The Last Samurai

I think I might just be completing this project successfully. So far I have been on top of things this week and haven’t blown the project yet, my next step is updating my much neglected website for my radio show Oldies and Oddities. But I will see this project to completion. Feel free to have an office pool and collect bets; just let me know what the odds are so I may post it.

Today I finally saw a movie that I wanted to see for a long time but didn’t get a chance to due to my movie theatre fasting on the last two weeks of December. The movie for today is The Last Samurai starring Tom Cruise. I saw the trailer the first time at a screening of Mystic River, the movie looked kind of dull and rather uninteresting but any movie that deals with samurais is A-OK in my book. I marked it down as a movie that I would like to go see on my project.

And behold! I am seeing it on a beautiful hot Wednesday afternoon. Where most of the country is in a cold snap experiencing temperatures below zero (-37 degrees in Mt. Washington, New Hampshire), it is only a warm 72 degrees in Oceanside, California and I’m eating some ice cream waiting outside the downtown Oceanside Regal.

Today is a beautiful day in downtown Oceanside. The homeless people that are usually hanging out in front of the theatre panhandling have migrated to the beach just four blocks away as well as the teenage runaways that are usually here. Even the displaced enjoy a day at the beach.

With all the undesirables gone from the plaza outside the Regal, I could finally enjoy the Irving Gill-influenced design of the plaza as well as the view from in front of the theatre of the beach and Oceanside pier. I was baking outside waiting for five minutes till the showing of The Last Samurai to start, I already purchased my ticket but I’m just chilling out in front of the theatre with my ice cream. Do you think I want to endure The Twenty again? Hell no.

Checked my watch: five minutes till. That’s my cue.

To my surprise there wasn’t that many people in the theatre. I know a lot of people who are reading this who live in the Northeast are gonna scream at me for saying this: it felt great to be inside an air conditioned movie theatre. For some reason it was hot today. So hot that I actually shelled out money for a Coke and popcorn.

The Last Samurai is an epic tale about a Civil War veteran Nathan Algren(Tom Cruise) who is recruited to train soldiers in Japan to kill off the samurais (who are viewed as savages and are blocking a railroad project). Algren agrees and trains soldiers to fight (in American style dress) but an impatient advisor orders Algren and his army to fight the samurai. The stealth samurai easily make waste of the untrained soldiers and take Algren hostage.

Instead of killing Algren the leader of the samurai Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe) views Algren with curiosity and sees him as his equal. The two strike up an unlikely friendship and both learn more about each others culture and mores.

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