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  1. albert is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/06/2003 1:25pm


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    The Last Samurai (discussion, spoilers)

    Seeing that the other thread got off track with the whole race issue, I start this thread.

    I had somewhat high expectations for this movie. Zwick and Cruise were like "we want to be authentic to the spirit of the samurai, talk about how we adore Japanese culture, etc."
    I read at the official website that they consulted historians, martial artists, and other people versed in the relevant knowledge. However, the results weren't exactly fruitful. If you're going to be a revisionist historian when moviemaking, just go ahead and do it but don't claim to be paying homage to the real story. I want to talk about the historical inaccuracies and other weaknesses.

    1) The ninjas. Have we all read the ninpo.org history article? Read it (if you haven't already) before you say anything about ninjas. Otherwise take the risk of looking like an uninformed moron/pirate.
    From what I understand ninjas were primarily information gatherers, although they did do some assassinations. But at the eve of the modern era, does a 20 ninja strike force seem plausible? Were the ninjas operating at this point? Even if ninjas were sent, who sent them? Surely not the the guy with the Monopoly dude mustache. He was into modern warfare and such. Maybe he would've sent a night ambush with rifleman, but surely not ninjas. I just think bringing ninjas into the mix was a bad idea. Maybe if they sent like a 2 or 3 person group of ninjas to kill Katsumoto. But in this film it seemed over the top and exaggerated.

    2) Using 2 katanas. Okay Musashi supposedly did it, but this may have been made up. There's a lot of mythos surrounding the guy. I've never held a katana but I imagine trying to wield 2 at the same time in the middle of a battle is impractical unless you're extremely strong and skilled. Have you ever heard of knights running around with 2 swords? No. It just doesn't make sense, esp. considering at this point Algren was studying kenjutsu for what, 6 months?

    3) The humor. Cruise is a charismatic guy and all but the humor just seemed misplaced. It seemed like the movie was attempting to hit on some serious themes and it was hard to take things seriously when Cruise is asking if some old dude is a "ladies man."

    4) The ending. Cruise should've died. The way of the samurai is found in death! They mowed all the samurai down, they died for their cause, the feudal era is officially over, end of story. By the last 20 min. I was sick of it.


    I recommend Ghost Dog instead of this movie.
  2. Stold3 is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/06/2003 1:37pm


     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    1) Ninjas operated in clans and could be purchased by any daimyo with enough koku, from what I understand. I haven't seen the movie, but what year is the "eve of the modern era" in? 20 ninjas seems like a small number...

    2) Katana weighs what? anywhere from 1.5 lbs to 4 lbs? And also from what I gathered using two swords was considered barbaric?
  3. Stick is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/06/2003 2:53pm

    hall of famestaff
     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    plus, while he had studied kenjutsu for a meager 6 months, he was still an accomplished calvaryman, sabers and all.

    Though mostly I'm still pissed off that he didn't pull out his fucking revolver, be PRACTICAL MAN! Though I suppose if he'd done that peoplel would've been screaming "don't be immitating indy, you bastard", or something to that effect.

    While Cruise was having the armor put on I was afraid they were gonna degenrate into a full on love scene, but thankfully they didn't do that.

    And you're right, if he'd died as well it would have been much better.

    As for the ninjas..... 20 doesn't seem like all that much, and watching a lot of Japanese TV and movies lately (who'da think that what would be shown on Japanese TV), they seem to have Samurai don ninja garb fairly often, and from my readings, use of the shuriken was not excl- ah **** it, they were ninjas.
  4. albert is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/06/2003 5:04pm


     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    1) Ninjas operated in clans and could be purchased by any daimyo with enough koku, from what I understand. I haven't seen the movie, but what year is the "eve of the modern era" in? 20 ninjas seems like a small number...
    By eve of the modern era I mean when Japan was beginning to modernize, in the movie they used the dates 1872-3 if my memory serves me correctly. But are these the correct Japanese modernization dates? No idea.

    From ninpo.org: "An important point to keep in mind is that throughout the centuries from the ancient period to the early-modern period one type of Ninja did not replace another, rather, a new type was added to the existing ones. Eventually, the Ninja community included those whose skills were rather limited, to those who held high samurai rank and lead armies."

    Since I don't know enough about Japanese history, let alone the military aspect, I have no idea if this is right or not. However, if this is correct then the "early modern" in the quote would indicate that ninjas were indeed operating at the time of the movie. As the last sentence shows, this would mean that the ninja community would be quite heterogeneous at this point. So, theoretically I think the ninja scene is plausible now - since there are a wide variety of possibilities as to who was busting out the real ultimate power under those black suits.

    As for 20 ninjas being a small number, I have no idea about that.

    2) Katana weighs what? anywhere from 1.5 lbs to 4 lbs? And also from what I gathered using two swords was considered barbaric?
    Well if it was considered barbaric then I don't know why the hell Cruise and Watanabe would be using that style if they're honorable warriors or whatever.



    plus, while he had studied kenjutsu for a meager 6 months, he was still an accomplished calvaryman, sabers and all.
    True. I initially disputed this with a few friends, but then I realized if I produced my own martial arts movie (as Cruise did) I'd be learning deadly tiger boxing in 6 months.

    While Cruise was having the armor put on I was afraid they were gonna degenrate into a full on love scene, but thankfully they didn't do that.
    I thought the same thing. The film was cheesy enough without romance. Although the ending seemed to indicate that he went back to the village to bang her anyway so oh well. It seems like porking the widow of someone you killed is against the samurai values of "discipline, virtue, and compassion," or the Japanese concept of "perfecting your craft, whatever it is." Hell, Cruise should've also said "I wish I was Japanese," or "Everything Japanese is good," as his hair blows in the wind.
  5. CrimsonTiger is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/06/2003 5:58pm

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     Style: Karate/Muay Thai

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I can't believe you started this thread...how sad.

    I liked the movie. Inaccurate? Probably. Unoriginal? Definitely. But it was quite well done, the humour was BANG ON for a guy trying to cope in a completely alien environment.

    Fucking purists make me ill. This wasn't a historical documentary. It is a blockbuster movie, and a damn good one given the CRAP that's come out lately. Me entire group liked it, and we're fairly critical people.

    Now please, return to your whining about ninjas, etc.
    Regards,
    CrimsonTiger

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    One guy gets sword and sheild, the other gets a net and a trident.
    Lions eat christians between rounds." - Strong Machine
  6. Stold3 is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/06/2003 6:57pm


     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    They should have just remade the Shogun movie.
  7. albert is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/06/2003 7:24pm


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I can't believe you started this thread...how sad.
    Then why not ignore it?

    It is a blockbuster movie, and a damn good one given the CRAP that's come out lately.
    The Cooler
    21 Grams
    Mystic River

    There's always "CRAP" coming out. The U.S. film industry is saturated with it. But there are usually some really good movies out as well.

    And as long as you're in this "sad" thread, you might as well give a better argument as to why this film is so good. I mean, writing about the humor being "BANG ON" is pretty fucking sound logic, but how about something reasonable? You've already ruled out it being authentic and original. So what makes it so good? It's a blockbuster? So it sells lots of tickets and makes lots of money. From there it does not necessarily follow that the movie must be good.
    Sure it's not a historical documentary, but the people behind the film were ranting about how they wanting to be so authentic to the Japanese warrior spirit/libido or whatever so I'm going to hold them to their word. But then again it's Hollywood and maybe ME being naive. ha.

    Now please, return to your whining about ninjas, etc.
    If you took your adderall this morning you'd realize that I actually took back what I said about the ninja scene. So I admit it's plausible.



    Stold, I've heard about Shogun. I want to see that movie..
  8. Stold3 is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/06/2003 7:27pm


     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    NO. Don't watch the movie. Read the book.
  9. Stick is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/07/2003 1:09am

    hall of famestaff
     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Heh, don't see the movie either, if you want to watch it, watch the 8+ hour mini-series, the movie is just a brutal edit of that 8+ hours down to "feature length" (bout 2 hours) so you're getting like less than a 4th of the story.

    Definatly read the book. Also, read Gaijin, that's set in the 1860's and is based off some true events, really good book. Lots of good old fashioned violence ^_^

    Clavell kicks ass, now I have to finish reading Tai-pan and get ymy hands on a copy of Noble House.
  10. udo is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/07/2003 1:29am


     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I think that having Tom Cruise die would make any movie better.
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