I had seen the awesome previews. I had been given a poster while walking the streets of Manhattan. I was greatly looking forward to seeing Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. I had anticipated just loving the hell out of it. I mean.. Russell Crowe, man! Well, I just returned from the matinee and I'm a bit let down.
Recommend this product?
Master and Commander is about an English ship along the South American border. The French ship he was sent to take out is much faster and better armed.. and has a damn crafty commander. This is the game of cat and mouse.
But it's not just that. It's a humanity piece. It's about the men aboard this ship and how each reacts to everything that gets thrown at them.
It's a good movie. All the right elements are there. The cinematography is perfect and sometimes breathtaking. The direction seems spot on and the stormy ocean scenes are fantastic.
Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind) in the lead role of Capt. 'Lucky Jack' Aubrey and Paul Bettany as his best friend/doctor mesh well together and each delivers a flawless performance. They play off each other ever so well, each being an accomplished actor in their own right, and the chemistry between the two is just very, very good. Granted, Bettany didn't get nekkid in this one like he did in A Knight's Tale, but it's all good. Crowe made up for it by looking all dashing in those pants....
The battle scenes were tense and sometimes bloody.. always realistic looking. One scene in particular when a young man on the ship has his arm amputated was just almost too real. I cringed in sympathy with the lad.
Director Peter Weir did a fine job, although I liked Dead Poets Society better. I will say that even though I did enjoy The Truman Show, Master and Commander was better than that.
So why do I feel let down? I'm just not sure. I still can't put my finger on it, exactly. It felt a bit slow here and there and I actually almost fell asleep at two points in the theater.. something I've never done. Granted, that could be in part due to the Tylenol Sinus I took prior to the beginning of the movie, but still..
Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences, related images, and brief language. Nothing major at all. I'd let any age see it.
I'm giving it about 3.5 stars, and rounding up rather than down because of my own foggy state at the time of viewing (sinus pill). I have to give it the benefit of the doubt, and I will be seeing it again when it comes out on DVD. It just bothers me a little that I wasn't able to leave the theater simply raving about how good this was.. it had all the elements of a blockbuster, all except the final effect on me. Odd, that.
This has been a part of Sleeper54's second annual Lean-N-Mean write-off, where we are challenged to write a review using less than 666 words. Great fun! Do join.... I expect lots of movie reviews this year because books won it last year by a measely 2.. grrr.... We can take 'em!
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