July 13, 2009

500 words 3 mins read

Review: The Last Samurai on Blu-Ray

I remember very clearly when The Last Samurai was first coming out. The thought of Tom Cruise ruining what could be a decent movie on feudal Japan was forefront in my mind. Far happened to be in town so she and I went down to see the movie in Carson City, not expecting much. What did happen was that we both walked out of the movie very impressed with how good of a job he did, and overall how good of a movie it was.

So the other week I was alerted that the Blu-Ray was on sale on Amazon so I figured I’d give it a shot and pick it up. Before a few months ago, I almost never bought movies because Blu-Ray was out, and I didn’t have a player (and it wasn’t very high on the list of priorities). Since John was kind enough to loan me one, I’ve slowly been acquiring BD’s, though only the cheap ones (sorry MPAA, not gonna shell out $30 for a movie — didn’t do it when DVDs came out, certainly not going to do it for Blu-Ray). It arrived on a Friday and that Sunday I actually got a chance to sit down with my Mother and watch it. Possibly the best part of the entire thing was my when my Mother said “I didn’t know Tom Cruise could act.”

For the Blu-Ray copy itself? I think it turned out fantastic. The movie features some beautiful vistas that simply wouldn’t be done justice on DVD. Granted the film was made a while ago, but I remember very clearly that the movie look gorgeous in theaters, and I think it looked just as good at home on Blu-Ray (Ok, so maybe it was slightly smaller on my screen ^_^ ). In addition to the vistas, Hans Zimmer wrote a perfect soundtrack for the movie (which I bought when the movie came out, and have enjoyed greatly) which comes across my 5.1 system equally beautifully. The only disappointment in the sound was that my Mother made me turn down the volume. The last piece of this Blu-Ray that made me smile just that much more? No damn menu’s. I put the disk in the player and directly to the movie we went. Maybe I wasn’t paying 100% attention to it, but it seemed like there was much less “junk” at the beginning. It’s the little things in life that make me happy.

All in all, it was a good rewatch of a good movie. I realize it isn’t historically accurate, but once things picked up (when he finally gets to Japan) the movie is really enjoyable. I know my Mother really enjoyed it (and she hadn’t seen it before), because typically any movie that runs more than about an hour and a half to two hours, she gets bored with and leaves. The Last Samurai has a run time of just over two and a half hours, and it is worth it.