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· Mod & Bluray Reviewer
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The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2006
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 121 minutes
Genre: Drama/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish/Portuguese/German Dolby Digital 5.1, French/Italian/Castellan DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
Starring: Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson
Directed by: Kevin Macdonald
Music by: Alex Heffes
Written by: Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock (screenplay), Giles Foden (novel)
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 2, 2010

"Charming. Magnetic. Murderous."

Film Synopsis:

A powerful thriller that recreates on screen the world of Uganda under the mad dictatorship of Idi Amin. Deftly mixing fact and fiction and startlingly resonant with today's world, the film features a tour de force performance from Forest Whitaker as Amin and carves two unforgettable portraits: one of a charismatic but psychopathic ruler who ravaged his country, and the other of a witness to history who finally finds the courage to make a stand.

My Take:

'The Last King of Scotland' is one of those rare films makes me think about it when it's over with me after its over. I was glad to have received this one. Forest Whitaker won an Oscar in 2006 for his performance of the "Charming, magnetic and murderous", megalomaniac dictator, Idi Amin. His performance alone is well worth the price of admission...well, purchase.

'The Last King of Scotland' is a thrilling fictional drama that is set in and around Idi Amin's rule of Uganda in the 1970's. I found it quite interesting how the screenplay weaved in fact and fiction. The story is of Scotsman Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) who is fresh out of med-school. Instead of following in his father’s footsteps he literally spins a globe and goes where his finger lands (well it landed on Canada first, so he spun again
). He ends up going to Uganda to do missionary work in a remote village. The luck of the draw has Nick treating Amin's hand after a car accident near the mission. Nick hits it off immediately with Amin who is an obsessed fan of Scotland (Amin even had his army wear kilt's!). His command of the situation impresses Amin who insists that Nick become his personal physician and eventual "advisor". Nick's story-arc is much like I assume Uganda's was. He was charmed by Amin and the luxury being close to him provided. Amin's charismatic personality created blinders to who he really was and atrocities he was inflicting upon his people; he had over 100,000 Ugandans slaughtered. When Nick (and Uganda) finally realizes what he got himself into, he tries to escape before it's too late. 'The Last King of Scotland' was impeccably paced, never once feeling slow in its over 2 hour runtime. It speaks for itself when a film has a director that understands how to build upon a great screenplay, beautiful cinematography and an Oscar winning lead performance. Whitaker is in command as Idi Amin from his boyish, silly and charming nature to pure evil the next. James McAvoy (Wanted) was perfect as Dr. Nicholas Garrigan, who held his own next to the powerful Whitaker; I am interested in seeing what lies ahead for him. 'The Last King of Scotland' is an example of great film-making and a rare treat. If you have yet to see it, put it on the top of your "must see" list.

Parental Guide:

Rated R for some strong violence and gruesome images, sexual content and language.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 88

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 88

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

The Last King of Scotland comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an constant bitrate of 30 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.3 mbps.

There is no hiding that 'The Last King of Scotland' is a film in the literal sense. Grain purists should love this one. There is a bit of style to the cinematography here, there is an enhanced level of contrast that coupled with the grain added to making it feel like the 1970's. Fox left this one alone, adding no DNR or other terrible processing agents. The result is a dynamic looking cinema-like experience. Colors, though intentionally washed out at times, were true to life, as were the flesh-tones. The Black levels were the only limit here, as they seemed to struggle at times. It’s always nice to see a transfer where fine details such as pores and wrinkles shine through the natural film grain. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track was quite fitting. All dialogue was discernible, crisp and up-front in the sound-stage. Though not an action packed film, the effect channels were filled with real life sounds. Babies crying on the right, chatter on the left...always engaged and adding to the films power, sucking you in. When needed, the track dug deep for gunfire or a car's rumble, though not many moments for deep bass. The Last King of Scotland's audio, like its video are faithful to the source and do what they are supposed to- work perfectly for the film.

* CIH users should note that the subtitles appear below the picture area *

Bonus Features:

  • Commentary by Director Kevin Macdonald

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Capturing Idi Amin

  • Forest Whittaker - Idi Amin

  • Fox Movie Channel Presents: Casting Session

Final Thoughts:

This is what having a home theater as all about. A great movie and a beautiful looking film with top notch sound. Fox Blu-ray did it right with its treatment of 'The Last King of Scotland'. Included are some interesting bonus features. The Directors commentary is quite insightful on the production of the film as well as historical facts. The "Capturing Idi Amin" documentary, at 30 minutes, is also part documentary on the film and part history lesson, defiantly an interesting additional feature. If you have seen 'The Last King of Scotland' and were waiting to see if the Blu-ray release is worth an upgrade OR if you are a film-buff like me, who let this one slip, I can confidently say it’s worth adding to your collection.

Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

Anthem LTX 500 1080p High Definition Front Projector

Prismasonic HE1500R Anamorphic Lens

Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen

Pioneer SC27 Receiver

Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)

SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer

· Registered
2,832 Posts
I couldn't agree more with your review. Watching a film like this is what justifies paying the big bucks on equiptment especially the extra change on our CIH setups. I have never seen an acting perfomance any better than Forest Whitaker's.

· Premium Member
8,419 Posts
I was amazed and shocked when I saw this at the theater, when it was rented and watched on regular dvd I was equally taken back as if I've seen it for the first time...I'm looking forward in watching this great film again on BR for sure.

Thanks for great review


· Premium Member
1,799 Posts
I loved this movie, if that is the right word to use. I have a good friend who lived there with his father during the Amin reign. He and his father fled their village as the approaching army came in with machetes, and I watched it with him; needless to say, it was a powerful experience. I will absolutely rebuy this on Blu...

· Premium Member
25,079 Posts
Going by these reviews will definitley have to get it and watch it.
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