Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Let's take a second gander at that title. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. I realize the title was based on a book but wow. That title sucks it.

And after seeing previews for this movie it really looked like it was gonna suck something fierce. It looked boring and stupid. Russell Crowe is annoying in his private life and that seeps into my idea of seeing a Crowe movie. Especially some movie that looks like a big ego trip. And there were no cleavage in the previews! No bosoms! No boobs!? I thought that's why they made movies on old ships or whatever! For the one shot of the water splashing her boobs and maybe you get to see a bit-o-nip? Or have I been missing the point? Yar?

Anyway, I picked up a bagel and peas and settled into a most excellent quiet empty theater situation. And off we sailed. Right off the bat there was Crowe in his dopey outfit with his 'good' hair and I thought I was in for a bad time. I felt I wasn't going to settle into this movie at all. But within 10 minutes I was digging it and continued to dig it. It was a good slice of life movie. Crowe was captain of this Brit boat around the time Napoleon was a big rabble rouser or whatever. And Crowe goes head to head with some frenchie boat. The french boat is a faster stronger boat and the french captain is smart and gives Crowe a run for it. That's pretty much the story in this flick.

The thing that kept hitting me though was how much living on a wooden ship like that simply isn't for me. These guys all packed in there. All claustrophobic. And sleeping packed in some room with snorers? That's not for me. Alot of yelling. And singing. Plus they had to like climb up the mast and I wouldn't be comfortable with the height. Also there was some uncomfortable medical procedures that were bad news. Rusty clamps and such. Everything seemed wet and smelly and creaky. And if that didn't suck enough- once in a while a cannonball flies through the wall right past your friggin head. I'll pass.

This movie really did surprise me though. I liked watching the thing play out. I though Crowe was way good. I dug his casual confidence attitude. If I was captain of the ship dudes would look at me like, 'Captain? What do we do!?' And I'd be like, 'Ummm... jeez... I don't know. I've never really been in this situation before. Maybe we should all go swimming then decide later. Y'all wanna swim? Last one in is a rotten egg!' Eventually I'd be the first captain to declare a mutiny on myself.

Ok ok. Bottom line. This movie is good. It does slow down at times and there isn't a hell of alot going on throughout. But it seemed to capture the whole situation with the sails and the cannons and the new world and the isolation and the lowtech and the family of men. True leadership. Good war strategy. And it built up to a pretty frickin kickass fight in the end. The whole thing reminded me of a good Star Trek episode. Crowe was Kirk and his friend was kinda Spockish and there was a dude like Scotty and a Wesley Crusher and a Reginald Barclay. And the frenchies were the Klingons with like a cloaking device or whatever..

Three Good Things About This Movie

- The action was well shot and just the idea of two ships going at it that way was weird to think about and watch.
- Crowe was good. I can't deny it. I still think that he's a dickhead. But he's an excellent actor dickhead.
- The sound effects were way good. Good splashy, crunchy, splintery, and boomy.

Three Bad Things About This Movie

- It was sometimes difficult to understand what the hell they were saying. They'd yell something all britty and it would sound like this. Huh?
- I did fade in and out of this flick and I didn't really feel love for the movie. Alot of like. But I didn't really care about it.
- The two ships were so isolated that it seemed to take some of the importance out of who beat up whom.

All in all I'd give this flick a looksee on the big screen while you can. I get the feeling it might dropoff on video unless you gotta superplaz screen like this. (add that to friggin cart.)  The movie looks really good and it's a good escape flick. Well done. Even the ending has a nice lil twist. But it was one of those flicks that as I was watching it I kept realizing that I was liking alot it but I wasn't going over the edge and loving it. It was an impressive, good looking, good feeling, good acted, good actioned spectacle- but I think I appreciated looking at it more than I did watching it.