Tentin Quarantino ☭’s review published on Letterboxd:
Oh boy, the bigots of Letterboxd aren't going to appreciate this all-male story with about 8 seconds of women on screen and not one of them saying a damn thing. I think I can hear their wailing utterances now, demented calls for ending the lives of a specific group of individuals in totality with no exception and for no justifiable reason - which is the same logic racists use, in case you were wondering. And these deranged individuals - who will be henceforth deemed "Letterbigots" - cling to their hurtful and psychopathic belief for the same reason racists do - because wishing and envisioning (and perhaps inflicting) harm to the whole of a specific group of people satisfies them emotionally.
Just try writing a "review" that says nothing more than "Kill all women" or "Kill all black men", and see if they let that go. I suspect we will see a different standard of enforcement of terms in such cases, no?
Anyway, fuck all Letterbigots.
(and before you respond to complain, consider that if you are more upset at someone calling for the end of discriminatory language persisting en masse on a platform that specifically prohibits that exact form of discriminatory language, than the language itself, you are including yourself in the aforementioned group of mentally insane individuals, and I am not medically qualified to provide the help you require.)
Anyway, Master & Commander is quite a striking movie. I feel this being released the same year as The Return of the King hampered its popularity somewhat. If this was delayed for just one year and released in 2004 instead, I think it might have found its audience sooner.
Part of me is thankful this movie has no sequel and will likely never have one, because one great movie is enough. Have we unlearned how to enjoy films individually? Not everything needs to be part of a grand, sweeping series in which only the first entry is the worthwhile one. If it helps, just imagine there are a couple of sequels out there that you don't watch because they are trash.
Another part of me wishes Peter Weir went out of the industry after making this film, because The Way Back is not even close to par and I do not suspect he is making anything else (sadly). This is a significantly better film to go out with.
If there is one criticism I can level at this movie, it is that the themes of balancing compassion and aggression ring a little hollow when the problem is inevitably solved with violence. I was hoping against all rational reason that the film would have ended before the third act, but of course that would never happen, and audiences would have likely distanced themselves from this film even further if it had.
While this may not be the kind of story Letterbigots will gravitate toward (strictly because there are dudes in it), their deranged thinking does not disqualify or negate the exceptional cinematic artistry and storytelling on display here.
This is such a lovely film for a dozen reasons - one of which being the extraordinary sound design. If you need a blu-ray to show off your home theater, look no further.