The Last Samurai is a good reminder that my problems with Avatar weren?t really rooted in the fact that they recycled the Pocahontas story structure. Here is another film that wanders down that same familiar path as many that came before, but it accomplishes it with such style and flair that I absolutely adored it. There wasn?t any aspect of this film that failed to impress me. The script, the music, the cast, the visuals, it was all remarkable. I had so much fun with The Last Samurai, and was emotionally locked in from the first frame. Tom Cruise was spectacular as the jaded American soldier who is sent to help fight a war in Japan. And I can finally see why the world has revered Ken Watanabe, because he was the heart and soul of this film and elevated it to another level. The battle sequences were stunning, and captured the scope and brutality of war. When they weren?t fighting, the beauty of Japan is also presented in awe-inspiring fashion. There were a few tiny complaints I could probably make about the film, but I ignored them most of the time because I was so invested in the characters to the point that I was brought to tears more than once. The Last Samurai accomplished what I long for most films to do: It had me so engrossed that I forgot I was watching a movie and I just experienced the magic of the story as if I were a part of it. I could see this easily becoming one of my all-time favorites when I see it a few more times.