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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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After 'Hiroshima' and 'Nagasaki' August 1945, 'Emperor Hirohito' surrenders.
'General Douglas MacArthur' leads the post-war occupation force with the
task of rebuilding 'Japan'
His orders also include bringing both politicians and military responsible for
the war and atrocities to book, the order also includes proving the 'Emperor'
to be responsible.
The Supreme Commander General MacArthur' instructs 'General Bonner Fellers'
to collect the evidence and investigate the 'Emperor' to see if sufficient grounds
can be found to effect charges against him.
'Bonner Fellers' had been chosen to lead the investigation because of his Knowledge
of 'Japan'
'Bonner' prior to the outbreak of war had romantic links with 'Aya' , now he's back
in 'Japan' he try's to determine whether she'd survived.
The film is based on real-events that took place after the 'Japanese' surrender.
An absorbing and well portrayed account of the investigations into war-crimes after
the surrender.
Good picture and sound quality on the HD format.
(wonder how many allied personnel would have been investigated had the outcome
been reversed.....just a thought.)
Personally, as much as I like this type of drama, war itself is a criminal occurrence in
my view.
Well worth a viewing if you have interest in historical drama
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on 27 July 2017
very good film, I like war movies and when its a true story and all that, I had to buy it, no battles, but its very very good
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on 4 July 2017
very good
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Despite an impressive recreation of a devastated Japan in the wake of the Allied victory, Emperor is one of those films that should be a lot better but feels like it’s had most of the life sapped out of it in the development process to avoid offending anyone. The material promises much drama and intrigue as Tommy Lee Jones’ General Macarthur assigns Matthew Fox’s Japanese expert to decide whether or not to try Emperor Hirohito for war crimes, but his efforts to establish whether he was responsible for the war or could have averted it are rendered rather mundane despite the inherent tension in the situation. While special effects and production design create a convincingly scarred landscape, we have to be told by Fox’s voice over narration that this is a country that could descend into chaos, disorder and revolution and that the Emperor’s execution could provide the spark because the film never manages to convey that mood. There’s surprisingly little weight or genuine unease to the film as it solemnly wanders through the ruins between polite conversations. It’s not helped by Fox’s flashbacks to before the war and his relationship with a Japanese girl he met at college (where he was evidently a very mature student): while these do eventually shed some light on the Japanese mindset in the run up to the war, there’s no real passion here, leaving the relationship feeling like a plot device.

Jones gives good MacArthur, getting the voice right without descending into a W.C. Fields impersonation, but despite dominating the poster he’s barely in the film. Fox is solid enough in the lead but never really dominates the film, which is hardly surprising since his much more interesting real-life character has been almost unrecognisably watered down and so much of his part seems to consist of staring morosely into space as he moons after his lost love. At times it panders to the Japanese market’s sensibilities, one character justifying the unmentioned mass atrocities of the Rape of Nanking by comparing it to the Allied nations’ colonial histories or raising the pre-war American oil embargo on Japan without going into the context. Things improve in the last half hour or so as it recounts the events surrounding the Japanese surrender and when MacArthur finally meets the Emperor there’s a brief frisson of excitement that hints at what the film could have been, but it still never really grips as what could have been a riveting historical political thriller becomes a mildly interesting stroll that avoids most of the real local points of interest.

The UK Blu-ray offers a fine transfer, but in the wrong ratio – while the film was released in US cinemas in 2.35:1, it’s a 1.78:1 transfer. There’s a different extras package too: the director’s commentary, making of documentary and deleted scenes from the US release are gone, the UK disc offering a shorter featurette, trailer, B-roll footage and cast and crew soundbite interviews all culled from the Electronic Press Kit.
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on 4 December 2014
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on 16 December 2015
this item is first class, I drove a fork lift for 11 years. so ifiited one to my car this is brilliant many thanks
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on 27 March 2017
Moving real-life drama. A touch slow in places, and the horrors of this conflict somewhat toned down, but generally of historical interest.
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on 20 September 2013
During the initial occupation of Japan, Douglas MacArthur (Tommy Lee Jones)is assigned the task of determining if the Emperor of Japan is guilty of war crimes and should hang. He assigns the investigation to General Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox). In addition to gathering evidence, Fellers also searches for a lost love, a Japanese woman (Eriko Hatsune) he met back in 1932.

The film uses flashbacks to also give us an historical background. Tommy Lee Jones gives us a saucy speaking likeable MacArthur and not the disliked "Dugout Doug." It was an interesting look into the decision making of the era, for many people, even now, question the decision to save the Emperor. The film is enjoyable as a slow moving historical drama. It includes about a two minute Chomsky style lecture/view on world history. A film to appeal to the intellectual in us, not those who crave action.

Parental Guide: 1 f-bomb by Tommy Lee Jones early in the film. No sex or nudity.
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on 24 November 2015
I nearly gave it four stars, but in the end went for three stars. It's OK. The potential was definitely there to make a great film. It is about whether or not to try Emperor Hirohito for war crimes, and, for what it is worth, I think that General MacArthur's decision not to try him was the correct one. Wars will always happen, and this one was going to happen whoever gave the order to start it. The real question that should have been asked, in my opinion, is not whether he countersigned the order for Pearl Harbor, (he almost certainly did), but whether Hirohito was directly responsible for the atrocities committed by Japanese troops, (almost certainly not). Was the superficiality of the arguments and the investigation why this film failed? Probably not.

Interwoven with that is a love story sub-plot. Personally, I suspect that the love story sub-plot was the reason why this film failed to gel. The love story sub-plot as presented in the film raised a lot of questions that simply weren't answered.
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VINE VOICEon 14 October 2013
Anything with Tommy Lee Jones in it is worth watching nowadays and this is no exception. Its the end of the Second World War and General McArthur arrives in Tokyo with a mission to rebuild Japan but at the same time he is tasked by the President to punish those responsible for the war. He is given ten days to determine whether Emperor Hirohito is one of them.
He in turn tasks his Japanese 'expert' Brigadier General Bonner Fuller with the job. Fuller has a personal agenda too, finding the Japanese exchange student with whom he fell in love before the war.
At nearly two hours this is quite a long film and it is not an action movie but it never lost my attention. Much attention is paid to detail and the film looks beautiful.
This is a thoughtful and intelligent story of the events that paved the path for modern Japan when so much was in the balance.
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