Master and Commander – DVD

by admin on January 17, 2010

We have extensively reviewed the remarkable Master and Commander series of historical fiction novels,Master and Commander - Russel Crowe - DVD featuring Captain “Lucky” Jack Aubrey and his particular friend, Dr. Stephen Maturin, by the unsurpassable Patrick O’Brian. You can find reviews of all the books, and a lot of materials about the author Patrick O’Brian as well, by following the link above.

The movie about Jack Aubrey and his crew, also entitled Master and Commander, is no less spectacular than the book series (C.S. Forester’s book series about Horatio Hornblower has also been filmed – see our review here). In the capable hands of director Peter Weir, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a seafaring adventure like no other, impeccably authentic, dynamically cast, and thrilling enough to give any classic swashbuckler a run for its money.

In adapting two of Patrick O’Brian’s enormously popular novels about British naval hero Capt. Jack Aubrey, Weir and co-writer John Collee have changed the timeframe from the British/American war of 1812 to the British/French opposition of 1805, where the HMS Surprise – a ship that appears in many of the novels – under Aubrey’s confident command, is patrolling the South Atlantic in pursuit of the Acheron, a French warship with the strategic advantage of greater size, speed, and artillery.

Russell Crowe plays Jack Aubrey, and gives one of his best performances. Aubrey is firm and fiercely loyal, focused on his prey even if it means locking horns with his friend and ship’s surgeon, played by Crowe’s A Beautiful Mind costar Paul Bettany.

Employing a seamless combination of carefully matched ocean footage, detailed models, full-scale ships, and CGI enhancements, Weir pays exacting attention to every nautical detail, while maintaining a very human story of honor, warfare, and survival under wretched conditions. We experience sailing, sea tactics, and life on board a ship of this era. Raging storms and hull-shattering battles provide pulse-pounding action, and a visit to the Galapagos Islands lends a note of otherworldly wonder, adding yet another layer of historical perspective to this splendidly epic adventure.

I simply loved the movie. From beginning to end, it was extraordinary, very authentic and suspenseful, and wonderful entertainment. Anyone who enjoys action and drama will enjoy Master and Commander. It ranges from great battle scenes with the tang of salt spray to human drama.

  • Actors: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd, James D’Arcy, Edward Woodall
  • Directors: Peter Weir
  • Writers: Peter Weir, John Collee, Patrick O’Brian
  • Producers: Alan B. Curtiss, Bob Weinstein, Duncan Henderson, Harvey Weinstein
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2004
  • Run Time: 138 minutes

(You can get the movie with other Region settings and subtitles as well.)

Related Posts:

Previous post:

Next post: