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).
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…
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 .
"You want me to kill THE ENEMIES of Jappos, I'll kill THE ENEMIES of Jappos... Rebs, or Sioux, or Cheyenne... For 500 bucks a month I'll kill whoever you want. But keep one thing in mind: I'd happily kill you for free."
Part 2 of my Tom Cruise Retrospective
The Last Samurai is one of the most interesting Tom Cruise films. While so many start out with Cruise as a man who is a strong hero, or a good person, when we meet his character Algren early in the film, he's a drunken, shallow, mess of a man who was at one time a soldier. It's a much different way to start this film, with one other film in his…
The Last Samurai '03 Starring Tom Cruise!
The Last Samurai, offers uniqueness of its beauty and and enticing plot to follow. It is surprising to see Tom Cruise getting in this tragic-drama film, delivering his character excellently. Cinematography work was superbly done, so was the given large attention to costume-designing and art-locations. As simple and as beautiful The Last Samurai could be. It certainly deserves great applause for groundbreaking work by Edward, and something that he did achieve eventually.
A disillusioned, alcoholic American soldier (Tom Cruise) hires out as a mercenary in Japan to put down the rebellion of a samurai leader (Ken Watanabe), but instead he comes to admire their ways and joins them in their struggle. This is a deeply flawed film that nevertheless has many fine points to recommend it. It is a rousing adventure with stirring battle scenes. The photography, costuming, and production design are astonishing, presenting a convincing and fascinating portrait of samurai culture and Japanese peasant life. The cast is mostly excellent, especially Watanabe.
However, there are two things that work against this film. The first is Tom Cruise himself. Although he does good work here, he just seems to be too lightweight…
The film's orientalist sentiments are sometimes baffling, but great scenery and intense action scenes make this historical drama worth experiencing from purely entertainment perspective.
Tom Cruise becomes a what now?
But dont laugh yet, this movie has intresting ideas to present. If hollywood theatrics and brief glimpses of a shoehorned romance dont deter you, there is a pretty good war film and a clash of ideologies to be found here. But in the midst of striving for oscars the film also becomes a bit of a mess.
The movie operates in some sort of weird confusion, knowing that the perishment of the old ways is inevitable, but at the same time embracing the overly sympathetic, romanticized and idealistic image of the samurai. And now I'm confused aswell. Atleast this could potentially serve as a entry-point into samurai films for an audience who might otherwise not watch them.
*re-watched in class over the course of a week*
Probably the most intelligent film about Japanese culture to come out of Hollywood in over two decades. Extremely beautiful and incredibly moving. Exceptional performances from Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe.
What Hollywood says it is: A powerful and moving epic telling the true story of Japan during the Meiji Restoration and the loss of a magnificent culture.
What it really is: A lavishly produced and sweeping piece of entertainment that, while a little too emotionally manipulative and historically misleading, is at least well-intentioned.
There's a particularly beautiful and poignant scene in Ed Zwick's epic The Last Samurai toward the end of the film where the film's title becomes realized. Scores of samurai ride one final futile charge against forces with superior numbers and technology, culminating in a horrific massacre at the hands of their foes' machine guns. As the bullets fly and smoke billows and warriors riddled with bullets tumble…
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- Pulp Fiction
- Fight Club
- Blade Runner
- The Big Lebowski
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of…
- Sharky's Machine
- Absence of Malice
- On Golden Pond
- Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip
I've always been interested in what other people are seeing and watching, and naturally, I love looking at Weekend Box…