Cast Away/Last of the Mohicans/Master and Commander/Kingdom of Heaven [4 Discs] [DVD]

This set of four dramas includes the Oscar nominated Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Kingdom of Heaven, The Last of the Mohicans, and the Tom Hanks vehicle Cast Away.
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Synopsis

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Director Peter Weir's first turn behind the camera since 1998's critically acclaimed The Truman Show, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is based on two Napoleonic War-era adventure novels in author Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series, Master and Commander and The Far Side of the World. Russell Crowe stars as Captain Jack Aubrey, a high-seas adventurer who maintains a strong bond with ship-surgeon Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany). After conquering much of Europe already, Napoleon's forces have set their sights on taking Britain, so Aubrey and the crew of his ship, the HMS Surprise, take to the Pacific to intercept any attacking ships from the French fleet. When Aubrey eyes a renegade French super-frigate, the Surprise pursues, leading to an adrenaline-charged chase through the distant reaches of the sea. Edward Woodall, James D'Arcy, and Lee Ingleby also star as members of the Surprise's crew. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

Kingdom of Heaven
Ridley Scott directed this epic-scale historical drama inspired by the events of the Crusades of the 12th century. Balian (Orlando Bloom) is a humble French blacksmith who is searching for a reason to go on after the death of his wife and children. Balian is approached by Godfrey of Ibelin (Liam Neeson), a fabled knight who has briefly returned home after serving in the East. Godfrey informs Balian that he is his true father, and urges the blacksmith to join him as he and his forces journey to Jerusalem to help defend the holy city. Balian accepts, and he and Godfrey arrive during the lull between the Second and Third Crusades, in which the city is enjoying a fragile peace. Both Christian and Muslim forces are temporarily in retreat, thanks to the wisdom of the Christian monarch King Baldwin IV (Edward Norton), his second-in-command Tiberias (Jeremy Irons), and Muslim potentate Saladin (Ghassan Massoud). Violent agitators on both sides are foolishly eager to end the peace in a bid for greater power, and Saladin bows to pressures from Muslim factions; Godfrey is one of a handful of brave knights who has thrown his allegiance behind Baldwin IV and his community of diversity, and Balian joins him as they use their skills as warriors in a bid to build a lasting peace. Kingdom of Heaven also stars Eva Green as the princess Sibylla, David Thewlis as Hospitaler the priest, and Brendan Gleeson as Reynald. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

The Last of the Mohicans
Director Michael Mann based this lushly romantic version of the James Fenimore Cooper novel more on his memory of the 1936 film version (starring Randolph Scott) than on Cooper's novel (in fact, Philip Dunne's 1936 screenplay is cited as source material for this film). Set in the 1750s during the French and Indian War, the story concerns Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis), the European-born adopted son of Mohican scout Chingachgook (Russell Means). Hawkeye and his party, which also includes the Mohican Uncas (Eric Schweig), joins up with a group of Britons who have recently arrived in the Colonies. The group consists of Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe) and her younger sister, Alice (Jodhi May), who are rescued from a Huron war party by Hawkeye. Hawkeye's band accompanies them to the British Fort William Henry, which is being besieged by a French and Huron force. The fort falls to the French, and Colonel Munro (Maurice Roeves) surrenders to French General Montcalm (Patrice Chéreau). The terms of the surrender are that the British merely abandon the fort and return to their homes. However, the French's bloodthirsty ally, the Huron warrior Magua (Wes Studi), has made no such agreement, and, as the British retreat from the fort, he plans to massacre them in a terrible Huron attack. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Cast Away
An exploration of human survival and the ability of fate to alter even the tidiest of lives with one major event, Cast Away tells the story of Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks), a Federal Express engineer who devotes most of his life to his troubleshooting job. His girlfriend Kelly (Helen Hunt) is often neglected by his dedication to work, and his compulsive personality suggests a conflicted man. But on Christmas Eve, Chuck proposes marriage to Kelly right before embarking on a large assignment. On the assignment, a plane crash strands Chuck on a remote island, and his fast-paced life is slowed to a crawl, as he is miles removed from any human contact. Finding solace only in a volleyball that he befriends, Chuck must now learn to endure the emotional and physical stress of his new life, unsure of when he may return to the civilization he knew before. Cast Away reunites star Hanks with director Robert Zemeckis, their first film together since 1994's Oscar-winning Forrest Gump. ~ Jason Clark, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Russell Crowe
    Russell Crowe - Captain Jack Aubrey
  • Paul Bettany
    Paul Bettany - Dr. Stephen Maturin
  • Billy Boyd
    Billy Boyd - Barrett Bonden
  • James D'Arcy
    James D'Arcy - 1st Lt. Tom Pullings
  • Lee Ingleby
    Lee Ingleby - Hollom, Midshipman

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