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The Last Samurai Blu-ray

United States
Warner Bros. | 2003 | 154 min | Rated R | Nov 14, 2006

The Last Samurai (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: VC-1
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles
English, English SDH, French, Spanish

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $14.97, Price history
Amazon: $7.88 (Save 47%)
New from: $4.89 (Save 67%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7.9
496
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.5 of 54.5
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
Extras 3.8 of 53.8
Based on 41 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Action100%
Adventure53%
Epic39%
War31%
Martial arts23%
Period22%
Drama21%
Melodrama16%
98%
popularity
5606
collections
113
fans




The Last Samurai

 (2003)

Set in Japan during the 1870s, The Last Samurai tells the story of Capt. Nathan Algren, a respected American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country's first army in the art of modern warfare. As the Emperor attempts to eradicate the ancient Imperial Samurai warriors in preparation for more Westernized and trade-friendly government policies, Algren finds himself unexpectedly impressed and influenced by his encounters with the Samurai, which places him at the center of a struggle between two eras and two worlds, with only his own sense of honor to guide him.

For more about The Last Samurai and the The Last Samurai Blu-ray release, see the The Last Samurai Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Timothy Spall, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, Tony Goldwyn, Hiroyuki Sanada
Director: Edward Zwick

» See full cast & crew


The Last Samurai Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

The Last Samurai boasts gorgeous cinematography, landscapes, costumes and lighting. The 2.40:1 1080p VC-1 codec pays it off well. The video has a few technical issues and may have used noise reduction during some stage of production, but overall, the detail, colors and contrast are all very good. Depth is quite stunning on some of the landscape shots and sequences when the Japanese soldiers were lined up for training. Good detail on the uniforms and backgrounds showed off the textures capable at 1080p. Dark scenes were good, with gobs of detail, although a touch blotchy in areas where one might expect shadows.

The picture is the best indicator that Zwick's cinematography decisions are those of a technician and not an artist. Watch the framing--the choices of what to show and what not to show--and the camera angles. These videographical decisions appear mechanically flawless, capturing the characters, landscapes and action beautifully. But something is missing. Instead of artistry and magic on the screen, the picture seems crafted. Again, it is quite beautiful, with good definition and adequate depth in 1080p, but the soul seems to be missing, for lack of a better explanation. Nowhere is this problem clearer than the monochochromatic battle scene shot in the forest. The blues and blacks appear unnatural and seem like a gimmick.



The Last Samurai Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

The Last Samurai is one of Warner's HD DVD ports that only includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. While it is quite good, at 640 kbps, the treble does not seem as extended and the soundstage doesn't seem as expansive as most lossless PCM tracks. While the sound effects, gunshots and voices have good tonal characteristics and forwardness, composer Hans Zimmer's orchestral arrangement was generally shelved further back in the mix. The massed strings did not achieve good definition, but delivered the liquid midrange that some audiophiles enjoy.

The best thing that can be said of the DD track was the way it was engineered. Attention to detail and dynamics are very good. Listen to the scene when the ninja silently invade the sleeping village, and the ensuing battle with the samurai. The mix of dialogue, sound effects and ambient noises is very good. Best of all, it is truly immersive, with good use of the surrounds and LFE, which delivers deep, tight bass in all of the battle scenes. The average HT fan will have no complaints.



The Last Samurai: Other Editions



1-disc
$10.99
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$13.47
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1-disc
$21.77

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