Excerpt: Sympathetic General Fellers (Matthew Fox) is given 10 days after Japanese surrender to dissuade Douglas MacArthur (Tommy Lee Jones) from executing Emperor Hirihito as World War II slips into historical context. From this snippet, otherwise overshadowed by America’s instantaneous celebratory reaction, Emperor blooms into a sluggishly effective, dramatic recreation of post-WWII events.
Excerpt: The moment I see the words “inspired by true events”, I simply accept the fact that most likely everything that follows should be taken with a grain of salt. I understand films are not meant to be reference materials to be seen as fact, but simply as a tool to entertain and hopefully motivate you to learn more about the subject matter. When it comes to Emperor, I know going in this isn’t going to be a history lesson, so I could allow myself to simply enjoy the show.
Excerpt: The Film In the late summer of 1945 Japan was a defeated nation, but one that didn't exactly surrender "unconditionally." When the war ended, one critical issue remained unresolved: should Japanese Emperor Hirohito stand trial for war crimes? General Douglas MacArthur (Tommy Lee Jones) stepped in as acting leader of the beleaguered nation, but he had his sights on a more lofty goal: the White House.
Conclusion: I'm a sucker for historical epics, and I can even tolerate a good star-crossed romance given the right circumstances, but Emperor is too wishy-washy to ever decide what exactly it wants to be. The film has some great moments, mostly to do with the efforts to decide how to dispose of Hirohito's fate, but they're saddled with the baggage of the forlorn romance between Fellers and Aya.
Excerpt: The legendary meeting between Hirohito and General Douglas MacArthur, following Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II, has inspired two strongly different historical dramas. Aleksandr Sokurov’s acclaimed The Sun (2005), told from the emperor’s point of view, takes a dreamy, ethereal art-film approach, completely ignoring the question of whether he’ll be prosecuted for war crimes.
Summary: Half crinoline romance, half crusty military-history lesson, "Emperor" goes behind the scenes immediately following Japan's surrender in World War II to reveal the delicate negotiations that allowed disgraced emperor Hirohito to maintain his title.
Excerpt: Peter Webber's historical drama Emperor is blunt about its stylistic ambitions while at the same time failing to meet them, and the effect is one of sad ineffectuality. "Let's show 'em some good old-fashioned American swagger," General Douglas MacArthur (Tommy Lee Jones) says early in the film, completing the show of bravado with his famous aviators and prodigious pipe.
Conclusion: Those of you residing in Region-B territories should be delighted with Optimum Home Entertainment's Blu-ray release of Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor . I personally think that it is great to have the supervised and approved by Mr. Storaro high-definition transfer Criterion used for their Blu-ray release in the U.S. together with the TV Version of the film on the same disc. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Did you find this review helpful?