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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World back to product details

Good adaptation, rollicking show
written by Texan99 September 4, 2010 - 12:09 PM PDT
O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series extends to something like 20 novels, containing enough plots for 100 movies, so it was with a sinking feeling that his fans learned that Peter Weir had used them as the source material for a pastiche. It was even more surprising that the film introduced plot lines that had no basis in the novels at all, and that the elements it did use came almost entirely from one of the installments in the middle of the series, after even Mr. O'Brian's very considerable invention had begun to dry up and his narrative thread had begun to drift. What a surprising pleasure, therefore, to find that the pastiche plot actually works very well, and that the added elements were a good fit and a fine addition: Max Pirkin's affectingly acted, sharply written young character anchors the movie and provides its heart. I particularly appreciate a movie about war that doesn't score cheap points off of a mocked patriotism; instead, a young aristocrat of a midshipman that we would consider a mere child accepts his role as officer-in-training in a bloody, brutal war without bravado but also without shirking or complaint. The film's running naval encounter, which occurs between British and French forces in the middle of nowhere and has no great strategic importance in the Napoleonic Wars, nevertheless permits an engrossing discursion into the problems of leadership and morale as well as the conflict between men of action and men of contemplation. As in "Moby Dick," the ship is the nation.

Great Period/Character/War Piece
written by BassGrot October 28, 2004 - 4:47 PM PDT
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Great period piece for the Napolionic Wars, showing how people lived on English warships. Peter Weir has done an excellent job in directing, bringing to life this heroic sea tale with interesting camera angles (extensive use of helicopter mounted cameras) and dramatic battle sequences reminicent of wartime paintings. Outstanding casting of Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Stephen Maturin. I know some people had reservations about this decision (even Peter Weir) because they had just starred in "A Beautiful Mind" together, but they are fantasic. The supporting cast was excellent, look closely and you'll see Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings) and a host of other great unknown actors. The look and feel of this film are enough to make people watch but the story and character interaction makes me keep coming back for another viewing.

Master Commander
written by malvolio September 20, 2004 - 11:23 AM PDT
1 out of 7 members found this review helpful
Good film, well acted, well shot well directed, and interesting in a lot of ways. I found myself wondering why did they make a film about battles that has so little consequence in a larger war? I didn't find it very compelling.


(Average 6.86)
328 Votes
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