Master and Commander-Far Side of the World (Review) - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-15-2003 Thread Starter
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Master and Commander-Far Side of the World (Review)

Russell Crowe provides an exceptional portrayal of the larger than life persona of Capt. Jack Aubrey from the Patrick O''Brien series of books..The film has all the expected scenes of swashbuckling adventure, heroics, and clashing of swords in entrenched battles, but yet it goes deeper into the delicate balance of loyalty between a Captain and his crew. Pursuit of battle and conquest takes a secondary seat to one becoming entranced in the relationship of strength versus intellect that Capt. Jack shares with his best friend, and ship''s surgeon, Steven Maturin. As easily as the two instruments that the men play, the cello and violin, can strike a screeching discord, the friendship is continuously challenged to remain a harmonious duet.

The story line has some of the seemingly unavoidable discontinuity that previous swashbuckling sea adventures have suffered. How did the ship suffer so much damage, but yet was able to sail again faster, and truer the next day,etc?. But even so, these are minor distractions to the strong understood objectives of the ship’s company that the audience is enveloped in.

“Name a bush after me, something prickley and hard to eradicate.” Capt. Jack tells his ships surgeon, and part time naturalist friend Steven. This movie is much like that. From the first scene, your senses are pricked as you witness what seems to be a very accurate portrayal of what life was like for seamen aboard a British Man O War tall ship during the Napoleonic era. You leave the theater wondering where Capt. Jack and crew are going next, and knowing that you want to be there with them.

On a scale of (1-3) TopGallants - (3+)

*** Excellent movie, but the advertisements for it do carry the statement “ some scenes not suitable for young children.” I would totally agree with that. There was a young girl, probably 9 yrs .of age sitting beside me in the theater. The realistic battle scenes in the movie appeared to be quite disturbing to her.
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-16-2003
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Master and Commander-Far Side of the World (Review)

I saw the movie and loved it. One of the problems that movies have is, how to show the passage of time. In the book they would tell about the repair and re-provision time after the battle, but in the movie they condensed it to some shots of them doing some carpentry and painting.
I agree they did a good job of showing some of the hardships and hard choices that we are not used to now.

I hope it does well so that we may see more adventures of Lucky Jack Aubrey and H.M.S. Suprise.

I just finished reading the story of Magellan''s Voyage called "Over the Edge of the World" and was very much interested to see a wooden ships and iron men sort of movie. It was a lot of fun.

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post #3 of 6 Old 11-17-2003
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Master and Commander-Far Side of the World (Review)

I don''t get to the movie theaters much anymore (noise, uncomfortable seats, sticky floors, prices, etc), but I couldn''t wait for Master and Commander to come out on video (no DVD yet...) or pay per view. The movie exceeded my expectations.

Not only did I enjoy it, but my wife enjoyed it too and became interested in the books! The evening show we went to was brought to an early halt by a power outage, and even though the opening parts we''d seen had made her cringe from the noise and bloodshed, she came along the next day to watch the entire movie.

The captain of a restored bugeyed skipjack first recommended the O''Brien books to me, and I gobbled them up during my armchair sailing days. The sailing bug had just bitten me after a week of day sailing on the skipjack; the O''Brien novels sank the hook deep.

Maturin''s role helps make the movie, as it did the books, much richer than just a tale of swashbuckling. His longing to catalog the species on the Galapagos Islands works well with the movie''s plot, illustrating how deep the mutual regard and need is between Aubrey and his surgeon, inspiring Aubrey to mimic a whaler in the way that an insect mimics a stick, and providing luck during an otherwise unlucky voyage.

Well done, and I hope there are more to follow!
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-18-2003
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Master and Commander-Far Side of the World (Review)

I was excited about the release and saw the movie on the first day. Unfortunately, my review would be less stellar than yours. I did not think it was a bad movie, as sailing movies go. I just did not think it was a great movie. The discontinuity, for me, took away from the plot. There was too much information, the ship, the crew the fighting, the islands, from my viewpoint, they would have done better, focusing on one point rather than diluting each of those story points by trying to include all of them.

Once again, not a bad movie but the hype outweighed the movie.

On a scale of 1-3: 1.75, enjoyable, Crowe was good.

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post #5 of 6 Old 11-20-2003
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Master and Commander-Far Side of the World (Review)

The movie''s plot seemed a bit thin. What I noticed were the extreme contrasts: Smooth sailing in a sun-flecked sea, devolving into a smashing, wet slog around the horn. Dancing and singing on deck, and then the total ferocity of hand to hand combat. The solid walls of the ship suddenly dissapearing after a cannonball hit. The desolate, yet life-filled Galapagos Islands. The delicate balance between life and death, and the ways crew members could bond to, or against, someone.

I was intrigued to hear that the sound effects guys supposedly used the battle sounds recordings without "enhancing" them. The "whomp" of the cannon fire and the whistling cannonballs certainly seemed convincing to me. Many of the details - like setting up the bulkheads for the captain''s cabin as he moves into it after an action - appeared very realistic and "seamanly" . I''d have liked to see more ship handling, but it would have made the movie too long. The passage of time was difficult to gauge as well. The refitting after the first engagement with "Archeron" probably took about two weeks, but the movie makes it look like a quick overnight. The dialogue mentions them being upset at being "another" week becalmed, but it only seems like a single hot afternoon. Perhaps if they''d shown the crew getting haircuts again and again it would have given us a better idea. (I didn''t notice if the crew''s hair did get longer or not -- guess I''ll have to go see it again.)
It does make me want my own frigate, though.
Looks like fun.
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-03-2003
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Master and Commander-Far Side of the World (Review)

The real question is, could Johnie dep realy pilot the Lady Washington faster than Crowe could the HMS Rose?

Either way, go for the boats, stay for the swashbuckling! Savy?

-- James
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