Movie: Master & Commander

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Russel Crowe swashes his buckles, sweeps his strings, swings his hatchet, swabs his wounds, swills his rum, swoons in his cups, swaps his weevils, swears his oaths, and swarms his enemies. Interesting looks at early 19th century naval life. Standard Hollywood storytelling.

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4 thoughts on “Movie: Master & Commander”

  1. dylan’s synopsis is certainly to point and i find it hard to disagree with any of it. sometimes an actor/actress gets “BIG” enough, that just putting them in a movie guarantees $$.. Russell Crowe is certainly at that level.
    (L.A. Confidential was CLASSIC.. great movie).

    the acting and cinematography was very good.
    the movie goes to the Gallapagos Islands and there are some visually appealing scenes there. the ships were neat too. seeing the shot burst through wood was impressive.

    some of the characters were kinda cool too. there was Monty Python actor in there and he was the cook. he was surly and funny, to me.

    there was some old salt on the ship too… his knuckles were tattooed with “STAND FAST”. he certainly looked the part he played and did it well.

    Captain Jack (Crowe) was good (as usual) in his part. nothing terribly complex about the character, though it did attempt to reveal his motivations for being so unrelenting (but NOTHING like Anthony Hopkins Captain Bly in “Muntinee on the Bounty”). he’ll get a de facto “Best Actor” nomination for his part.

    the doctor was the most interesting character and it was a very well acted part. i kinda relate to him, coming from a biology background.. when there are critters and plants, especially heretofore undiscovered critters, biologists get tunnel vision. i could actually feel his pain when he didn’t get to set foot on the Gallapagos.. but in typical Hollywood fashion, he later does (but is cut short again.. waaa).

    overall, not enough grit in this movie. ship life was not exploited enough.. musta been harsh, i sure as hell don’t want it. there was a flogging though.. i mean, what would a ship movie be without a flogging with the cat o’ 9 tailz? exactly. it was a shame nobody got keel hauled.

    i was also disappointed that the “other” ship’s “life” was not in the movie. big disappointment.. dylan thought so too.

    there was nothing BAD about the movie, but it will be forgotten in a year or so. the movie may get a “best movie” nomination, again, de facto.

    the ending, again Hollywood-ish was cool… the adventure ain’t quite over yet

  2. The old guys knuckles: HOLD FAST (nothing on the thumbs).

    Agreed about the doctor (Paul Bettany). His naturalist values were well portrayed. He was also anti-authoritarian, which brought out Captain Jack’s struggle between using his power for himself vs. for his country. That’s why it reminded me of Patton. But that struggle takes a backseat to action & battles in this film, unlike Patton where both were done well. This movie also seems to conclude that power is good as long as its in the hands of guys like Capn Jack, which is a point but not a very profound one.

    Agreed also about the “other side”. The French were just convenient bad guys, instead of characters. Contrasts and similarities of life on the two vessels would have made a deeper impression.

  3. so, curtis and lodi and i finish up our bouldering and are tailgating.
    lodi gets on his soap box to dominate the conversation as he occaisionally likes to do.
    well, he had seen this special about M & C. he started off by saying how historians went on the ship and were describing the different details of it and the life on the ship.
    i was thinking “Ok,this is gonna be cool.. i mean, i just had a rad day of bouldering, i am drinking a beer and i’m gonna learn something (instead of schooling folks like i’d just done for 2 hours!).
    anyway, he starts off with the known stuff… life was hard, lots of dudes, etc..
    “The word ‘head’ was conveived ‘cuz there was a hole at the head of the ship.. this is where people to a S!”
    I was like “Ok.. that makes sense.. next topic”.

    “Well, on the gun deck, sometimes there’d be like 100+ guys down there and the stench would be overwhelming.”
    i was like “Ok, i don’t want to hear any gross stuff.” then to myself “Man, it’s been such a nice day, i don’t want to hear nasty stuff.”

    “During battle, the men would get sick and they’d go to the deck BELOW and barf…”
    i interjected pleading with him to change the conversation
    “… and shit and so forth. The stench would rise to the deck above.”
    Curtis and I were both like “Shut up lodi, we don’t want to hear.. wasy distasteful.”
    “To make matters worse, the men soaked their clothes in piss to cleanse them.”

    we both just wanted to murder him.

    dylan, how do YOU cleanse your clothes?

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