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the pathetic caverns - movies by title - Master and Commander

eclectic reviews and opinions

Master and Commander

2003, D: Peter Weir, S: Peter Weir & John Collee

A lot of people enjoyed Master and Commander, and my quibbling may be of questionable use. Further, I must admit ignorance of Patrick O'Brian's source material. Most likely, you already know if this is your sort of thing or not. But if you're in doubt, I thought it was oversold -- it wasn't so much a historical fiction with an uncommon amount of adventure and excitement, as a Hollywood action movie with an uncommon amount of intelligence and attention to historical detail. The tactics that the Surprise's skipper Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) uses to defeat the superior firepower of the Acheron are just about as gimmicky as those used by the A-Team or the crew of the Enterprise. The acting was uneven, and the film did a poor job of distinguishing the host of minor characters. It was fine for what it was, an enjoyable spectacle with some exciting sequences, impressive sets and handsome cinematography -- but it did not transcend the limitations of its genre in the way that Das Boot (for example) did.

Update: I've since read O Brian's Post Commander. What I put myself through for you people, I swear. I'm inclined to think the movie is more faithful to the novels than I originally gave it credit for; now I think it's the novels that are oversold. Of course lots of people love them, and I'm a cantankerous snobby bastard. What can I say ... the hate mail has slacked off lately.

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