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Mainstream - The Last King of Scotland Blu-ray

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The Last King of Scotland
Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington
Directed by Kevin MacDonald
Originally released 2006
Fox Home Entertainment 2010

I am not sure why Fox Home Entertainment released Last King of Scotland on Blu-ray without anything close to decent special features. This said, this adventure and historical drama starring Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy and its African background do look great in high definition. The Last King of Scotland is an excellent drama where Forest Whitaker shines as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada, a performance that got him a Best Actor Oscar. The one decent special feature on King of Scotland Blu-ray is the subtitled director’s commentary, something too few studios bother doing.

The Last King of Scotland refers both to Idi Amin who claimed the title and to to the fictional Garrigan, a young Scot and freshly minted doctor. Garrigan believes the world is his oyster and the party atmosphere at his arrival in Uganda the day Amin took power only reinforces that feeling.

Another parallel is Garrigan (James McAvoy) much like the Ugandan people is quickly seduced by Amin and by the time stops living in denial and decides to realize who the dictator really is it is much too late and he pays the price, relatively speaking.

Director Kevin MacDonald tells this story so as to also seduce his audience at the same time Garrigan is seduced. This way, you can see how people can be tricked into following a charismatic man like Idi Amin. Garrigan is in Uganda partly to escape a boring home life, partly to do some good with his medical degree, and partly to have a good time and sow some wild oats. It is in part his innocence and desire to have a good time that lead him down the disastrous road of a friendship with a dictator.

Whitaker really deserved his Best Actor Academy Award for The Last King of Scotland. His character carries the movie and Whitaker excels at depicting the many facets of a complicated, psychotic dictator.

Special features on Last King of Scotland Blu-ray include 9 deleted scenes and a decent director’s commentary

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