Customer Reviews


148 Reviews
5 star:
 (122)
4 star:
 (16)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last Samurai
Zimmer's new score for the epic canvas of a film is truly a revelation. This is among Zimmer's finest music, though that is becoming a cliche these days with him. He just keeps getting better and better, borrowing from his old works, inverting them and turning them into something new and refreshing, but just new enough to know that what you're listening to is the great...
Published on December 8, 2003 by reel07

versus
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Soundtrack, Terrible Record Label
Great soundtrack, but be warned: if you listen to your CDs while working on your PC, this CD is "protected" with a buggy Macromedia overlay that hides the songs and prevents the CD from playing on computers. I looked online for a solution to this problem, and found many, many others with the exact same complaint for this and other albums from Elektra. It doesn't matter...
Published on December 26, 2007 by Kevin Hatch


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last Samurai, December 8, 2003
By 
"reel07" (Sad Hill Cemetery) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
Zimmer's new score for the epic canvas of a film is truly a revelation. This is among Zimmer's finest music, though that is becoming a cliche these days with him. He just keeps getting better and better, borrowing from his old works, inverting them and turning them into something new and refreshing, but just new enough to know that what you're listening to is the great Hans Zimmer. This soundtrack brings to mind the vivid imagery of the film (the battlefields, colorful villages perched upon serene mountain tops, many other images reminiscent of Kurosawa's films), but even better, just like of Zimmer's other great works, the music has a life of its own. You can take this music and apply it to your own life.
Every track is fantastic. Each manages to have the reflective, weepy, and somber strings of "Thin Red Line" mixed in with the dramatic punches of "Pearl Harbor, Crimson Tide, Gladiator" and many of his other works. But those who loved the profound depth of "Thin Red Line" FANS WILL NOT BE DISSAPOINTED. The non-action music has the same beautiful melodies of his work from that soundtrack, except that it has its own distinct own voice. Zimmer sprinkles the entire soundtrack with wonderful flavors from Japan, but not too much. He applies just the right amount, without turning the music into stereotypical international fluff. He goes beyond the borders of cultures, just as he did in Thin Red Line, and finds that place that is within every person's soul and expresses it with his masterful command of strings.
The action cues are amazing. They are memorable and impossible to forget; very heroic and powerful without being too contrived. the bridge between track 10 and 11 sounds JUST like the bridge in THIN RED LINE tracks 8 and 9.
Track 1: "A way of life" has great cues that sound like ponderous Thin Red line and then heroic cues sounding like Gladiator and even a little black hawk down.
"Spectres in the fog" starts off with a nice meoldy that is one of the main themes in the soundtrack the turns into a grat action piece
"Taken" has an adventure feel reprising the action main theme
"a hard teacher" is a lot like "light" from thin red line; thinking melodic music
"to know my enemy" is a good dramatic piece and gets very good and dramatic near the end
"Idyll's end" is another great one; starts off very subtle and beautifully melodic then turns into a great heroic theme with shades of gladiator
"safe passage" is a weepy melancholy tune that has shades of the "attack" from pearl harbor
"ronin" is a great short track that starts out sof then jumps to some of the loudest finest percussion beats youll ever hear, slightly echoing the heroism of black hawk down and gladiator.
"red warrior" is a great action track that sets the scene for the big battle
"the way of the sword" is a great action adrenaline-pumping track with equally great melodies. the part from 2:45 to 4:50 is truly powerful and when you match it with the specific scene from the film, you'll know what I mean. a great "dying on the battlefield song" What follows is similar to the high blissful strings that wrap up "journey to the line" soaring to the highest peaks.
"a small measure of peace" is the last track and brings great closure to the CD with beautiful and haunting melodies, a la thin red line once again. reprises the quiet subtle theme that is present in track 1 and track 6.
well thats the lowdown. obviously I can't recommend it enough, fans of Hans Zimmer/ film scores or not. This is good music for anything; workout, doing work, thinking and reflecting on life. I've already listened to it about 8 times and it truly gets better every tinme I hear it. Very haunting melodic and beautiful zimmer has outdone himself once again. I didnt think he could do it after black hawk down, gladiator, and thin red line. as I said, all of these songs sound like his previous works, except they all have a new refreshing sound and a slight Japanese flavor thrown in there. A great CD not just for the sake of the film, but for anythin outside of it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


57 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Samurai VS. The Return of the King, April 7, 2004
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
Last year was the year of big budget epics for Hollywood. No expense was spared for lavish spectacle, elaborate costuming, awe-inspiring battle scenes, and more. And Hollywood knows that in spite of tremendous attention to visuals, it can all fall flat without the right soundtrack. George Lucas even admitted that Star Wars would have been nothing without John Williams' music. Hans Zimmer, in his score to The Last Samurai proves once again he's one of the best film composers working today. He complements the visual and dramatic aspects of the film superbly, as in the track Spectres in the Fog. Listen, and you can practically picture the action, even if you've never seen the film. After an introduction featuring Japanese plucked strings, the opening is haunting and mysterious, from which emerges a heroic theme played in the horns.
I was interested to compare this soundtrack to that for another, contemporaneous "Big Spectacle" film-Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King, with music by Howard Shore. If you compare Spectres in the Fog to Shore's Minas Tirith, you'll hear that the gesture is identical--the emergence from a mysterious, static texture of a noble theme in the horns, accompanied by the drums of war. Both soundtracks owe much to the heritage of Richard Wagner and are practically textbooks in composing for film. Anyone interested in learning that art would do well to study them in detail. One significant difference between the two scores is the basic orchestration-naturally enough The Last Samurai includes Japanese instruments, and blends them beautifully with a Western orchestra. Since Middle Earth doesn't actually exist, Shore had no authentic instruments to draw from, and relies instead on a large Western orchestra, but occasionally has the instrumentalists perform in unusual ways, creating unique tone colors, as in Minas Morgul.
But perhaps the biggest difference between the two soundtrack CDs, other than Shore's Oscar, is the overall tone. The Return of the King soundtrack is action-filled, exciting and even, for some, nerve-wracking. The Steward of Gondor is a telling example-while it's a beautiful ballad, Shore adds growing string clusters behind the voice to create a sense of impending doom. Zimmer's score is more consistently introspective. For the most part it concentrates on wistful melancholy and loss rather than the fury of battle-this is especially true of the soundtrack CD. A Small Measure of Peace epitomises this tone beautifully, while The Way of the Sword is its most dramatic contrast. Those who prefer their music peaceful and meditative will love The Last Samurai and perhaps be driven mad by Return of the King. Personally I prefer Shore's work somewhat, although still admiring Zimmer's greatly. Perhaps Howard Shore was the Oscar winner because he works with a much broader palate-more themes and a wider range of techniques including some very contemporary ones that would surely alienate many audience members if heard in concert with no visual context. By contrast, The Last Samurai relies too much on a single theme. It's lovely beyond question, and noble when played by horns, and courageous when played by trumpets, but after a point, many of the tracks on the CD start to seem indistinguishable. Nonetheless, why Zimmer didn't even get an Oscar nomination escapes me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprising Zimmer score, January 14, 2004
By 
Bram Janssen (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
I find this to be a surprising Zimmer soundtrack. For a movie called "The Last Samurai" - and judging by the previews and posters that had been circulating - I had been expecting a cross of "Crimson Tide" and "Gladiator". Thoughtful, synthesizer-enforced music with occasional bouts of fanfare and bravado.
What I got instead was a beautiful, sensitive cross-section of "Braveheart" and "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon".
This is a new direction for Zimmer. Oh sure, he has done more than swirling action and mellow synthesizers in his career, but his music always had a heavy presence. A certain reverberation. This sound is also present here - it is his hallmark after all - but has a Zimmer score ever been quite this melodious and acoustic? This sensitive and elaborate?
Zimmer's most heard critique must be that, even though he writes top-notch themes, he does not elaborate on them. That he fills his soundtracks with sounds instead of compositions. Now buy this record and be convinced of the contrary.
The emotional and atmospheric quality of "The Last Samurai" aside, this record proves Hans Zimmer is capable of improving his composing-style.
That is why this one gets four stars.
Bram Janssen
The Netherlands
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Soundtrack, October 8, 2004
By 
K. Yagi (Cupertino, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
Just by listening to the music makes me emotional. The movie wouldn't have been the same without this music collection. It's been over half a year of owning this sound track, I'm still not bored of it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hans Zimmer Delivers Again, December 9, 2003
By 
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
I bought this soundtrack on the same day that I bought the Return of the King soundtrack and have been listening to both. Call me a bit biased, but Hans Zimmer's music has been something that I have grown up with and the Last Samurai Album packs an emotional wallop. The soundtrack is emotional and moody with tons of atmosphere. True, there are shades of Black Rain, which was also by Hans, but this album stands on its own, with just enough familiarity combined with the new. From Black Rain to A World Apart, to Rain Man, to the Lion King, to Gladiator, to The Last Samurai...Hans Zimmer packs an emotional punch with another soundtrack for our lives. After all...a sign of a good soundtrack is one that can be listened to without referencing the movie. Some soundtracks work that way....and some fall apart without the movie visuals....The Last Samurai has music that can stand apart from the movie....and touch your soul.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zimmer Gains Honor for "Last Samurai", November 26, 2003
By 
G M. Stathis (cedar city, utah USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
There will, no doubt, be comments comparing Hans Zimmer's capable score for Edward Zwick's "The Last Samurai" with other works, "Pearl Harbor" and "Gladiator" come to mind. And there are elements of this score that do remind you of both. But there is much to be admired and enjoyed in this orchestral score. Zimmer offers a very introspective and melodic approach which may surprise some. There are dramatic cuts, as well, and "Red Warrior" is the best of these. Here Zimmer combines his thematic material with rousing Samurai chants for a moving climax. There are a few moments when Zimmer is a bit too modern, but they pass and are quickly overshadowed by better elements. Zimmer is also quite adept in this score at combining Japanese motifs and Western themes without overt stereotypes. Very well produced and packaged by Elektra.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Soundtrack!!, April 3, 2008
By 
JTR (Midland, TX United States) - See all my reviews
One of the best soundtracks in recent memory. Stirring, emotional, completely in tune with the visual layout of The Last Samurai, this is a great sountrack worth listening to and enjoying over and over again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reliving the moments through the music, April 17, 2006
By 
Graphic Goddess (Olympic Peninsula, Washington) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
I was drawn to purchase this soundtrack, from the influence of another powerful movie/soundtrack - Memoirs of a Geisha. I just only recently saw Memoirs and was touched by the beauty and the feelings the film evoked. The Last Samurai also starred the amazing Ken Watanabe, as did Memoirs, and though the roles in each movie were very different, I found his gentle spirit and passion were what touched me so deeply about both of these movies. I've watched the movie The Last Samurai several times and it always moves me to tears as he draws his last breath on the battlefield, whispering "they're all perfect..." those who have seen the movie will know what he's talking about.

This movie soundtrack is beautiful, captivating and passionately emotional and moving. Though it's been some time since I've viewed my dvd of The Last Samurai, the musical score could quickly take me back to the film and hold me there. I recommend this soundtrack. Zimmer did an outstanding job of capturing the passion and discipline of this movie and the message of the Samurai. After watching this film, I had profound respect for the Samurai. I can't say enough good about this film or the soundtrack. And Tom Cruise wasn't even my draw to seeing the film in the first place.. Not even close...

The real star of the film was Mr Watanabe...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, May 8, 2004
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
Sometimes it hard to listen to a soundtrack entirely. We skip tracks, or only listen to 3 ,4 and #9. The Last Samurai soundtrack is simply outstanding. We can spend hours and hours listening all the tracks once again. You cannot really avoid to buy this cd, firstly because Hans Zimmer is giving a spectacular performance as always, and because you cannot totally enjoy the beauty of this music in the action.
If you're a fan of japan, you probably liked this movie.If you're a real fan of japan, you probably noticed that music in the movie doesnt match the music around years 1870 in japan.To that, Zimmer said: "Japanese music of the 1870s is completely inaccessible to most Western audiences," explains Zimmer. "It would not work dramatically. In fact, it's the antithesis of drama." He decided to mix strings and bass with traditionnal japanese instruments and the result is great.
You don't always listen to the music when looking at samurais fighting(until you saw the movie hundred of times).This is very sad because that music is superb.
For fans and people who just liked the movie. You cannot dislike this album.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zimmer scores again, December 7, 2003
By 
Eugene Wei "eugene" (Santa Monica, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Last Samurai (Audio CD)
The best part about the movie The Last Samurai are the distinct faces of the samurai and the score by Hans Zimmer. I'm a huge Zimmer fan, though I won't buy just any Zimmer score without hearing it first. Even without knowing that he had scored the movie, I recognized Zimmer's distinct style as soon as the music began playing in the darkened theater. The top soundtrack composers all seem to leave recognizable audio fingerprints.
This score combines the grand, pulsing, martial themes of his work for movies like Crimson Tide and Gladiator with a central twisting, meditative melody that reminded me of the pensive themes in his score for Thin Red Line. It's an absorbing mix of the military and the poetic. Infused with a sprinkling of Japanese motifs, it's a score worth listening to again and again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Last Samurai
The Last Samurai by Hans Zimmer (Audio CD - 2003)
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.