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Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World (Widescreen Collector's Edition)

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,458 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When a sudden attack by a French warship inflicts casualities and severe damage upon his vessel, Captain "Lucky" Jack Aubrey (Crowe) of the British Royal Navy is torn between duty and friendship as he embarks on a thrilling, high-stakes chase across two oceans to intercept and capture the enemy at any cost. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture!

Additional Features

If you have any interest in how this impressive-looking film was put together, you must grab the Collector's Edition. The disc of extras is universally intriguing, smoothly presented, and in depth. As good as the 70-minute documentary is--and it is an excellent survey of how the film was made--a 30-minute segment on how the various effects were combined (ocean shoot, tank shoot, CGI and models) is stunning. There's an equally impressive piece on the Oscar-winning sound and an interactive cannon firing demonstration. The director of the DVD features, David Prior, uses split screens and on-screen notes to efficiently give an abundant amount of information. There is no commentary track, but the film's director, Peter Weir, has 20 minutes to talk about his approach to the film with "In the Wake of O'Brian." Add a dandy multi-camera segment, 20 minutes of deleted scenes (mostly dealing with shipboard life), dense galleries, a good dose of classical music, and a 28-page booklet, and you have an extras package you will want to show others. Ironically, one of the film's two Oscar-winners, cinematographer Russell Boyd, is only mentioned in passing. --Doug Thomas

Special Features

  • "The Hundred Days": 70-minute behind-the-scenes documentary
  • "In the Wake of O'Brian": Peter Weir discusses adapting the books
  • Cinematic Phasmids: moviemaking secrets
  • Sound design featurette
  • Interactive cannon demonstration
  • Six deleted scenes
  • HBO First Look
  • Multi-angle battle-scene studies
  • Split-screen vignette
  • Still galleries

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, Collector's Edition, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Special Edition
  • 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: 2
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2004
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,458 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001DI0FI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,428 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World (Widescreen Collector's Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard Leveson on April 21, 2004
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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"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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