Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
The Last Samurai
In the face of an enemy, in the Heart of One Man, Lies the Soul of a Warrior.
Nathan Algren is an American hired to instruct the Japanese army in the ways of modern warfare -- in this lush epic set in the 1870s, which finds Algren learning to respect the samurai and the honorable principles that rule them. Pressed to destroy the samurai's way of life in the name of modernization and open trade, Algren decides to become an ultimate warrior himself and to fight for their right to exist.
Quite sound in its portrayal of old Japanese customs, traditions & way of life, nicely written by Zwick, convincingly performed by the cast, impressive work by the crew & featuring stunning music by Hans Zimmer, The Last Samurai is a tale of romanticism vs modernism, purity vs corruption & a conflict of two different cultures.
Although director Edward Zwick's research of Japanese history, culture, customs, traditions & accent is impressive, the plot could've made a greater impact than it did for the movie wasn't as emotionally investing as I expected. The camera work is really good, both in the battle scenes & in picturing the westernization of 19th century Japan. The landscapes are beautifully photographed & traditions effectively captured. The movie keeps a good pace throughout…
Edward Zwick is one of the most under-rated directors out there, but I don't feel this is entirely representative of his best work. Not to say it isn't a damn good film (it is), but it's plainly obvious that Hollywood had their hands on this.
The tone is inconsistent. One minute, there's a standard, generic Hollywood action scene, shot the same way all standard, generic Hollywood action scenes are shot. The next minute, however, is a very calm, still, introspective montage taken straight from Terrence Malick's playbook. If the movie was either a drama or an action film instead of trying to be both, I think it would have more of an identity. The pandering to the lowest-common-denominator viewer played…
The honour and code of the samurai has always been enticing to a Western civilisation that is far removed from such customs, which perhaps makes The Last Samurai such an enticing, enigmatic film. Edward Zwick crafts quite an epic adventure rich in mythology & thematic resonance that while traditionally Hollywood in its construction still manages to exist a cut above many such movies of its ilk, a touch of class surrounding how the story of Captain Nathan Algren is put together, based as it is on several real life legendary American figures who played key roles in the Satsuma Rebellion in Japan during the late 19th century. This isn't a direct re-telling of those events but serves as a leaping off…
Edward Zwick is another great director I admire due to his stunning directing and epic films he brings along.
Wasn't really expecting much but impressed by the end.
Finally Tom Cruise actually had a role that you forget its him from the first 10mins, which makes you care about the character but the real star of this film is Ken Watanabe. Ken does an amazing job of playing Katsumoto and if it wasn't for this role I believe we wouldn't had seen him playing Ra's Al Ghul in Batman Begins.
The film carries a hefty 2 and a half hours but it didn't feel like it so don't be put off with the time (like I did).
Though I'm not normally a huge fan of samurai or war films, this had Ken Watanabe and Tom Cruise. So I had to see it.
Hans Zimmer's score is splendid all the way throughout the film, and the music used in the final fight scenes reminds me of the score for The Dark Knight Rises. The dialogue is, while cheesy, decently entertaining, and Watanabe and Cruise are of course excellent.
The cinematography is splendid in the fight scenes, and really rather good in other areas (the thing is I'm trying to set higher standards for cinematography, so truly, 3.5 is the appropriate score).
The finale of the film is tremendous and eye-catching, incredibly well done (apart from some cheesy dialogue).
The Last Samurai, while not incredibly memorable or deeply moving, and while having several cliches, still is an entertaining, well acted and produced film .
Edward Zwick knows how to shoot a battle sequence. Anyone who has seen Glory will know what I mean and he continued that thrilling energetic approach with this Eastern set epic.
Tom Cruise's borderline alcoholic US Cavalry Captain is in Japan to train their army in Western military tactics and help crush a rebellion by the Samurai. More than just a war film this takes a simple but effective look at Japan's attempt to Westernize it's military back in the late 19th century. Shifting away from traditional values and being tempted by the evils of the West, this is a touch patronizing in some of its rhetoric.
When Cruise leads an under-prepared fledgling army against Watanabe's Samurai, they are slaughtered…
Edward Zwick's The Last Samurai is a lavishly constructed and visually detailed samurai film that compromises a promising plot to convey nothing more than surface splendor. It unfolds like the kind of war epic that is never quite sure whether it is a sweeping action extravaganza or an intimate character study, due to the mammoth price tag attached to it. Forcing a clash between two potentially interesting thematic paths, resulting in a film which never dedicates itself to either.
The film follows Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), a cynical and alcoholic former solider tormented by memories of battling in the Indian Wars. Ashamed of the atrocities he caused, he is the kind of man no one would envision Cruise playing…
I had last seen this in the cinema and completely forgot how good it was.
Thrilling battle scenes and some excellent side characters.
I've only seen this film once and barely remember it. I know I liked it but it didn't really have lasting effect on me. I should watch it again to see if it holds up.
Another review from my college newspaper days. I haven't seen it since nor do I have much memory of it but my review is glowing so I guess I'll give it four stars.
“The Last Samurai” was difficult for me to review as it is by far the most positive review for a film I have ever written.
“The Last Samurai” takes place in the 1870s, shortly after the major battles involving the U.S. military and Native American tribes had taken place. Tom Cruise portrays Col. Nathan Algren, an officer who, after participating in many such battles, has become a drunken embarrassment due to the guilt he feels from inflicting undeserved pain on so many people. An ambassador from…
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Lushly shot with beautiful landscapes and set design , fantastic central performances from Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe and a heart-felt score from Han Zimmer make The Last Samurai a joy to watch .
This was alright, but there's nothing here to recommend that you can't get a whole bunch of other places, and it works a lot better in those other places.
If I had to think long and hard, how to characterise Edward Zwick as a director, I would probably say that he is a lesser Spielberg. Ho enjoys the swelling sentimentality that Spielberg is most well known for, he tackles similar sweeping dramatic themes, and he has a good idea how to create believable action. Therefore, even though it's schmaltzy as all hell at times, I still enjoy revisting "The Last Samurai", a story of an American soldier with a tragic backstory who finds redemption among the dying breed of samurai in the 19th century Japan. It really does read terrible, when you pay close attention, but the film itself is insanely watchable, has a fantastic score by Hans Zimmer…
I've always been interested in what other people are seeing and watching, and naturally, I love looking at Weekend Box…