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Last Samurai, The

 

USA 2003, 144 minutes
Dir. Edward Zwick
In English, Japanese
Rating: [R]
Genres: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Crime / Epic, Martial Arts

Topics: Period - 1800s.

 

Aroview: Swathed in the scenery of New Zealand, this enactment of the Japanese civil wars of the late 19th century is an ambitious, though none-too-subtle period epic.

Tom Cruise plays a guilt-ridden veteran of the American Civil War who is recruited to help modernise the Imperial Army, but is abducted by rebellious Samurais and inculcated with the mystic values of traditional Japan. Admittedly, the dir.'s sure touch for rollicking battles in the swords-vs-cannons mode is thoroughly spectacular, and for this alone will hold the attention of those hungry for action.

However as a modernday myth of spiritual transformation, one influenced by DANCES WITH WOLVES, this is unfortunately heavy with oriental cliche and light on authentic historical context.

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DVD Features

  • audio commentary
  • deleted scenes
  • English subtitles for the hearing impaired
  • 'making of' documentary / featurette
  • trailers
  • 2-disc set
 

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