Spoilers, unboxed. . .
Ebert used to say “they shouldn’t remake good movies. They should remake bad ones.”
That thought has been in my mind since I recently watched “The Last Samurai”.
“The Last Samurai” could have been good.
Long epic, set in Japan. Broken down old drunk war hero rediscovering the pride he once had. Directly forced to be with the type of people that haunt his memories.
Not to mention, guns and swords and fights and explosions and action.
Beautiful Japanese countryside and architecture.
And a good tragic ending that really couldn’t have gone down any other way.
But, it was directed by a guy who made “The Siege” and written by a guy who wrote “Gladiator”. Masters of subtlety, they are not.
Did one really feel for the fallen heroes at the end? They weren’t human - they were just “symbols”, it seemed. The movie didn’t let you “love” Japan. It just gave a couple of silly examples of why Tom Cruise changed.
The music could have been plucked out of any old Bruckheimer movie – it was one of the most uninteresting, most disconnected soundtracks I ever remember hearing. Was there anything Japanese about it at all?
You know, Tarantino farts better soundtracks.
If this movie were directed, by let’s say, Sam Raimi, Ang Lee, or Sergio Leone, or (naturally) Kurasawa, it could have been a classic.
As it was, it was just a pretty forgettable tale that never developed the weight that it hinted at.
It’s got that glossed over, Hollywood, impersonal feel to it.
Now that I said it – I guess that’s it. It’s just an impersonal movie, and that’s too bad because it could have been great.
Just my opinion. I just wish that movie was better.