be surprised if people who were not already predisposed to want to thru hike the PCT suddenly decide to thru hike or even do long sections the trail because of this movie. Greater interest from day hikers or people getting into overnight backpacking is more likely. That's a good thing in general. The more people aware of the trail and supporting it, the better since political support is needed for national scenic trails among the vast majority of the general population that will never hike more than a few miles.
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  17. #57
    Registered User Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    In its 4th week of release, it had grossed a cumulative 16 million dollars.

    In its 2nd week, the hobbit movie has grossed 168 million.

    wild was 7th last week, 10th place this week.
    That still means a very large number of people have seen the movie relative to how many attempt long distance hikes on the PCT and other long trails. I expect the film can't help but inspire a lot of new hikers. Cheryl, though hiking through her misery, does benefit, as the film portrays, from communing with nature. Doubtless many viewers relatively unacquainted with hiking will think, "If this unhappy person can benefit from such a hike, I bet I can, too."
    The more miles, the merrier!

    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; Northeast 4K: 27/115; AT: 124/2191

  18. #58
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    Just saw the movie after having previously read the book. The following are my thoughts:

    I thought that the book would just OK, but would be viewed as pretty good from a female perspective and a non-hiker perspective.

    The movie wasn't as good as the book. The problems I had with the movie may be based on hiking the AT and on reading about the PCT. I don't think that the nature scenes in the film portrayed the beauty I'd expect based on reading other books. For the most part, anyone who has done a long distance hike got something out of it on a personal level, this was just her version. It was much clearer in the book.

    I saw the movie here in South Florida. I was the only one in a crowded theater who saw the humor in several of the newbie hiking mistake scenes. Those scenes alone make the movie worth seeing for all hikers (at $1.50 from Redbox, but not in the theater).
    2011 Through Hike - May 2nd Springer to Daleville, VA <> August 11 Katahdin back to Daleville, VA on December 22nd.

    http://www.trailjournals.com/abouttime

  19. #59
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    One thing I forgot, I think the movie will do more to discourage hiking the PCT than encourage it.
    2011 Through Hike - May 2nd Springer to Daleville, VA <> August 11 Katahdin back to Daleville, VA on December 22nd.

    http://www.trailjournals.com/abouttime

  20. #60
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    First step to hiking a trail is knowing it exists.

    My guess is that thanks to the movie, there will be at least one person in Frankfurt, Sidney and Lackawanna that hears of the PCT for the fist time.

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