I originally saw the last samurai in theatres, I immediately knew that
I was watching one of the best movies of the year. Now, after its video
release, I again find myself blown away by how good this movie really
is. Every aspect of this film [such as Cruis, Watanabe, cinematography,
story, and score] seems to fit into a wonderful puzzle.
plot is simple. A once noble American soldier finds redemption and honor
after being captured by militant Samurai in the nation of Japan; the same
Samurai that he has been sent to destroy. The soldier, Nathan Algren,
is played by Tom Cruise. Cruise does a wonderful job playing a fallen
soldier who must drown out his sorrows in the bottle. Cruise's character,
Algren, is haunted by nightmares reflecting his troubled past. Algren,
after being captured and forced to live with the Samurai, finds his cure
amongst the samurai code. Algren later befriends and joins the samurai.
untamed, landscapes with snowy mountains in the background to boot. What
more could you want? All sets are very realistic and take advantage of
the wide-screen format. As you watch the film you witness three locations.
The first looks like an early San Francisco, the second is a busy, growing
town in Japan, and the last is the samurai camp located 'deep in the mountains.'
All are very well constructed and very realistic.
Last Samurai' has a very powerful score composed by Hans Zimmer. Zimmer,
known for his music in 'Crimson Tide,' 'Pearl Harbor,' 'Black Hawk Down,'
'Gladiator,' and 'The Rock,' takes advantage of what I call weeping
strings or weeping violins to tie the whole movie together
while continuously setting the somber tone.
The music in this film reminds me of a combination between the 'Glory'
score and 'The Last of the Mohicans' score. Both of which I also greatly
previously discussed, Tom Cruise does a convincing job on playing the
roll of Captain Algren. However, his co-star Ken Watanabe, brings light
to the screen. As a viewer, you will fall in love with the energy and
compassion that Watanabe envoys in his character Katsumoto. The guy is
to a better word, brilliant.
Buy, or See this Movie!
you have not yet seen this film, go rent/buy it and do so. I can almost
guarentee that you will be taken by the acting to the action to the
story, the pacing, the music, the emotional resonance, the character development,
the cinematography, the beginning, the ending [joblo]
and everything that falls within. This movie brings you in close and personal
and you will love every step of the way.