Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World Review.

If you have yet to vote on this week's "Reader's Choice" please click here to check it out but so far Batman: Under the Red Hood and Goldfinger will be posted tomorrow and the next day.

Thoughts: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is based on the book series of Master and Commander books by Patrick O'Brian and is set during the Napoleonic Wars. I had very little knowledge of Master and Commander before watching the movie except that JT/King Valun at The Window on the South and JT's Tales recommended the movie, which I would like to thank him for. Master and Commander was a great movie with top notch performances and well made period sets. The direction and camera works is fantastic and there is some great Cinematography in the movie. It is very difficult to describe why it is such a great movie without spoiling the movie; you just need to watch the movie for yourself.

Disclaimer: Fans of the book might enjoy this even more than I did.

Directed by: Peter Weir
Genre: Epic, War,
Release Date: November 14, 2003
Running Time: 138 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13

The Good: Epic naval battles, Good opening scene, Excellent period set and costume design, Fantastic Cinematography,

The Bad:

Plot: The following plot summery is copied from
The film takes place in May 1805, during the Napoleonic Wars. Captain "Lucky Jack" Aubrey of HMS Surprise is ordered to pursue the French privateer Acheron, and "Sink, Burn, or take her a Prize." As the film opens, a crewmember aboard the British warship hears a bell sound and the ship becomes alert. As captain Aubrey looks through his telescope at the fog, he sees cannonfire, and the ship is ambushed by Acheron, a ship twice as large as the British warship is. Surprise is heavily damaged, while its own cannon fire does not penetrate the enemy ship's hull. Later in the battle, Surprise's rudder is shot off and her steering wheel is blown away, making the ship unsteerable, adding to the fact that the ship is taking water fast. Using smaller boats, the crew of Surprise tow the ship into a fog bank and evade pursuit. Aubrey learns from a crewman who saw Acheron being built that it is heavier and faster than Surprise, and the senior officers consider the ship out of their class. Aubrey notes that such a ship could tip the balance of power in Napoleon's favour if allowed to plunder the British whaling fleet at will. He orders pursuit of Acheron, rather than returning to port for repairs. Acheron again ambushes Surprise, but Aubrey slips away in the night by using a clever decoy buoy and ships lamps.
Following the privateer south, Surprise rounds Cape Horn and heads to the Galapagos Islands, where Aubrey is sure Acheron will prey on Britain's whaling fleet. The ship's doctor, Maturin, is interested in the islands' fauna and flora; Aubrey promises his friend several days' exploration time.
Watch the movie to see what happens next.

Plot: 8.7/10- The characters are interesting and the concept was original, only the pacing dragged a little bit in some parts of the movie but it was still entertaining.

Action: 7.8/10- Although there are only action scenes at the beginning and the end of the movie, they are very well made and impressive.

Acting: 8.6/10- The entire cast gave top notch performances without a noticeable weak performance but Russell Crowe gave the best performance of the cast.

Special effects: 8.6/10- The ships that were used are massive and it actually looked like it was filmed on the ocean, which it very well could have been.

Soundtrack: 8.2/10- The soundtrack fit the period and the film and some good classical music was used.

Comedy: 7.0/10- There is some good humor in the movie. "The Lesser of Two Weevils."

Would I Watch This Again: Master and Commander is worth a re-watching at some point.

Overall: 8.6/10- Overall Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a great realistic high seas war epic with good characters and solid performances.

Closing comments: Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World definitely deserves a sequel, which might never happen.

Recommended for: Epic fans, Adventure fans, War movie fans,

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  1. Great review.
    1. yes it was filmed on location; the ship that was built for the film is said to be docked at the San Diego maritime museum.
    2. Sequels to this story that had any basis in the source would not look like sequels; each of the novels stands alone. But considering that the film is nothing like the book, they might've found a loophole if they'd wanted to.

  2. My dad is watching Jumper right now. I really want to see it, but I've read the reviews and there's some "yuk" in it...
    Now I've got ClearPlay on my wishlist; hopefully that will fix it...

  3. @JT/King Valun: Thanks. Oddly enough I just watched a TV show about behind the scenes of various movies and it featured that ship.
    I think it could be like Indiana Jones and make sequels that are not really connected in narrative but just have the same character. Also I have seen interviews with Peter Weir that suggested that he wanted to make more.

    @Padme Arya ect.: I haven't actually seen Jumper yet but I think the movie was supposed to be average at best. I might need to get me a "ClearPlay" some time.


  4. Agreed. Film's pace weakens with subplots involving ship's doctor and midshipman who gets no respect. Peter Weir is a great director, but Master and Commander loses its course after about an hour.

  5. I just watched this again on DVD from the Library. It was full screen version which did not make me happy to start. I thought it was an excellent slice of history but maybe not a great movie. I have chosen not to review it because it may be too boring for most.


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