Complete list. :-(
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…
It's true: according to Wikipedia, Tom Cruise is indeed still the only samurai on record, and has been since 1877.
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).
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…
First, they have "The Mexican" with Brad Pitt, now they have "The Last Samurai" with Tom Cruise. Well, I've written a film, maybe they'll produce my film. The Last Nigga on Earth, starring Tom Hanks. How about that?
Not a fan of this kind of movies, but still watchable.
Owned on DVD
Tom Cruise Dances with Samurai.
As much as it pains me to say this, I think Cruise is woefully miscast in the lead role. The script has large swaths of time with little to no dialogue, and while Cruise alternates between two facial expressions with undeniable conviction, he seems out of his depth here.
A respectful and at times quite charming love letter to Samurai culture.
Watanabe is quite good as is the rest of the Japanese cast, and the handling of the culture and customs all felt very authentic(to this American at least).
And due to Cruises limitations, I was never able to connect to the character's story, making the films 2 1/2 hour runtime a bit of an ordeal at times.
Zwick's loving direction along with Watanabe and Cruise believable chemistry carry the movie, but it all felt a little lacking and overblown by the end.
"Tell me how he died."
"I will tell you how he lived."
A love letter to all things Samurai. One heck of an under-rated Tom Cruise film.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The hook: Former army soldier Algren is offered a job to go over seas and help militarize Japan.
The Catalyst: A fights occurs in the woods during which Algren is captured and taken to the enemy base camp.
The pinch: When the village is attacked by and Algren saves the child and Katsumoto midbattle. (01:11:50)
Crisis: Omura forces Algren to give him info on Katsumoto or to crush him in battle with the new military weapons they have (01:23:00)
Showdown/Climax: Algren & Katsumoto meet Abraham, and Omura in battle. (01:53:00)
Realization: When Algren tells the emperor, "If you wish me dead I will gladly take my life." We realize that Algren has reached the highest degree of change, and become a true samurai.
*@ 01:30:41 An interesting technique is employed in which Algren, and Katsumoto are in separate places but the OTSs match as if they're in the same place.
In the 1870s, Captain Nathan Algren, a drunken and cynical hero of the American Civil War, is hired to train the Japanese army in their battle against the Samurai. While leading the Japanese army forces into battle he is captured and taken to the Samurai warrior’s village that he was hired to destroy. During his captivity he grows to love the Samurai culture and does all that he can to save it from annihilation.
I absolutely love this movie! The settings and costumes are incredibly beautiful and easily transport you back in time. Cruise and Watanabe have excellent chemistry and both do a fantastic job of carrying this film forward. The mixture of intense battle sequences and the quiet life…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
An enjoyable, if over-long, tale of the Samurai.
The problem, for me, was the ending. The way they built to the ending made it seem as though Tommy C was going to also commit Seppuku as a way of becoming a true Samurai. But he didn't. He went off to bonk the widow of the guy he killed. Why?
The last five minutes of the movie completely render any prior meaning completely null, which is a shame since the rest was very enjoyable.
The movie has an excellence portrayed of the Japanese culture during the samurai era, with lots of great action and epic moments, one thing standing out is the well writing dialogues, with grades that stuck with you, the music is really inspiring, 100% recommended movie
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
All the way from 'The Land Before Time' to 'The Social Network'.
(Read notes for dates.)
Work in progress, will…