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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World [Blu-ray]
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The opening scenes, of a darkened sea and a silent three-masted 'Surprise', with only night watch on deck and most hands asleep below, gives as true a sense of period as any I could possibly imagine - and captivated me immediately. The attention to detail is remarkable and the handling of the crew; surely one of the most difficult aspects of making such a film; utterly masterful. You can smell the lower deck with the hammocks tight-packed with sleeping, farting, snorting bodies and livestock penned into the same quarters. The battle scenes are stunningly effective and the impact of shot and ball makes you wince in a manner that you'd not think possible in an age where we constantly see violent action and are inured to the sight of exploding flesh. That you could not follow who was who in the melees - or determine quite how the various battles between ships were unfolding - didn't matter, because that is exactly how such actions are in reality. Who knows how many died by friendly fire in the confusion of those hand-to-hand encounters? The percentage must have been sizable, as it is even today.
Russel Crowe's performance as the utterly resolute and masterful sailor, 'Lucky' Jack Aubrey, is truly brilliant. His English accent falters little and he gives the role all the subtlety required of a character whose own subtlety is not immediately evident.Read more ›
Along for the ride we experience sailing, sea tactics, and life on board a ship of this era. The apprenticeship approach to schooling officers during the Napoleonic era placed children on board fighting vessels. We even see a brief glimpse of a lesson in navigation Captain Aubrey is giving the young midshipmen. Life in harm's way as the sea becomes a battlefield spares neither young nor old. The crowding, stale food, and mental toll that are a fact of life on vessels that are at sea for long periods of time are graphically portrayed. The mood is lightened by the exhilaration of the hunt and moments of courage, kindness, and Aubrey's penchant for terrible puns, which fans of O'Brian's books will recognize.
Dr. Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany), the side kick of this famous duo, provides a counterpoint to Aubrey's sense of duty. Through him we see medicine of the period grope its way toward the future. As an amateur naturalist, Dr.Read more ›
This is a vivid, exciting tale of naval warfare, but it's also a satisfying and moving portrayal of a unique community: the company of a warship. The film is full of stirring action scenes, but it is equally rich in the details of the men's everyday life: their food, shipboard entertainment, naval tradition, etc. It's a sweaty, muscular portrait that really puts you in the midst of this fascinating world.
Weir gets superb performances from the large ensemble cast. Crowe won my heart as the captain: he portrays a man who is tough and witty, but also humane and reasonable. Paul Bettany plays the ship's surgeon, both a loyal friend and verbal sparring partner for the captain; it's a marvelously realized relationship. The rest of the cast rises to the high mark set by these excellent performers; Max Pirkis in particular shines as a courageous young midshipman.
There are some intense scenes of violence and combat surgery. But this material is not gratuitous, and is handled with care by Weir, who never loses sight of his characters' humanity. And the film is also about much more than war; it's also about exploring a distant land and seeing wondrous sights. There are nice moments of humor to balance out the film's serious themes of military discipline, ethics and tactics. Overall, M&C is a rousing adventure story, told with heart. As a Navy veteran myself, I'd like to thank and commend all involved with this film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Grateful to receive an authentic copy! Russell Crowe's powerful and exhilarating performance on this epic movie made him my favorite!Published 1 day ago by Thomas Hunt
This has to be one of the best depictions of early 19th century naval warfare ever made. Loved every minute of it. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Jock Sturges
The movie was good, your continuing problem with network connections interrupting every few minutes has ruined the last 5 or 6 movies I have watched!Published 3 days ago by david e.carlson
When is the sequel?? Awesome cast, this is what epic film making is all about!Published 7 days ago by Snake Pliskin
Finished reading the book first and was eager to see how they compared. I was also eager to test a new sound system with a movie with a lot of action. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Steven Brown
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|To Those Who Think The French Can't Fight....||
I have only a few commentaries of a minor nature about this well researched essay. To put it into prospective about France loosing 1,000,000 men, one must remember the entire nation is only the size of three Southern states. To put that into prospective, the entire Confederacy consisting... Read More
Mar 9, 2008 by Johnny Lammons | See all 7 posts
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