The Last Samurai

( 53 )


From director Edward Zwick (Glory, Legends of the Fall), The Last Samurai is the 19th-century tale of a U.S. Civil War soldier played by Tom Cruise who is contracted to train an army for the Japanese government. Also starring Ken Watanabe, the film was nominated for two Academy Awards and is featured here in a loaded two-disc DVD package. The widescreen anamorphic transfer is complimented by a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround soundtrack with available subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. Additionally, the ...
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From director Edward Zwick (Glory, Legends of the Fall), The Last Samurai is the 19th-century tale of a U.S. Civil War soldier played by Tom Cruise who is contracted to train an army for the Japanese government. Also starring Ken Watanabe, the film was nominated for two Academy Awards and is featured here in a loaded two-disc DVD package. The widescreen anamorphic transfer is complimented by a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround soundtrack with available subtitles in English, Spanish, and French. Additionally, the original English soundtrack is included in Dolby Digital Stereo and there is a dubbed French track in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Along with the film, the first disc features a running audio commentary track by Zwick. The second disc is packed with a wealth of additional material that essentially covers every aspect of the film's production. History vs. Hollywood: The Last Samurai is a documentary that originally aired on The History Channel, while "Edward Zwick: Director's Video Journal" takes viewers behind the scenes through the eyes of the director and includes narration by both Zwick and Cruise. Other featurettes delve into such topics as production design, costume design, the weapons featured, and the memorable beheading scene. Rounding out disc two is footage from the film's Japanese premieres, a collection of deleted scenes, and the original theatrical trailer. A full-screen edition with the same features is also available.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by director Edward Zwick; History Channel documentary "History vs. Hollywood: The Last Samurai"; "Tom Cruise: A Warrior's Journey"; "Edward Zwick: Director's Video Journal"; "Making an Epic: A Conversation With Edward Zwick and Tom Cruise"; "A World of Detail: Production Design With Lilly Kilvert"; "Silk and Armor: Costume Design with Ngila Dickson"; "Imperial Army Basic Training"; "From Solider to Samurai: The Weapons"; Deleted scenes; Japan premieres; DVD-ROM PC web link; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Chalk up another complex, finely detailed characterization to Tom Cruise, whose portrayal of a dissolute warrior makes this opulently mounted film one of the very best in his increasingly distinguished oeuvre. Cruise plays Nathan Algren, a Civil War hero whose battlefield excesses have driven him into a permanent state of self-loathing. Cynical and opportunistic, he accepts a lucrative commission to go to Japan and train the emperor's army for a lengthy campaign against once-loyal samurai resentful of their monarch's embrace of Western culture. Algren is forced into a premature clash with these disciplined, highly skilled fighters and is captured when his insufficiently trained men beat a desperate retreat. This is where the story actually begins: We see this able but dissipated man grow to admire his captors and embrace their philosophy, gradually regaining his honor and sense of purpose under the watchful eye of his captor, samurai leader Katsumoto Ken Watanabe. Algren's moral regeneration isn't accomplished overnight, and director Edward Zwick does a fine job of conveying the character's gradual transformation with pithy vignettes and relatively brief snatches of dialogue. He draws a sharp contrast between the principled, traditionalist samurai and the opportunistic Japanese businessmen who have persuaded the emperor to modernize the country and turn against the warrior brotherhood that has served the throne for hundreds of years. These machinations lead inevitably to a climactic battle that is one of the finer depictions of hand-to-hand encounters in recent memory. In fact, The Last Samurai has several such sequences, but it would be a mistake to label it an action film. Zwick and Cruise have made this remarkable story much more: a paean to honor, courage, and devotion to duty. It's a deeply absorbing and sometimes profoundly moving tale of regeneration and redemption, superbly visualized and brilliantly acted.
All Movie Guide
While it certainly is not groundbreaking or original, Edward Zwick's The Last Samurai does succeed in telling a moving story in a well-crafted manner. With similarities to Dances With Wolves and Zwick's own Glory, the film also tries to capture the magic of such classic samurai films as Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai. But the skewing of the story to reflect the experience of a Western intruder/visitor unfortunately places the audience somewhat outside of the full experience of the samurais themselves. Occasional voice-overs with Tom Cruise's Algren reading out diary entries are a much too overt plot device that takes away from the film's more subtle, restrained storytelling elements. The sometimes slow pacing of the film can feel overdone at times, but it is more often very effective in creating the emotional impact of the story. Cruise acquits himself well in his role, portraying his Captain Algren passionately and showing a flare for swordplay and fighting skills in the action scenes. But off of the battlefield, Cruise never really seems to embody a character that has truly experienced what Algren has; one does not get the sense that he is a battle-worn veteran (of the Civil War and the Indian Wars in the West). This is the kind of movie that works best when its actors are able to summon the period authenticity of their characters and to disappear into their roles. Though Cruise gives the part his all and conveys emotions well, he doesn't seem to have the right presence for the part. The real stars of the film are its Japanese actors, even if it does relegate them to "supporting" roles. Ken Watanabe is stoic yet heartbreaking as the samurai leader Katsumoto, truly conjuring the essence of samurai/warrior life. Watanabe should be considered among such greats as Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura. He is incredibly effective as Katsumoto, and his are the best scenes in the film. Also impressive is Hiroyuki Sanada as a fierce and highly skilled samurai and Shin Koyamada as Katsumoto's son, Nobutada, who shows great courage and heart in one of the film's most moving scenes. Koyuki, who has the only real female role in the film, does as much as she can with her part as Taka, the widow of a samurai whom Algren has killed and the sister of Katsumoto. Taka must care for Algren and nurse him back to health after a battle injury, and Koyuki expresses a lot with few words as her character goes from feeling shamed by Algren's presence in her home to harboring a subtle affection for him. Lastly, the young child that plays the older of Taka's two sons delivers a touching performance; he develops a natural rapport with Cruise's Algren, especially in a later scene in the film in which he reveals his emotional attachment to the American captain. The cinematography for The Last Samurai and its production design are excellent, expressing a poetic respect for the Japanese culture, land, and history. Algren's samurai training scenes and many fights are choreographed and shot with great skill and are rousing pieces of action. The battle scenes are also photographed and edited with flair; however, though they are stirring and beautifully shot, most are so heartbreaking that their effect is bittersweet. The battles seem authentic and are often bloody; special effects and stunts are worked in seamlessly, not taking away from the film's elegant style. Attempts at political explanations for the state of affairs are so-so. Masato Harada is adequate as the emperor's greedy advisor Omura, personifying the "selling out" of Japan to the West, but too much is left unsaid about how the country has gotten to this state of, essentially, civil war. It's the meeting between Katsumoto and the young emperor (Shichinosuke Nakamura) that elucidates the two men's plights and gives their standpoints a greater amount of emotional weight. Overall, The Last Samurai tells a fascinating and moving story despite its flaws.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/4/2004
  • UPC: 085392838325
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: 2-Disc Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound
  • Time: 2:34:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tom Cruise Nathan Algren
Timothy Spall Simon Graham
Ken Watanabe Katsumoto
Billy Connolly Zebulon Gant
Tony Goldwyn Colonel Benjamin Bagley
Hiroyuki Sanada Ujio
Koyuki Taka
Shichinosuke Nakamura Emperor Meiji
Shun Sugata Nakao
Seizo Fukomoto Silent Samurai
Masato Harada Omura
Shin Koyamada Nobutada
William Atherton Winchester Rep
Togo Igawa General Hasegawa
Sosuke Ikematsu Higen
John Koyama Omura's Bodyguard
Aoi Minato Magojiro
Scott Wilson Ambassador Swanbeck
Chad Lindberg Winchester Rep Assistant
Ray Godshall Sr. Convention Hall Attendee
Masashi Odate Omura's Companion
Satoshi Nikaido N.C.O.
Shintaro Wada Young Recruit
Shoji Yoshihara Sword Master
Kosaburo Nomura IV Kyogen Player #1
Takashi Noguchi Kyogen Player #2
Noguchi Takayuki Kyogen Player #3
Sven Toorvald Omura's Secretary
Yuki Matsuzaki Soldier in Street #1
Mitsuyuki Oishi Soldier in Street #2
Jiro Wada Soldier in Street #3
Hiroshi Watanabe Guard
Yusuke Myochin Sword Master's Assistant
Hiroaki Amano Samurai Ensemble
Kenta Daibo Samurai Ensemble
Koji Fujii Samurai Ensemble
Makoto Hashiba Samurai Ensemble
Shimpei Horinouchi Samurai Ensemble
Takashi Kora Samurai Ensemble
Takeshi Maya Samurai Ensemble
Shane Kosugi Samurai Ensemble
Seiji Mori Samurai Ensemble
Lee Murayama Samurai Ensemble
Takeru Shimizu Samurai Ensemble
Shinji Suzuki Samurai Ensemble
Hisao Takeda Samurai Ensemble
Ryoichiro Yonekura Samurai Ensemble
Ryoichi Noguchi Samurai Ensemble
Eijiro Ozaki Battle Corp
Teishu Kohata Battle Corp
Masayuki Maekawa Battle Corp
Takanobu Kaneko Battle Corp
Osamu Takahashi Battle Corp
Masato Tabayashi Battle Corp
Akihito Mimatsu Battle Corp
Takashi Yamaguchi Battle Corp
Akihiro Soen Battle Corp
Atsushi Ono Battle Corp
Toshihiko Ito Battle Corp
Genji Nakamura Battle Corp
Kosuke Oda Battle Corp
Akira Koieyama Battle Corp
Takashi Maeyama Battle Corp
Teruhito Takita Battle Corp
Hideki Yamaguchi Battle Corp
Hidetaro Ishibashi Battle Corp
Toru Kadowaki Battle Corp
Takeyuki Hirai Battle Corp
Takashi Taguchi Battle Corp
Misao Kurata Battle Corp
Ken Takagaki Battle Corp
Matt Okui Battle Corp
Chris Chin Battle Corp
Koichi Funayama Battle Corp
Yuya Nakashima Battle Corp
Shinji Matsumoto Battle Corp
Naruhito Nakada Battle Corp
Toshiaki Ogawa Battle Corp
Taiga Etoh Battle Corp
Akira Kojima Battle Corp
Fred Nakanishi Battle Corp
Ryoga Kajiwara Battle Corp
Hidetomo Nishida Battle Corp
Furuo Geiri Battle Corp
James Okada Battle Corp
Yoshihiko Kawamoto Battle Corp
Yukihiro Hokke Battle Corp
Kazunori Yajima Battle Corp
Kogi Inoue Battle Corp
Satoshi Nakamura Battle Corp
Yoshitake Kato Battle Corp
Takayuki Akaike Battle Corp
Shogo Shirasaka Battle Corp
Hiroshi Uenoyama Battle Corp
Maeda Jiro Battle Corp
Akihiko Nishimura Battle Corp
Kiyoshi Iwata Battle Corp
Giorgio Miyashita Battle Corp
Tomoya Abe Battle Corp
Yasunari Akita battle extra platoon leader
Yoshihisa Asai battle extra platoon leader
Raymond Chan Battle Corp
Masayuki Deai Battle Corp
Nobuhiro Fujita Battle Corp
Kota Fukuchi Battle Corp
Masayoshi Haneda Battle Corp
Mitsuki Harada Battle Corp
Yauo Hiroki battle extra platoon leader
Brian Ho Battle Corp
Hiroki Hoshino Battle Corp
Toru Ishida battle extra platoon leader
Kiichiro Ishitmoto Battle Corp
Makoto Ito battle extra platoon leader
Koichi Ito Battle Corp
Yuhei Kametani Battle Corp
Nagamasa Kato Battle Corp
Yuki Kawanishi Battle Corp
Yasunari Kinbara Battle Corp
Joe Kitamura Battle Corp
Hisataka Kitaoka Battle Corp
Mitsuki Koga Battle Corp
Yasuhiro Koshi Battle Corp
Yuki Maekawa battle extra platoon leader
Yoshihiro Masujima Battle Corp
Fumio Matsuki Battle Corp
Shusuke Mitsuyoshi Battle Corp
Hirokazu Miyata Battle Corp
Kenji Motomiya Battle Corp
Hiroyuki Muraoka Battle Corp
Hidemitsu Nakadate battle extra platoon leader
Motokuni Nakagawa Battle Corp
Ryuji Nakamura battle extra platoon leader
Kiyonori Namikawa Battle Corp
Masaki Nishimura Battle Corp
Masahiro Ogura Battle Corp
Kazuma Ohuchi Battle Corp
Tadashi Oiwa Battle Corp
Daisuke Okano Battle Corp
Motohiro Okita battle extra platoon leader
Mitsunori Omae Battle Corp
Nobuhiro Oshima battle extra platoon leader
Shinobu Sakurai Battle Corp
Daisuke Sasagawa Battle Corp
Yuichiro Sasaki Battle Corp
Satoru Shibue battle extra platoon leader
Naruto Shigemi Battle Corp
Toshinobu Shigemura Battle Corp
Kazuya Shimizu Battle Corp
Taku Shinya Battle Corp
Masashi Shirai Battle Corp
Masaki Sono battle extra platoon leader
Susumu Suou Battle Corp
Hiromi Takatani Battle Corp
Shusei Take Battle Corp
Ryo Tanaka Battle Corp
Yuki Tanifuji battle extra platoon leader
Tomohide Tanigawa battle extra platoon leader
Katsutoshi Uchibori Battle Corp
Hajime Unesa Battle Corp
Tadashi Watanabe Battle Corp
Masayuki Yamada Battle Corp
Tetsuro Yamamoto Battle Corp
Keisuke Yamamoto Battle Corp
Blake Beely Conductor
Technical Credits
Edward Zwick Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Tsuyoshi Abe Stunts
Daisuke Amano Stunts
Alistair Anderson Special Effects
Hiro Asari Stunts
Christopher Assells Sound Editor
Danny Baldwin Stunts
Roy Barnes Set Decoration/Design
Jennifer Barrons Makeup
James Bayliss Set Decoration/Design
Joel Blanchard Special Effects
Dave Booth Special Effects
Danny Le Boyer Stunts
Thomas H. Brown Special Effects
Dean Bushby Special Effects
Lucinda Campbell Costumes/Costume Designer
Gary Capo Cinematographer
Dean Caulfield Stunts
Brent A. Chan Stunts
Mike Ching Stunts
Karl Chisholm Special Effects
Phil Chong Stunts
Dean Clarke Special Effects
Peter Cleveland Special Effects
Mick Corrigan Stunts
Jonathan Costello Stunts
Jackie Old Coyote Stunts
Thomas "Mike" Craven Special Effects
Tom Cruise Producer
Ricardo Cruz Stunts
Geoff Curtis Special Effects
Lenny Dalrymple Special Effects
Alaynna Davis Stunts
Christine Davis Stunts
Sarah Davis Stunts
Steven Dearth Special Effects
Kim Derry Special Effects
Jean-Jacques Desplanque Stunts
Ngila Dickson Costumes/Costume Designer
Dino Dimruo Sound Editor
Michael Doven Associate Producer
Victor DuBois Editor
Stephen Dunham Stunts
Mathew Dunne Asst. Director
Al Eisenmann Stunts
Zoltan Elek Makeup
Patrick Shining Elk Stunts
Maggie Elliot Makeup
Tom Engelman Producer
Terry Erickson Special Effects
Kendall Errair Costumes/Costume Designer
Sian Evans Costumes/Costume Designer
John Fagan Special Effects
Doug Falconer Special Effects
Guy Feldman Special Effects
Ted Field Executive Producer
Dave Foreman Stunts
Jim Fredburg Special Effects
Pedro Garcia Garcia Stunts
Alejandro Garcia Stunts
Scott Garcia Special Effects
Oliver Gee Special Effects
Perry "Mike" Germain Makeup
Daniel Gilmore Special Effects
John Perry Goldsmith Set Decoration/Design
Jess Gonchor Art Director
Adrian H. Gorton Set Decoration/Design
Al Goto Stunts
Tad Griffith Stunts
Kiwa Halley Stunts
Scott Harens Special Effects
Christina "Tina" Harrelson Makeup
Ann Harris Set Decoration/Design
Ken Hasegawa Stunts
Jeremy Hays Special Effects
Albert Heimuli Stunts
Brent Herrmann Special Effects
Marshall Herskovitz Producer, Screenwriter
Steven Ho Stunts
Iain Hutton Special Effects
Tasho Ihara Stunts
Yoshio Iizuka Stunts
Shogo Ikegami Stunts
Brian Imada Stunts
Steve Ito Stunts
Lani Jackson Stunts
Geraldine Jacobsen Stunts
Akira Kamito Stunts
Michael Kamper Sound/Sound Designer
Motoki Kawana Stunts
Darrin Keough Camera Operator
Lilly Kilvert Art Director
Jon Kishi Stunts
Kraig Kishi Stunts
Tommy Klines Camera Operator
Masato Kobayashi Stunts
Koji Nakamura Stunts
Jonathan Kombrinck Special Effects
Mitsuyuki Kousaka Production Manager
Joel Kramer Stunts
Michael Krehl Makeup
Scott Kroopf Producer
Yoshiyuki Kubo Stunts
Takahiro Kudo Stunts
Larry "Warlock" Lam Stunts
Grace Kelly Lambert Costumes/Costume Designer
Graham J. Larson Associate Producer
Willie Leong Stunts
James Lew Stunts
Michael Li Stunts
Joseph Livolsi Special Effects
John Logan Original Story, Screenwriter
Eduardo Lozano Special Effects
Darian Lumsden Special Effects
Gregory Lundsgaard Camera Operator
Leigh Mackenzie Camera Operator
Ron Matthews Special Effects
Scott Mattson Special Effects
Peter McCaffrey Camera Operator
Mike McDonald Special Effects
Calum McFarlane Camera Operator
Phil McLaren Special Effects
Duncan McNaughton Stunts
Guy Menanno Special Effects
Peter Miles Stunts
Yoshio Miyaki Stunts
Suzette Moriarty Musical Arrangement
Atsushi Morita Stunts
Cynthia Morrill Costumes/Costume Designer
John Mowat Special Effects
Liz Mullane Casting
Charles B. Mulvehill Executive Producer
Ryoichi Murakami Stunts
Tadahiro Nakamura Stunts
Taketo Nakamura Stunts
Greg Nelson Makeup
Lyena Nomura Translator
Casey O'Neill Stunts
Nobuyuki Obikane Stunts
Lin Oeding Stunts
Tadashi Oiwa Stunts
Shawn Orr Stunts
Herman Ortiz Stunts
Nilo Otero Asst. Director
Anthony D. Parillo Set Decoration/Design
Rick Peterson Special Effects
David Peterson Special Effects
Noroa Poa Stunts
Alan Poppleton Stunts
Dean Powell Special Effects
Alan Rankin Sound Editor
Steven Rosenblum Editor
Ken Rudell Special Effects
Duane Russel Special Effects
Shoji Sakai Stunts
Takashi Sakamoto Stunts
Jon Sakata Stunts
Spencer Sano Stunts
Kenji Sato Stunts
Mark Schilling Consultant/advisor
Charles Schmitz Special Effects
Paul Shapcott Stunts
Shigemori Shigeta Special Effects
Yukiyoshi Shimizu Special Effects
Tadahiro Shimizu Stunts
Kim Sinclair Art Director
Michael Smale Set Decoration/Design
Richard Snell Makeup
Ron Snyder Makeup
Richard Solomon Executive Producer
Samuel J. Storey Set Decoration/Design
Ava Strong Stunts
Patte Strong-Lord Set Decoration/Design
Akira Sugihara Stunts
Zokir Sultanov Stunts
Keiya Tabuchi Stunts
Hiroki Takano Stunts
Bruce Tannis Sound Editor
Dominic Taylor Special Effects
Victoria Thomas Casting
Mike Thomas Camera Operator
Philip Thomas Set Decoration/Design
Jon Title Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Todd Special Effects
John Toll Cinematographer
Kenji Tominaga Stunts
Jesus Riaran Torres Stunts
Kazuki Tsujimoto Stunts
Xuyen Sam Vadivia Stunts
Paul Verrall Special Effects
Paula Wagner Producer
William Wallace Special Effects
Natasha Walsh Costumes/Costume Designer
Vincent Ward Executive Producer
Kenneth Wensevic Makeup
Ben Wilkins Sound Editor
Paul Wu Stunts
Kimio Yamada Stunts
Eugenio Yenes Stunts
Warwick Yin Special Effects
Takeyama Yo Consultant/advisor
Yoko Narahashi Associate Producer, Casting
Moritaka Yoshida Stunts
Marcus Young Stunts
Peng Zhang Stunts
Hans Zimmer Score Composer
Peter Zivkovic Special Effects
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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Disc 1
1. Eyes of the Tiger [1:51]
2. The Trade Show [3:46]
3. Captain for Hire [4:19]
4. Arrival in Tokyo [3:15]
5. Audience With Emperor Meiji [2:11]
6. Scalping [4:41]
7. "They Are Not Ready." [2:48]
8. Deployed to Yoshino [2:44]
9. The Fog Battle [5:33]
10. "You Cannot Escape." [5:47]
11. Village Life [4:00]
12. "What Is Your Name?" [3:10]
13. Fight in the Rain [5:24]
14. "What Do You Want From Me?" [3:04]
15. New Attire [4:07]
16. "It Was Karma." [3:15]
17. "I Accept Your Apology." [3:20]
18. Fight to a Draw [3:33]
19. The Ninja Attack [4:43]
20. "The Way of the Warrior." [2:57]
21. "I Must Go Away." [4:14]
22. The Emperor's Teacher [1:05]
23. A New Contract [1:21]
24. Nobutada's Shame [2:58]
25. Emperior's Council [2:18]
26. The Ronin Fight [3:48]
27. Katsumoto's Escape [3:33]
28. A Son's Death [3:14]
29. "What I Have Come to Love." [4:29]
30. A Man's Destiny [3:09]
31. "You Will Need This." [3:10]
32. "I'll Look for You on the Field." [4:19]
33. Fighting With Fire [2:57]
34. The Battlefield [4:39]
35. "It's Not Over." [5:21]
36. The Final Charge [2:55]
37. The Gatling Guns [2:25]
38. "They Are All Perfect." [2:19]
39. "I Will Tell You How He Lived." [3:30]
40. Algren's Return [6:20]
41. End Credits [1:33]
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Side #1 -- Disc 1
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
      Spoken Language: English 5.1
      Spoken Language: Français 5.1
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
   Special Features
      Commentary By Edward Zwick
Side #2 -- Disc 2
   Special Features
      Tom Cruise: A Warrior's Journey
      Edward Zwick: Director's Video Journal
      Making an Epic: A Coversation With Edward Zwick and Tom Cruise
      History vs. Hollywood: The Last Samurai
      A World of Detail: Production Design With Lilly Kilvert
      Silk and Armor: Costume Design With Ngila Dickson
      Imperial Army Basic Training
      From Soldier to Samurai: The Weapons
      Bushido: The Way of the Warrior
      Deleted Scenes
         Play All
         Commentary: On
         Commentary: Off
         The Beheading
         Algren and Katsumoto
      Japan Premieres
      Theatrical Trailer
      Spoken Language: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 53 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautiful Film

    This film is beautiful in so many ways. It touches something deep within me that mourns the loss of the old ways, even in my own life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Like Dances With Wolves, but better

    I don't mean to discredit Kevin Costner's film because it was very good, but The Last Samurai made more of an impact on me. I was especially taken in by the scene in the final battle when Civil War veteran Nathan Algren looks around and once again sees men fighting their own countrymen to the blood-soaked, gruesome, remorseless end, literally hacking each other apart or shooting the enemy to ribbons. Kudos to Timothy Spall, who begins and finishes the narrative. He did a great job even though he's not in many portions of the film. Just as Costner decided to forsake his own culture for another way of life, Cruise's character wishes to forget his past: he once took part in a massacre of Indian women and children in a village. Captured by the samurai after a brief but ferocious stand on his own, he's forced to spend months in their midst (in fact living with the family of a man he killed) and comes to not only appreciate but honor their ways. Ken Watanabe, the leader, and Hiroyuki Sanada, the second in command, were terrific as the former teaches Algren with "a good conversation" and the latter shows him how to wield a sword. Epic cinema.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    the samurai western

    While the film glamorizes and paints the era in a light that is much more respectable than it really was, it protrays the themes and elements that are in the philosophy of the time well. It is the westerns of Japan, a combination of realism and folk myth to create an excellent film. First, Ken Watanabe's performance is surpurb. Now I am not a paticular fan of Tom Cruise, he can never stop being tom cruise in any of his movies, and he is always running. literally. However, this film is fantastic and he redeems himself as an actor. The story arc and character arc in Alegrn is poetic and inspiring. the emotional love story between Algren and Taka is the reminder Hollywood needs that explict sex in not needed to communicate passionate love and adoration and devotion. The film is not usually up there among critics and film-goers but it should be.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Words can't explain the way I feel about this movie

    It's one of the most emotional gripping movies I have ever seen. Finally, a movie about honor, respect, determination and loyalty! Many of the scenes are so beautifully shoot and the script is very well done. I am happy that I was able to see this movie in theater and now own in on DVD. I also own the soundtrack which is incredible!! The music is great to calm yourself, relax, help go to sleep, meditate and just make your environment peaceful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:


    For those who have allowed the media to turn them against Tom Cruise...just watch. In what I feel is his greatest performance, Cruise steals scene after scene. Timothy Spall also turns in a worthy performance. There is a great deal of action, if not so much adventure, but it is very gripping and quite unsugarcoated. The plot cannot, in any way, be called predictable. It is full of sadness and pain and emotionally very charging. 5 stars. Recomended for action fans who like Platoon and fans of the Orient.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010


    "The Last Samurai" unlike many other war and battle oriented films is very different. Its not just the war sequences that you should be attracted to this movie for, its also for the wonderfull scenario of the 19th Century Japan and the emotional bond between each individual in the film. I have seen quite few films of Tom Cruise but this one is probably one of his few best's. Tom Cruise did very well so did Ken Wantanbe. The japanese lady who played the role of Wantanbe's sister "Taka" did extremely well. I almost had a crush on her in the film, she potrayed her role very well. Each and everyone individual did very well. Very good presentation, great direction. The DVD has a lot of interesting features other than its widescreen format. There is also few deleted scenes and cast interviews and a History Channel Documentry, etc. Dont forget to get this on Dvd if you loved the movie wholeheartedly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    da bomb

    i am a big fan of action movies and,although not THE best movie i have ever seen,it surtainly takes top 10. i definitly recomend it. a bit long though. definitly not for kids. some strong language,lots of violence and blood still i give it 3 thumbs up

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010


    The Last Samuri is by far one of the best movies i have seen. The story line is amazing and so are the battle scenes

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best R-Rated Movie I've Seen Yet!

    This movie is the best movie I've seen since Return of the King came out (I saw this movie for the first time just recently). It has a great story, Tome Cruise and Ken Watanabe do a great job, the acting is great, the action is great (not too gory, but exciting), the dialogue is great, and it doesn't include anything inappropriately "romantic." Seriously, if you have any interest in Japan, like exciting movies, and like Tom Cruise (or even if you don't), I think you'll love this movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010


    well, i wasn't too Gung-ho with this movie, so i gave it only 3 stars. yet, i must say.... it is very well made, and a great story line. overall, it was alright. i prefer the Patriot more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Enthralling, Potent, and Deeply Moving

    This is one of my favorite movies of all time. It is the kind of film you can watch over and over again, and it never gets tiring. This is the mesmerizing story of Captain Nathan Algren, a civil war veteran who is haunted by his traumatic experiences of the war. When he is taken captive by the samurai while fighting against them, he is kept in their village for the winter. He finds himself inspired and intrigued by their disciplined way of life and their honor, and soon pledges himself to their cause. Throughout the entire film I was completely enthralled. I found so many scenes touching, and by the end I was in tears. Cruise and Watanabe both delivered oscar-worthy performances. The rest of the cast was equilly impressive. I highly recommend this movie to everyone. No matter what genre you prefer, this movie is just perfect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010


    This movie is on my top ten list! Great, outstanding. It is so good. And for you who are sensitive to R rated movies it really isn't as violent as Braveheart if you know what I mean. Definately Tom Cruis's finest hour!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great movie on the past!

    If you like history of Samurais and how they were slowly dwindling because of advances in technology you will love this movie! This movie is pretty correct with the timeline in history. It is a great action movie also it is not just like a boring history movie like some that have come out before. This movie keeps you in the plot and hoping that they will prevail and be able to protect themselves and keep their very special way of life. You find yourself starting to like some of the characters and hoping they will live to see another day. Even though Tom Cruise with his brown hair doesn¿t look like a typical samurai would he still learns to love them and embrace them. They look on him as an outsider when he first enters their village because he does look so different from their traditional black hair and robes that they wear but they learn to accept the differences. That is what makes this movie so good. You know that it is possible to become friends with anyone even with all of your differences and the backgrounds that you come from. This movie can teach us all about accepting each other. That is why this movie is the best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010


    I loved this movie! It is so powerful and deep that it makes you really think about the Samurai way of life. Tom Cruise plays his part flawlessly. I was blown away by his performance- he's deserving of his fame. But this movie truly has a heart, and something even deeper, perhaps even a soul, that keeps it thriving. It will definitely be a movie worth watching many years from now- timeless and unforgettable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010


    SUPERB!! Acting, SUPERB!! Story, SUPERB!! Characters, SUPERB!! Scenery, SUPERB!! Moral - One of the 5 best of 2003. See below.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Watch the samurai at it's best!!!!

    This movie has such a dramatic soul. I felt more emotion from this single movie then from any number of ones in the past. It gave credit to justice and chivalry at its best, but it as well gave forth to intrigue. This movie gave you the best of all worlds without taking away from the true heart of the civilization and western influence. SEE THE MOVIE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Movie!

    This is one of my favorite movies of all time! It is as good as the Return of the King. I can't wait for it to come out on video. Make sure you don't let this one pass by.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of my favorite movies ever! (Saddest too)

    God, I loved this movie! This movie was terrifc and sad. It was terrific because Cruise and Wantanabe deliver excellent acting, battle sequences were awesome, and you actually cared for some of the characters. It was sad especially in the last few minutes of the movie, I couldn't help shedding a few tears. You'll have to watch the movie if you want to know more as I don't want to you spoil it for you. Another thing, the score. Beautiful. Rating: 93/100 Recommended:Highly

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A perfect thriller

    If you like bloddy movies and samuri stuff you will like this

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best movie this year

    I loved this movie. Tom Cruise was great! This is a 'must see'. Acting was wonderful and the casting was great! But then I love historical type epic movies. Ken Watenabe was new to me and I hope to see more of him in the future. Great scenics also. This movie was done in very good taste. Battle scenes were great and the love scenes in the best of taste seen for a very long time. This movie should have taken an Oscar

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