Master & Commander: Far Side of World
Limited Edition, Blu-ray Book Packaging
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After a sudden attack by a French warship inflicts severe damage upon his ship, Captain "Lucky" Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) of the British Navy is torn between duty and friendship as he embarks on a thrilling, high-stakes chase across two oceans to capture or destroy the enemy at any cost.
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There are few things bad to say about it. The special effects are splendid and well crafted. The plot is great and the characters are sympathetic. It is a sophisticated movie-one which will not patronize over you with a lowest common denominator appeal. On the contrary it exercises the mind as well as stirring the heart with discussions of nautical technology, sailor folklore, music both classical and folk, and even a smattering of philosophy. But it also has as much action as any movie, without the action being stupid or cartoonish.
It has no sex(except a couple bawdy jokes). There is little swearing. The violence is as much as needed but it is not sadism porn, nor does it deceive anyone into thinking that violence is not real. It needs none of those things. It reminds people that war is not a game, but not by superfluous gore, but by showing tragedy. It does not "glorify war"; it glorifies heroism. It needs none of these crude attractions and is to fine a movie to stoop to them.
It is a very good movie for young people, for it shows friendship, honor, leadership, and a masculinity that need not be barbaric to be manly. And it shows boys growing up in an adult setting and looking for men to emulate. A boy can identify with one of the young midshipmen and be improved rather then degraded. Yet it will appeal to his natural emotions by showing how to harness them rather then repressing them or giving in to them. If he desires a role model and desires to imagine himself a hero this will go far toward showing those things in a healthy way. And if it strains the mind a bit it strains it no more then needs to be strained. It is an intelligent movie but not an overrefined one and it is a great display of the kind of tale that has always stirred humanity when done well. As I said it shows tragedy but tragedy is not the dominant theme. Heroism is.
It is also realistic. The hardships of life at sea and the horrors of Napoleonic warfare are shown well. Combat scenes look just real enough to strike home. Splinters fly when shot hits the ship, and hand-to-hand fighting bears little resemblance to Errol Flynn. And there are few historical errors and those can be tolerated.
All in all it is a terrific movie and should be watched. And watched again.
This movie, as others have noted, does not strictly follow any one book, but contains elements of a few books from the Patrick O'brien series. While I understand the motives of some taking a star or two away from this movie due to the variance between it and the books, I think it is preferable, and more reasonable to rate the movie as a story in itself.
As such, I cannot but grant this movie 5 stars (4.8). There are several elements found herein which are the core of great story telling. Within its two and a half hours, the directors and screenwriters manage to cast considerable light on the characters, many of whom you will become quite fond. The visuals are immersive yet smooth (unlike many of the battle scenes from Gladiator or Band of Brother's - where a constantly shaky camera and 1-2 second shot perspectives require less orchestration and finesse).
The story is one of duty. There is some dynamism to the main character, but not so much to think him irresolute concerning the cause of Britain against the Tyrant Napoleon (who happily makes no appearance in this movie). There is no emotional roller coaster. There aren't a multitude of surprises; but rather a traditional mode of context, rising action, climax, and resolution, with only the smallest question mark at the end and and only a handful of twists. The point is not to keep you uncertain of each moment, as many thrillers tend towards, but rather keep you fixed at the coming climax, i.e. "What shall be the outcome of the grand scheme?"
The accouterments are first class. I can't imagine the casting could have been better. The acting is superb. The soundtrack is unmatched by any film in history to my knowledge.
If you allow yourself to watch this all the way through with no interruptions, you're certain to be entranced from start to finish. The narrative of Master and Commander allows me a first hand look into a world I very much enjoy visiting and revisiting.
for me it also came with a tiny H.M.S. Suprise in a bottle. sadly during the horrid move the Movie and Toy Ship was stolen., Tonight I watched my new DVD. To Me this is my favorite Russell Crowe Movie. Thank You amazon for carrying it.