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Master and Commander Movie

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During the Napoleonic Wars, Captain Jack Aubrey pits the crew of the H.M.S. Surprise against a much better armed and ruthless privateer in a chase that takes them all the way to the far side of the world. All the while Aubrey matches wits with his ship's doctor.

Riding the waves of this summers box-office smash Pirates of the Caribbean, 20th Century Fox releases an intellectual account of the high seas. Beginning with a vague storyline/historical account this movie finds its pit fairly early and rises above mediocrity to become one of the top adult movies released this year. Before this critique continues I must state that although this movie has a PG-13 rating many of the themes and motifs can only be enjoyed by an adult/sophisticated movie audience. Younger box-office patrons might want to check out Elf, Timeline, Cat in the Hat, or Brother Bear before purchasing a ticket for this 140 minute journey filled with well-scripted dialogue and well-orchestrated eerie imagery. Also if your an adult who suffers from ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) you might want to check out Matrix Revolutions, Timeline, and/or Love Actually this holiday season before attending this flick since it heavily relies on long drawn-out scenes more or less elaborating about life on the high seas in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth centuries.

Brutal honesty is where this movie succeeds on the big screen. The film doesn't pander too much to movie-going audiences by telling an unnecessary love story to progress the plot and utilizing a simple emotion, love (not in real life, but for movies) to connect with an audience. Outside of the children in war motif which is a little overused an subsidizes the lack of love interest for Russell Crowe, the film really conveys life on the high seas when sailors would cut off limbs to fight disease, where luck and chance were god-like powers, and when a man could be born into a life of privilege. Unlike most movies where the protagonist has to overcome supernatural villains, big corporations, and/or unthinkable odds; Russell Crowe simply has to overcome his self and his sense of duty to his country. Although the trailer emphasizes the fact he is chasing a vessel much larger and faster than his own, the movie really delves deep into Captain Jack Aubrey's emotions and his priorities. The movie isn't about winning itself, but how you win and what you are willing to lose by winning. For instance, in the beginning of the film you see Captain Jack Aubrey make sacrificial choices (cutting off the arm of an adolescent boy, losing men at sea in devastating storms) and near the end of the film you see him reassessing his priorities when realizing victory is incomplete after sacrificing the lives of his friends/family.

The only pitfall in the movie arises whenever Russell Crowe tries to tell a joke. It is insanely painful to watch and someone needs to tell director Peter Weir that slamming your hand into a table doesn't make a mediocre joke funny. 

If you are getting tired/bored from grand/elaborate plots which Hollywood is well-known for you might just want to check this film out as it is one of the biggest surprises of the year.

See this movie if you're a fan of:

Russell Crowe (Actor, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind)

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Peter Weir (Director, Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show, Green Card)

Robinhood Prince of Thieves (1991)

star star star

Box Office Info:

Russell Crowe (as Capt. Jack Aubrey)
Richard Stroh (as French Officer)
Paul Bettany (as Stephen Maturin)
Billy Boyd (as Barrett Bonden)
James D'Arcy (as Tom Pullings)

Directed By: Peter Weir
Written By: John Collee & Larry Ferguson
Produced By: 20th Century Fox

Release Date (US): November 14, 2003

Length of Movie: 2h 20min

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences, related images, and brief language.

Filming Dates: June 17, 2002 - Nov. 11, 2002

Filming Location: Mexico, Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Rosarito (CA).

Budget: $135,000,000

Opening Weekend: $25,105,990

Master and Commander Soundtrack

Master and Commander Soundtrack
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1. Ghost of Time
2. Endless Ocean
3. Violin Concerto no. 3
4. O'Sullivan's March
5. Spanish Ladies
6. Raging Sea/Bonnie Ship the Diamond
7. Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
8. Don't Forget Your Old Shipmates
9. Adagio from Concerto Grosso Op. 6, no. 8 in G Minor Christmas Concerto
10. Preluxe
11. Boccherini La Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid. No. 6, Op. 30

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