last samurai

OK, I admit. I'm really far behind in my movie watching. The last film I saw in a theatre was Kill Bill Vol.1. And I just saw the Last Samurai tonight on DVD. Most of you have watched it but I'm going to add my two cents anyways.

- gorgeous landscapes
- beautifully directed
- incredible choreography of the fight scenes
- some attempt at conveying the notion that Asians have qualities to be admired - bravery, honour, discipline, humility etc.
- the little boys were sooooo cute and great actors too

- typical Hollywood historical inaccuracies
- plot was rather predictable
- the emperor's character was a little too weak to be believable
- the American, Nathan, managed to learn to fight like a samurai in a year, while the Japanese samurais trained daily for an entire lifetime to develop that level of skill
- although I recognize the need to insert a fictional American protagonist so that the audience can identify with him and assume his point of view, it was just so contrived
- the unspoken romance between Nathan and Taka was something I predicted from the beginning but hoped not to see. the second they locked eyes, my stomach turned. can Hollywood not make a movie that involves an Asian woman without making her a Suzy Wong?
- it's reported that horses weren't harmed in the making of the film but they actually trained the horses to fall. horses don't fall normally and they don't do so gracefully. somehow it doesn't seem ethical.

Overall, it was pretty to watch but certainly didn't reach me emotionally. Definitely over rated.

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