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"The Last King of Scotland", Sort of

Forest Imagine you’re in the theater. Popcorn, Dr.Pepper and SourPatch Kids are in hand. The lights dim and the chatter of the crowd turns to a dull murmur. All eyes become transfixed on the screen in feverish anticipation for what is to come. Then, a flash of light, and a familiar green glow covers the entire room. A boom from the speakers and it begins. Trailers. Are you there? I know I am.

For most people (a gross generalization) the best part of the movie going experience is the trailers. (‘Previews’, if you prefer. I don’t). Sure it’s exciting to be there to watch the flick you paid $10.25 for (NYC is brutal) but the trailers offer each of us the opportunity to do something we all love (assumption) play critic.

As soon as Don LaFontaine wraps up his spiel, we turn to our friends/family/date/pet rock and in a matter of 4 seconds (after all the next trailer is coming) decide if that movie will warrant our precious time. Isn’t that great? If you’re lucky, you’ll get to do it 3,4 maybe even 5 times per movie. It’s like you become a member of an exclusive club where only you and a handful of other people know what’s coming (Like the pre-cogs in “Minority Report”, but without Tom Cruise or that whole murder thing).

Anyway, I bring this up because at some point each one of us has been burned by a trailer we’ve critiqued. For a minute thirty, we were pulled into a world of music, jump cuts and narration (or those cool black screens where some words show up every 15-20 seconds) and sold a movie. Opening weekend finally comes around and we’re the first in line. Then two hours later we’re going, “I paid what?” “To see that?” We’ve all been there. That’s “Trailer Trash”. It’s the only way to describe a movie that looked like “Gone with the Wind” in the trailer and ended up being “Gone in 60 Seconds” in the theater (see Nic Cage story here).

Which brings us (finally) to the topic at hand (can I hijack an article or what?). On September 27th, Fox Searchlight Pictures will release “The Last King of Scotland”, an “inspired by true events” film about Ugandan President Idi Amin. I have to tell you, it looks pretty amazing.

As a long time Forest Whitaker fan, I feel as though he’s been underrated. Sure he’s appeared in some great films (“Platoon”, “Good Morning, Vietnam”, “Ghost Dog”) but generally I don’t think he’s ever been given “that role”, until now. This film will be what “Capote” was to Philip Seymour Hoffman. The role that exposes the world to a tremendous talent. The validation of a career spanning twenty five years.

Or not.

Obviously only time will tell if the trailer-making gurus threw another one by us or, if there’s a genuinely terrific movie in there. Either way, I’ll be $10.25 lighter when I find out.


Josh “mediaboy” Gryvatz

Posted by on September 21, 2006 7:58 AM
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