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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Blu-ray Disc, 2011, Limited Edition; DigiBook)

Peter Weir, Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany | Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Blu-ray, 2011, Digibook)
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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Blu-ray, 2011, Digibook)
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Movie synopsis
Based on a series of books by Patrick O'Brian, and directed by Peter Weir, MASTER AND COMMANDER plunges viewers deep into the story of a British Navy ship at sea during the Napoleonic war. Russell Crowe stars as Aubrey, the charismatic captain who wrestles with issues like honor, pride, duty, sacrifice and loyalty while using ingenious tactics to engage his prey--a much larger and better-equipped French Man o' War. Paul Bettany plays his friend, the ship's doctor, who cautions Aubrey about letting revenge cloud his judgment after the French Man o' War almost sinks them in an early battle. Before the incredibly intense final skirmish the men battle a raging storm, launch an excursion to the Galapagos Islands, find time for grog-enhanced merriment, and endure some primitive surgery. Weir fills the film with a rich wealth of period detail, convincing dialogue, and the same haunting, dreamlike mood that has informed his best films, such as PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, THE LAST WAVE and THE TRUMAN SHOW. The wealth of sounds and sights on display are so evocative one can practically smell the salt air and feel the heave of the ocean. Russell is intense and inspiring as Aubrey, and Bettany proves a worthy match. MASTER AND COMMANDER is another triumph for Weir, and further evidence of his ability to fuse poetic realism with rousing entertainment.

Product Details
  • Edition: Limited Edition; DigiBook
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
  • Film Country: USA
  • UPC: 024543707899

Additional Details
Genre:Action/Adventure
Format:Blu-ray Disc
Display Format:Limited Edition; DigiBook

Director:Peter Weir
Leading Role:Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany
eBay Product ID: EPID101766471
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Editorial reviews

"...To see Crowe as Capt. Jack Aubrey in MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD is to see a consummate performer doing what he does best..."
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan (11/14/2003)

"...The battle sequences are filmed with impressive coherence and rigor..."
New York Times - A. O. Scott (11/14/2003)

"...A rousing high-seas adventure that sweeps you into another world..."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (11/27/2003)

"The detailed depiction of shipboard life is total and overwhelming."
Uncut - Adam Sweeting (01/01/2004)

4 stars out of 5 -- "It's all about sweeping views of 1700s battleships, tropical islands speckled across the horizon and weather-beaten shots of Russell Crowe."
Ultimate DVD - Ultimate DVD Staff (05/01/2008)

"It's a wonderfully vivid journey to a distant time and place."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - Stephen Farber (02/01/2004)

"...A masterful and commanding film....A story in full billow..."
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum (11/21/2003)

"It's the film's thoughtful use of naturalism as metaphor and plot device that gives MASTER AND COMMANDER a sense of Tom Stoppard-like, upscale intelligence."
Sight and Sound - Leslie Felperin (12/31/2003)

"An intelligent movie about men tested by the sea. Director Peter Weir mounts an impressive production..."
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert (12/21/2003)

"This is a plain old good movie´┐Ż.it ought to find fans among the young and the old and both genders."
USA Today - Mike Clark (11/14/2003)

Reviews & Research

Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 91 user reviews

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of customers recommend this product

Rating distributions

Created: 01/23/10

Excellent Period Action Movie

If you are a fan of the high seas and period movies, this movie should be a must for you. I never read the Jack Aubrey books by Patrick O'Brian so I cannot compare the silver screen adaptation to the book. However, I can rate the movie on its own merits and it is superb. Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany have incredible chemistry together, one playing the aforementioned Captain Aubrey and the latter playing the ship's doctor Stephen Maturin. While the pragmatic Aubrey is driven by an unwavering sense of duty to King and Country (that is England during the Napoleonic Wars)his work is always kept in check by the more idealistic Dr. Maturin. However, at the end they bring balance to the mission at hand.
Both actors do a fantastic job specially Bettany, bringing a touch of gravitas to every scene. The rest of the cast are also outstanding and they complete rather than detract from the movie. Of course, if you are a fan of Russell Crowe you won't be disappointed, because it is a small ship and he is always around. But in my opinion he is one of the finest actors out there; so hey, it's like butter, the more Crowe the better.
The directing by Peter Weir is as excellent. And it feels that he gives the other actors their due part, but remember that the main plot of the movie is the Aubrey/Maturing interaction.
Finally, I have to say that one of the unsung heroes of this movie (like any other movie) are the costume and set designers. It actually feels you are on a boat with the crew. Whether life in a English War Ship in the early 19th century was as portrayed in the film, well I don't know, but I am willing to bet that it was pretty darn close.
It is a movie that for some (as it was for me) might take a few passes to get the feel for it but when it does it will be on the top of your list.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 01/10/09

Wooden Boats

Having built 3 small wooden boats, I had more than a passing interest in seeing the movie which I did at the theater. One day I was in a major book retailer and saw a collection of books - the spines of which made up a portrait of beautiful ships of the line in battle - I looked at the titles and realized that Master and Commander was the first of 21 books written by Patrick O'Brien and bought the second Post Captain and read it and loved it too.

I went on line and found all the 21 books available in a 5 book boxed set hard cover for a fraction of the total cost of buying them individually. The total pages for all is 6600 pages. I read them all and then bought the DVD and watched it again and realized that is twas a compilation of snap shots taken from several of the books, principally Master and Commander and On the Far Side of the World.

When I started reading the books, I skipped the first, Master and Commander believing that I had no need to read it as I had seen the movie. After reading all the books save the first, I watched the movie and then went back and read the first Master and Commander and found it to very compelling. Having read the books and then seeing the movie for the second time it was a completely different experience as I now knew all the characters and had a deep understanding of the completed story.

I highly recommend the movie, but it pales in comparison to the rich experience of sitting down and reading a truly wonderful story. Completely fleshed out with wonderfully full characters.

The only regret that I have is that Novel 21 is unfinished and the author passed away before it completion. The set is one of those rare reading experiences that you want to continue on and on. When you are done, you are lost, you don't know what to do. My methadone treatment of choice I am on now is the Hornblower series of 11 books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 01/17/11

One of Best Movies Ever!

All the prior reviews here have said most everything! I will just add that I love this film so much I re-watch it probably more than others I own (like another favorite, Out of Africa)--at least once a year. It is so genuinely realistic for the Napoleonic time period and thrilling for lovers of the high seas and old massive clipper ships with poop decks where the Captain and Doctor play cello and violin. Amidst travel to war with an enemy ship, they discover the Galapagos Islands and new species. I am a 62-year-young woman and have loved this movie since it debuted. Even the battle scenes are exciting and moving. The life aboard ship was the best thing about it, I thought, and really showed how the men all relate to each other. The young boy was marvelous in his character role, as were Russell Crowe and the fellow who played the doctor. I thought their intimate friendship was superbly portrayed with such fine acting. It's definitely one to own!

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Created: 05/10/11

A good 1790's Nelson era british naval film, script could have been better.

Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

I am a fan of the Patrick O'Brien series of books that this movie was taken from.
For me, this movie is a bit disappointing on the one hand and interesting on the other. Casting Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey was brilliant but Dr. Maturin was disappointing, not at all as I'd pictured him from the books. The movie script was taken in bits and pieces from several of the 21 novels and as such tended to be hard to understand and not easy follow. The Nelson era nautical terms and language might be difficult for a non-nautical person to follow, my wife had difficulty understanding what was said. The ship was very convincing, built in 1970 as a replica of the 18th century Royal Navy frigate 'Rose', she was purchased and converted to the 'HMS Surprise' for the movie. She can be seen and boarded at the San Diego Maritime Museum (http://www.sdmaritime.org/hms​-surprise/), I have been aboard and it was real fun to walk the decks and see where Captain Jack Aubrey trod the quarter deck. The rough life of sailors of that era was difficult and the battles were gory. The battle scene sound effects are splendid on my 5.1 Surround Sound system.
In conclusion, this is seems to be a 'niche' movie for a limited audience, Russel Crowe and the O'Brien novel fans and others who like rugged outdoor movies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 08/14/08

MASTER & COMMANDER: The Far Side of the World

The movie is set in 1805. Russell Crowe is Captain Jack Aubrey, the commander of a warship in the British Royal Navy on the hunt for a French war ship that poses a threat to the Royal Navy. However, the French ship sneaks up on the British ship in a fog bank and causes extensive damage to the ship.

The British are able to escape and regroup, and Captain Lucky Jack Aubrey chases the French ship over two oceans, finally catching up to to sink her in the Galapagos Islands where the climactic battle takes place.

Master and Commander is filled with some incredible battle sequences as well as fine acting by the entire cast. I Highly recommend this movie!

Master and Commander is an excellent film and I totally enjoyed the adventure!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

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