The Last Samurai

(Response to film critique of The Last Samurai: 

We just watched The Last Samurai Friday night. One thing it did is make me want to rewatch all the movies it blatantly borrowed scenes  from (kinder, gentler version: paid homage to), most notably, of  course, The Seven Samurai. Clearly a movie made by a director who  grew up watching movies and has no other background to build upon.)

Blatantly borrowed?

That's like saying a Western is blatantly borrowed from other
westerns. Most of them were made in the Mojave just north of
Hollywood. You can even recognize the rocks if you drive down certain

Like Westerns, the Samurai movie is a genre, and like Westerns, the
genre is about duty, honor, good triumphing against evil. Kurosawa's
great film is a unique masterpiece created with tools primitive by
todays standards, yet which stands on its own for what it is.
Similar could be said of the American version of it, "The
Magnificent Seven", a few years later. After that, and before, there
were countless Samurai movies, all with similar themes.

The Last Samurai is a very good Samurai/Western movie. Predictably
.... because that is what the genre is made of ... it is about honor,
good against evil and winning despite everything the bad guys can
throw against it; ageless themes that will always appeal to the
better nature of mankind.. Those seems to require sadism, depravity,
perverted sex, decayed morality, socio-political propaganda
masquerading as documentary, blood, guts, large explosions and

The Last Samurai was beautifully acted and performed; the filming was
excellent and straightforward, the message uplifting. If I were
looking for anything to criticize, I'd say there might have been a
little too much Peckinpah blood, but it wasn't excessive. My wife and
I both came out feeling good, like 12 year olds who had just seen a
Hopalong Cassidy matinee complete with popcorn and strawberry soda

I hope somebody will produce another remake of "Beau Geste".