Ok, I'm starting to tire slightly of RotK threads, as they're totally overshadowing any other movie release this holiday season.
I saw The Last Samurai last night/this morning, and I have to say I was suitably impressed. Of course there were a few niggling Hollywood-ism's (Ninjas??? Yes, they were exciting, but not all all accurate for the current set time...) that came with, but that's to be expected. Loosely based around a real man with a different name, Watanabe is fantastic as Katsumoto as he embraces the way of the samurai (Honor through fighting, dying for destiny is played upon heavily) trying to keep his beloved country from being turned into the next western capital. Tom Cruise is great as a washed up American alcoholic Army Captain who is hired by the Imperial Japanese Army to train their soldiers in the way of firearms and modern warefare, but not so great as a gaijin that has adopted the ways of traditional samurai as his own.
As mentioned above, the plot does tend to become a little contrived in points, and that's a big pity. Over-glorified seppuku acts (suicide by the sword), an out-of-place Billy Connelly, cliche love, Tom Cruise's modern acting in a yesteryear setting and of course historical innacuracies (NINJAS) stop this otherwise good movie from really being great. The cinematography is gorgeous, the story is moviing, the Japanese cast convincing, and the final battle scene is something to truly behold. Worth a watch, but if you're heavily into Japanese history, don't expect every little detail to match up.
Posts: 18 | Registered: Aug 2003
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I saw this last night, I thought it was excellent. Well worth the money I paid to see it, I walked out of the theater satisfied. Fight scenes were incredible, and the story line was interesting. I really couldnt ask for much more in a movie.
It was so good that for the next month or so my girlfriend is going to have to put up with me acting like a samurai and engaging her in mock battle.
Posts: 473 | Registered: Sep 2001
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Last Samurai was pretty good... only pretty good. Nowhere near ROTK level. It had too many cliches: the alcoholic warrior with guilt hanging over him, for one. Also the line near the end, where the emperor says to Cruise, "Tell me how he died," and Cruise says "I will tell you how he lived." I cringed when I heard that one.
The fellow who played the American bad guy was one of those rare finds: a truly awful actor.
I went in with high expectations. I thought the movie would be another great epic like Braveheart or Last of the Mohicans. Instead it was a good effort with a number of flaws. I enjoyed it, though.
Posts: 4600 | Registered: Mar 2000
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I came out of that movie theater feeling like the filmmakers had sat down at their first brainstorming meeting and said, "So howsabout we make a movie that Abby will think is really really cool...?" and they succeeded.
The Last Samurai was one of the most forgettable movies I've ever seen (work your mind around that contradiction). A friend of mine once said about Coyote Ugly: So Jerry Bruckheimer was sitting around smoking his cigar, and had that blond Piper chick smoking his, uh, cigar, and he picks up a phone, says to whoever on the other end "I want blondes, I want beer, and I want singing," then he hung up and went on being smoked and forgot he ever told someone to make it in the first place.
I can see a lot the same happening here. Someone got a cauldren and tossed in samurais. How are we gonna fit in a white American? We'll import him from the Civil War! And let's add ninjas! And an unfulfilled love! And honor! And big battles! And evil Western influence!
It was fun to see, I'll give it that. But like every Tom Cruise movie, it was overhyped and praised beyond its actual worth. (The same also holds true for every Spielburg movie I've seen, come to think of it...) Sure, it was pretty, and sure, it was nice to see, but in ten years who's going to remember Minority Report or The Last Samurai? I have to say, his ex-wife's doing a far more quality job (and in greater quantity) than Cruise ever has, to my knowledge.
But TLS was pretty, I'll give it that.
Posts: 3293 | Registered: Jul 2002
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