Video Review

[The following review was authored by Peter Gagnon and Marc Desgroseilliers, both registered nurses at Concord Hospital and published in the Hospital’s newsletter.  It is reprinted here with their permission.  With everything going on in the world, especially Iraq, I thought this might offer a slight diversion.  Ed.]

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

PG-13 for intense battle sequences, related images, and brief language. 

Marc’s take…

This movie stars Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator, The Insider, Mystery, Alaska and L.A. Confidential) and Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind and A Knight’s Tale).

In this movie, Russell Crowe portrays Captain Jack Aubrey of the British Navy and follows his pursuit of a foe of the French Navy.  Paul Bettany portrays Dr. Stephen Maturin, the ship’s surgeon.  Dr. Maturin has to bandage up the sailors after canon balls rip through the ship and even does surgery on himself – impressive.  The best scenes are of the ship sailing, the ocean and the battle scenes – the cinematography is great.  The ship is beautiful and the detail in the battle scenes – very well done.

At 138 minutes (2 hours and 18 minutes), I think they could, or should have cut a half hour or so from the movie to speed it up a bit – I found it dragged between battle scenes.  I also think that although he did an ok job, I wasn’t that impressed with Russell Crowe – overall, I think he’s overrated.

I know Peter’s a big fan of this movie – he likes historical type movies and war movies (he says I like all movies, but that’s not true), and he actually purchased this DVD for his elite home collection – he doesn’t buy too many DVD’s…but I have to disagree with him on this one - only 2 ½ stars from me.  Marc

Pete's Take

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a great fictional account detailing naval life and combat during the Napoleonic Wars.  The story unfolds aboard the HMS Surprise and shipboard life circa 1805 is portrayed in amazing detail.  Russell Crowe portrays Jack Aubrey, the ships stalwart Captain who places duty to king and country above all others.  He leads 

the Surprise in a round the hemisphere chase after a much larger and more powerful French vessel.  The fighting sequences are riveting; by far the best Hollywood has aired since Ben Hur slugged it out in oared galleys. 

The character development is extensive but a little protracted at times.  Definitely could have used more editing.  Paul Bettany does an excellent job playing the ships surgeon and Captain Aubrey's confidant.  During a lull in their chase for the French he leads an interesting pre-Darwinian excursion to the Galapagos Islands.  I was a little disappointed with the movies inconclusive ending but will be breaking the four star barrier and outranking Marc for the 1st time since our reviews started. 

4 ½ Stars.   Peter

Anonymous reviewer:  “The Voice From the Balcony”

Russell Boyd (cinematography) is the real master and commander here (four stars and an extra ration of grog for him)... the rest can walk the plank.  2.5 stars overall.

By Paul Bernard
The Chapter recently mailed out new membership directories identified as the “25 Anniversary Edition” and dated 2004.  We have received two reports of directories not making it through the mail system intact.  If you are a member and did not receive a directory, or you received a damaged directory, please contact Herb Follansbee for a replacement.  Herb can be reached via the Chapter’s mailing address:  P.O. Box 712, Dover, NH 03820.  Also -  great job by Michael McLean in putting the directory together.  If MOAA had an award for the best directory, we would set the standard!
Also with the political season heating up, it is worth a reminder that the Chapter does not endorse any political party or candidate.  The membership directory is published for use by members in conducting Chapter business.  Under no circumstances should the directory be used to develop a mailing list for any political candidate or party.  In the past, some members have written letters, at their own expense, to other members asking them to endorse or vote for a particular candidate.  This is not related to Chapter activities, and is not considered an appropriate use of the directory.  Enough said.  Thanks for listening.


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