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Marvel's Black Widow Review - More of the Same

If today's cinema world was a closet and you pull something out of it, you'd find yourself a superhero costume 70 percent of the times. Marvel's Black Widow is just another pretty looking and flashy costume, with little to no design modifications. Nonetheless, its an entertaining film and here's our verdict.  Film  – Marvel's Black Widow (2021) Duration  – 2h 14 m Director  – Cate Shortland Main Cast - Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour Rating  – 3 / 5 (It's a spoiler-free review) Black Widow acts as a fitting tribute to MCU's fan-favorite character but at the same time it is just more of the same stuff we see in a superhero flick. For one thing this film is about 5 years too late and for another, it doesn't really do anything for Black Widow's character or MCU as a whole. In my opinion it was just a cheap trick to encash the fans' emotions after losing her in Avengers: Endgame. Well, its not a bad film

Revisits - Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

I sometimes hate it when some incredible movies are overshadowed by overly pop ones. Today I am gonna talk about one such film which won 2 Academy Awards, was nominated for 8 others, had a brilliant critical reception; but was overshadowed by the pop culture phenomenon known as The Lord Of Rings: Return of the King (which was obviously magnificent).

Film – Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

Duration – 2h 18m 

Director – Peter Weir

Main Cast - Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, James D' Arcy, Max Pirkis, Billy Boyd, Lee Ingleby and Robert Pugh

Rating – 4.5 / 5 (IMDB - 7.4, RT - 85%, Metacritic - 81% )

As I mentioned above and as can be seen from its scores, it wasn't an underrated film. It was an under-popular and under-hyped one and still remains, even after 17 years of its release. So in this post, I am gonna be blabbering about how good it is while trying to be as unbiased as possible. Starring the Academy Award winning Gladiator, sorry actor, Russell Crowe, Master and Commander shook the world of cinema with its technicalities. 

(Image: © 20th Century Fox)

For one thing, it won the Oscar for Best Cinematography and Sound Editing when its competitor was Peter Jackson's LOTR 3. So that in itself, explains how awe-inspiring it must have been and for another, it was a revolutionary film in terms of 5.1 surround sound technology. It is one of the first movies that film experience enthusiasts play while testing their newly bought home theatre systems. I'll talk more about its cinematography below but first let's know what the film is about. 

Director, Peter Weir (In yellow) 
(Image: © 20th Century Fox)

Fortunately, Master and Commander: The Far of the World isn't as long as it's title and showcases the story of Captain Jack Aubrey in a very engaging and intriguing manner. Set in the early 1800's during Napoleanic wars, it follows lucky Jack's mission to search for a French vessel Acheron and destroy it. But it seems like Captain Aubrey has finally met his match, when Archeron takes his vessel, Surprise by surprise and renders it highly damaged.  The film is highly unpredictable and full of twists, thanks to its witty script and equally witty protagonist. 

(Image: © 20th Century Fox)

With an excellent direction by Peter Weir, Master and Commander isn't just about glorification of British Navy. In fact, it also successfully showcases the horrors of war and its impact on the mindset of the ones involved in it. I especially, liked the part where the crew became insanely desperate due to bad weather conditions and absence of wind. I cannot spoil that for you but what their desperation led to was quite disturbing. Since, it was the 1800s, people were superstitious and others had to pay the price for their superstitions.

(Image: © 20th Century Fox)

Apart from Russell Crowe's witty and brilliant portrayal of Captain Jack, I was highly impressed with Paul Bettany's performance as Dr. Stephen Maturin. Also, Dr. Stephen's keen interest in wildlife, especially birds took us to amazing locations and provided some beautiful shots to savor. Apart from them, James D' Arcy, Max Perkis and Lee Ingleby delivered terrific performances as well. I think the only problem that this movie probably had was absolutely no female characters. But I'd say that to make the 1800's war experience realistic and authentic, it was a required step. Talking about the characters, the unnamed Captain of the enemy ship served as a great antagonist, even though we didn't see him on screen until the very end of the film. 

(Image: © 20th Century Fox)

Now let's talk about its cinematography for a moment. I was amazed at how many different types of shots and angles the makers used, even though most of the movie was either based on a ship or an island. Some of the best shots of one film came during the battle scenes. You think Pirates of Caribbean's (also 2003) ship battle scenes were visually stunning? Well, wait till you see Master and Commander! Another chunk of brilliant shots, as I mentioned above, came while discovering wildlife on the Galapagos Islands. Since most of the film was shot on a ship, Russell Boyd (cinematographer) used this opportunity to showcase his talent and capture some mesmerizing shots.

(Image: © 20th Century Fox)

The already amazing shots were glued together by flawless editing and sound mixing. With a rousing original score and the use of revolutionary surround sound technology, Master and Commander is all set to please your auditory senses. A few other technical detail I would like to mention here are its authentic production design, appropriate costumes and to the point make-up and hair-styling. The effort they must have put in designing those ultra-realistic ships without much usage of CGI, is applaud worthy! Put all these things together and you get one of the most technically advanced films of the 21st century. 

Just Look at the Visuals!
(Image: © 20th Century Fox)

Packed with an engaging storyline; inspiring dialogues; impactful performances; a goosebumps inducing soundtrack and visually stunning moments, Master and Commander becomes a must watch for any cinema enthusiast. It is a technical marvel worth savoring on the biggest screen and the best home theatre system you can get your hands on!

As usual like, share, subscribe and feel free to share your views in the comment section below as we here, are trying to build a community of people High on Cinema! 


  1. I am astonished by your descriptions and how heart-felt the review was. Insightful. Keep writing more _/\_ please

    1. Your support keeps me going. Thanks a million!


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