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Master And Commander

Jade Jaguar

I saw this today, because a friend wanted to, and because I like the director, Peter Weir. I liked it, it was well done, and entertaining. It seems very realistic to the period. The plot is pretty simple, but provides excitement. Much of it is shot with really tight shots, and during the action, it can be hard to tell what is happening, as it would be if it were real. Russell Crowe isn't subversive, like Errol Flynn in Captain Blood, or proper and omniscient, like Gregory Peck in Horation Hornblower. He is more like Brando's Fletcher Christian, in Mutiny On The Bounty, clever, vulnerable, but without much brooding. It may well turn into a franchise, since there are more books by the same author. Besides Crowe, all the cast was unknown to me, but it was very well acted. My favorite line -- Crowe says to his Darwin-like naturalist/medical doctor: "Name a shrub after me. Something prickly, and hard to eradicate." Anyone else see it?
Wasn't one of the hobbits, either Merry or Pippin, (sorry don't know their real names) in this movie (obviously not as hobbits though :p)?
Yes, Billy Boyd, who played Pippin, is in Master and Commander.

I also thought that the actor who played the doctor seemed familiar, though I couldn't quite place him. A quick look at IMDb revealed him to have been in A Beautiful Mind and A Knight's Tale (something of a guilty pleasure after it showed up on cable), and had a photo of him with the much lighter blonde hair that he wore in both of those movies.

I liked the movie quite a bit. There were 2 or 3 times when the doctor asked questions that seemed like they would have been more realistically phrased "Could you please explain what is going on to the audiance?" (Even for a complete nautical novice, living on that ship for the preceding hours or days would have precluded him being unaware of the significance of the ship turning back to the right as they made their way around Cape Horn.) But I'm perfectly willing to forgive them that.
I saw it the day it opened and I thought it was very well done. But what would you expect from Peter Weir and Russel Crowe? It appears, from my point of view, that Down Under will need a large sack to bring home their Oscars. :cool:
I am so torn by this. On the one hand, I love the entire series of books by O'Brian. I've been wanting to see this ever since I first heard about it. On the other hand, I can't stand going out to a theater anymore. I just can't do it. Every time I go, I spend half the movie having to deal with all of the a**holes who either A) think that they are watching in their own living room and talk at such a volume, and B) the f*cktards who leave their phones on. I always leave the theater more tense than when I entered. Even the early afternoon matinees are filled with these people. It's just not worth it anymore.
JW, I went to a mid-afternoon matinee on Sunday, at the local megaplex, and there were only half a dozen more people in the theater. If you do drag yourself to it, I would be interested in how it compares to the books, which I have never read. Do you know where in the chronological order of the books this film comes?
Well, I do believe there are fifteen books in all. From what I have seen, they took elements of the first book (Master and Commander) and the tenth (Far Side of the World). One of the reasons I like these books is that, unlike with the Horatio Hornblower series and books like that, Capt. Aubrey isn't put up in an ivory tower as an example of British gallantry/heroism/blah, blah, blah. The dude is quite a scoundrel. If, my memory serves me, he has to flee England for a time because of legal problems and hides out in France. Which is problematic since, you know, there's that whole war going on.

It's been a while since I have read them, and I haven't read them all. They are good, but they are a little difficult to get into. At least I thought so. They cover a lot of the intricacies and tedium of the daily routine on a ship of the line. Which tends to drag a bit. But once you can get past that, things improve.
Thanks, JW. Actually, I enjoyed the daily routine stuff in MAC. It reminded me a bit of Das Boot, which was very realistic, at least to my eye, and especially in the long version, tedious. MAC wasn't tedious. And I agree, I like having a captain who is human, not a paragon, thus my reference to Brando's Fletcher Christian.
M&C was quite good movie. At least it was defferent from anything that I have seen lately. And to me, it was pretty "realistic" too. First time I saw that when one ship shoots with cannons at another, there aren't any of those huge gas explosions when cannonball hits the target. I liked it a lot, hopefully others can respect that.
Heh, that always bothered me about old movies with tall ships. Cannonballs didnt explode. They werent bombs. They were big round pieces of lead shot at a high speed. It just put really big holes in the wooden ships they were aimed at. They shredded things, they didn't blow them up.

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