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The Last Samurai - Premium Collection Steelbook (Blu-ray + UV Copy)  [Region Free]
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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.
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
With The Last Samurai, the mainstream film makers have finally found a way of producing a quality film which demonstrates quite accurately the attitudes of the Japanese ruling factions of the time. Quite naturally, Hollywood create films to make money and The Last Samurai is no exception. However, as with other similar semi-historic films (e.g. Gladiator) it has been constructed with a care to detail and has embodied within its foundations the very attributes it wants to portrey, namely honour, compassion and indomitable spirit.
As a student of Japanese and Okinawan martial arts, including sword arts, I was pleased to see the accurate depiction of how a katana (Japanese longsword) is used in battle. I was deeply impressed with the efforts of all the actors to accurately use all the weaponry with such dedication. Cruise especially, worked very hard to learn to use the sword, as well as all the other work he put in.
One scene especially caught my eye, where Cruise is attacked in the street by a group of sword bearing attackers. Having spent several long months converting his fighting skills to that of the Japanese style (quite feasable for the dedicated warrior, even in such a short time) he is able to defeat his attackers. The reality of the use of the sword in the Japanese style, is that every second, one is half an inch from death. This was demonstrated with great film making skill.
This film is unmistakably American, but is made with sensitivity and respect for all concerned.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have just watched this on Blu Ray, crystal clear & well acted, it's a must have.Published 1 day ago by Barry
The image is interrupting from time to time (each couple of seconds it's "blinking").Published 1 month ago by Mihai Cretu
This movie every time I watch it makes me feel so peaceful and want to be a Samuri. This movie is one of the best movies that have been made ever, Tom Cruise plays the best... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer