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The Last Samurai : The Movie & More (2 Disc Special Edition) [2003] [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Timothy Spall, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, Tony Goldwyn
  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Producers: Tom Cruise, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Tom Engelman, Scott Kroopf
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English, German, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Hebrew, Arabic, Greek
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Whv
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Aug 2006
  • Run Time: 154 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GQMLPK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,832 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

The Japanese monarchy has decided to replace the hired samurai warriors, who have been relied upon for centuries for defending the nation, with a more contemporary military. A U.S. Civil War veteran (Tom Cruise) is hired by the Emperor to train a group of Japanese conscripts to replace the samurai warriors. But when he is captured by the samurai, he comes to respect them and finds himself torn over who he should be fighting for.

From Amazon.co.uk

The Last Samurai gives epic sweep to an intimate story of cultures at a crossroads as Japan undergoes tumultuous transition to a more Westernised society in 1876-77. In America, tormented Civil War veteran Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) is coerced by a mercenary officer (Tony Goldwyn) to train the Japanese Emperor's troops in the use of modern weaponry. Opposing this "progress" is a rebellion of samurai warriors, holding fast to their traditions of honour despite strategic disadvantage. As a captive of the samurai leader (Ken Watanabe), Algren learns, appreciates, and adopts the Samurai code, switching sides for a climactic battle that will put everyone's honour to the ultimate test.

All of which makes director Edward Zwick's noble epic eminently worthwhile, even if its Hollywood trappings (including an all-too-conventional ending) prevent it from being the masterpiece that Zwick and screenwriter John Logan clearly wanted it to be. Instead, The Last Samurai is an elegant mainstream adventure, impressive in all aspects of its production. It may not engage the emotions as effectively as Logan's script for Gladiator, but like Cruise's character, it finds its own quality of honour. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rich Milligan on 17 Jan 2005
Format: DVD
I thoroughly enjoyed this film and rate it amongst some of the very best I have seen in the last couple of years.
Although one could claim the plot line is a bit formulaic, it's a formula that definitely works and the superb acting that brings the story to life is pure enjoyment. Cruise is outstanding but it is maybe with the top notch supporting cast that really makes this film stand out. Ken Watanabe is on top form making his character take you through a whole ride of emotions but best of all for me was the surprise appearance of both Billy Connolly and Timothy Spall, two of the finest ever British character actors.
Apart from that the locations are beautiful, the action scenes gripping and the storyline delicate but thrilling and told with a great deal of sensitivity.
If you missed this at the cinema, buy the DVD. You won't regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fortuna on 17 Nov 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for all historical buffs THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Having read other comments lambasting the "Hollywoodisation" of the subject area, and yes, I concur there were many thematic similarities from other films but hey ... name me one that is truly unique ... I must say I found this Cruiser very enjoyable and engrossing.

Initially, Tom was not at his best pretending to be the drunk, retrograde individual attempting to absolve himself of the multitudinous North American Indian slayings of his past (has Tom ever been drunk? He never presents an authentic one if you ask me!) or was I watching Top Gun all over again ... but his character stabilised and solidified to be easily overshadowed by the more imposing glacial Katsumoto and Samurai support cast.

The production values are outstanding: costumes - absolutely stunning - I recently went to an exhibition where many Samurai relics were displayed including a full suit of 17th century Samurai armour...
Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "paul_590" on 9 Dec 2004
Format: DVD
I am at a loss to understand the reviewer from Kyoto as I saw this film with my Japanese girlfriend and she loved it. So much so that I had to buy a copy of it for her. Also most of our Japanese friends who have seen it really liked it too. So to tell people not to bother watching it, especially after they have only watched 15 minutes of the film, is ridiculous. Watch any film and form your own opinion, if you like it then fine, if you don't then that's fine too, at least you know. But please don't force your opinions on others.
From my perspective the film was great, I really enjoyed it. I am an uninformed person from a Japanese historical point of view and consequently the treatment of the Samurai is not my forte. But from my experience history research usually explodes any utopian image we have of ourselves or our native history, so perhaps there is some element of truth in this saga ... perhaps not. But that is artistic licence for you, it deviates! Sure there are a couple of corny bits, but they cannot spoil some excellent performances, especially the talented Timothy Spall and a nice cameo from the equally talented Billy Connolly. Tom Cruise plays at his best and Ken Watanabe is great. It has some terrific fight scenes without going over the top and I think it shows how strong honour and tradition is in the Japanese culture.
All in all and excellent film from my perspective, so give it a try and if you don't like it, well there will always be another film that you will enjoy more.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Stacey Frost on 9 Feb 2004
Format: DVD
Wow. This film absolutely blew me away. Surprisingly enough, I am not a great fan of Tom Cruise's work, so I was astounded by his acting in this film. It just goes to show what a brilliant script like this one can do for an actor. Cruise plays Algren, an American who goes from arrogant soldier to honorable samurai during a mission to eradicate the threat posed by said samurai. Whilst with the samurai, Algren learns their way of life.
As well as the undertones of honour and duty, this film is bursting with wisdom and beauty. The cinematography is excellent, and some shots in the film (ie the silhouetted Algren against a gorgeous Japanese sunset) are simply breathtaking.
The soundtrack provided by musical legend Hans Zimmer is spectacular, a true reflection of both mediation and warrior. The song 'Red Warrior' is just sheer brilliance, combining soulful Japanese flute, with strong emotive strings, as well as the spine tingling battle cries provided by Benjamin Hale.
Ken Watanabe also provides a wonderful contrast to Cruise as Katsumoto, the leader of the last samurai tribe. His wisdom and grace are portrayed beautifully, and there is no doubt in my mind that he should win an award for his role.
There must be something wrong witht this film, I hear you cry. Well, to put it bluntly, there's not. The battle scenes are simply breathtaking, the acting wonderful, the soundtrack fitting and the story beautiful in a dramatic way.
An astounding piece of cinematic genius. A must see for everyone.
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