Summary: BEST MOVIE EVER!!! SERIOUSLY
Comment: The Last Samurai was the best movie ever. It is about a white guy who was being hunted by his own police squad in the future and accidentally steps back in time. Where he became captured by these Japanese savages. And he then taught them how to fight with swords. It took Tom Cruise only from fall to spring to master the art of the sword, but it took those silly Japanese people from birth until adulthood to master. He also learned Japanese in the same period of time. Since it took so long for the Japanese "Samurais" (as they called themselves) to learn the way of the sword/warrior. He decided to time travel again and disguised himself as a war hero who went to Japan to teach tactics to the Japanese. Then he tried to convert all the soldiers to scientology but they refused. So he defected and got back w/his Samurai crew to fight the soldiers. Unfortunately, all the samurai's were wiped out. So he went back to the samurai village to boink the samurai's wives/daughters/girlfriends and became the first guy in history to catch Yellow Fever. Eventually he got tired and went back in time to absolve himself of all wrong doings by the use of a bald chick who was a psychic. And him and all the scientologists lived happily ever after. Glory be to Xenu!!!
Plus, I believe Tom Cruise really loved making the movie because he was taller than all the rest of the cast. He has not felt so tall since he made a live action Lucky Charms commercial with all those kids who were after his lucky charms.
Summary: Does justice to the movie--almost
Comment: This movie is incredible. It is film's answer to penicillin. I own (4) copies of this movie and I watch it on (4) different screens simultaneously. Except I'll start them at different points. Then I get to excitedly look ahead at what's going to happen, then look back at what's already happening, then back and forth, etc etc etc. This is how I usually spend my Saturday evenings and most every other day of the week.
Overall, this movie is a 6 out of 5 and that's being modest. By my estimation, the book is probably a 7 out of 6 (nearly as good as the movie). Those who don't agree better recoqnize.
Summary: Putting things in perspective
Comment: The movie The Last Samurai as a history is problematic. the movie places a white man -- in this case, an american -- at the center of a rather significant period in Japanese history -- the Meiji era. In reality, the americans did not figure that signficantly -- at that time -- in altering Japanese history and there was no "Dances with Wolves" type scenario and the Emperor never received audiences as per the movie.
This illustrated "making of" is valuable in that it situates the historical "realities" as per the movie and sets things in perspective. In particular, the section on Saigo Takamori and the Satsuma Rebellion (34-5) and codification of the Bushido (60-61) show a more concrete Japan sans the exotic. What both the movie and the book fail to explore is the Iwakura Mission of 1871 where Prince Iwakura Tomomi sets out to learn from the best of the best all over the world in an effort to stave of being the meal rather than the guest to the colonial banquet.
As a commentary to the movie it is excellent. A great coffee table book and a step in the right direction.
Summary: Great Companion Guide to the Movie
Comment: I believe this film was highly underated and didnt get the recoqnition it deserved. The book was magnificent. Great color pictures and photo shots from the movie. Great behind the scenes look at the making of the movie and the history of the Samurai class in feudal Japan. Buy the book if you liked the Movie...I sure did.
Summary: A masterpiece just like the movie.
Comment: This book is filled with magnificent photographs and information of history contained throughout the film, along with behind the scenes info. The book also contains segments of the movie script.
An excellent companion to the outstanding movie.