Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Buckle your swashes, boys.

Russell Crowe, in full early-2000’s glory, leads his men on a voyage of discovery and rootin-tootin’ battlin’ in Peter Weir’s period piece.

The HMS Surprise plies the waters, waging a war of attrition with a French vessel terrorizing any and all.

Based on a series of novels, the film has Crowe front-and-center as Captain Jack Aubrey, but also features Paul Bettany’s surgeon, who wants to explore maritime life in the Galápagos Islands.

A mix of the intimate and the epic, this is, regardless of what any Twitter morons might think, a rousing tale well-told.

 

Legion (2010)

Hell is a place on Earth.

Still rockin’ heavenly abs, disgraced angel Paul Bettany stockpiles enough guns to satisfy Linda Hamilton in the Terminator series, then heads out to grab breakfast at a diner in the middle of nowhere.

Of course, he has an ulterior motive in this sometimes cheesy, but always-fun preview of the apocalypse.

Our ripped ‘n ready hero knows there’s a war brewing — set in motion by a pissed-off God and featuring hordes of angels rumbling while locals like Dennis Quaid just try and drink their morning OJ.

Oscar winner? Hardly.

Good-time brain cell melter? Absolutely.

 

A Knight’s Tale

So much fun.

Heath Ledger will always be remembered for artfully sliding into insanity as The Joker, or letting the ache in his soul flower during Brokeback Mountain, and that’s fair.

But don’t forget how he lit up the screen as a fake knight winning big on ye olde jousting circuit, “changing his stars,” while AC/DC thumped on the soundtrack.

Everything here works, from Paul Bettany gettin’ folks in the cheap seats riled-up while selling Ledger like a WWE announcer introducing The Rock, to Shannyn Sossamon’s saucy princess.

And Ledger as “Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein?”

Rest assured, he will rock you.