The Last Samurai Enhanced, Soundtrack
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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...
Most recent customer reviews
Je l'ai regardé plus de 20 fois et je continue à regarder ce film.Published 20 months ago by Germain Dufort
As I write this review,my thoughts float in the calm stream of Idylls end.The soundtrack as a whole is inspiring. Read morePublished on July 15 2004 by eskadah
THE MOVIE I DID NOT SEE,THE SOUNDTRACK WELL WOW I HOPE THE MOVIE IS NOT LIKE THIS BOREING SCORE?THE CURSE OF THE EVIL LAKE BY LEE DONG JUNE IS SO MUCH BETTER OR THE BEATIFUL SCORE... Read morePublished on July 5 2004 by jacinto
This soundtrack is very toutching in every sense. Some of the movements are so peacefull that we fell been lifted from the earth universe and enter in another dimension. Read morePublished on June 28 2004 by joaomsp
This soundtrack is amazing, it has a beautiful japanese music. Spectres in the Fog, A Way of Life, and Safe Passage are the most exquisite compositions of the CD. Read morePublished on June 22 2004 by O. O. Zamora
I didn' heard about Hans Zimmer before the Gladiator was first rolled out which both the movie and the soundtrack were excellent. Read morePublished on June 11 2004