Apart from feeling like an episode ripped from a series, (as has been said many times before, but may not really be something to complain about; anyone seen that space opera that started at episode four?) I thought M&C was a totally solid movie.
No corniness, (unless intended that way) "holy" plot or contemporized "humor". Just how I like it.
It's at my number two spot of this year, possibly losing the number one spot for simply being solid, (as in, not fucking anything up) but not going above and beyond the call of duty, trying to have truly unique inspired moments throughout the ENTIRE movie for an extremely specific purpose. Sure, it has quite a few, but I feel that Lost in Translation (my #1) does so at all the exact right times, so they must be ranked accordingly.
Anyway, from me, Master & Commander gets an 8.75, and is placed number 2 on my best of 2003 list. Solid, solid, filmmaking.
Now that that's over,
Kyle- The rest of the movie gives you a feel for what it was like to be on a boat 200 years ago, so the end battle sequence was attempting to do the same. I'm not sure how calm and collected the mood would be during the siege of a ship amidst tons of smoke, flying debris, and hordes of murderous Frenchies.
Pseudo-crappy return numbers- The show that I went to was almost full, at noon on Friday. Maybe that was just the O'Brian fans, but it surprised me, becasue the first showings on weekdays are usually pretty dead.