Sunday, November 09, 2003
Ahoy there, "Master and Commander"!
I'm looking forward to watching "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" when it's released this month. I haven't yet read any of the historical novels by Patrick O'Brian on which this film is based, but the advance buzz is pretty favorable. And it's been quite a while since the last big seafaring motion picture with a hunky Australian lead, 1984's The Bounty — a film that altogether lacked sea combat scenes and instead emphasized the bare-breasted South Pacific maidens swarming over the gunnels.
I've read somewhere that the secret of Russell Crowe's success is that he somehow manages to seem like enough of a regular fellow to avoid alienating (or generating homosexual-panic impulses within) his male viewers, while providing the looks and attitude that cause his female viewers to swoon. I'm not quite sure how he pulls it off. But for instance, in a puff piece in today's Houston Chronicle in which he opines that Aussies and Texans "share a sensibility" or a "certain viewpoint of the world" from "[growing] up in a place with that much room," he certainly scored big points with a male interviewer. My leg feels like it's being tugged on a bit, though, when he claims to have bonded with then Lt-Gov. Rick Perry some years ago when Crowe's band was clearing paperwork hurdles to permit it to play in Austin. But I suppose anything is possible. And surely Crowe will be a more convincing Royal Navy captain than Johnny Depp was as a pirate.
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