Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World

Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World

4.3 50
Director: Peter Weir

Cast: Peter Weir, Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd


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Director Peter Weir's high-seas adventure Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World stars Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey. Along with his loyal crew, Aubrey engages in a grand game of cat-and-mouse with a renegade French frigate from Napoleon's army. Adapted from the series of novels by Patrick O'Brian, the film is presented on DVD in widescreen withSee more details below

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Director Peter Weir's high-seas adventure Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World stars Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey. Along with his loyal crew, Aubrey engages in a grand game of cat-and-mouse with a renegade French frigate from Napoleon's army. Adapted from the series of novels by Patrick O'Brian, the film is presented on DVD in widescreen with a wealth of audio options. Not only can viewers choose either DTS 5.1 Surround Sound or Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound versions of the original English soundtrack, there are also Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks dubbed in French and Spanish. Along with English and Spanish subtitles, the disc is rounded out by a handful of theatrical trailers. Fans interested in additional supplemental features should check out the two-disc edition that was released simultaneously with this disc. A full-screen version is also available.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Fans of seafaring sagas along the lines of Horatio Hornblower will be duly enchanted by Master and Commander, a rousing adventure in the grand tradition of Hollywood's Golden Age. Australian filmmaker Peter Weir wrote and directed this magnificent adaptation of two of Patrick O'Brian's bestselling novels, set during the Napoleonic period, when Britain still ruled the seas. Charismatic Russell Crowe is perfectly cast as O'Brian's larger-than-life hero, "Lucky Jack" Aubrey, one of Her Majesty's most able sea captains. Spotting the French warship Acheron in the waters near South America, he decides -- against the urging of his close friend, the ship's doctor, Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany) -- to pursue the phantom raider that has been laying waste to British vessels, calculating that the element of surprise will help him offset the Acheron's superior speed and armament. While Weir's adaptation offers its share of thrillingly staged open-seas combat scenes, he unfolds the yarn at a leisurely pace and lavishes a great deal of screen time on the supporting characters, particularly delineating Aubrey's relationship to his loyal crew. O'Brian's characters aren't mythic archetypes -- they're believable, flesh-and-blood entities driven only by their duty to Queen and country. Loyalty, honor, and patriotism aren't often celebrated in contemporary movies, but Master and Commander reminds us that these qualities still fuel entertaining tales. It's a gripping film with just about everything you could want: action, suspense, drama, and even a bit of humor.
All Movie Guide
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a beautifully realized, atypically intimate action drama. After an absence of five years, director Peter Weir has made a bold and impressive return. With high seas films notoriously difficult to manage in regards to both budget and box-office marketability, Master and Commander deftly avoids the pitfalls and stands as one of the high points of the genre. The film's attention to period detail is fascinating and renders the setting of the ship as a character all its own. The film is so rich with detail that one gets an almost authentic sense of what everyday life was like on such a ship in the early 19th century. Accolades must go out to all of those involved with art direction, set design, and cinematography. Director of photography Russell Boyd, who has worked with Weir on several previous films, works wonders here, capturing images from seemingly any angle from which one could film a ship. His sweeping photography deftly conveys the grandeur and scope of the ship(s) against the backdrop of the sea, the minute details of life on the ship, and the claustrophobic, crowded lives of the men on board. Sporting an impressive cast of both stars and unknowns, young and old, Master and Commander reigns in their talents to create an utterly convincing ensemble of characters. Perfectly cast as Captain Jack Aubrey, Russell Crowe, not-surprisingly, delivers another layered, intriguing performance. Equally, if not more, impressive is the moving portrayal of ship surgeon Stephen Maturin by Paul Bettany, who sinks into the role and reveals further depths to his acting. The two men, captain and surgeon, display an interesting friendship, characterized by mutual interests (playing music together), sharp divisions (military vs. nature/science), and hearty debate. But between them, and between all of the men on the ship, there is a great sense of mutual respect that is the heart of the film. Also noteworthy, among several impressive youths, is newcomer Max Pirkis as Lord Blackeney, a young midshipman who must deal with a very emotional loss early in the film. Despite all of its successes, the film does pose a few problems, the most notable being the incomprehensibility of much of its dialogue. Along with the film's attention to period and nautical detail, many of the accents and terminology are difficult to grasp, especially when characters are talking fast or dialogue is spoken in the heat of battle. But even that does not deter one from becoming engrossed in the intrigue and drama of the film; in fact, the period accents and dialogue further set one in another time and place, where things are both foreign and strangely relatable. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a rare feat -- a quiet action film. Though the scenes of battle and broken bodies are brutal and gruesome, and every cannonball threatens to crush bones as callously as it shatters wood, much of the film is calm and contemplative. Weir has managed to craft a masculine, yet emotional, film that draws one in to the lives and world of the characters it portrays without necessarily offering too much detail as to their personal stories. In this way, it is a collective, balanced story and not simply a spotlight for any one actor.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Russell Crowe Captain Jack Aubrey
Paul Bettany Dr. Stephen Maturin
Billy Boyd Barrett Bonden
James D'Arcy 1st Lt. Tom Pullings
Lee Ingleby Hollom, Midshipman
George Innes Joe Plaice
Mark Lewis Jones Mr. Hogg
Chris Larkin Captain Howard
Richard McCabe Mr. Higgins, Surgeon's Mate
Robert Pugh Mr. Allen
David Threlfall Killick
Max Pirkis Lord Blackeney
Edward Woodall 2nd Lt. William Mowett
Ian Mercer Mr. Hollar
Max Benitz Calamy, Midshipman

Technical Credits
Peter Weir Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Todd Arnow Co-producer
Carlos Benassini Set Decoration/Design
Russell Boyd Cinematographer
John Collee Screenwriter
Alan B. Curtiss Asst. Director,Executive Producer
Iva Davies Score Composer
Samuel Goldwyn Producer
Christopher Gordon Score Composer
Meyer Gottlieb Co-producer
Doug Hemphill Sound/Sound Designer
Duncan Henderson Producer
Edouard Henriques Makeup
William Hiney Set Decoration/Design
Mark Hitchler Set Decoration/Design
Kevin Ishioka Set Decoration/Design
Richard King Sound/Sound Designer
Manuel Martinez Set Decoration/Design
Paul Massey Sound/Sound Designer
Nick Navarro Set Decoration/Design
Arthur Rochester Sound/Sound Designer
Hector Romero Art Director
William Sandell Production Designer
Mary Selway Costumes/Costume Designer
Lee Smith Editor
Wendy Stites Costumes/Costume Designer
Daniel Sudick Special Effects
Bill Taliaferro Set Decoration/Design
Richard Tognetti Score Composer
Fiona Weir Costumes/Costume Designer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles [2:03]
2. The HMS Surprise [1:56]
3. A Shape in the Fog [2:03]
4. Under Attack [2:17]
5. Lucky Jack's Gambit [3:44]
6. The Butcher's Bill [:37]
7. Aubrey's Plan [2:36]
8. No Braver Patient [2:47]
9. Duet [:08]
10. The Ship of the Future [2:09]
11. The Captain's Table [4:03]
12. Turning of the Tide [1:56]
13. A Small Surprise [1:40]
14. The Storm [2:23]
15. Man Overboard [1:05]
16. Pride or Duty? [5:05]
17. Our Destination [:16]
18. The Galapagos [2:55]
19. Survivors [2:50]
20. Broken Promises [3:08]
21. Batteries and Biology [3:04]
22. The Doldrums [:38]
23. Hollom's Weakness [5:06]
24. Jonah [:31]
25. The Doctor's Dilemma [3:04]
26. Heal Thyself [3:34]
27. The Fighting Naturalist [:48]
28. An Unexpected Find [1:59]
29. Nature and Naval Warfare [1:44]
30. Surprise Is on Our Side [2:15]
31. Against the Acheron [:38]
32. Wolf in Sheep's Clothing [2:38]
33. Committed to the Deep [2:01]
34. Captain's Orders [:45]
35. Requirements of the Service [4:28]
36. End Titles [1:34]

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