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Thread: Master and Commander

  1. #1
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Master and Commander

    Awesome movie! I highly recommend this movie. The acting is superb and the music is wonderful. I never read any of the books, but I think it must have been pretty faithful to the books, at least it was to the time period. Another Oscar nomination for Russell Crowe is in order, I am sure! Well done.





  2. #2
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Lad, I second your nomination. We just got back from seeing this picture and I was highly entertained the whole time. I loved it and recommend it......42

  3. #3
    Kwan's vodka dealer VIETgrlTerifa's Avatar
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    I think the fact that this movie will get a lot of Oscar nods is inevitable, especially with the way Jack Valenti is running the MPAA nowadays...

  4. #4
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Master and Commander

    show 42:

    Guess what! I found a Master and Commander poster at the bottom of a box of books at work - features Russell Crowe on one side and the ship on the other! It's wonderful. I also purchased the cd soundtrack - loved the music.

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    I completely disagree! It should not garner any nominations for the big catagories. Cinematography, yes. But that's it.

    I can't believe I watched the same movie as the rest of you. It was beyond boring. Almost non-existent character development and a sparse plot with only spurts of dramatic tension. I was hoping it would be like Patriot or Braveheart, but it doesn't even come close to those epic stories. The difference between those movies and M&C is that while all rely on a certain amount of grand battle scenes meant to astonish the senses, the characters in Braveheart and Patriot were more fully developed so that you actually invested more of yourself when watching the character's story unfold. Would it have killed the writers to delve a little deeper into Jack Aubrey's psyche? How about making us care a little bit more about their mission?

    Two enthusiastic thumbs down from me! I thank God I used movie passes I got as a gift rather than actually plunk down money for this weak movie.

  6. #6
    Kwan's vodka dealer VIETgrlTerifa's Avatar
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    I haven't watched the movie yet Skate Sandee, but when I said it was inevitable that this movie would get major nominations I meant it would because the Academy seems to love the big epics like this.

    Also, with Jack Valenti not giving screeners to the major critics or guild members who are not Academy members this year, the smaller independent movies aren't going to have much publicity to help them gain Oscar nods.

    Of course, there are people who think differently than me. Some people think that the Academy only gives one slot of the five for Best Picture to the big epic movie and they think Return of the King is going to kill Master and Commander's chances of getting a nod for Best Pic.

  7. #7
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    I'm not surprised! One fan's torture is another fan's fancy. I realize the movie seems a bit disjointed. It's like they took one or two chapters from a novel and made a movie from it.......no beginning and no ending in sight (could this mean a sequel, I hope so).........I remember seeing "A Brilliant Mind" and hearing everyone rave over it. I wasn't at all impressed and in fact, didn't care for the movie at all.......go figure..........42

  8. #8
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Skate Sandee:

    First of all this story was based on a novel. It was historical and fiction. The facts are true - like the Poldark series - the events are true, the characters are fictional. That is where our imaginations come in. The sheer drugery and horrible conditions these men had to endure - were part of the story. A story taking place at sea on a vessel is going to be pretty challenging and limited as far as action goes. It gave me pause to think how lucky we are. We take everything in our lives for granted. Often in those times young men were forced into the Kings' service or had little choice.

    I thought the details of life aboard a war faring vessel were well portrayed. Sure the characters could have maybe been more developed, but I think we got enough of their personalities for the story. Like "Mutiny on the Bounty," the story is straight forward.
    The struggle between a Captain and the men serving him and just how far they would follow him. I thought a sequel was indicated at the end.

    I enjoyed it. I must read the books.

  9. #9
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    show 42

    I remember seeing "A Brilliant Mind" and hearing everyone rave over it. I wasn't at all impressed and in fact, didn't care for the movie at all.......go figure..........42

    Did you mean "A Beautiful Mind" ? This movie did not appeal to me either, for personal reasons.

  10. #10
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    You're right Lad, I got my "Brilliant and Beautiful" mixed up......I agree of your assessment on M and C.........I think the most compelling part for me were the crude conditions the doctor had to work under, especially during battle. To perform an amputation and brain surgery without anesthesia was incredible....42

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    I've worked with playwrights for years (which is not to far off from screenwriting). There are a number of ways to adapt a book into a movie. It can be perilous if done incorrectly. But the basic rule of thumb for ANY story to be successful is that it needs to be PLOT-driven and/or CHARACTER-driven.

    Successful character-driven movies do not need to rely on a complex plot because it focusses on the development and life of one or two major characters.

    Plot driven movies require less information about the characters, and more focus on the unfolding story.

    Master and Commander suffers because it straddles the fence and did not explore either side enough. I have no problem with depicting the realism of that kind of life. I have no problem with the confines of setting of the movie. (Although Perfect Storm managed to be a great character-driven movie that also got a relatively decent sense of the events at sea). But by choosing to forgoe a plot-driven story, it was incumbent upon them to make it more of a character study. And I never got the payoff. There was almost no attention given into really exploring what makes Aubrey tick. Crowe could only work with what was given to him. So we saw a man that had brief moments of crisis of consciousness, but otherwise displayed a consistent appearence of a capable commander. Not even the elusive ship seemed to garner more than curiosity and grudging admiration from Aubrey. No passion, no angst, no true sense of crisis in his decision-making. A crisis of whatever - confidence, faith, loyalty, etc - are the lifeblood of any successful charater study.

    And the worst offense in my eyes IS the open ending. I hate it when a story doesn't stand on it's own AND then has the arrogance to leave the possibility of a sequal open at the end. They should have spent more time breathing life into the first movie before worrying about a second movie.

  12. #12
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    I guess when I go to a movie, I sit back and let it "hit me with it's best shot", whether it be breath-taking cinematography, action, suspense, compelling characters, whatever. I don't try to analyze it too much, because then I lose the enjoyment. I basically go to be entertained, that's why I avoid heavy dramas, movies about torture or child abductions, etc. I love swash-bucklers, sci-fi, comedies, a good fantasy, some-type that I can escape to for a few hours. I realize that M and C had it's faults, but as an over-all action-packed film, it did the job for me............but I do see where you're coming from Sandee. If a movie bores me, than I start to pick it apart too.........42

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    I just got back from this movie and thought it was quite enjoyable. I would agree with Ladskater and say that one of the strongest elements here is the realistic and eye-opening portrayl of life aboard early nineteenth century war vessels. As far as character development, well, it certainly isn't the best, but I don't think it is completely void either. Russel Crowe and Paul Bettany's relationship is developed quite well as the movie progresses and left me knowing all I needed to about their friendship. I didn't need any "past filler", both came accross clearly to me as admirable but conflicted men and this was achieved mainly through their interactions with one another. As for all of the Oscar talk, I'm not sure about that one. Crowe and Bettany both gave wonderful performances, but I'd have to see some other films that are being talked about first.

  14. #14
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Skate Sandee:

    I am with Show on this one. I am not going to analyze this movie to death. I don't think it was meant to be. It's not exactly "To Kill a Mockingbird" material. Like the book - "Far Side of The World" by Patrick O'Brian, the movie was pure entertainment.

    I remember in school how I hated over analyzing any book or poem. One soon begins to loathe the premise.

    I think Russell Crowe gave a convincing performance and got the characters' motivation across.

    I thought "The Perfect Storm" was trite. Though it was based on a true event, the characters were not at all portrayed realistically, but as hollywood soap opera types and took away from the real story.

    Anyway, I enjoyed Master and Commander as an adventure story. I am sure that is how Patrick O'Brian intended his story to be presented.

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    Originally posted by Ladskater
    Skate Sandee:

    I am with Show on this one. I am not going to analyze this movie to death. I don't think it was meant to be.
    Anyway, I enjoyed Master and Commander as an adventure story. I am sure that is how Patrick O'Brian intended his story to be presented.
    I LOVE popcorn action films! Don't get me wrong. A good Aarrnoold film is a lot a fun!

    My problem is that while Patrick O'Brian may have intended his story to be an adventure story, and YOU believe that it was not meant to be more than an adventure movie, that's NOT how it's been promoted. Everywhere I turn, I hear "classic, epic, STORY for ALL time". I'm not kidding! These are the ads out there right now. And the endless suggestions out there that it will win an Oscar for Best Picture. Tell me that's not putting it on a level of a film to be analysed.

    So if you set my expectations up that it's going to be anything but a great thrill on the sea, of course my expectations are going to be horribly shattered.

    And my point with Perfect Storm, was that while the storm elements were decently presented, it spent a great deal more time than M&C exploring the mind of the Captain. I thought Perfect Storm was a little ho-hum too. But I still today have the enduring memory of the characterization of Capt Billy Tyne as a flawed "Old Man and the Sea" type character who faced the most tragic situation as a great fisherman in a slump, having to prove himself, and in the face of great fortune (and a broken ice machine) and a chance at redemtion, made a choice that ultimately killed him and his crew.

    Of course Perfect Storm was promoted as a disaster picture along the lines of "Twister". So I was expecting that kind of popcorn thrill ride and not a 3-dimensional portrayal of a very complex Captain. It was a pleasant surprise.

    I guess it all comes down to how it's set up in the media in the first place. If M&C doesn't want to be considered an adventure story, then perhaps it should not be promoting itself as a classic, epic, Oscar-worthy story for all time.

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