What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

The Last Samurai

Iron Chef

Villain
Joined
26 Feb 2003
Messages
2,283
Reaction score
71
Anybody who caught the recent Matrix Reloaded in theaters may remember seeing an enigmatic trailer for this film starring Tom Cruise and directed by Edward Zwick ("Glory", "Courage Under Fire"), off a John Logan script ("Gladiator"). Set for release on December 5, the film has Cruise playing a late 19th century Civil War hero hired by the Emperor of Japan to educate the country's troops in modern warfare techniques. This leads into a conflict between old and new as the Japanese samurai warriors -- who have been the country's protectors for hundreds of years -- rally against this new wave of militarism sweeping their land.

After digging around a bit, i've managed to uncover a few more details concerning the plot and it sounds like the main story revolves around Cruise as a U.S. soldier recruited to fight a samurai army in Japan only to be captured by the enemy and persuaded to fight along side the samurai warriors after adopting their philosophy as his own... Judging from the cool trailer devoid of any dialogue whatsoever, the film certainly sounds and looks interesting enough and should be worth seeing. Also interesting to note is that there are quite a number of Japanese actors and actresses involved with this movie, a few of whose names i've taken from the cast credits:

Ken Watanabe
Seizo Fukomoto
Masato Harada
Shin Koyamada
Shichinosuke Nakamura
Shun Sugata
Sosuke Ikematsu
Aoi Minato
Koyuki

Catch the official trailer here:

http://www.movie-list.com/l/lastsamurai.shtml

or check out the official website at:

http://lastsamurai.warnerbros.com/home.php
 

Attachments

  • lastsamurai.jpg
    lastsamurai.jpg
    42.1 KB · Views: 243

CFP

先輩
Joined
25 May 2003
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
I saw the trailer and I think it might just be a good film. Can't wait to see it!😄
 

senseiman

先輩
Joined
24 Jun 2003
Messages
628
Reaction score
46
I live in Himeji. Last year, Tom Cruise et al came to town for three days to film scenes for the last samurai. They used Engyoji temple on Shosha Zan as a setting. Its probably the only place in Himeji, outside of the castle, that could pass for 19th century Japan. I didn't get to meet Tom, as you can imagine there were throngs of thousands of girls waiting for him at the base of the mountain everyday. A few of my students got his autograph though. I saw the trailer too and it looks fantastic, I can't wait to see it. And, after you see it, if you want to see where it was filmed come to Himeji!
 

Iron Chef

Villain
Joined
26 Feb 2003
Messages
2,283
Reaction score
71
Heh, sounds very cool. I'm glad to hear they are sparing no expense by actually filming in certain Japan locales in order to make the film look as authentic as possible.
:)
 

senseiman

先輩
Joined
24 Jun 2003
Messages
628
Reaction score
46
I think it will be a really good movie. The temple they filmed it at is almost a thousand years old, with original buildings. Its really beautiful. I'm pretty sure they covered up the vending machines during the shoot.

I'm glad that hollywood is doing a Japanese themed movie that isn't about World war 2, karate, or Japanese businessmen taking over America. Hopefully this will be a good opportunity to expose a slice of Japanese history to a larger audience.
 

Himura

Hadoken!!!!!
Joined
19 Jun 2003
Messages
642
Reaction score
1
The movie seems to be interesting (esspecially for me, the ultimate samurai-fan!!! ;) )
 

senseiman

先輩
Joined
24 Jun 2003
Messages
628
Reaction score
46
If anyone is interested in seeing the temple where they filmed the movie, you can see a picture of it at the temple's website at:

www.shosha.or.jp/

I'm not sure how much of the movie was shot there, Tom Cruise was shooting there for 3 days anyway.
 

SKiNiToToRo

Kouhai
Joined
11 Jul 2003
Messages
43
Reaction score
0
Wow Senseiman, those pictures are stunning! That makes me want to see the film more than the trailer did. Should be a good movie I reckon, everyone loves the Cruiser!
 

Chipi

Yancha
Joined
10 Mar 2003
Messages
427
Reaction score
13
I canツエt wait to see it either!! ^_^ Now I just have to lure someone to watch it with me...(most of my friends just want to see movies like Hulk...how "exciting" ;))
All though, I have my suspicions on the plot...and Tom Cruise in it. I think heツエs a gorgeous man, and a good actor...but as a, samurai ?!?
Iツエm more interested in the scenes,the music,the costumes,the athmospere,the landscape...
 

hotani

後輩
Joined
20 Jul 2003
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
yeah, my first impression after seeing the trailer was: "tom cruise is 'the last samurai'???" c'mon!

I would like to see it though, looks interesting.
 

Seppuku

先輩
Joined
26 Aug 2003
Messages
126
Reaction score
0
this is kinda off topic but has anyone seen the movie shogun? its kinda has to tdeal with the same thing. this english man comes to japan(supposed to be the first or the enlgish to go there) he gets captured but learns japanese becomes freind with one of the huge lords who gives him his own army,town,temple ect. its about 8 hours long and it goes really in more depth then i have said, but i found it to be really good. one of the good points(could be bad depending on how you look at it) is that all the japanese speak in japanese with no sub, except for the englishmens translator, and she usually translates what is bieng said but not all the time
 

Iron Chef

Villain
Joined
26 Feb 2003
Messages
2,283
Reaction score
71
I remember watching James Clavell's "Shogun" miniseries when it first aired some time back (starring Richard Chamberlain). It was very good at the time.
:)
 

arnadstephen

先輩
Joined
8 Oct 2002
Messages
195
Reaction score
2
I can guess some of the movie.
Probably typical Hollywood stuff
===========================================
--> Tom Cruise meets a princess/queen and they have
a love affair
--> The love affair is already doomed, she is promised to someone else or engaged
--> The Tom Cruise person is a perfect gentlemen, not racist, not angry, just perfect in all ways
--> The Japanese he is helping are awe-struck by Western Technology
--> They, most of the Japanese are liars and cheats or just dumb, and back-stab the Tom Cruise character
--> One general is a nice guy who is also perfect.
--> A big battle at end where the Tom Cruise characters saves the day at the last minute.

HOLLYWOOD IS NOW A FORMULA, WITH GOOD COSTUMES AND SPECIAL EFFECTS. NO MORE THAN THAT

SORRY TO BE SO CYNICIAL, BUT HOLLYWOOD
PLAYS IT SAFE, AND SERVES %99.0 OF TIME
THE SAME FORMULA's OVER AND OVER

Last great movies from Hollywood:
->The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
->Fight Club
->Donnie Brassco
-> Memento (2001, Maybe n-o-t Hollywood)
-> Monsters, Inc. (Animation 2001, very good animation)
.
 

senseiman

先輩
Joined
24 Jun 2003
Messages
628
Reaction score
46
Yeah, Hollywood sucks, but I'm still looking forward to the movie. Tom Cruise's character fights on the loosing side of the war, so maybe there won't be a happy ending.
 

justin

The Rise of Cobra
Joined
31 Aug 2003
Messages
1,096
Reaction score
21
It looks like a great movie. I love samurai movies and the pictures of that temple are great. I really like the one of the temple during the winter.
 

senseiman

先輩
Joined
24 Jun 2003
Messages
628
Reaction score
46
Yeah, I actually just went hiking up to that temple yesterday. It was over 30 degrees and humid so I almost passed out from the heat, but it was a great time. The grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu is buried there, which I hadn't realized before. I'd really like to go there in the winter and see it with snow, but it only snows once or twice a year and it melts within a few hours, so you have to be on your toes if you want to catch that view.
 

neko_girl22

先輩
Joined
14 May 2003
Messages
490
Reaction score
8
I really want to see this film too ;) but, I bet it takes ages to come to Japan.....
Alot of the film was filmed in NZ - A Mountain, Mt Taranaki I think.. looks a lot like Mt Fuji.
Cruise loved our fish and chips :)
 

senseiman

先輩
Joined
24 Jun 2003
Messages
628
Reaction score
46
It was filmed in New Zealand too? Cool, I guess the scenery must be similar to Japan's, only New Zealand's probably isn't covered in concrete and power lines. I think its coming out in December in Japan.
 

phoebe

後輩
Joined
19 Sep 2003
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I have not seen a Tom Cruiz movie for a long time. I think this is going to worth watching.
 

neko_girl22

先輩
Joined
14 May 2003
Messages
490
Reaction score
8
actually NZ and Japan are quite different - except I've heard Hokkaido looks a bit like NZ , but I've yet to go there so I can't say. I think it was filmed in NZ cos it's cheap and the mountain does look a lot like Mt Fuji. It's so great to see these big movies being made in NZ!!!
I wanted to go and see Whale Rider (NZ film) - it's just arrived in Japan, but - it doesn't come to Kagoshima!! NO FAIR!!! I hope The Last Samurai makes it this far .....
 

Iron Chef

Villain
Joined
26 Feb 2003
Messages
2,283
Reaction score
71
"I can guess some of the movie.
Probably typical Hollywood stuff
===========================================
--> Tom Cruise meets a princess/queen and they have
a love affair
--> The love affair is already doomed, she is promised to someone else or engaged
--> The Tom Cruise person is a perfect gentlemen, not racist, not angry, just perfect in all ways
--> The Japanese he is helping are awe-struck by Western Technology
--> They, most of the Japanese are liars and cheats or just dumb, and back-stab the Tom Cruise character
--> One general is a nice guy who is also perfect.
--> A big battle at end where the Tom Cruise characters saves the day at the last minute."

I recently saw a Dateline exclusive that featured Tom Cruise being interviewed in Japan by Katie Couric. Trust me when I say the movie will be nothing like what you've mentioned above. I could drop some spoilers but where's the fun in that? Check it out for yourselves people when the film premiers next month... You won't be dissapointed with this one.
:)
 

senseiman

先輩
Joined
24 Jun 2003
Messages
628
Reaction score
46
I just saw the movie at a special sneak preview screening last night and I thought it was fantastic. Undoubtedly the best hollywood movie about Japan ever made.

Like you say Iron chef, it avoids all of those pitfalls and stereotypes about Japan. I won't spoil it for anyone, but the acting and sets were fantastic. And the story was quite good too. The charecters aren't just a bunch of stereotypical hollywood creations. The Japanese charecters are quite authentically portrayed, and the love interest is played out in a very subtle Japanese way. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house at the ending!

Much MUCH better than Shogun. I highly recommend it.
 

neptunemoon

Crazy Kitty Girl "Meow"
Joined
3 Nov 2003
Messages
1,083
Reaction score
2
Aww i missed that interview cuz i had class. I cant wait for that movie to come out. Ive always wanted to go to a japanese temple it must be so peacful. I just love nature
 

senseiman

先輩
Joined
24 Jun 2003
Messages
628
Reaction score
46
Mountain temples in Japan are really fantastic. I live quite close to the temple where a lot of the Last Samurai was filmed (Engyoji temple, about 40 minutes from my place by bicycle) and it is an amazing experience to spend a day up there.

Coincidentally, I just this minute got back from a hike up to another temple on a neighboring mountain called Zuiganji. Its one of the oldest temples in Japan, but was burned down in the 16th century so most of the buildings are only about 300 years old. Quite a nice way to spend a day. I get on my bike in the morning, ride through about 30 minutes of ugly urban landscape and then suddenly you hit the mountains and the sea of concrete and plastic ends. Then you can spend a couple hours hiking through the forests and up the mountains and eventually you are rewarded with the sight of some of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Can't get that back in Canada, where I am from!
 
Top Bottom