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Unique ID Code: 0000059947
Added by: DVD Reviewer
Added on: 2/5/2004 16:53
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Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World (Collector`s Edition Two Discs) (UK)

9 / 10
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A swashbuckling adventure set aboard the high seas
Certificate: 12
Running Time: 139 mins
Retail Price: £22.99
Release Date:

In Peter Weir`s Master And Commander, Russell Crowe stars as Captain "Lucky" Jack Aubrey, renowned as a fighting captain in the British Navy. After a French ship almost sinks them in a battle, the ship`s surgeon and Aubrey`s closest friend Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany) cautions him about letting revenge cloud his judgement. With the HMS Surprise badly damaged and much of his crew injured, Aubrey is torn between duty and friendship as he pursues a high-stakes chase across two oceans to intercept and capture his foe, refusing to accept defeat at the hands of the French at any cost.

Special Features:
Making of featurette `The Hundred Days`. Peter Weir on directing. Special effects documentary. Sound design documentary. HBO First Look special. The Last Battle multi-angle studies. Camera setups and split screen vignette. Stills galleries. Interactive sound recording feature. Inside look at I Robot.

Video Tracks:
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1

Audio Tracks:
Dolby Digital 5.1 English
DTS 5.1 English

Subtitle Tracks:
CC: English

Directed By:
Peter Weir

Written By:

Russell Crowe
Paul Bettany
Edward Woodall
Chris Larkin

Casting By:
Mary Selway
Fiona Weir

Soundtrack By:
Iva Davies
Christopher Gordon
Richard Tognetti

Director of Photography:
Russell Boyd

Lee Smith

Costume Designer:
Wendy Stites
Kacy Treadway

Production Designer:
William Sandell

Todd Arnow
Samuel Goldwyn Jr.
Meyer Gottlieb
Duncan Henderson
Peter Weir

Executive Producer:
Alan B. Curtiss

Twentieth Century Fox

Your Opinions and Comments

9 / 10
What drew me to this film?
Well a combination of fairly good reviews, a good price on the disk and ... not really sure what else.

The Plot
We are back in the days of the ships roaming the severn seas, battling for supremacy.
In this case the British in the form of H.M.S. suprise trying to stop a French privateer ship Acheron.
The British ship is under the command of Lucky Jack Aubery tasked with finding and stopping it.
Unfortunately they find him first, twice, damaging the Suprise quite severely. However Jack is not a man
to take this sort of thing lieing down and chases the bigger and faster French ship around the Horn
and into the Pacific to try and defeat it.

Based on Patrick O`Brian`s detailed novels about the era, it is not a direct book to screen translation, which Peter Weir freely admits in several of the extras.

The Cast
Russell Crowe as Jack Aubery turns in a fairly good performance. He is a believable captain.
Paul Bettany as the surgeon and Jacks confidant and friend also suits the part.
Lots of others involved.

The Visuals/Audio
Visuals look pretty good, and the DTS 5.1 Soundtrack is great. Lots of use of the different
speakers as the cannon balls shriek overhead.

The Extras
Well this is a special edition and the extras are great. I mean really great.
I`ve spent more time watching these than the film itself, and gather a great deal
more respect for the film itself.

Deleted Scenes: Various scenes that were chopped - some of them pretty good, but I guess cut for time.

The Hundred Days: At over an hour, this puts most making of`s into the shade. It goes into detail on all aspects of how the film was made. They bought the only full sized equivalent ship in the world, then built another one on a set of gimbals for control.

In The Wake Of O'Brian: This examines Peter Weir`s approach to writing the script. It is a quite fascinating look at what it takes to actually start to write words on paper.

Cinematic Phasmids: A look at the CGI and model making required for the script.

Sound Design: Not normally that exciting a subject, but in this piece the sound recordist attempt to capture the real sound of cannon, musket and water on the deck.

Interactive Sound Recording Demo: A way to listen to a cannon shot from many different angles.

Multi-Camera Shooting: When they shoot action using multiple cameras, you can view the same scene from lots of angles here.

Still Galleries: Not looked into these yet.

Only thing missing is a commentary, but Peter Weir gives so much in these extras, that it probably wouldn`t add that much.

Its a good film, no doubt. It was up for various Oscars. The extras really make this disk a great disk though.
As a result, I think I might pick up at least one of Mr O`Brian`s books (of which there are a large number) to explore this further.
posted by Julian Onions on 24/9/2004 20:27