By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World was one of the movies I was really excited about on Blu Ray. I remember feeling transported into this world, and I figured there would be plenty of glorious high-def detail. There was, but it was not the bright blue ocean that I remembered.
On Blu-Ray: Master and Commander
Actually, most of the water scenes in Master and Commander are at night, dusk or dawn, or in foggy waters. It creates a distinct effect but it's not the travelogue quality. The night water shimmers with the silhouette of the boat a sharp black. Closer in, the silhouettes of crewmen climbing ropes against the sail are perfect.
Most of the film is set in the interior of the boat, probably to avoid budget issues being locked into open water. Most of this is dingy and dark, with only capsules of light. Candle light flatters the boys.
Fog is appropriately hazy and misty, and battle scenes show plenty of debris flying and water spraying, with smoke thrusting things in and out of focus. When the boat finally hits direct sun, it's a gorgeous glow, even though it may be bad for the crew. Island stops are lush with plant life, and some unique critters roaming around. It's no Lost but it's a nice contrast with the boat stuff.