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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Samurai
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...
Published on 17 Jan 2005 by Rich Milligan

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the last samurai
The film is very good, bright color, but in the movie the tone with a Dolby Digital, would be better if you put on the latest high-definition Dolby.
Published 22 months ago by johnny


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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb epic, 8 Feb 2008
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
For the first hour and forty minutes this is a near faultless film which examines the very heart of the human soul. Cruise plays a brilliant US army soldier, Captain Algren who has seen one too many battles and is haunted by the horrific injustices dealt to the American Indians by himself and his fellow US soldiers.

He is offered a large sum of money to train the Japanese army so that it can fight the last of the rebel Samurai tribes. In the opening battle he is captured by the Samurai and it is then that he can see the parallel with the Indians and eventually switches sides. All this is beautifully filmed and some of the scenes in the Samurai village, when Captain Algren is gradually adapting to the Samurai way of life reminded me of Kevin Costners Dances with Wolves.

I am not especially a fan of Tom Cruise but he is good in this. However it is Ken Watanabe as the Samurai leader Katsumoto who shines throughout the film. In supporting roles Billy Connelly and Timothy Spall are both
very good.

Sadly in the last half hour the film lost a lot of credibility for me, hence I have only given it four stars. Without giving away the ending I can't be specific in my criticism of this part, but suffice to say I wish the writers had come up with something better and more believable!

Overall though its a very good film, which I think will improve on 2nd and 3rd viewings.
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13 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's light, very light, 13 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Last Samurai [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Ok. The Japanese guys are cool and they don't have to do much to totally upstage cruise and co. But, Jeeze, this was supposed to be Cruises oscar bid. It's lightly entertaining but should have ended half an hour before it did and Tom, I'm afraid you're the weakest link. The most implausible aspect of the story is that the samurai somehow killed everyone else at the start but decided to spare the life of Cruises character. Why? What's so special about him? Oh silly me, I forget, he's the American lead, he has to live or else there's no movie. In reality, his would have been the first head they would have lopped off but in this movie, they bring him back to their village, nurse him back to health, give him their food and shelter, train him to fight like a Samurai, let him in on all their secrets, let him woo the wife of a samurai he killed, who falls in love with him, and her children whom he has made fatherless now treat him as uncle Tom and all of this without lopping his head off. Oh yes it all makes perfect sense. Oh yes, and he also becomes just the best fighter in the village who all the other Samurai respect and admire, well Duh, he's the Holywood lead. It's in their contracts. Somebody please teach Cruise another facial expression.
And what's with Billy Connolly's Irish Accent? Why didn't they just make his character Scottish, or else get Brendan Gleeson or Colm Meaney (the usual suspects when it comes to token Irish roles).
Too long, too patronising, too implausible, too much schmalz, too Hollywood.
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars don't you DARE mention 'history', 3 May 2004
This review is from: The Last Samurai [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
It shouldn't take a genius to work out that this film is absolutely brimming with historical inaccuracy, a flaw which is usually just accepted as part of filmmaking. This is a classic hollywood 'cheesing up' of the past, with all the usual improbabilities thrown in. At the same time, the film is certainly entertaining, with a slightly refreshing appearance for Cruise.
Some people will just find it too typically unrealistic. It depends on whether or not you find that important. It's probably worth a watch, but there are numerous films that money would be better spent on.
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars watch it for action, not history, 11 Oct 2004
This review is from: The Last Samurai [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
For those looking for historical accuracy and authenticity. The story in the film is a composite of two events in Japanese history.
The part of the noble samurai fighting against modern soldiers of the Imperial Army was that of the Satusma Rebellion, led by Takamori Saigo, who was a privy councillor to the emperor. The samurai of the Satsuma Rebellion had many grievances against the central government, many of which conerned their status in the modern society that was forged by the Meiji Restoration. For example, the destruction of the feudal system which maintained the samurais' exalted status in society. Another, more in tune with the film, was the right to bear arms, especially the wearing of swords, which formerly was the exclusive right of the samurai (and the aristocracy). During the rebellion, the samurai actually felt that the peasant soldiers of the Imperial Army will not bear arms against their social superiors. Such was the noble motive of the samurai.
The other part of the gaijin (foreigner) fighting for the samurai cause was the "adventure" of Major Jules Brunet, one of the French military advisors to the Shogun. When the Shogun's forces were defeated by forces allied to the cause of the Emperor, Brunet resigned his post and fled to Hokkaido with the remnants of the samurai clans (Aizu) loyal to the Shogunate. There they continued a futile resistance. Brunet eventually returned to France and later became a Chief of General Staff of the French Army.
In chronological order, the Brunet part preceded the Satsuma Rebellion. Watch the film for the action, not historical accuracy. Also the terrain in the film bears little resemblance to Japan as New Zealand is in the opposite end of the Pacific Ocean. A bit much to expect authenticity and subtlety from Hollywood.
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Typical Tom Cruise Film, 27 Jun 2009
This film looks absolutely stunning in blu ray. Fantastic scenery that really makes you want to visit Japan.

That's it for the positives. Everything else is unbelievably predictable, boring, typical American film where some American is there to save the world.

If you are a fan of Tom Cruise, however, you will love this film because this is one of the most typical films of his.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars steelbook, 17 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This Blu-ray steelbook quality is good!

And region free is convenient to play in every Blu-ray Player!

I would recommend this product to my friends!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT A FILM FOR HISTORY BUFFS, 28 July 2007
By 
L. Wilson (Natal South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A super movie full of action, excellent character portrayal by the host of talent, Billy Connelly is brilliant. A typical Hollywood version of how history should have been but well worth watching for what it is, pure adventure.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dances with ????, 6 Mar 2005
By 
Teemacs (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Last Samurai [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Take one disillusioned US Army Officer with a penchant for diarying and drawing, add said Army Officer to a different "savage" people, stir well and watch Army officer become one of the tribe, turning against his own culture for the nobler culture of these allegedly inferior people. Familiar? No, not "Dances with wolves" - this film completely lacks the visual poetry of Costner's film. It is a bizarre Hollywoodish rewriting of the Japanese Meiji dynasty and its decision to modernise in the face of hundreds of years of tradition and isolation. The story is ordinary, the ending the worst type of Hollywood maudlin slush. (In fact, there are several helpings of HMS).
The film is only saved by the action sequences, which are well done, but action sequences, like special effects, can in no way compensate for an inferior story. Unless you're a die-hard Tom Cruise fan, I'd suggest that you spend your money on something better.
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6 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too simplistic, 28 April 2004
This review is from: The Last Samurai [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I was very disappointed with this movie. Why is it that Hollywood cannever strike a balance between two cultures? In order for one to be goodanother must be wholly bad. I do not agree with the premise that a Samurailifestyle is perfect and all Samurai are noble and honourable heroes. Bythe same token, not all Americans are greedy, amoral murderers. This filmtries to paint everything in black and white. As long as we continue tosupport silly drivel like this film we will never be able to view orapprieciate other cultures objectively. Watch this if you believe in acoca-cola world or you'd like to see Tom Cruise getting a beating,otherwise avoid.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film, pity about Tom Cruise, 19 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Last Samurai [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
This film is great, the action scenes are breathtaking, the story is amazing and you feel an emotional attachment to many of the samurai ( Watanabe's death will bring a tear to your eye).
However, the one thing that lets the film down is Tom Cruise. Nobody can learn Japanese that fast!!!
Watanabes performance steals the show
I am still not a big fan of Cruise, nevertheless this film is worth buying if you have an interest in this genre
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The Last Samurai [DVD] [2003]
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