My sister and I went to the movie theater last night intending to see The Matrix Revolutions. Unfortunately, the scheduled time listed in the paper was canceled, so we bought tickets for "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" instead. We were not disappointed.

The plot is fairly simple: Captain Jack Aubrey (Russel Crowe) is charged with capturing or destroying the French warship Acheron. Acheron is larger, faster, and better armed than the Aubrey's British HMS Surprise, and this leads to classic conflict of an underdog overcoming all odds to triumph over its superior. But this is not just your run-of-the-mill swashbuckler, nor is it even primarily an action movie. There are really only two battle scenes: the first, where the larger Acheron seriously damages the smaller Surprise, with much of the remainder of the movie spent reconstructing and reconnoitering in order to have another go; and of course, the expected climax, where the crews of the two ships meet for hand-to-hand combat.

These two scenes, while long enough to be satisfying, are not the focus of the film. Rather, despite the cliche, this truly is a film about the characters, and the relationships between them.

Those interested in philosophy will especially enjoy

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