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Showing 1-10 of 856 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,629 reviews
on July 8, 2016
This movie tends to get some hate, probably because of how polarizing Tom Cruise has become. Let it go, forget about Cruise's personal life and take in this beautiful film. Also, take some advice offered in the movie: "too many mind"; if you're looking for plot holes, you're likely to find them. LET IT GO. This is a classical example of historical fiction.
One can't help but admire the Samurai culture, as Cruise's character mentions, its has an undeniable appeal. I don't like Tom Cruise as a person, but I enjoy his movies in general. I would argue this is his best role outside of Born on the Fourth of July. Watanabe is sublime, I can't get enough of this guy. He's also great in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and Inception, but this is my favorite work from him. Very underrated film.
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on July 5, 2016
Occidentals have been fascinated with Oriental culture for centuries. The concept that a noble warrior from a European civilization could be accepted and integrated into the highly structured and exclusive culture of an Oriental warrior caste is a fiction, but one with great appeal to those of us enamored with martial codes of honor and duty. The concept of the noble savage applies here to the uncouth and unwashed European, played by Tom Cruise. With high ranking patronage and much instruction, the European barbarian ascends to join the ranks of the Samurai, including their philosophy of life and death, and culminates in a struggle for cultural and physical survival. It has a strong resemblance to the mini-series Shogun featuring Richard Chamberlain.
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on June 13, 2016
Japanese Emperor Meiji wants to westernize his country. The Samurai are traditionalists who resist change. Japan has become a civilized country. Lawyers from France, engineers from Germany, architects from Holland, and warriors from America are employed to facilitate progress. These efforts are thwarted by Samurai Matsumoto, who leads the rebellion. Matsumoto does not use firearms but honors the old ways, the Samurai's sword is his soul, an extension of himself. The Samurai are viewed as rebels and savages with bows and arrows that do not have a chance against an army with rifles. Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) is a true American hero and one of the most decorated soldiers, winner of the Medal of Honor for his gallantry on the grounds of Gettysburg. Mr. Omura from Japan arrives in San Francisco in 1876. He recruits Captain Algren to teach Orientals to soldier, an army of conscripts, most were peasants who had never seen a gun. Emperor Meiji grants the U.S. exclusive rights to supply arms (specifically the Winchester Company). Their lever-action rifle has a seven-shot capacity and is accurate within 400 yards and fires off one round a second. Captain Algren will take his much larger, inexperienced army to battle the Samurai. The Samurai's way of life, their sole purpose, is to devote themselves utterly to a set of principles. They are disciplined as children to train to use their sword with perfection, practicing an art form such as martial arts. And they master their craft with proficiency as they have for hundreds of years.
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I have loved this movie since it was first released and have the original DVD release which I have watched several times. Most all the reviews I see here are either for the Standard DVD and focus on the great story line and acting but not the quality of the DVD itself. Yes, Tom Cruse does shows some wonderful acting chops and, yes, Ken Watanabe steals the show but let's move on. So this one will focus on the Blu-ray DVD's quality.

Bought the Blu-ray version from Amazon and it was delivered post haste. When I first looked at the back cover information I was disappointed that the audio was Dolby Digital 5.1 rather than a lossless DTSHD 5.1, almost thought of returning it before even watching but am glad I kept it. The video quality of the movie is fairly pristine with no artifacting, good details in the shadows and a sparkling clear transfer. While the audio quality is not the higher end DTSHD, never the less, the audio engineers did a fine job with the front and rear surrounds used subtly for action( actually, during the battle scenes, the rears deserved more discreet use of the rear channels) however, during the rainy scenes, of which there are many, the audio is evenly spread to all channels enveloping you in the rainstorm.

The many extras on the single disc are from the 2004 standard release and there are only 2 deleted scenes that, to me, could have been included in an extended version. I wish more extended deleted scenes had been included. The supplied extras were all interesting and, as I said before, had seen them on the original release so nothing new on that front.

Should you buy this on Blu-ray? Yes, the video quality is definitely superior, however, not by that much. The original release was pretty darn good. However, if you don't already have the Standard version, go for the Blu Ray. I remain disappointed with the lossy audio but it still provides an excellent film.
All my movie reviews are of this nature and focus only on the quality of the transfer to BluRay.
Hopefully, this review has been of some help to you in determining your purchase, hope I am on the correct path with a review of the transfer quality as opposed to providing plot summaries.
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on March 6, 2017
This is a wonderful movie that has some history (albeit skewed) a good cast and is just fun to watch! Having lived in Japan for five years now and visited some of the places the movie portrays, it is great to re-watch and compare to the areas and think about the time periods in which the movie was meant to portray.
I got this movie for my father-in-law and the whole family watched it over the holidays. Everyone liked it and we had something to talk about, as they had just visited us in Japan. A nice nod to our time spent together exploring Osaka, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima.
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on April 29, 2016
My favorite historical epic. A beautiful, fantastically-paced film that portrays Japanese culture with respect and even reverence. It's easy to see that Tom Cruise gave his all to this role and it paid off. Ken Watanabe's portrayal of the tragic figure Katsumoto is as nuanced and heartfelt as any character I've ever seen. This movie never fails to make me emotional by the end as it shows a complex, crystalline culture disappearing into the annals of history. A near-perfect film in my opinion. Couldn't recommend it highly enough.
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on August 26, 2013
Let me start off by saying, if you hate inaccurate movies that depict a time period, run far away from this movie. It is not (nor is it meant to be) historically accurate. It is a dramatization about the conflict between the imperial army and the samurai in Japan. The fact that the war actually happened was real, but the rest of it is made up and fictionalized. If you can accept that about the movie, then you will likely enjoy it. If you cannot, then you won't.

The thing that makes this movie work so well is the acting. It is, in my opinion the best I have ever seen Tom Cruise in (admittedly I have not seen all of his movies, so I cannot say whether it is his best performance ever). His interactions with the Samurai leader played by Ken Watanabe, were wonderful. This is really a film where all the actors from the "main" characters to the supporting actors all did their job wonderfully. Yes, the love story was contrived and (SPOILER ALERT) having Tom Cruise's character live through the final battle was unrealistic, but overall I don't think those things detracted from the film as a whole.

The A/V quality on blu ray is very very good. What I loved about the movie is that very little was done via green screen, and the little that was, was blended in seamlessly so it did not look fake. Most of the landscape shots were real, and were really brought out on blu ray. For those who like the physical discs there are a ton of extras. Mainly behind the scenes features, the a couple deleted scenes, a director's video journal and trailer. In all the extras are almost as long as the movie itself.

If you can suspend your disbelief and accept the provisos I stated at the beginning then I think you can find this movie enjoyable. It is subjective though, so if you cannot then skip it, or if you are on the fence then consider a rental.
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on April 27, 2015
I believe that the story that is delivered in this epic has a wide range of emotional connections and sense of Honor, Warrior, Man and Self. This movie transitions a man from inter-conflict as a result of war and shows him transforming to a spiritual understanding that sets his demons free. The result of captivity in learning ones cultural differences and acceptance as a more peaceful one for an individual is moving and irregardless of critical review, makes the film powerful. There are many lessons to learn from this film then and now. It's the best movie of its kind in modern day theatre.
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on August 26, 2016
Quick Story Recap: A former captain in the US Army, Nathan Algrean (Played by Cruise), is haunted by his help in the slaughter of native americans. He is approached to be paid very handsomely to do the same deed to the Samurai who are leading a rebellion in Japan. Being broke, he accepts. Without revealing to much more to spoil it, he finds his destiny in battle.

I think the acting was pretty decent all around. Cruise does well. I loved Billy Connolly however small his part he had. I thought Ken Watanabe was good too.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. Great action scenes especially the battles. Not a perfect film, I wish I could change some things about the movie. The Voice Over at the end would be one as parts of it were cheesy. The other is the appearance of that same character (who did the Voice Over) on the front line of battle just before they will charge, I think they should either cut him out there or had Cruise hand off that item to him in another short scene elsewhere. (Possible Spoilers ahead I guess) I'd change how much the samurai value Cruise's characters input in a battle. These were seasoned fighters who defeated his army before and it seems kinda dumb that it was Cruise's decision to send in all troops to a suicide ride to the enemy front lines. The reason I think it's dumb was the Leader, Ken Wasabe's character, had already talked about wanting to die either by his own hand or in battle many times in scenes prior to this. He would/should have been the one to want to charge at a machine gun with a horse and a sword. For some reason, it also bothers me that the whole samurai army is waiting for Cruise to come out of the hut before the ride to the battle. Why would they all be waiting on just him. Did he not get the memo to be out ready for the ride at 0900 hours? It felt like they made him to be a higher status than leader and that is just ridiculous.

Some light moments from Cruise really helped out a film that sometimes starts veering into the over dramatic. But it's a film I'd say is a solid 3 out of 5, but the more you think about the film, the more you question it like, *why was the emperor such an indecisive weakling,* so please don't bring your brain to watch the movie.
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on April 28, 2017
At first I was like whaaaaat? Tom Cruise would have to be like 400 years old, plus how did they have cameras back then for a documentary? And how good are these Japanese guys who never once looked in to the camera?

Then I remembered he is a Warlock in the Church of Scientology and I was like that explains it. Those dudes live forever. Hail Gleep Glorp Y'all.
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