nostrangerer (wrayb) wrote,

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Last Samurai

OK. I was expecting the worst when I first saw tv ads for the new Tom Cruise movie. I mean, what the hell, Tom Cruise playing some out of place American in Japan and being billed as "The Last Samurai"??????? Then when I went to see the Tupac movie they had a trailer for TLS and it included scenes where Cruise was shown learning about Samurai traditions the hard way: being repeatedly whacked with a practice sword. So I was at least glad that the plot wasn't going to be completely absurd.

Saw the movie last night. To my knowledge the Cruise role is totally fictitious but the lead Japanese warrior is based on a man who was a leader among the Samurai who did oppose the extreme efforts at modernization, and who is known for being one of the few who did learn English. Yes, it is hollywood movie with the romantization that usually comes from that source, but I feel that it did reasonably cover the credo of Samurai and is a decent depiction of the time and place.

Some online reviews come down harder on the historical imprecision. The only thing that really bugged me was the total absence of any flavor of Japan in the soundtrack.

In my mind this tune was playing as they rolled credits:

Heisei Ishinn by King Giddra

Another contemporary Japanese tune with traditional elements is Izumi by Uzi

Those are direct links to mp3 files that are about 4mb. a bit big if you are on a slow or dial modem connection.

laters peeps.

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