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*** Official THE LAST SAMURAI Discussion Thread


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#1 of 189 Matt_P

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Posted November 10 2003 - 03:01 AM

Other than Return of the King, this is my most anticipated film for the rest of the year. The full theatrical trailer has just hit the theaters (with Revolutions), and it looks great. Not as effective as the teaser, but I like it's almost silent film approach, and John Toll's amazing cinematography shines through wonderfully. Ed Zwick has been out of the game for a while--nice to see him back to work. Also, you can hear some score samples by Hans Zimmer on the official website. They sound decent, yet somewhat formulaic for him (very Gladiator like). I hope there's more to it!

There are some early reviews out, and the general consensus has been positive. What do you think?

I have a feeling this is going to be one of the best of 2003.

#2 of 189 Steve_Tk

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Posted November 10 2003 - 05:24 AM

Looks like another great epic, and I love the score in the trailer, not sure if that's music in the movie though.

#3 of 189 Werner_R

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Posted November 10 2003 - 05:29 AM

I liked the teaser trailer better but it looks great, will see it when it hits the theaters !

#4 of 189 Bill J

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Posted November 10 2003 - 06:04 AM

Click here to see 44 stills from the movie.

#5 of 189 Jim_C

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Posted November 10 2003 - 06:04 AM

I have high hopes for this film but I still have a hard time picturing Cruise in this role. I felt the same way about Gibson in Braveheart. Luckily for me about a third of the way into that movie I was convinced that Gibson was William Wallace. I hope for the same reaction to Cruise in LS.

That said, I love period war/action movies and this one looks like it's going to be great.
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#6 of 189 JohnE

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Posted November 10 2003 - 06:36 AM

Yeah, after RotK, this is my most anticipated film left this year. It looks like it's going to be a winner.

What year is this supposed to be set in? SOmetime after the Civil War, right?

#7 of 189 Dome Vongvises

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Posted November 10 2003 - 08:23 AM

After ROTK, this is my anticipated film left this year as well.

Ed Zwick is a solid director and is behind one of my favorite films of all time in Glory.

#8 of 189 Quentin

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Posted November 10 2003 - 08:29 AM

The big question for me is, how similar to "Dances with Wolves" is it? Frankly, I hope they don't deviate from the core too much. It's a solid story that fits well with the Japanese culture and Zwick should give it a good shot.

#9 of 189 Robert Crawford

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Posted November 10 2003 - 08:51 AM

A side note, both, Cruise and Zwick are hosting a Samurai tribute to Kurosawa on Turner Classic Movies channel on November 28th. You can read about it here.

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#10 of 189 Raymond_H

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Posted November 10 2003 - 02:14 PM

Quote:
I have high hopes for this film but I still have a hard time picturing Cruise in this role


Ditto. Everything looks as perfect as it can be for this movie, but Cruise sticks out (literally).

But still its a minor pre-movie gripe as I'm sure within the first 10-15 minutes of this epic my mind will be looking for the more important aspects of the film.

Raymond

#11 of 189 Matt_P

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Posted November 12 2003 - 04:20 AM

http://www.darkhorizons.com/news.htm has the international poster up. Also, a review was posted a couple days ago. Looks positive!

Thanks for the link to those images, Bill!

#12 of 189 Tim RH

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Posted November 12 2003 - 09:40 AM

I don't like the idea of playing with history just to have an American character in there so the film will appeal more to western audiences, but if there has to be an American star, then I can't think of anyone better than Tom Cruise actually! So with that said, this is still my most anticipated film of the rest of the year (aside from ROTK), but there is a strong possibility that it won't live up to my expectations.

#13 of 189 Todd Terwilliger

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Posted November 12 2003 - 10:21 AM

I remember seeing a show not too long ago on TCM about the role of Native Americans in movies and how film would inevitably show a white man becoming a better Native American than the Native Americans themselves - and how offensive that is. This movie seems like exactly the same thing except with an Asian culture in the place of the Native American culture. I want to see the film but everytime I see the trailer, I can't help thinking back to that point. I don't know.
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#14 of 189 Patrick Sun

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Posted November 12 2003 - 10:43 AM

The local news mentioned that a stunt mechanical horse stopped at the wrong spot and Tom Cruise was 1" from getting sliced open by a real sword in one of the scenes. Yowie!
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#15 of 189 Quentin

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Posted November 12 2003 - 11:34 AM

I have never felt that Costner becomes a “better native American than native Americans” in DWW – he becomes a better person because of what he learns from them. I’m sure the very idea WOULD be offensive, but it’s quite offensive to claim that this is what happens in DWW.

Similarly, I think Last Samurai looks like it will do the same thing with Tom Cruise. He looks like a cocky, no-load cavalry officer who gets his ass kicked and then learns to respect and eventually love the culture he once dismissed. Japanese samurai culture is even better for this dramatic purpose than native Americans, so I’m really looking forward to what they do with it.

I just hope Zwick evades his tendencies to bang us over the head with his message.

#16 of 189 Todd Terwilliger

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Posted November 12 2003 - 02:24 PM

Quentin,

I'm not sure how the claim would be offensive. The claim has been made about DWW but that is not nearly the only film to have been accused of this. I personally like DWW but, not being a Native American, I can't make any claims on what it looks like from their perspective. Same goes for The Last Samurai. It is interesting however, that these types of movies keep getting made with this similar vein.
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#17 of 189 Nick-G

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Posted November 14 2003 - 03:34 AM

"The big question for me is, how similar to "Dances with Wolves" is it? "

This was exactly my thought when I saw the full length trailer!! Oh well, I guess the only way to find out is to see it !! Posted Image

#18 of 189 IanHo

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Posted November 14 2003 - 05:15 AM

The fact is, a movie entirely set in a foreign land or culture has a difficult time being backed by studios as "an event film" if there isn't an American/European (white) star or told from his/her point of view. There were other major films, most notably The Last Emperor. But these are the rare rare exceptions. Studios simply do not believe Americans will be interested in seeing a film told from the POV of of a non-white character. I dont' think its necessarily true given the right story and character but I can understand why studios would be hesitant. Maybe this is probably one of the reasons why Arthur Golden's book "Memoirs of a Geisha" is having a difficult time being made? Maybe since there are no white characters. But since its a great story and a wildly popular book here in America somebody should make this one soon.

And that DWW shows that a white man can be a better Native American than a Native American is pure rubbish. I've seen that movie many times and I simply do not remember seeing that message anywhere. These "fish out of water" stories invariably show the main character developing into a new type of person by learning the ways of the people around him. Not better than others but a better person than he/she was before.

#19 of 189 Matt_P

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Posted November 14 2003 - 07:38 AM

Rob Marshall (Chicago) is slated to direct Geisha, after Spielberg abandonded it. Should be interesting to see how that production goes.

From Dark Horizons:

Memoirs of a Geisha: "After months of negotiation, Columbia Pictures, DreamWorks and Miramax Films are closing in on a deal that will allow Rob Marshall to direct 'Geisha' as a co-production among all three studios..."

As for the comparison of Last Samurai to Dances, there may be a great similarity--it remains to be seen. As for the resulting controversy, Quentin summed it up rather well.

#20 of 189 Matt_P

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Posted November 16 2003 - 02:53 PM

Reviews of Hans Zimmer's score are starting to crop up. You'll find reviews at http://www.filmtracks.com http://www.moviewave.net and 30 second samples from every track are available at http://www.musiconfilm.net

Sounds very good!

Tracksounds should have a review up soon.