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Timeless Cinematic Moments 17

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Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) assists Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe) as he pushes his sword into himself in his last service to his emporer. The two lie on the battlefield, the last survivors of a bloody slaughter of the last Samurai in Japan by the new, Westernised Japanese army. The Last Samurai (2003), directed by Edward Zwick (who has also directed Blood Diamond and Defiance, both great films) is masterfully shot but hard to understand.  What's up with the Emporer? However the fight scenes and battles are epic, calling for the rewind button to be pushed more frequently than usual. Looking over Nathan's shoulder, Katsumoto sees a vision of a rare tree in pink blossom, and as the word perfect painfully escapes his lips, he breathes his last. It's a great film, highly recommended. Nothing too dodgy but it does have some swearing and blasphemy. And perhaps best of all, it was shot largely in New Zealand.

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