The moviegoing public has gotten a lot right over the last couple of decades, but our collective inability to make Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World into a big enough hit to merit a sequel is something we’ll have to carry with us for the rest of our days (days we’ll spend in a sad, Master-And-Commander-movie-franchise-less excuse for a culture). But at least we can still revisit the first—and only—installment of the series tonight on Encore at 12:30 a.m. Eastern, and enjoy director Peter Weir’s thrillingly staged naval battles, along with the collegial banter between Russell Crowe’s Captain Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany’s Dr. Steven Maturin. That’s the key to Patrick O’Brien’s series of seafaring novels, and to the movie: the friendship between the good-natured, adventurous Aubrey and the clumsy, bookish doctor. They’re a delight to hang out with, in a movie filled with action and incident. Why oh why didn’t we love it enough?
February 12, 2015 Cable Pick Of The Day