I'm in the mood to do some Movie Reviews today.
The Last Samurai:
This is a hard film to judge. On the one hand I loved it. And on the other hand, it's the same plot ( almost verbatum it seems ) as Dances With Wolves. Just replace the Suex Indians with a tribe of Samurai, shave off an hour in length and you've got the same movie. Also, I'm not really into glorification of war and death. There's alot of "It's an honor to die in battle" Klingon-ish type bullshit that's suposed to provoke some kind of emotional responce in the veiwer, I'm just never sure what it is. Also, the movie portrays Samurai's to be this perfect bunch of people with perfect lives and pure ideals. It portrays what Samurai's are suposed to be like, but with any group of people, nothing is perfect...and that isn't shown here. Maybe that was part of the point of the movie though...to show the contrast of the ancient ways to the modern ways. Maybe showing it too realisticly would only distract the viewer. Who knows. But despite my problems with it, I'll still give it 4/5 "stars". It's very good, but it falls short of being great.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World:
I'd lump this in to have a similar feel to Last Samurai, directing and writing/dialog wise. The movie is exciting, with clever plot twists. I'm not completely in love with all of the characters though. I like Russel Crowe no matter what he does, and the guy who plays the doctor is pretty good. Other than that, nothing spectacular acting wise. I'm just happy somebody made a swashbuckling sea adventure that wasn't Pirates of the Carrabean. The ending is a little weak. The Captain pretty much lays out a plan, then they execute it. No suprises. 4/5 stars.