The Last Samurai

The Last Samurai

DVD - 2004
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Tormented Civil War veteran Capt. Nathan Algren is coerced by a mercenary officer to train the Japanese Emperor's troops in the use of modern weaponry. Opposing this modernization are the samurai warriors who are holding fast to their traditions of honor, despite their strategic disadvantage. As a captive of the samurai leader, Algren learns, appreciates, and adopts the samurai code, switching sides for a climactic battle that will put everyone's honor to the ultimate test.

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p
patch666
Jul 23, 2017

I like this movie in spite of Tom Cruise as a Samurai . Everything else is fantastic

a
akirakato
Jul 21, 2016

This is a 2003 period drama directed and co-produced by Edward Zwick.
Tom Cruise portrays a formerly retired officer of the United States 7th Cavalry Regiment, whose personal and emotional conflicts bring him into contact with samurai warriors in the wake of the Meiji Restoration in 19th Century Japan.
Although its plot was inspired by the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion led by Saigō Takamori (西郷隆盛), the events in the film are mostly fiction.
To a lesser extent it is also influenced by the story of Jules Brunet, a French army captain who fought alongside Enomoto Takeaki (榎本武揚) in the earlier Boshin War.
In the movie, the anti-government soldiers wear the traditional Japanese armor, but in the real rebellion they also wore Westernized uniforms.
When Omura sends Ninjas to attack the village, I almost laugh to death because it looks like the 16th-century fighting scene---anachronistic!
The historical roles of the British Empire, the Netherlands and France in Japanese westernization are largely attributed to the United States in the film, for American audiences.
Saigō fought for a moral revolution, not a material one, and he described his revolt as a check on the declining morality of a new, Westernizing materialism.
This theme is well depicted in the film.
It is a gripping semi-historical drama with superbly-choreographed bloody fighting scenes.

d
ddebner
Aug 17, 2015

I'm not a Tom Cruise fan but this movie is an excellent story about the evolution of a man from damaged soldier to honorable warrior.

k
Kiyugi
Mar 15, 2015

Tom Cruise is surprisingly effective in this swashbuckling romance. He's man with a tortured past as a former member of General Custer's troops who cut down innocent men, women and children and reluctant recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. The Japanese actors, especially Ken Watanabe, give depth and authenticity and the unspoken presence of the Samurai is a wonder to watch. Even the two children are excellent and act like real kids. The film captures the revolution in Japan with the ascendancy of the Meiji reign and the amazingly rapid transformation from a feudal society to the modern militarized nation. This is a great movie to watch for its scenery, costumes and homage to history. And, of course, the romance.

d2013 Mar 05, 2015

Amazing film in all aspects. Both leads were excellent. Great epic story!

X_andor_Who Apr 21, 2014

The Last Samurai: (Awesome Samurai Movie): To a rudimentary recluse, this movie along with "The Forbidden Kingdom", were my two, weekly, watching, yum-yum, sugarplums. I would watch them, religiously and ritually on Friday mornings, before venturing outward to feast at local, Chinese banquet buffet. And with these two foreign flicks, I was put in amiable mood… to wield two, wooden sticks and graze upon good, oriental, food. Rating: 6.0/5.0; Xandor Who

s
SCL_WorldLanguages
Jan 02, 2013

An American military advisor embraces the Samurai culture he was hired to destroy after he is captured in battle.

m
Monolith
Dec 28, 2012

This one moves into the ranks of "Braveheart" and "Dances With Wolves" for me, with noticeably reminiscent undertones of both (more-so the latter). Disillusioned patriots/underdogs who've followed their hearts instead of their 'duty'. Adrenalin charged battle scenes and corresponding musical accompaniment. I even sensed parallels between the Samurai and the Native Americans; both age-old, proud, indigenous cultures and ways of life, literally and figuratively extinguished by Western civilization's Winchesters and Smith and Wessons, on its unstoppable and inevitable steam locomotive. I felt Tom Cruise's solemn, brooding performance was good -- not mind-bending, but good. I would've liked to have seen more of Billy Connolly, but so be it. Koyuki as the delicate and forgiving Taka was captivating. But without question, Ken Watanabe really stood alone as Katsumoto. He dug deep. Phenomenal flick from Edward Zwick. FIVE STARS.

l
librarianatlarge
Oct 26, 2012

Every time I watch this film, I think that if a more capable actor had been cast in the lead, it could have been a very good film, rather than just a good one. Tom Cruise's self-conscious acting is totally eclipsed by Ken Watanabe's nuanced, intelligent and excellent performance as Katsumoto, the charismatic renegade samurai leader. The film is beautifully filmed, the direction quite sensitive and the battle scenes unusually coherent. This is a film about honour, redemption and male bonding. The relationship between Cruise's character and Watanabe's doesn't quite work because of Cruise's woodenness, but the film is well worth watching for many other reasons.

d
de_grammont
Jul 05, 2012

Easy to see why this film garnered as much attention from the Academy Awards and other such ceremonies.

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Quotes

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m
Monolith
Dec 28, 2012

Algren: "My thanks, on behalf of those who died in the name of better mechanical amusements and commercial opportunities."

m
Monolith
Dec 28, 2012

Algren: "There is some comfort in the emptiness of the sea... no past; no future."

m
Monolith
Dec 28, 2012

Algren (to the silent Samurai): "I know why you don't talk. Because you're angry. You're angry because they make you wear a dress."

m
Monolith
Dec 28, 2012

Algren (to the silent Samurai): "I just realized, I've been remiss. Forgive me, I forgot to thank you for protecting me yesterday. That is your job right? Protecting me? Well done 'Bob.' You don't mind if I call you Bob, do you? I knew a Bob once; God, he was ugly as a mule. Are you a ladies man, Bob?"

m
Monolith
Dec 28, 2012

Algren (narrating): "They are an intriguing people. From the moment they wake they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue. I have never seen such discipline. I am surprised to learn that the word Samurai means, 'to serve', and that Katsumoto believes his rebellion to be in the service of the Emperor."

m
Monolith
Dec 28, 2012

Katsumoto: "The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life."

m
Monolith
Dec 28, 2012

Algren (narrating): "Spring, 1877. This marks the longest I've stayed in one place since I left the farm at 17. There is so much here I will never understand. I've never been a church going man, and what I've seen on the field of battle has led me to question God's purpose. But there is indeed something spiritual in this place. And though it may forever be obscure to me, I cannot but be aware of its power. I do know that it is here that I've known my first untroubled sleep in many years."

m
Monolith
Dec 28, 2012

Higen: "Will you fight the white men, too?" Algren: "If they come here, yes." Higen: "Why?" Algren: "Because they come to destroy what I have come to love."

m
Monolith
Dec 28, 2012

Katsumoto: "What happened to the warriors at Thermopylae?" Algren: "Dead to the last man." (They both smile and charge into battle)

m
Monolith
Dec 28, 2012

Algren (to Katsumoto, dying): "I will miss our conversations."

Notices

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X_andor_Who Apr 21, 2014

Other: Philosophy, per my Japanese, Samurai, Definition: Samurai means: to act in Service. And when Samurai asks him/her/it/their self questions, like: to what then do I serve, and to who(m) do I serve?... Then this act or art becomes Bushido... or, The Way of the Warrior that which one, innately and domestically, dwells. -X; Who

vitriolic7eyes May 01, 2012

Sexual Content: Very, very mild.

vitriolic7eyes May 01, 2012

Violence: A lot but it is not overly explicit nor does it glorify the violence it does have.

vitriolic7eyes May 01, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Mild but the ending scene in perticular is intense.

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X_andor_Who Apr 21, 2014

X_andor_Who thinks this title is suitable for 5 years and over

d
DFX
May 28, 2013

DFX thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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X_andor_Who Apr 21, 2014

The Warred Upon: It has to be done and it has to be mentally, emotionally explored upon. And so, at near closing’s end… the scene sends sagely and mighty message… war is not to comfort and it is not to assuage; war is generally and gistly brought by bullies wanting what they cannot obtain… and without end in sight, bullies will always put up their fisticuffs, first, to futilely fight. Of this samurai show, the final charge, shows how in large… we are short sighted; and because of this ignorance invited… sickly, greedy, mental thoughts… materialize… and make way… and make way… to our minds… making it mush, making it decay, and making it mentally rot away. BushiDo: Life in every breath... is to feel the inescapable perimeters of death… to honor all life and actions… this amidst all the teeming strife and factions. This simply and properly, being put, are the styles and ways, in which in Bushido, we thrive and strive to be. -X; Who

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