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A Review

11-23-03 - 1:23 a.m.

I suppose I was in the wrong mood to watch a movie that, with every stroke of detail selection, emphasizes what it was like to be on an old British ship in 1805. The single most exciting thought I had near the start of the film was, "ah, I see, so that's what it was like to be on an old British ship in 1805." It was a thought that would echo repeatedly, resounding just a little less fervently with each iteration, and I don't mean to suggest the thought ever expressed a hint of conviction.

Ebert gave Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World four bloody stars, calling it "an exuberant sea adventure told with uncommon intelligence." Ebert needs to kick the amphetamines. I don't care if the details are historically accurate. Verisimilitude can't justify 138 minutes of excruciating pauses between pauses between cliched debates over anarchy vs. society that fail to extend beyond elementary question begging and ludicrous arguments over whether the crew has time to stop pursuit of the enemy vessel that is the object of their mission so the ship's doctor can walk across one of the Galapagos islands to capture a flightless cormorant he thinks he saw.

I don't generally expect much from war movies. Cheap thrills couldn't have hurt.

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Fiction: Ye Most Lamentable Comedy of Dr. John Doe Faustus

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