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The Last Samurai (Two-Disc Special Edition)

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,494 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Additional Features

No actor works harder to open a movie than Tom Cruise. His enthusiasm is throughout the DVD extras as he mirrors his samurai character by constantly talking about "loyalty" and "discipline" while working on the film. However as a post-movie experience, the top-line extras with Cruise and director Edward Zwick are repetitive and underwhelming, with too many clips from the film we assume DVD viewers have just seen. The History Channel show is also a pre-release promotional device that misses an opportunity to really dig into this intriguing time period. Better are segments on the costumes, the production design, and how you put together an Imperial army--in New Zealand, no less. Zwick's low-key and dense commentary (plus a "Video Journal") is not vital, but he illustrates many of the little peculiarities it took to make the wide-ranging film come together. There are two deleted scenes; a samurai's first appearance is particularly memorable. --Doug Thomas

Special Features

  • Disc One
  • Theatrical Film With Commentary by director Edward Zwick
  • Disc Two
  • 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
  • © 2004 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. THE LAST SAMURAI, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.  All Rights Reserved

Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Timothy Spall, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, Tony Goldwyn
  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Writers: Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, John Logan
  • Producers: Tom Cruise, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz, Paula Wagner, Scott Kroopf
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: Unknown
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 3, 2012
  • Run Time: 154 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,494 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001JXOVC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,692 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Last Samurai (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By Aya on December 11, 2003
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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This film has been compared (a lot) to Dances with Wolves due to the fact that they both share similar themes. A Civil War era soldier who finds himself thrown in the middle of a different culture and ends up embracing it and becoming part of it.
However, Edward Zwick's film differs from the Kevin Costner Oscar winner in that the principal character, Lt. Nathan Algren (Cruise) is down on his luck, having become a drunken caricature of his former self, deeply regretful of his actions, who accepts a job as an instructor for an incipient Japanese army that needs to be prepared to fight against the Samurai.
As he arrives to Tokyo he starts training a useless bunch of would-be soldiers who are sent to fight even if they're not ready for it. As a result, the newly formed army gets butchered by the battle experienced Samurai. During that battle, Algren fights bravely and kills one of the highest ranking warriors, getting the interest of the famed Katsumoto, the last great Samurai leader, who orders him captured and brought to his son's village as a prisoner.
Once there, Algren's life is changed forever as he gets to know the real lifestyle of the Samurai and their people. They turn out not to be the savages that the Japanese government makes them out to be. After spending winter with them, Algren "changes sides" and joins the Samurai in fighting the Emperor's army.
The title of the movie tells the final outcome. The Samurai lose the battle. Progress triumphs over tradition. New over old. But Algren's past demons are redeemed by his courageous actions helping the Samurai.
The true worth of this movie is its look. You can definetely see where the budget went (other than Cruise's salary). A whole village was built and the attention to detail is astonishing.
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It's 1876. Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) has been sent to Japan in order to help the Imperial Japanese Army become more 'modern' and less 'traditional' and ultimately prepare them to fight the legendary Samurai. Events occur that cause Tom Cruise to be a captive of the deadly but extremely polite Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe) who is the leader of the Japanese Samurai. At this point, the viewer begins to learn why the Samurai are fighting to preserve their way of life against Western influences and Cruise's character becomes emotionally bound to them and he integrates himself into their society after working hard to earn their trust. However, the film is not solely about the struggle for the Samurai to keep their way of life, another subplot includes the low key and shy love relationship between Algren and Taka, a quiet widow (played with subtlety by Koyuki). Though it isn't a big part in the film, it highlights the emotional aspect of the film and shows that this is not a film about swords.
Positive Points:
In my view, Cruise has been a decent actor with fluctuating performances but in this current effort, he has shown that he is improving and learning how to adapt to different styles of acting. He plays the tormented captain with surprising intelligence and conviction. I was very impressed to see him speaking Japanese - I loved the way this film mixed both English and Japanese toghether because it gave it a strong edge. However, The real star of this film is Ken Watanabe (Tom who?). He played Katsumoto with such a commanding and intense presence that it was hard to concentrate on Cruise or any other actor in the film. Without doubt deserves the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Special mention should go to Koyuki and Ujio (played by Hiroyuki Sanada).
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