Site Columns By Michelle
April 21, 2004 - 3:46 PM

Hello World!

20th Century Fox made me so happy this week by releasing the special edition Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World at the same time as the no-frills edition, meaning that I don't have to buy the movie on DVD twice and I can immediately watch the deleted scenes, documentaries and all the fun stuff they packed onto the optional second disc. Unlike the greedy creeps at New Line, who are attempting to milk every possible billion out of The Lord of the Rings by trying to get us to buy each movie three times - they've announced not only a standard release of Return of the King in the summer, plus the extended edition in the winter, but a set containing all three films with additional footage and bloopers to be released when they decide it's the optimum time to make more bucks off the fans - Fox has side-by-side displays of M&C on single discs with trailers and as two-disc sets with cast and crew interviews, special effects features, galleries and lots of other goodies.

I am utterly in love with the little film on "Cinematic Phasmids", the feature that shows how they composited the shots and used matte paintings and layering to make it look like a ship in a tank in Mexico was sailing around Cape Horn. And all the featurettes about how they chose and composed the music...finding appropriate duets for Aubrey and Maturin to play, teaching Russell Crowe to play the violin (he's a guitarist, as is Paul Bettany, and had taped frets onto the instrument), watching the actors urgently try to play in sync with the pre-recorded music by virtuosos...and then there was Peter Weir, talking about all his little yellow post-it notes in the Patrick O'Brian series, which I am reading now and also bookmarking to bits. Ohh, and the footage of the Galapagos that didn't make it into the film!

Lest this should sound like a gratuitous plug, I will admit my selfish reasoning: I want these DVDs to make millions of dollars because I desperately want a sequel to The Far Side of the World. There were twenty books; Peter Weir combined elements of several of them to make this movie, but lord knows there's enough material to make another movie even pillaging from the other nineteen volumes. If he got tired of making a sea-epic (which it doesn't sound like he did at all from the commentaries, but you never know), he could make an entirely different film, focusing on Aubrey and Maturin on land - a period piece of the Merchant-Ivory sort, about their wives and financial difficulties and social mores, or a historical spy thriller focusing less on Jack and more on Stephen and his mysterious past and secret dealings.

Trek BBS Today

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