Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World 2003

Amazon Instant Video

(196) IMDb 7.4/10
Available in HD

Peter Weir's adaptation of one of the 'Master and Commander' novels by Patrick O'Brian; O'Brian's novels are set during the Napoleonic Wars and feature the character Captain Jack Aubrey.

Starring:
Richard Mccabe, Chris Larkin
Runtime:
2 hours 18 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices

Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World

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Product Details

Genres Action & Adventure, Historical
Director Peter Weir
Starring Richard Mccabe, Chris Larkin
Supporting actors Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany
Studio Twentieth Century Fox
BBFC rating Suitable for 12 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. J. Marsh on 26 Feb 2004
Format: DVD
Yes, even that strange, disparate group of people who are incapable of talking about anything when they meet other than weevils, soused pig's face and tincture of laudanum, even they love this film. I should know, I'm one of them and most of the people I know are too.
Having seen a couple of excerpts of Crowe as Aubrey, I was absolutely dreading this movie but was totally enthralled from the outset. In fact, it wasn't until near the end of the movie when Aubrey & Maturin were walking on deck next to each other that I noticed that Paul Bettany is almost a foot taller than Russell Crowe (stilts for Crowe were in order for that shot).
It's not a word-for-word rendering of the novel onto film by any stretch of the imagination (nor should it have been) but it absolutely captures the spirit of the books and conveys life aboard the Surprise brilliantly. The detail is breath-taking from the ship itself to the behaviour of the crew and on to the wonderful storm and battle action scenes.
To give you an idea of just how pedantic I was being, I was absolutley delighted to see Maturin - like the good Catholic that he is - stopping short of the line "For thine is the kingdom..." during the Lord's Prayer near the end of the film (yes, I know it's sad to actually expend mental energy on such minutiae but, clearly, someone else did too).
My only disappointment was that no allusions were made to Maturin's secret life as an intelligence agent but I guess there's a limit to how much character exposition one can expect in, what I hope, is the first in a series of films. However, other aspects of his character - as Aubrey's best friend, as a great physician and as a fanatical naturalist - are depicted to great effect and humour.
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Odysseas on 1 Sep 2006
Format: DVD
Like all O'Brian fans I was eager for this film to appear at the cinema, but was half expecting to be disappointed, as so easily happens when books are adapted for the screen. But I need not have worried. Every care has been taken to keep to the spirit of the books, although not the letter, and the attention to detail is astonishing.

The story itself is very simple. Jack Aubrey's ship Surprise is attacked by a much more powerful ship - the French privateer Acheron - in fog off the coast of Brazil. The ship's company manages to rescue the ship by towing her deeper into the fog, and the rest of the film involves the Surprise chasing the Acheron round the Horn to get her revenge. So, very much a "blokish" film, with no romantic interest (in fact the only time women appear is when some Brazilian boats pull out to trade with the ship, and even then they don't speak). This won't be to everybody's taste, and you will probably get the most out of it if you love the sea and sailing ships.

Put so baldly, the film doesn't seem to have much to recommend it, but its success resides in four things. Firstly the social relations on board ship, especially the friendship between Captain Aubrey and the ship's surgeon Stephen Maturin, which is as central here as it is in the books. Secondly, fine acting by the whole cast. Thirdly the astounding attention to detail. And fourthly the delight in discovering natural wonders.

And for O'Brian devotees, how does it stack up? Well, the story is very much a pick and mix of scenes and events from books throughout the series. The novel The Far Side of the World involves a chase with a US Navy ship.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Flibertigibbit on 16 Oct 2006
Format: DVD
I never read the books but accidentally stumbled on this on TV recently.

I had expected a brain dead shoot em up "Gladiator at sea" (not wishing to be too unkind to Gladiator). I was completely wrong. Had I known Peter Weir directed at the beginning, I would have realised. This is a hugely impressive film. The script bristles with intelligence and sophistication, deftly touching upon many themes, even though the primary narrative is the pursuit of the French warship. This is course gives the film continuous momentum and suspense. But the suspense is also dervived from the simmering tension (bordering on ouright mutiny) on board the ship. There is surprisingly little in the way of action scenes and the film is all the better for it - action and violence is used only sparingly and to great effect and the concerns at the heart of the film are far more interesting and sometimes profound. The photography is beautiful, the pace and direction are perfect and at the centre of it all, Russell Crowe displays (as a Captain should) poise, composure and huge intelligence in the role - he is literally, the ballast and anchor that holds the cast together. But in the final analysis huge praise must go to Peter Weir - the guy just can't help himself from making cinematic masterpieces over and over again.

It is often said that this movie was not a huge commercial success and that therefore, there may be no sequel - that would be a terrible shame.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chris McC on 21 April 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Rather than review the movie which has already been done so well by others I want to concentrate on the Blu-ray transfer as no doubt many will already own the movie on another format or have, at least, seen it.

Although the Blu-ray is an improvement on the DVD version I still do not think it is up to scratch when comparing to other blu-ray movies.

Some of the interior shots look amazing but it is when we go outdoors that things don't quite shape up as well. I appreciate that many of the outdoor shots are set in foggy or smokey conditions but in many instances the picture has an unpleasant grainy effect. This is apparent whatever the conditions (wind, rain, or shine) and it is unfortunate as it is these sweeping shots where the full effect of HD could be untilised best.

As a 2003 release it can be argued that more modern movies with the technology now available are bound to have a higher picture quality but at over 40 years old, Zulu has proved that if done correctly older movies can make the step up to HD with fantastic results.

As I said above it is still better than the DVD version and for the price, well worth it if you like the movie and have a blu-ray player. But I love the movie and after watching it is HD, felt a little bit disappointed that the picture quality wasn't better.
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