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The Last Samurai [HD DVD] (2003)

Tom Cruise , Ken Watanabe , Edward Zwick  |  R |  HD DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,112 customer reviews)


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• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a standard-definition DVD player, Blu-ray player, or PS3.
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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, William Atherton, Chad Lindberg
  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Writers: Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, John Logan
  • Producers: Edward Zwick, Charles Mulvehill, Graham Larson, Marshall Herskovitz
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1), French (Dolby Digital-Plus 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital-Plus 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 18, 2006
  • Run Time: 154 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,112 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E5KJDO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,181 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Last Samurai [HD DVD]" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 1080p High Definition 16x9
  • Dolby Digital-Plus English 5.1, Dolby Digital-Plus Francais 5.1, Dolby Digital-Plus Espanol 2.0
  • Commentary by director Edward Zwick
  • Deleted scenes with commentary
  • History vs. Hollywood: The Last Samurai {History Channel Documentary
  • Tom Cruise: A Warrior's Journey
  • Edward Zwick: Director's Video Journal
  • Making an Epic: A Conversation with Edward Zwick and Tom Cruise
  • A World of Detail: production design with Lilly Kilvert
  • Silk and Armor: costume design with Ngila Dickson
  • Imperial Army Basic Training
  • From Soldier to Samurai: the weapons
  • Japan premieres {Tokyo & Kyoto red carpet)
  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

While Japan undergoes tumultuous transition to a more Westernized society in 1876-77, The Last Samurai gives epic sweep to an intimate story of cultures at a crossroads. In America, tormented Civil War veteran Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) is coerced by a mercenary officer (Tony Goldwyn) to train the Japanese Emperor's troops in the use of modern weaponry. Opposing this "progress" is a rebellion of samurai warriors, holding fast to their traditions of honor despite strategic disadvantage. As a captive of the samurai leader (Ken Watanabe), Algren learns, appreciates, and adopts the samurai code, switching sides for a climactic battle that will put everyone's honor to the ultimate test. All of which makes director Edward Zwick's noble epic eminently worthwhile, even if its Hollywood trappings (including an all-too-conventional ending) prevent it from being the masterpiece that Zwick and screenwriter John Logan clearly wanted it to be. Instead, The Last Samurai is an elegant mainstream adventure, impressive in all aspects of its production. It may not engage the emotions as effectively as Logan's script for Gladiator, but like Cruise's character, it finds its own quality of honor. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Epic Action Drama. Set in Japan during the 1870s, The Last Samurai tells the story of Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), a respected American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country's first army in the art of modern warfare. As the Emperor attempts to eradicate the ancient Imperial Samurai warriors in preparation for more Westernized and trade-friendly government policies, Algren finds himself unexpectedly impressed and influenced by his encounters with the Samurai, which places him at the center of a struggle between two eras and two worlds, with only his own sense of honor to guide him.

DVD Features:
Audio Commentary:Commentary by Edward Zwick
Deleted Scenes:The Beheading (Behind the Beheading) Algren and Katsumoto
Documentaries:History vs. Hollywood: The Last Samurai {History Channel Documentary)
Featurette:Tom Cruise: A Warrior's Journey Edward Zwick: Director's Video Journal {Behind-the-scenes production journal - narrated by Ed Zwick and Tom Cruise A World of Detail: Production Design with Lilly Kilvert Silk and Armor: Costume Design with Ngila Dickson Imperial Army Basic Training: From Soldier to Samurai: The Weapons
Interviews:Making an Epic: A Conversation with Edward Zwick


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very moved and remind me somethig inportant thing December 11, 2003
By A Customer
I am Japanease and live in Japan.
At first time,Tom Cruise decided to make Samurai movie,most of Japanese must be suspicious about it.
Because all hollywood movie about Japan and Japanese were really strange for us.
I always disappointed and felt didn't want to watch to the end.
But this movie was really great.
I can't belive this movie was made by another country except Japan.
It must be very difficult job and They did it.
Most of Japanese don't understand "samurai"spirit in these days.
And this movie was so fresh and felt like re-educated.
One of Japanese,I would like to say thank you to "The Last Samurai"
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5 of 0 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
My profile 43 yo no qualifications as a movie critic

Browsing through the reviews (there is just too many), I stopped after finding out one reviewer who reflected on why this movie was not that popular in the US and why it it was almost not mentioned in the Oscar (that was my impression at least).. Well, the reviewer said something about the view of the "whiteman's burden" made have caused unpleasant reactions.. that could be part of the reason, but my opinion is, the movie was released at a bad political timing and was censored by Hollywood as part of the "Patriot" canpaign designed at getting moral support to the invasion of Irak

Now you may label me now as a "conspiracy paranoid", but let me deliniate some aspects too see if they are not logical.. in the movie, americans go to Japan as mercenaries with a agenda of opening the big arms trade with imperial Japan.. to make matters worse, an ethical crisis occurs to the character of Tom Cruise.. an actor who is still remembered as a patriotic pilot who shot down those dreaded MICs in "Top Gun" ( a movie destined to make the public feel good at their defense expenditure)... talk about a bad timing to reflect and see that your goverment; not only sends you to genocide the american indians, now its time to continue somewhere else!! and what's even worse, he joins the other side!!, not exactly the kind of attitude you need on the troop morale sent to invade Irak under weak grounds.. hell, was it not enough the catharsis done by all those Vietnam movies? (where Tom Cruise did a Nam veteran).. well that was then this is now... lets face it.. why such an epic movie, a superb production and what I consider Cruise's pass to inmortality in the world of true films, was given a "foreign movie" treatment??!!

Perhaps after the dust settles and a new peace period begins, this movie can be seen in its proper context..
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144 of 155 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars! December 11, 2003
By Aya
As a Japanese living in the United Staes, I can say totally, that this film is amazing. There're some critics says Tom Cruise's acting and so on, however, this film sucessfully depicts the history of Japan, and people's traditional lives and the end of samurai era.
This is a spectacular movie with sweeping sword actions and it is based on the true history events in japan, I've seen a lot of samurai movies(made in japan for japanese) but i can say this one is GREAT as the other movies, plus this is not usual hollywood movies that awfully depicts samurais and even Yakuzas and brush off the truth.
I can say, however, without Tom Cruise, this movie could have also been great as well. But i would guess that it is because of him, this movie gained more attention among people and so typical americans can get the idea of what samurai really is and what they really think.
so overall i gave this movie 5 stars. I plan to go watch it again.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Kurosawa, But Still Engaging Story of the Lost Ideal December 26, 2003
First of all, if you want to see the real samurai in film, see Kurosawa. He is, and will be, the definite master of the genre (or any genre of film) and "The Last Samurai" does not change his undisputed status. Still Tom Cruise's new film has several merits of its own, and to watch the fictional Japan with great Japanese cast is worth a look.
Disillusioned and alcoholic American officer, Tom Cruise's Nathan Algren, is hired to train the Japanese army. The time is in the 1870s, when Japan's new government is struggling to establish its rule over the country, and rebellious "samurai" (techinically there were no samurai at that time, though) are unstable elements in the new-born nation.
After the bloody battle, Nathan is captured alive by the leader of rebel samurai Katsumoto (brilliant Ken Watanabe). Katsumoto keeps the wounded American within his village, knowing that the coming severe winter will shut down any access from outside. Moreover, Katsumoto says, he wants to "see his enemy."
After the sagging middle part, while the film portrays the gradual understanding between Katsumoto and Algren, it gives occasional actions using Japanese swords (including those of ninjas which tells that Hollywood still do not understand). Wait to see when it finally leads to the big action scene, of which very authentic and dynamic power is undeniable, even though it is still tainted by Hollywood ending. All Japanese audiences know (and grieve to see) that the Japanese soldiers would not "kneel" that way on the battlefield.
If anything should be recommeded, that is its production designs and Watanabe's acting. The sets of Japanese village and Japanese town (of Yokohama 130 years ago) are literally perfect.
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First question
No it can't you need one of the new hd-dvd players or an hd-dvd drive for your computer.

The good thing about the HD-DVD players is they are backwards compatible with dvds and can play those too.
Apr 12, 2006 by J. |  See all 4 posts
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