MOVIES ON THE BRAIN: “MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD”

I’m more or less looking forward to this one. My opinion of Russell Crowe is that he could be a pretty good actor if he would cut out the would-be epic genre movies. Still, I had read positive reviews of this one so figured there were better than even odds it would be all right.

00:02 – What is it with sea-based movies and the title cards doing a little exposition in addition to setting the time and place? The same tactic was used in “Hunt for Red October”. Somehow I doubt, though, that we’ll see the disclaimer announcing no one will admit the events of this movie ever took place.

00:03 – OK, three minutes in and no dialogue. We have, however seen long, sustained shots of a cannon, an hourglass and a bell. Don’t know if we’re going to get the whole tour of the ship now or later.

0:06 – I haven’t seen it since, but I first saw the Peter Ustinov/Terence Stamp version of “Billy Budd” in high school. I don’t remember much about the movie but remember thinking it was pretty good. Really need to track a copy down.

0:08 – Russell Crowe is swinging his microscope like Ving Rhames in “Pulp Fiction”. I keep waiting for him to say he’s going to go to work on a member of his crew with a blowtorch and a pair of pliers.

00:11 – Crowe looks like he’s ready to have a drink and start randomly punching people. Not sure if this is part of his character or not.

0:13 – Of all the crimes committed by the Star Trek franchise, is the scene from Generations where they are in the holodeck dressed up like sailors and making Worf walk the plank the worst? I think an argument could be made.

0:16 – Anyone see the HBO movie from years and years ago “…And the Band Played On” with Matthew Modine? Crowe just asked the doctor for the “butcher’s bill” and I remember that phrase being used quite a bit by Modine.

0:18 – Is that Eric Idle pouring the wine? I certainly hope not.

0:21 – My major problem with the title of this movie is the addition of the subtitle “The Far Side of the World”. Not only is it really not needed, but I couldn’t help but think of Gary Larson’s Far Side comic strip.

0:24 – There’s a scene right now of everyone watching the doctor perform some very primitive brain surgery and I can’t help but wait for Kramer to drop a Junior Mint in there from the gallery.

0:28 – “Skip! What, have they got you playing with models now?” “It’s not a model, it’s a DSRV….”

0:31 – Ahh. Whores.

0:35 – I hate, hate, hate James Cameron’s Titanic. This is being brought up anew as the dancing sailors are reminding me of Leonardo DiCaprio’s ill-fated attempt at dancing in that movie. I can feel the bile rising. Must…resist…urge…to…punch…self.

0:36 – A whole bunch of sailors right now are singing “Ladies of Spain”. Robert Shaw must be below deck talking to Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss.

0:39 – I’m sorry for bringing up this movie, but all the action with the telescope is reminding me of the scene from “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” where Morgan Freeman shows Kevin Costner the telescope, Costner looks through it and freaks out. May be one of my favorite moments in recent movie history.

0:43 – Hey, I think it’s the monkey from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Watch out for those dates!

0:46 – All kinds of wave action going on here. I think I see George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg in the background.

0:49 – These repeated shots of the hourglass lead me to assume one of two things: 1) There is a reason we keep seeing it being flipped that hasn’t been explained and I don’t know what it is, or 2) The assistant director is just a huge “Days of our Lives” fan.

0:52 – Nice bit here with Crowe needing to essentially kill a crew member by cutting loose the wreckage he’s clinging to.

0:53 – Good music in this movie but there’s just too much of it. The best score I can think of from a relatively recent movie is the one for “Last of the Mohicans”. Just great. I haven’t decided yet whether Howard Shore’s music for the Lord of the Rings trilogy trumps it.

0:54 – I think one of the crewmembers is “Fun” Bobby from “Friends”.

0:55 – Is there a reason the Eric Idle look-alike is acting shady or are we just supposed to accept it and move on? I really wish the filmmakers would let me know.

0:58 – Finally remembered what movie it was that’s been pacing around at the back of my mind for the last hour – “Pirates of Penzance” with Kevin Kline. Great movie that use to be on cable all the time when I was a kid. How come this isn’t out on DVD and yet we have seven versions of American Pie?

Time for an intermission. Get the rest in part two of MOVIES ON THE BRAIN: “MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD”>>>




Posted on May 4, 2004 in Features by

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One Comment on "MOVIES ON THE BRAIN: “MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD”"

  1. Andrew Cleese on Fri, 27th Apr 2012 6:17 am 

    This review, and the followup, tell me nothing about the movie whatsoever.

    They tell me a great deal about the reviewer … but nothing worth knowing.


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