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Monday, September 1, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  The Last Samurai cinematronic
  director

Edward Zwick

cast

Tom Cruise, Timothy Spall, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, Tony Goldwyn, Hiroyuki Sanada, Koyuki

year

2003

rating rating cinematronic
  Meticulously shaped by director Edward Zwick ("Shakespeare in Love"), "The Last Samurai" is one of those sprawling historical epics that gives sprawling historical epics a good name. Tom Cruise takes the lead as Nathan Algren, a cynical, heavy-drinking Civil War vet lured to Japan to train the Emperor's army in techniques of modern (19th century) warfare. Algren is living with the horror and cruelty he encountered in U.S. Army campaigns against Indian tribes. But, during his Japanese sojourn, he's exposed to the ancient, honorable ways of the Samurai warrior. Samurai leader Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe), targeted for eradication by the Emperor's Westernized advisors, becomes Algren's mentor. Enticed by Katsumoto's sister (Koyuki) and newly enlightened, Algren must decide what side he's on. Echoes of "Lawrence of Arabia," "Dances With Wolves" and "Braveheart" resonate in the film's gloriously mounted battle scenes, its eloquent portraits of courage and its cross-cultural illumination of a spiritually bereft man. Although his tousled hair and boyish good looks smack of the 1980s rather than the 1870s, Cruise transcends his contemporary air with a well-tempered, heroic performance. Timothy Spall, Billy Connolly and Tony Goldwyn co-star.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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