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Thread: Swordwork and "The Last Samurai"

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Preferences

    Originally posted by dingodog1
    Do you find any redeeming qualities in the movie?
    Yes, there are many good parts in this movie...I just found that the overwrought tone of the whole story, and acting and music drowned out the subtlety of the background and the many good bits in the film...just as you can take a grocery cart full of good food and turn it into a lousy meal.

    I'm going to see this again on Sunday and try to sort out what I feel went wrong with it, at least for my taste.
    David Anderson
    Calgary, Alberta


    "Swords are the rosary of Aikido"

    D. H. Skoyles Sensei 04/03/01

    Nakayamakai KoAikido dojo

  2. #32
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    Default Me Too

    I viewed it again today and enjoyed it though I admit I was leaning towards the credits at the end. Does anyone know who the character that was guarding Algren was. In the movie Algren called him Bob. Also, would someone post Ken Wantanabe's death poem in it's entirety?

  3. #33
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    Default OK... FINALLY SAW THE MOVIE, AND...

    I sat in the theater and tried to ignore anything and everything I'd ever learned about Japan and anything I'd seen Tom Cruise (good and bad) in. Here is what I DIDN'T like:

    - a little long
    - musical score sometimes drowned out the action
    - some plot elements weren't taken advantage of (I won't goive away the story - just go see it to understand)

    To be honest, I really DID ENJOY the movie as a whole. Tom Cruise played the part of the distraught combat veteran well. Being Native, I appreciated how they portrayed both his angst concerning harming and killing my people and how they were shown to be noble warriors in the same vein (albeit with different means) as the samurai.

    This was indeed a worthy film and the splendor, romanticism of the culture and the moral messages all contributed to a powerful film. Ken Watanabe performed admirably though the person playing his son seemed a little too much in the background to have been given the "honor" he is given later in the film).

    Go see it and enjoy. Have an open mind. (ESPECIALLY ALL YOU E-BUDO SAMURAI EXPERTS... IT'S A M O V I E ! ! !)

    Regards,

    Carlos
    E. Carlos Estrella, Jr.

    The strength of a man is not measured in how much he can lift, how many he can fight or how much he can endure, but in his capacity to admit his limitations and learn to successfully circumvent them.

  4. #34
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    Default

    For and on behalf of all Internet Samurai:

    Can we learn a sword art from it?
    Scott Halls
    Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu Kenjutsu - Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iai
    兵法二天一流剣術 - 無双直伝英信流居合

  5. #35
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    Default

    For and on behalf of all Internet Samurai:
    Nope.. its just a movie. But its a really fun movie with lots of very attractive features.

    I for one loved it to the end. It was wonderful. Entertaining and moving. I felt that the love interest in the film played out perfectly. AND no cursing, and NO NUDITY. For once a movie that didnt need it, didnt have it. And there was still love in the film. Hmm now how did that happen without sex? Hollywood will surly fall apart now.

    But seriously. It was perfect.

    The samurai are doing what they have always done. Protesting injustice with their lives.
    Keven Cecil
    Iaika
    Musu Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu
    www.whiteherondojo.net

  6. #36
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    Default

    Originally posted by Ronin055
    The samurai are doing what they have always done. Protesting injustice with their lives.
    What injustice is that?

    I'm curious as to who the Omura character is supposed to be. The same way that Hollywood would interpolate a love interest where there was none (and an American where there were the French...), I think they created a one-dimensional bad guy out of a fellow in a tight jam and created a romatic good guy out of a pretty arrogant recidivist.

    The modernizers of Japan--Omura's character (Katsu Kaishu?) and Meiji, e.g.--were in desperate circumstances. They feared colonization on the one hand but the conservatives--these glorious samurai--refused to modernize as modernity meant foreign and "foreign" is the province of the devils. Saigo, Katsumoto in the flick, was pivotal in the successful restoration of the emperor to power, but he resented losing his samurai privileges and stipends. He even wanted to go to invade Korea and demand that they bow down to Meiji. Hollywood has romanticized him and pointedly forgotten those aspects of his character we today would rightly consider arrogant and nasty.
    Don J. Modesto
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  7. #37
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    The Samurai were protesting the perceived injustice of the end of thier way of life.

    Mr Omura was portrayed as self serving. His family owned the rail road and the rail road wouldnt work if the samurai didnt shut up. Thus the campaign against them.

    The Emperor was Sympathetic to the ideals of the Samurai, but Felt pressured by the needs of the future.

    NOW, knowing a touch of Japanese history, namely the Satsuma Rebelion, I know this isnt how it went down. But did that stop me from enjoying the film? No way. Again I will say I loved this film. I thougth it was especially beautiful.

    There will never be a film that satisfies everyone. There will never be the historically accurate to a T film. If there were, it would be twenty nine hours long and boring as hell. But if you want to be entertained for two hours... well movies can do that.
    Keven Cecil
    Iaika
    Musu Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu
    www.whiteherondojo.net

  8. #38
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    Originally posted by Ronin055
    ... if you want to be entertained for two hours... well movies can do that.
    Problem is, this entertainment informs people of how the world works. People who watch tv and movies have an exaggerated sense of how violent the US is, e.g.

    "The Samurai were protesting the perceived injustice of the end of thier way of life."

    Here you're speaking of the movie samurai, right?

    "The samurai are doing what they have always done. Protesting injustice with their lives."

    "Always done"...er, since we haven't always made movies, I assume your attributing to flesh and blood folk, celluloid qualities, hardly unusual in a country which elects actors as mayors, governors, senators, and presidents on seemingly little but their good looks (cf most recently, Herr Gropenfuhrer). For what REAL samurai did, see the excerpt from Conlan I posted at http://www.e-budo.com/vbulletin/show...hreadid=23256.
    Don J. Modesto
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  9. #39
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    Percieved injustice.

    Yes I was talking about the characters in the film.

    "what they have always done"

    Im of the understanding, from various reading that I have done, http://www.whiteherondojo.net/usefulinfo.html (see books at top) that Samurai could and did use seppuku as a form of speaking out against a superiors decision.

    Yes its a movie. I will disregard the insulting comment to our nation about whom we elect to office. And as a movie we should expect it to be entertaining. Want facts. turn on a history channel show, or better yet, read an encylopedia, or biography, or historical book. But in mainstream movie going, I would encourage you to look for entertainment. To look for to much is like swan diving in a mud puddle. You know it isnt deep enough and you surely will be dissapointed, or worse yet,hurt.

    Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he is never dissapointed.

    I expeced a movie that looked good and captured me for a while. It did that. It was a story. Like shogun. Not a factual account.

    Perhaps some people who like this "fiction" will move forward and seek more "real" knowlage about this time, this event, and these people. Then there will be real success.
    Keven Cecil
    Iaika
    Musu Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu
    www.whiteherondojo.net

  10. #40
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    I will disregard the insulting comment to our nation about whom we elect to office.
    Why? and is it really insulting? Or just the truth? What other industrialized nation does the same (elects actors to major public office)? Ok, perhaps (if I remember correctly) Italy. Sniff.

    RT

  11. #41
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    Why? first of all because of this, now the thread will turn to this, secondly because I dont care for polititions and most of the actor types have done a fairly good job.. see now the wrong debate begins. I think anyone should be elected to office, not CAREER polititions. The man in question has TONS of $$, so he doesnt have to worry about "pleasing" certin groups to make ends meet. Isnt that nice. And he cant me President, so he doesnt have a political adjenda. I think its in poor taste to slam the American people for using their freedom to vote for whom they choose. This is the system in action.

    AND now this thread will turn totally away from the movie because of this.

    Its just a movie, fiction, entertainment, thats all. Just a film. They never lied like private ryan and said it was so close to reality. They never said it contained historical characters and events. they just said it was a movie. Heck I dont even think they mentioned that it was the Satsuma rebellion.
    Keven Cecil
    Iaika
    Musu Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu
    www.whiteherondojo.net

  12. #42
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    Originally posted by Ron Tisdale
    What other industrialized nation does the same (elects actors to major public office)? Ok, perhaps (if I remember correctly) Italy. Sniff.
    Hi, Ron.

    Yes. Cicciolina, the porn star who campaigned by slipping out a breast. The Jpn dailies loved her. Didn't we have one of those running against The Arnlold, too?
    Don J. Modesto
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  13. #43
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    Originally posted by Ronin055
    Why?...secondly because I dont care for polititions and most of the actor types have done a fairly good job.. see now the wrong debate begins.

    DJM: Point taken.

    I think anyone should be elected to office, not CAREER polititions.

    DJM: Ditto.

    I think its in poor taste to slam the American people for using their freedom to vote for whom they choose. This is the system in action.

    DJM: I don't find criticism without the bounds of the cherished American ideal of freedom of speech. This, too, is the system in action.

    AND now this thread will turn totally away from the movie because of this.

    DJM: In all due humility, I think you and I have made this a much more interesting thread than Cruise teaching that little flourish of the BOKKEN that some date back to his handling of pool cues. Did we really want to stick with this?

    Its just a movie, fiction, entertainment, thats all. Just a film.

    DJM: As cynical as that is, I agree. But why do I have to dismiss it? Contrary to the hysterical warnings of the usual media critiques, movies actually lead folk to books and so this movie will probably do the same. In any case, it's proven a fair springboard for you and I to consider it more. Thank you.

    Heck I dont even think they mentioned that it was the Satsuma rebellion.

    DJM: I didn't hear it if they did.

    DJM: By the way, I was surprised to find a book at Borders yesterday titled, "The Last Samurai." (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846) The cover jacket made no reference to the movie.
    Don J. Modesto
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    http://theaikidodojo.com/

  14. #44
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    No nudity?

    Damn.
    Earl Hartman

  15. #45
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    Hey, well thread drift happens. Its a part of e-budo.

    And he cant me President, so he doesnt have a political adjenda.
    I hear there's a movement a foot to repeal that particular provision (disallowing non-native born citizens from being president).

    RT

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