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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Widescreen Edition)

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,337 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

"A ship's commander in the Royal British navy finds his vessel and crew in ruins after a surprise attack from an unseen foe. Now, he and the ship's doctor must work together to insure that their duty is protected as they pursue the mystery ship half way around the world.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D'Arcy, Edward Woodall
  • Directors: Peter Weir
  • Writers: Peter Weir, John Collee, Patrick O'Brian
  • Producers: Alan B. Curtiss, Bob Weinstein, Duncan Henderson, Harvey Weinstein
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2004
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,337 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001HLVS2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,378 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Those of us who have read the entire series of Patrick O'Brien's books on the adventures of Captain Jack Aubrey and his dear friend, Dr. Stephen Maturin during the Napoleonic wars and have soaked up the atmosphere and sense of history so unfailingly captured in those books, are going to be hard to satisfy with any film representation. So although I have great respect for Peter Weir, I did not have high hopes as I sat down to watch the movie.
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.
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Master and Commander is not just for Patrick O'Brian fans. Anyone who enjoys action and drama will enjoy this film. It ranges from great battle scenes with the tang of salt spray to human drama. The primary plot involves a cat and mouse game, set in 1805 during the Napoleonic wars, between Captain Aubrey's (Russell Crowe's) ship Surprise and his enemy a French ship Acheron. The Acheron is by far the superior ship in speed, size, and firepower. Captain Aubrey has orders to take the Acheron, while the French seem all too aware of his orders. The chase passes around the tip of South America leaving the Atlantic and entering the Pacific Ocean where Acheron will raise money for Emperor Napoleon by raiding English whalers. The sailing is marvelously recreated.
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.
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2 Comments 233 of 249 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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"Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World," directed by Peter Weir, tells the rousing story of HMS Surprise, an English warship sailing around South America during the Napoleonic era. The ship's captain (played by Russell Crowe) engages in a battle of wits, wills, and firepower with a rival captain during the perilous sea trek.
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.
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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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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Widescreen Edition)
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