Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World 2003

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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

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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
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 94 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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By k a f wayt on 22 Oct 2004
Format: DVD
Being a fan of the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey/Maturin novels, I approached this film with a little caution, as anybody familiar with the books will tell you that the film title is an amalgamation of two seperate books from the series. I am pleased to say that my fears were, for the most part, misplaced. The casting of the two main parts is inspired, both bringing to life there respective characters with a warmth and depth that becomes apparent in the books, but I doubted could be brought to the big screen, with the obvious time constraints allowing only a finite amount of time for "character building".
The attention to detail, the sound and sweeping cinematography are truly breathtaking, whilst the inclusion of several smaller plot lines from various books in the series make even the "quite" times in the film alternatly gripping and, at times, very moving. The exciting scenes of sudden battle, (with the excellent sound effects), rounding cape horn, and long sea chases are tempered by scenes of Nelsonian period surgery, loss of shipmates and the psychological stresses that months at sea could produce.
There are a couple of things that do detract a little (for me). Why was it necessary to amalgamate two fine books into the one movie, when any of the books in the series, given this kind of treatment, would make for a superb film in its own right, and why do the Americans now feel that they have to re-write historical FICTION, as well as FACT. The enemy ship being hunted in the novel The Far Side of The World is an AMERICAN frigate, the NORFOLK, as the action occurs during the war of 1812.
This aside, Master and Commander is an excellent movie, just sit back and allow yourself to be taken back in time!
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51 of 53 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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