The best thing about Jon Krakauer's book is how deeply conflicted he is about McCandless's life and death. Like Krakauer, I found a romantic appeal in McCandless's desire to shuck off all the trappings of modern life, but I also found him foolishly idealistic and incredibly selfish. The wide-eyed stupidity of Penn's movie is kind of mind-boggling, really. Penn is well beyond the age where it's excusable to be taken in hook, line, and sinker by McCandless's flavor of self-destructive, adolescent idealism.
Right on on the music, too. I heard Vedder's soundtrack before I saw the movie and liked it well enough. It's horribly inartful and heavy-handed in the movie, though. Then again, much as I love Pearl Jam, Vedder's lyricals make him come across like a 5-year-old with a martyr complex. Good thing Stone Gossard and Mike McCready kick ass.