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Posted: 12/7/2003 5:56:41 AM EDT
I went to see this movie tonight with the girlfriend and have to say it moved me.

I normally don't find Tom Cruise to be a very impressive actor but his performance in this tale was inspiring to say the least. The film was filled with plenty of action for fans like myself, the girlfriend didn't appreciate the blood but it wasn't over done. The difference in battlefield tactics and ways was really cool to see. Once the Samurais faced the more modern Japanese Army I was really wondering why they weren't using Guerilla tactics, but I guess there is no honor in those methods...

At first I thought it was pretty cheesy the idea of an American male being adopted into the Samurai "Way" but after watching the movie and taking every thing in it is pretty impressive and a nice concept. Movies like these always move me, the idea of an entire way of life falling apart along with thousands of years of routine, tradition, and honor being destroyed by modernization is troubling. I know this is the nature of the beast and eggs are going to have to be broken to make an omelet but this movie really left you thinking "What if"

My only gripe about the movie is the freaking pansy emperor, his voice left me cringing in my seat. I definitely think this is a movie that should do better in the box office but probably won't, it was inspiring and definitely left me with a need for more Samurai sword/bow action. At medium to short range in small Guerilla ops I think the bow and arrow would be a very deadly weapon when compared to the single shot black powder rifles the other Japanese soldiers had.

I love the sheeple/Nerds that like to act like they know something about firearms, as Tom Cruise's character was putting on an exhibition for the Winchester 1873 rifle someone behind me pointed out to his buddy "It's a 30-30 lever action!" Gotta love college students

A great movie and plenty of action for all, and plenty of humor as well.

First time a movie has ever left me misty eyed in theater.

Get out there and do a spectacular movie some justice!

<­BR>
My first movie review, be gentle!
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 6:15:16 AM EDT
I want to see it because I have a growing fascination with Japanese culture, but all my friends are too worried that it will just be Tom Cruise in a Kimono. Maybe I will just watch Shogun instead.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 7:12:26 AM EDT
"Dances with Japanese". I'll wait till it comes on HBO.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 7:30:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 7:50:52 AM EDT
The reference back to Risky Business was really funny. I dont think it was an attack on the US perse. More about imperialism. Japan became one of the nastiest imperialists. It about defending the old way of life and culture.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 7:59:23 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 8:07:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB: were there any mall ninja's in the movie?
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Yes
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 8:32:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ARDOC: The reference back to Risky Business was really funny. I dont think it was an attack on the US perse. More about imperialism. Japan became one of the nastiest imperialists. It about defending the old way of life and culture.
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I didn't notice the reference, where was it? THe sad part was me and Sniper_Wolfe went and saw it last night, so two times for me, one for him.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 9:43:29 AM EDT
I'm taking a Japanese history and culture class for an upper division non-western civ credit right now. Anyhow, my professor said they actually kinda switched things around in this movie. He said the samurai's were using more modern warfare tactics and weaponry at this time. He said the Japanese army at this time was a joke compared to the samurais. It's kinda strange because they were fighting to preserve the "old ways" or "honor code" followed by the samurai, but they were the ones modernizing at the same time. He talked about it about briefly 2 weeks ago and i cant remember everything he said.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 10:41:16 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 10:48:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/7/2003 10:52:24 AM EDT by EladEflow]
Yeah that's one thing I really loved was the complete culture shock on both sides. "Hey Bob, mind if I call you Bob?" "You a lady's man Bob?"
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 11:04:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EladEflow: THe sad part was me and Sniper_Wolfe went and saw it last night, so two times for me, one for him.
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Soooo, is SW your "girlfriend?"
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 11:11:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/7/2003 11:12:30 AM EDT by SteyrAUG]
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 12:38:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/7/2003 12:41:14 PM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:
Originally Posted By SIG_220: I'm taking a Japanese history and culture class for an upper division non-western civ credit right now. Anyhow, my professor said they actually kinda switched things around in this movie. He said the samurai's were using more modern warfare tactics and weaponry at this time. He said the Japanese army at this time was a joke compared to the samurais. It's kinda strange because they were fighting to preserve the "old ways" or "honor code" followed by the samurai, but they were the ones modernizing at the same time. He talked about it about briefly 2 weeks ago and i cant remember everything he said.
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Basically it happened like this. Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated his primary rival Hideyori at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600. He accomplished this by being one of the first armies to widely employ firearms and his victory unified Japan under a single ruler. To secure his position he then outlawed the use of firearms and promoted the "old ways" among the samurai class. The Tokugawa period lasted until the Meiji Restoration (1868) when the Samurai class was disbanned altogether. This was primarily a result of the arrival of Commodore Perry's Black ships in 1853 and the drive towards a modernization of Japan. One of the results of the Meiji Restoration was the re embracement of firearms by Japan and a modern military. However, by this time Japan was long since unified and the feudal wars long over. Even the idea of a small rebel army trying to restore the old ways is a very unlikely stretch after 1868. That said, I still liked the movie. Hell I even liked Shogun and that was Historical Fiction.
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But the Satsuma rebellion of 1878 did happen. Ten years after the new Imperial goverment had been established, in response to the edict banning Samurai from carrying their swords. It was put down, but it took the better part of the year, due to the incompitance of the officers of the new Imperial Army. One major battle did end in a swordfight, after both the rebels and the Goverment troops ran out of ammunition- logistics were something that the new Imperial goverment had not mastered, and the expenditure of rifle ammuntion by their conscript troops with their new Snider cartridge breechloaders, as opposed to the Enfield rifle muskets used in the 1868 War, was not allowed for.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 12:48:57 PM EDT
And Shogun was not [i]entirely[/i] fiction. Clavell borrowed heavily from the story of the English sea captain William Adams who lived in Japan for some 25 years and was a friend of Tokugawa Iyasu and tried to start a trading relationship with the Shogunate. Had it been successful it would of completely changed the course of modern history. This is the latest book about William Adams [url]http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0374253854/ref=sib_rdr_dp/104-5060346-9914341?%5Fencoding=UTF8&no=283155&me=ATVPDKIKX0DER&st=books[/url]
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 5:34:37 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 5:37:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 5:42:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KA3B: "Dances with Japanese". I'll wait till it comes on HBO.
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Hehehehehehehe![LOLabove][LOL][rofl][rofl2]
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 6:01:39 PM EDT
Is was a good movie, the Japanese/asian actors were for the most part really great, Tom Cruise played the same stumbling drunk, got my ass whipped idiot he plays in "Eyes Wide Shut", I still do not care for him. I do not like the Japanese as primitives(savages) bullcrap, they were equal to any military in the World in 1600. After 1853 (Perry) the modernized and the same code of the samurai was the foundation of the military and public life. Service to country above self and all that. Uprising or not, they beat a low end european country (Russia) in a european style war in just 50 years. They were doing as well as we were, whipping Spain in the same period. As far as the Japanese adopting a foriegn devil and someone marrying him? When I was there ten years ago, they were complaining about the actions of the damn Koreans in one coastal city. It sounded like bitching about immigrants, except these "Koreans" migrated to Japan 400 years ago and were tired of being treated second class.
Link Posted: 12/7/2003 6:32:14 PM EDT
My wife is ethnic Okinawan, and grew up watching Samurai movies. She loved it. So did I. Outstanding film.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 7:31:32 AM EDT
I will stick to all the " Godzilla " type Japanese movies..... or " Verses " !!!
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 7:39:34 AM EDT
What didn't you like about the movie?
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 7:43:51 AM EDT
I saw it and enjoyed most of it. That being said it did piss me off about him bad mouthing General Custer. I'm just not sold on that description and the way history seems to be getting re-writ by liberals actually bothers me.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 8:48:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Mechandy: I saw it and enjoyed most of it. That being said it did piss me off about him bad mouthing General Custer. I'm just not sold on that description and the way history seems to be getting re-writ by liberals actually bothers me.
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Even conservative accounts of Custer paint him in a less than favorable light- one of my favorite historians, a RKBA fan and a CW reenactor, agrees that Custer was a self-obsessed jackass infected with the same sort of glory-mad disease that infected many officers at his time, as a junior EM today, I can say for certain that serving under his command would have been both unpleasant and more than slightly dangerous- Custer did not fight for the US, he fought for Custer.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 10:01:14 AM EDT
Gee, I wonder how many Akira Kurosawa rip-off...um-uh, sorry, "tribute" moments this movie will have. Ah well, I'll probably go see it anyway.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 10:47:23 AM EDT
Butt-boy Cruise wishes he was as good, and as cool, as Toshiro Mofune.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 10:54:20 AM EDT
I saw it last night as well, and it was VERY good. I wouldn't say it's the best movie of the year like I've heard some people say, but it was very good none the less. It'll just be too hard to beat the third installment of the Lord of the Rings series. I'd recommend this movie to anybody.
Link Posted: 12/8/2003 11:00:21 AM EDT
The portuguese did get to Japan first and attempted to open it up. Christianity was introduced in the 17th century or thereabouts by Franciscan and Jesuit missionaries from Spain and Portugal who had a near stranglehold on trade with the far east since the time of Marco Polo. The Dutch were working hard to undermine them and Adams did arrive in Japan on a wrecked Dutch ship which he did in fact serve as pilot. The Tokugawa shogunate, despite Ieyasu being friendly with one particular westerner and despite seeking and accepting the help of Christian converted samurai did then suppress foreign trade and christianity. The "Black Ship" of "Shogun" may have taken it's cue from Perry's Black ships, but was not intended to represent the same thing. Lately Cruise has put a lot of face time in promoting the movie and talking about compassion being part of the code of the Samurai. That's romantic B.S. The Samurai had thought and feeling only for those of their own class, all others were beneath them to the point that a Samurai couild, with relative impunity, slaughter a peasant in the street for any minor etiquette infraction or perceived insult, or even just to test the edge of his sword. While I am certain that this behavior was not common, neither did the samurai code seem to waste any effort at all on non-samurai except insomuch as they supported the samurai lifestyle and power-base. This is my one gripe with the marketing of the movie thus far. One thing I understanda bout Cruise however is that few actors put as much of themselves into the role as he does, at least in terms of effort, and I understand he spent a great deal of time learning basic swordsmanship so that he didn't look too wrong. One scene I have seen does demonstrate too much blade on blade contact (never a good idea unless it is your only defensive option) Regardless of the quality of a sword, edge to edge contact will nick and damage both edges. Nicks create stress risers in the metal inducing larger cracks and eventually breaks at the worst possible moment. A swordsman who is forced to allow edge to edge contact and subsequently survives the fight, would do well to bring his sword to a good smith to fix the damage as soon as possible.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 2:40:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2003 2:42:08 PM EDT by chuckhammer]
I saw it this past saturday with the wife. I definitely liked it. She enjoyed it as well, particularly the mushy stuff [:)]. I was disappointed to find a lack of Katana/Wakizashi swordmaking details. I was really hoping they would cover some of the art and early science used in creating these awesome edged weapons. Some folks have pointed out historical and technical discrepancies. Here's mine: Hari-Kari (Sepuku), or the ritualistic suicide a Samurai must perform upon surviving a defeat, is done by inserting the Tanto into the lower gut on one side, dragging it across the belly, and then pulling it upwards. This spills the intestines out and is, obviously, quite painful. The victorious Samurai then beheads the now mortally-injured and defeated Samurai with a single strike from his Katana. In the movie, the full Tanto wound was not created. Defeated Samurai, in two separate scenes, merely inserted the blade but did not compete the cut (to the side and up). This is a minor detail but still important to some, nonetheless. Of course, even stabbing one's self in the gut with a 10-13" blade would be plenty painful.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 3:32:43 PM EDT
Saw it the other day... liked it. Yes I agree they romanticized the SAMURAI. Cruise was pretty "competent" to my aging eyes and overall it was a fun watch. They were a few "dopey" spots where I thought the Director was off baffing someone instead of concentrating on his role.
Link Posted: 12/12/2003 11:28:19 PM EDT
I thought the set-up in the beginning was a little boring, the middle (Algren "becoming Samurai") was EXCELLENT, and the end was so-so (cool but it went on for too long). If the entire film had been as good as its best scenes, it would have become one of my all-time favorites. The large-scale battles were well done, but didn't stand out among similar scenes in other films. I really liked the two hand-to-hand fights where Algren cleared his mind and "visualized" the past/future action. It effectively conveyed the adrenaline rush, confusion, and instinctive action of combat. Sort of another take on the Matrix time/reality deconstruction idea. Algren's "marksmanship demonstration" with the soldier-in-training was an interesting idea :) I particularly liked how they handled the relationship between Algren and the Japanese woman. It was so subtle yet abundantly clear they loved each other. Very Japanese. (from the trailer you'd think they would have a traditionally "steamy" Hollywood romance...) I was a little disappointed they didn't include any foreshadowing of the imperialist expansion that Japan would later pursue. I'm not totally up on the history, but didn't events during the period of the film set the path that eventually led to WWII in the Pacific? Weren't the influence of the Japanese army and the warrior code key elements in that path? I only saw two very minor anti-American digs. The photographer explains how Japan was seeking "artists from France, engineers from Germany, and weapons from, of course, America." Um, OK. The second is much more thought-provoking and can really be seen either way. Algren's former commanding officer comes to him after he joins the Samurai and asks, "Why do you hate your own kind so much?" Algren doesn't respond. You can read this as the typical "because the West uses violence to 'civilize' others". But in the context of the film, I saw this line as evoking not the negative aspects of the West, but the positive aspects of the new culture Algren has discovered. (was he the Last Samurai, or just the first white guy with Yellow Fever?)
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 6:55:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EladEflow: First time a movie has ever left me misty eyed in theater.
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I guess you never saw old yeller.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 7:05:43 AM EDT
In all actuality the movie is about a soldier who suffers from PTSD which turns him into an alcoholic. For so many years he fights his own demons. Then one day, just when he thinks it is all over, he finds a new way of life. This is what he has been looking for all this time. Peace within himself.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 8:14:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 10:41:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dmaas: I only saw two very minor anti-American digs. The photographer explains how Japan was seeking "artists from France, engineers from Germany, and weapons from, of course, America."
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I thought he said "warriors from America".
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 10:52:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By glklvr:
Originally Posted By dmaas: I only saw two very minor anti-American digs. The photographer explains how Japan was seeking "artists from France, engineers from Germany, and weapons from, of course, America."
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I thought he said "warriors from America".
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Yes, good catch. He did say that.
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