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The Last Samurai Enhanced, Soundtrack

4.6 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Dec 8 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Soundtrack
  • Label: Elektra Entertain.
  • Run Time: 154 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000DZTIW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,611 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description



Whether Tom Cruise's portrayal of a 19th century American soldier cum samurai warrior will be remembered with the same pangs of pop-cultural bemusement that befell John Wayne playing Genghis Khan remains to be seen. But its musical soundtrack does mark an auspicious occasion: pop musician-turned-composer Hans Zimmer's 100th score since beginning his film career in 1988. A pioneer of fusing both the electronic and orchestral and the Westernized with the indigenous, Zimmer does both here with skill, drawing heavily on samples of the traditional Taiko (a massive Japanese drum) for its rhythmic action sequences, while constructing a melodic Western motif for Cruise's character that's both centerpiece and counterpoint for the score's transcultural intent. Aside from the brief, ominous thunder of the expected action/suspense boilerplate, Zimmer has constructed passages of gentle, Asian-inflected pastoralism that have parallels with much of his evocative work on The Thin Red Line. Those cues are the score's very soul, a canvas against which his more traditional themes reverberate all the stronger. --Jerry McCulley

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
By the trime that The Last Samurai was released here in the Netherlands, I already was totally blown away by the score. This most be Zimmers best effort till now. While I saw the film the first time I could dream the music and that was a very special way of watching it. This is a great score, that perfectly expresses what there is to be seen on screen. But not only that, just for listening, without having seen the film, this is a great piece. I listened the cd countless times by now and I cannot stop thinking this is the best thing he ever did. The Japannese atmosphere comes through really perfectly an so suddle. This is indeed the prefect score for the perfect film. What Zimmer in fact is doing great here is keeping the music away from Bombastic when the action breaks loose, the same trick he did with Thin Red Line as we'll, or with certain parts of Pearl Harbor. I think that is indeed very very smart and really good to express drama and makes the picture. often so much more powerfull. A shame he was not even nominated for best score with the Oscars. But same story with all his scores that way. Gladiator, Hannibal, Black Hawk Down, Thin Red Line, Pearl Harbor all masterpieces. Even while the movie was not that good due the score Tears Of The Sun was a great one too.
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Format: Audio CD
Sometimes it hard to listen to a soundtrack entirely. We skip tracks, or only listen to 3 ,4 and #9. The Last Samurai soundtrack is simply outstanding. We can spend hours and hours listening all the tracks once again. You cannot really avoid to buy this cd, firstly because Hans Zimmer is giving a spectacular performance as always, and because you cannot totally enjoy the beauty of this music in the action.
If you're a fan of japan, you probably liked this movie.If you're a real fan of japan, you probably noticed that music in the movie doesnt match the music around years 1870 in japan.To that, Zimmer said: "Japanese music of the 1870s is completely inaccessible to most Western audiences," explains Zimmer. "It would not work dramatically. In fact, it's the antithesis of drama." He decided to mix strings and bass with traditionnal japanese instruments and the result is great.
You don't always listen to the music when looking at samurais fighting(until you saw the movie hundred of times).This is very sad because that music is superb.
For fans and people who just liked the movie. You cannot dislike this album.
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Format: Audio CD
Last year was the year of big budget epics for Hollywood. No expense was spared for lavish spectacle, elaborate costuming, awe-inspiring battle scenes, and more. And Hollywood knows that in spite of tremendous attention to visuals, it can all fall flat without the right soundtrack. George Lucas even admitted that Star Wars would have been nothing without John Williams' music. Hans Zimmer, in his score to The Last Samurai proves once again he's one of the best film composers working today. He complements the visual and dramatic aspects of the film superbly, as in the track Spectres in the Fog. Listen, and you can practically picture the action, even if you've never seen the film. After an introduction featuring Japanese plucked strings, the opening is haunting and mysterious, from which emerges a heroic theme played in the horns.
I was interested to compare this soundtrack to that for another, contemporaneous "Big Spectacle" film-Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King, with music by Howard Shore. If you compare Spectres in the Fog to Shore's Minas Tirith, you'll hear that the gesture is identical--the emergence from a mysterious, static texture of a noble theme in the horns, accompanied by the drums of war. Both soundtracks owe much to the heritage of Richard Wagner and are practically textbooks in composing for film. Anyone interested in learning that art would do well to study them in detail. One significant difference between the two scores is the basic orchestration-naturally enough The Last Samurai includes Japanese instruments, and blends them beautifully with a Western orchestra.
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Format: Audio CD
The thing that I've always loved about Hans Zimmer is that each soundtrack has been different to the last which is why I own 4 of his works (Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, Hannibal, and The Thin Red Line) each ranging from electric rock elements to small dark arrangements to full-on orchestral triumphs! But the probelm I had with THE LAST SAMURAI is that it sounds an awful lot like his THE THIN RED LINE soundtrack - but not as bold. Sure we've got the occasional taiko drums and a lot of japanese flutes, but he could have gone so much more Japanese in my opinion.
The major theme featured in the soundtrack is nice, but after hearing it's 5th variation during one listening I was really unimpressed. Instead of a collection of different tracks with different tempos and scope we have a rather flat piece which should have come from the self-replicating-composers Williams, Horner or Goldsmith(either of them).
I consider myself a Hans Zimmer fan, but I've decided to pass on buying this album after listening to it a couple of times. I thouroughly recommend Zimmer's THE THIN RED LINE tho as a substitute though.
This album is ideal for those who liked the movies soundtrack and aren't likely to collect an artists other works, but not if you're really into the composers past works. It will dissapoint...
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