Sunday, May 06, 2007

[DVD] The Last King of Scotland (2006)

Listen Up!

I won't repeat myself with another review of The Last King of Scotland movie, which you can find here. Hence I will go straight into the DVD review proper.

Forest Whitaker's acclaimed performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin would have no doubt piqued your curiosity about the real man, and included in the Code 1 DVD from Fox are documentaries highlighting both the man himself as well as the actor who plays him. Presented in widescreen in 2.35:1 aspect ration, the visual transfer is crisp and clear. The English track comes in 5.1 Dolby Surround, which might be under-utilized given that it's not an out and out action kind of movie that will test your speakers, but seriously nobody's complaining. The other track is in Spanish, and comes with only 2.0 Dolby Surround. You can turn the director's commentary on during the movie, and Kevin MacDonald shares some interesting insights despite being without the other cast and crew members. Subtitles are available in English, Spanish and French, and for those who would like to jump directly into certain scenes, scene selection is available in 28 chapters.

Included in the special features section is the theatrical trailer running at 2mins 20s, which is quite standard fare.

You have a total of 7 deleted scenes which included the original opening of the movie set in 1948, where we see Idi meting out solid blows as a boxer during his days with the British Army. The clips run a total of 11mins 43s, and you can activate the director's commentary to find out why these scenes were left on the cutting room floor. The longest scene was that of the press conference, which in the movie was truncated and cross-cut with a separate scene of James McAvoy looking for Kerry Washington. Here you can watch it as a whole.

Next is an exclusive documentary called Capturing Idi Amin, which runs the longest of the special features at 29 minutes. Included in this feature are extensive interviews with the actors, Ugandan citizens who lived through Amin's regime, friends in the British Army as well as his ex-ministers, and through these talking heads, you gain peculiar insights into a man who seemed so schizophrenic. Of particular note here are the archived footage of the real Amin, which includes selected interviews with him. Not to be missed.

Forest Whitaker himself has a featurette called Forest Whitaker Idi Amin, which has interviews with Forest obviously, as well as his co-star James McAvoy. This runs 6 minutes.

And if one featurette on the Oscar winner isn't enough, there's the other feature from the Fox Movie Channel called Casting Session - The Last King of Scotland, where the filmmakers highlighted how important it was to find the right actor for the enigmatic role, as the whole movie will naturally be borne on his shoulders. In 8 mins 30s through interviews, we learn exactly how Forest auditioned, won convincingly the role offered by the filmmakers, and as they say, the rest is history.

All in all, a very decent package. There could have been more extras packed in, but this package already is more than the bare minimum. Recommended for fans of the movie, as well as fans of Forest Whitaker in his multi-award winning role.

For thos interested, you can make a purchase of the DVD directly from by clicking on the picture below:

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