Forest Whitaker

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Posted by sonny 03/17/2009 @ 00:09

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Forest Whitaker and Sanaa Lathan Featured in 'Powder Blue' DVD - Blackvoices
Out this week on DVD and Blu-ray is 'Powder Blue,' which stars Patrick Swayze, Jessica Biel, Lisa Kudrow, Forest Whitaker, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Liotta, Eddie Redmayne, Alejandro Romero and Sanaa Lathan. A city of 10 million people, Los Angeles is...
Lil Wayne's "Hurricane" Movie Drowning In Debt, Film May Be Shelved - SOHH
Lil Wayne's upcoming film Hurricane Season, which co-stars Forest Whitaker and Bow Wow, has reportedly run out of money and has been pushed back indefinitely. Our sources here in Hollywood are telling us that the studio that owns the marketing and...
Wedding Movie Gets Whitaker, Ferrera and Mencia - BuzzSugar.com
Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia are signed on to play two dads and America Ferrera is the bride-to-be. Here's more: Described as a clash-of-cultures comedy, story centers on two overbearing fathers (Whitaker, Mencia) who must put aside their...
50 Cent & Forest Whitaker Make a Movie, Yung Joc Takes Block Ent ... - 24hourhiphop
50 Cent is planting his foot deeper into Hollywood as it's been announced that the rapper will star in a new dramatic flick with Oscar Award winning actor Forest Whitaker. The two superstars are set to play the lead roles in a remake of the classic...
//LeAnn Rimes, Chris Isaak And Forest Whitaker Perform Andy ... - Neon Limelight
Courtry music goddess LeAnn Rimes sang a soulful rendition of “Jizz In My Pants,” Chris Isaak tried his hand at “I'm On A Boat,” and Oscar winning actor Forest Whitaker flexed his vocal muscles for an unbleeped “D*ck In A Box.” Never miss a story!...
Forest Whitaker, America Ferrera Team Up - Artistdirect.com
Forest Whitaker, America Ferrera, and Carlos Mencia are all on-board to star in a currently untitled wedding-themed project for Fox Searchlight. The film will be a clash-of-cultures comedy that follows two fathers, portrayed by Whitaker and Mencia,...
Remember When: A Community Review - Tonganoxie Mirror
Obituaries: Dorothy A. Novo-Gradac, 89, Basehor, died May 27, 1999; Mrs. Cecil J. Whitaker, of Iola, formerly of Kincaid, passed away May 28, 1999. Mark Joseph Dean, son of Dick and Martha Dean, Tonganoxie, has been initiated into Beta Theta Pi by the...
Serious flaw - Edmonton Sun
Biel will be back on the big screen in the coming months in Nailed with Jake Gyllenhaal and James Marsden. Another movie, The Powder Blue, with Forest Whitaker, Patrick Swayze and Ray Liotta, will be released directly to DVD after several racy scenes...
The Last King of Scotland: getting away scot-free with genocide - guardian.co.uk
Forest Whitaker as Amin and James McAvoy as Garrigan The film was criticised for using a white character to explore black history. To be fair, the parable of Nicholas Garrigan does have resonance of its own. There are many historical (and contemporary)...
Inside Saratoga: Local shares graduation with Academy Award winner - The Saratogian
He not only received his degree in psychology and childhood education, he met Academy Award-winning actor and humanitarian, Forest Whitaker, who was the recipient of an honorary degree and also the commencement speaker. A Saratoga Central Catholic High...

Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker.jpg

Forest Steven Whitaker (born July 15, 1961) is an American actor, producer, and director. Whitaker won an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland. Whitaker has also won a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA. He became the fourth African American male to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, following in the footsteps of Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, and Jamie Foxx.

He has earned a reputation for intensive character study work for films such as Bird and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. However, for his recurring role as ex-LAPD Lieutenant Jon Kavanaugh on the gritty, award-winning television series, The Shield, Whitaker merely had to draw on his childhood years growing up in South Central Los Angeles, California.

Whitaker was born in Longview, Texas and his family moved to South Central Los Angeles in 1965, when he was four due to racism. His father, Forest Whitaker, Jr., was an insurance salesman and the son of novelist Forest Whitaker, Sr. His mother, Laura Francis (née Smith), was a special education teacher who put herself through college and earned two Masters degrees while raising her children. Whitaker has two younger brothers, Kenn and Damon, and an older sister, Deborah.

As a teenager, Whitaker commuted from Carson to wealthy Palisades High School on LA's West Side. There, he was all-league defensive tackle on the football team quarterbacked by Jay Schroeder, a future NFL player. While in high school, he also took voice lessons, performed in musicals, and caught the "acting bug"; his first role as an actor was the lead in Dylan Thomas' play, Under Milk Wood. Whitaker graduated from "Pali High" in 1979.

Whitaker then attended Cal Poly Pomona on a football scholarship, but left due to a debilitating back injury when he was hurt in training by defensive end Manny Duran. He was accepted to the Music Conservatory at the University of Southern California (USC) to study opera as a tenor, and subsequently was accepted into the University's Drama Conservatory. He graduated from USC in 1982. He also earned a scholarship to the Berkeley, California branch of the Drama Studio London.

Whitaker has a long history of working with well-regarded film directors and fellow actors. In his first onscreen role of note, he played a football player in Amy Heckerling's 1982 coming-of-age teen-comedy, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He co-starred alongside Nicolas Cage, Phoebe Cates, and Sean Penn. In 1986, he appeared in Martin Scorsese's film, The Color of Money (with Paul Newman and Tom Cruise), and in Oliver Stone's Platoon. The following year, he co-starred with Robin Williams in the comedy Good Morning, Vietnam.

In 1988, Whitaker played in the film Bloodsport alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme and he had the lead role as musician Charlie Parker in the Clint Eastwood-directed film, Bird. To prepare himself for the part, he sequestered himself in a loft with only a bed, couch, and saxophone, having also conducted extensive research and taken alto sax lessons. His performance, which has been called "transcendent," earned him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Globe nomination. Whitaker continued to work with a number of well-known directors throughout the 1990s. He starred in the 1990 film Downtown with Anthony Edwards and Penelope Ann Miller. Neil Jordan cast him in the pivotal role of "Jody" in his 1992 film, The Crying Game. Todd McCarthy, of Variety, described Whitaker's performance as "big-hearted," "hugely emotional," and "simply terrific." In 1994, he was a member of the cast that won the first ever National Board of Review Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble for Robert Altman's film, Prêt-à-Porter. He gave a "characteristically emotional performance" in Wayne Wang and Paul Auster's 1995 film, Smoke.

Whitaker next appeared in what has been called one of the "worst films ever made," the 2000 production of Battlefield Earth, based on the novel of the same name by L. Ron Hubbard. The film was widely criticized as a notorious commercial and critical disaster. However, Whitaker's performance was lauded by the film's director, Roger Christian, who commented that, "Everybody's going to be very surprised" by Whitaker, who "found this huge voice and laugh." BattleField Earth "won" seven Razzie Awards; Whitaker was nominated for Worst Supporting Actor, but lost to his co-star, Barry Pepper.

Whitaker's greatest success to date is the 2006 film, The Last King of Scotland. To prepare for his role as dictator Idi Amin, Whitaker gained 50 pounds, learned to play the accordion, and immersed himself in research. He read books about Amin, watched news and documentary footage, and spent time in Uganda meeting with Amin's friends, relatives, generals, and victims; he also learned Swahili and mastered Amin's East African accent.

His performance earned him the 2007 Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, making him the fourth African-American actor in history to do so. For that same role, he also received multiple other awards, including Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA Awards, and accolades from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the National Board of Review and the Broadcast Film Critics Association. In 2007, Whitaker also played Dr. James Farmer Sr. in The Great Debaters.

In 2008, Whitaker appeared as a business man known only as Happiness, who likes butterflies, in the film The Air I Breathe, as rogue police captain Jack Wander in Street Kings, and heroic tourist Howard Lewis in Vantage Point.

In 1985, Whitaker played a bully who loses his girlfriend to Arnold on the Diff'rent Strokes episode "Bully for Arnold". That same year, Whitaker also played the part of a comic book salesman in the Amazing Stories episode "Gather Ye Acorns".

In 2002, Whitaker was the host and narrator of 44 new episodes of the Rod Serling classic, The Twilight Zone, which lasted one season on UPN.

Whitaker returned to television in 2006 when he joined the cast of FX's police serial The Shield, as Lieutenant Jon Kavanaugh, who was determined to prove that the lead character, Vic Mackey, is a dirty cop. He received rave reviews for his performance — Variety called it a "crackling-good guest stint" — and he reprised the role in the show's 2007 season.

In the fall of 2006, Whitaker started a multi-episode story arc on ER as Curtis Ames, a man who comes into the ER with a cough, but quickly faces the long-term consequences of a paralyzing stroke; he then takes out his anger on Doctors Luka Kovac and Abby Lockhart. Whitaker received a 2007 Emmy nomination for his performance on the series. Also in 2006, Whitaker appeared in T.I.'s video "Live in the Sky" alongside Jamie Foxx.

Whitaker hosted Saturday Night Live, which featured his singing skills in several sketches, including a sketch about a singing waiter who can sing notes that can only be heard by dogs.

Whitaker has lent his voice to three episodes of the animated sitcom American Dad! in 2008 and 2009, as the recurring character Ron Turlington. The character parodies Whitaker's performances in The Shield, and is seen in the episodes "Meter Made", "Chimdale" and "Live and Let Fry".

Whitaker branched out into producing and directing in the 1990s. He co-produced and co-starred in A Rage in Harlem in 1991. He made his directorial debut with a grim film about inner-city gun violence, Strapped, for HBO in 1993. In 1995, he directed his first feature, Waiting to Exhale, which was based on the Terry McMillan novel of the same name. Roger Ebert observed that the tone of the film resembled Whitaker's own acting style: "measured, serene, confident." Whitaker also directed co-star Whitney Houston's music video of the movie's theme song ("Shoop Shoop").

Whitaker continued his directing career with the 1998 romantic comedy, Hope Floats, starring Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr. He directed Katie Holmes in the romantic comedy, First Daughter in 2004; he had co-starred with Holmes in Phone Booth (film) in 2002. Whitaker also served as an executive producer on First Daughter. He had previously executive produced several made-for-television movies, most notably the 2002 Emmy-award winning Door to Door, starring William H. Macy. He produced these projects through his production company, Spirit Dance Entertainment, which he shut down in 2005 to concentrate on his acting career.

In addition to the numerous awards Whitaker won for his performance in The Last King of Scotland, he has also received several other honors. In September 2006, the 10th Annual Hollywood Film Festival presented him with its "Hollywood Actor of the Year Award," calling him "one of Hollywood's most accomplished actors." He was honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2007, where he received the American Riviera Award. Previously, in 2005, the Deauville (France) Festival of American Film paid tribute to him.

Whitaker was the recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 16, 2007.

In 1996, Whitaker married actress Keisha Nash, whom he met on the set of Blown Away. The Whitakers have four children: two daughters together (Sonnet and True), his son (Ocean) from a previous relationship, and her daughter (Autumn) from a previous relationship. Whitaker studies yoga and has a black belt in karate. On Inside the Actors Studio, Whitaker said that a genetic test indicated he was of Igbo descent on his father's side, and Akan descent on his mothers side.

Whitaker, who is a vegetarian, recorded a public service announcement with his daughter, True, promoting vegetarianism on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). In politics, Whitaker supported and spoke on behalf of Senator Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign.

Whitaker's left eye ptosis has been called "intriguing" by some critics and "gives him a sleepy, contemplative look." Whitaker has explained that the condition is hereditary and that he has considered having surgery to correct it, not for cosmetic reasons but because it affects his vision.

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Battlefield Earth (film)

Scene from Battlefield Earth, showing (left to right) Barry Pepper, John Travolta and Forest Whitaker in costume

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 is an American film adaptation of the novel Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard that was released on May 12, 2000. The film stars John Travolta, Forest Whitaker, and Barry Pepper. The film depicts an Earth that has been under the rule of the alien Psychlos for 1,000 years and tells the story of the rebellion that develops when the Psychlos attempt to use the surviving humans as gold miners.

Travolta, a long-time Scientologist, had sought for many years to make a film of the novel by Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. He was unable to obtain funding from any major studio due to concerns about the film's script, prospects, and connections with Scientology. The project was eventually taken on by an independent production company, Franchise Pictures, which specialized in rescuing stars' stalled pet projects. Travolta signed on as a co-producer and contributed millions of dollars of his own money to the production, which was largely funded by a German film distribution company. Franchise Pictures was later sued by its investors and was bankrupted after it emerged that it had fraudulently overstated the film's budget by $31 million.

Battlefield Earth was a major commercial failure and critical flop and has been widely dismissed as one of the worst films ever made. Reviewers universally panned the film, criticizing virtually every aspect of the production. Audiences were reported to have ridiculed early screenings and stayed away from the film after its opening weekend. This resulted in Battlefield Earth failing to recoup its costs. Travolta originally envisioned the film as the first of two adapted from the book, as the screenplay only covered the first half of the novel. However, the film's poor box office performance meant that the planned sequel was not made.

In the year 3000, Earth has been ruled by the Psychlos, a brutal race of giant humanoid aliens, for 1,000 years. The remnants of humanity are either enslaved by the Psychlos and used for manual labor or survive in primitive tribes living in remote areas outside Psychlo control. Jonnie Goodboy Tyler (Barry Pepper), a member of one such tribe, leaves his home in the Rocky Mountains on a journey of exploration. He joins forces with Carlo (Kim Coates), a hunter, but both men are captured by a Psychlo raiding party and transported to a slave camp at the Psychlos' main base on Earth, a giant dome built over the ruins of Denver, Colorado.

Terl (John Travolta), the Psychlo security chief on Earth, has been condemned by his superiors to remain indefinitely at his post on Earth as punishment for a unclear incident involving "the Senator's daughter." Aided by his deputy, Ker (Forest Whitaker), Terl devises a plan to buy his way off the planet by making a fortune using human slaves to mine gold in radioactive areas. Psychlos are unable to visit such areas due to the explosive interaction of the gas that they breathe with radionuclide particles. Terl selects Jonnie as his "foreman" for the project and gives him a Psychlo education using a rapid-learning machine. Terl gives Jonnie a party of slaves and a Psychlo flying shuttle and orders him to go out and find gold.

After learning the Psychlo's language, history, and a myriad of other educational forms from the rapid learning machine, Jonnie plots a human uprising against the Psychlos. He obtains gold from Fort Knox to satisfy Terl's demands, instead of mining gold as ordered. Jonnie and his followers find an abandoned underground US military base with working aircraft, weapons, fuel, and nuclear weapons. They use the base's flight simulators to train themselves in aerial combat.

After a week of training, the rebels launch a mass uprising against the Psychlos using Harrier jump-jets and other weapons. Carlo sacrifices himself to destroy the dome over Denver, and the Psychlos inside suffocate in Earth's atmosphere, which they are unable to breathe. Jonnie captures a Psychlo teleportation device and uses it to teleport an atomic bomb to the Psychlo home world. The ensuing detonation causes the entire Psychlo atmosphere to explode, wiping out the planet. Ker and Terl survive on Earth but face different fates: Ker sides with the victorious humans, while Terl is imprisoned as a hostage. The film ends with the humans in control of Earth but facing an uncertain future.

Hubbard's comments suggest that he saw himself being directly involved in the film's production; author Stewart Lamont suggests that Hubbard may even have envisioned directing it, given his previous work on Scientology training films. In October 1983, the film rights were sold by the Church of Scientology's in-house literary agency, Author Services Inc., to Salem Productions of Los Angeles. Two films were envisaged, each covering half of the book and tentatively budgeted at $15 million each. William Immerman was set as the producer for the film. Veteran screenwriter Abraham Polonsky and British director Ken Annakin were hired to produce a film breakdown, with production scheduled to begin in 1985. In November 1984, Santa Monica public relations firm Dateline Communications announced a nationwide contest to promote the film. First and second place prizes were an all-expense paid trip to the film's production location and a paid walk-on part in the film, and other announced prizes included a trip to Los Angeles for the world premiere, records, cassettes, and hardcover and paperback copies of the novel. A 30-foot (10 m) high inflatable figure of the film's villain, Terl, was erected by Scientology officials on Hollywood Boulevard in 1984 in an effort to promote the production and auditions were held in Denver. However, despite the burst of publicity, the low-budget project soon collapsed.

In 1998 the project was taken over by Franchise Pictures, a recently established company whose head Elie Samaha, a former dry cleaning mogul turned nightclub owner, specialized in rescuing stars' pet projects. Franchise sought out stars whose projects were stalled at the major studios, bringing them aboard at reduced salaries. Samaha's approach made waves in Hollywood, earning him a reputation of being able to produce star vehicles more cheaply than the larger studios. His unorthodox deals raised eyebrows and the entertainment industry magazine Variety commented that they were "often so complex and variable as to leave outsiders scratching their heads". As Samaha put it, "I said, 'If John wants to make this movie, what does he want to get paid?' ... Because I do not pay anybody what they make. That is not my business plan.'" He learned of Battlefield Earth from Cassian Elwes, an agent at the theatrical agency William Morris, and approached Travolta. A deal was soon struck and financing was arranged; Travolta significantly reduced his normal fee of $20 million, lowering the film's cost from the $100 million that had previously been forecast, and costs were reduced further by using Canadian locations and facilities.

According to Samaha, he got around the "negative factor" of the Scientology connection by the simple expedient of "yell at everyone, 'This is a science-fiction film starring John Travolta!' again and again". Samaha acknowledged that "everyone thought I was crazy or mentally retarded" for taking on the project, but pitched the film as "Planet of the Apes starring John Travolta". He was bullish about the film's prospects, telling The Wall Street Journal that "it is going to make people in Hollywood take notice of Elie Samaha. I'm not going to be the laughing stock any more." Others in Hollywood were still skeptical; an unnamed producer was quoted by the Los Angeles Daily News as saying that "Battlefield Earth has the stench of death. It should never have been made. It's an $80 million vanity project for Travolta." Travolta's theatrical agency William Morris was also said to be unenthusiastic, reportedly leading to Travolta threatening to leave them if they did not help him to set up the film. Fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise was said to have warned Warner Bros. that he thought the movie was a bad idea, although this was later denied by his spokesperson.

In 1999, Author Services Inc. said that it was "donating its share of the profits from the film to charitable organizations that direct drug education and drug rehabilitation programs around the world". It was reported that the merchandising revenues would be passed on to the Scientology-linked "social betterment" groups Narconon and Applied Scholastics, with movie-related sales of the book funding the marketing of Hubbard's fiction books and the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest. The size of the revenue deal was not disclosed by the parties; Trendmasters, the makers of the Battlefield Earth range of toys, stated that its deal was strictly with Franchise Pictures, which declined to comment, and Warner Bros. stated that its role was limited to distribution and had nothing to do with the associated merchandising deals.

The cast included Travolta, Barry Pepper, Forest Whitaker, Kim Coates, Richard Tyson, Sabine Karsenti, and Michael Byrne. Travolta's wife Kelly Preston also appeared in one scene, playing Terl's "baldish Psychlo girlfriend". Travolta originally saw himself in the role of Tyler, but by the time the movie was actually made, Travolta felt he was too old to play the role, and took the role of the main villain instead. Travolta's role in the film required what he described as an amazing physical transformation: "I wear a tall head apparatus with strange hair. I have amber eyes and talons for hands. It's quite remarkable ... I'm on 4-foot stilts." To star in the film, Travolta turned down the movie The Shipping News and postponed production on Standing Room Only.

The movie was filmed in Canada, with principal filming taking place in Montreal and several other Quebec locations during the summer and autumn of 1999. In January 1999, Travolta flew his private Boeing 727 on a secret visit to Montreal to scout out locations for shooting. The film was reported to have been the most expensive production shot in Canada up to that point. It was also reported that the production costs would have been twice as high had the film been shot in the United States.

In an ominous sign for the film's prospects, it was "plagued by bad buzz" before release with the media speculating about the possible influence of Scientology and commenting on the production's tight security. As the film was entering post-production, the alternative newspaper Mean Magazine obtained a copy of the screenplay. Mean's staffers changed the script's title to "Dark Forces" by "Desmond Finch" and circulated it to readers at major Hollywood film production companies. The comments that came back were universally unfavorable: "a thoroughly silly plotline is made all the more ludicrous by its hamfisted dialog and ridiculously shallow characterizations", "a completely predictable story that just isn't written well enough to make up for its lack of originality". One reviewer labeled the screenplay "as entertaining as watching a fly breathe".

Battlefield Earth was released on May 12, 2000, three days after the 50th anniversary of the publication of Hubbard's book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, a date celebrated by Scientologists worldwide as a major Scientology holiday. Its premiere was held on May 10, 2000 at Mann's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Battlefield Earth grossed $21,471,685 in the United States and Canada and a total of $29,725,663 worldwide, falling well short of its $75 million production budget and $20 million in estimated marketing costs. Financially, it is regarded as one of the most expensive flops in film history, and a box office bomb.

The film's exceptionally bad reviews and poor word-of-mouth led to a precipitous falling-off in its grosses. Having earned $11,548,898 from 3,307 screens on its opening weekend, its take collapsed by 67 percent to $3,924,921 the following weekend, giving an average take of $1,158 per screen. The film made 95 percent of its entire domestic gross in the first two weekends and flatlined thereafter, with earnings dropping a further 75 percent by the end of its third week to $1 million.

The following week, facing earnings of just $205,745, Warner Bros. attempted to cut its losses by slashing the number of screens at which the film was being shown. The number was reduced from 2,587 to 641. By its sixth weekend on release, the film was showing on 95 screens and had made $18,993 in a week – less than $200 per screen. International earnings were equally dire. The film finished with a gross of $21.4 million in the US and just $8.2 million from the rest of the world.

A limited range of merchandising was produced for the film, including posters, a soundtrack CD by Elia Cmiral recorded by the Seattle Symphony, and a re-released version of the novel with a new cover based on the film's poster. Trendmasters also produced a range of action figures of the main characters, including an 11-inch (280 mm) figure of Travolta as Terl voicing lines from the film such as "Exterminate all man-animals at will!", "You wouldn't last one day at the academy", "Man is an endangered species", and "Ratbastard!". In Hubbard's novel the term "Ratbastard" is never used, and Terl instead refers to Jonnie Goodboy Tyler as "rat brain".

Critically, the movie was seen as a disaster and reviews were nearly unanimously bad. It received a "rotten" rating of three percent on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 115 reviews. On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 9 out of 100, based on 33 reviews. Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film the rating of half a star out of four and described it as "something historic, a film that for decades to come will be the punch line of jokes about bad movies". Ebert commented in his book Your Movie Sucks: "Some movies run off the rails. This one is like the train crash in The Fugitive." Leonard Maltin rated the film a "BOMB" in his book Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, writing: "Clumsy plot, misplaced satire, unbelievable coincidences and a leaden pace trample Travolta's weird but amusing performance." David Bleiler gave the film one star out of four in the TLA Video & DVD Guide, writing: "This is disjointed, tedious and every bit as bad as its reputation." Jon Stewart mocked the film on his satirical television program The Daily Show, describing it as "a cross between Star Wars and the smell of ass".

The Hollywood Reporter summarized the film as being "a flat-out mess, by golly, with massive narrative sinkholes, leading to moments of outstanding disbelief in the muddled writing and shockingly chaotic mise en scène that's accompanied by ear-pummeling sound and bombastic music".

Battlefield Earth frequently appears on worst film lists, and hit #14 on Rotten Tomatoes' "100 Worst Of The Worst Movies" list. The Arizona Republic listed it as the worst film of 2000, and called it a "monumentally bad sci-fi flick". Richard Roeper placed the film at number five on his list of "40 movies that linger in the back chambers of my memory vault like a plate of cheese left behind a radiator in a fleabag hotel". In 2001 the film received the "Worst Picture" award from the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association. James Franklin of McClatchy-Tribune News Service put the film as the worst of his "summer blockbuster bombs" list, giving it a rating of four stars for "traumatic" on his scale of how the films "generate a perverse sense of nostalgia". Christopher Null of Filmcritic.com put the character Terl from the film at number 8 on his list of "The 10 Least Effective Movie Villains", writing: "we still can't imagine how anyone would go face to face with one of these creatures and react with anything other than simple laughter".

The movie swept the 2000 Golden Raspberry Awards and received seven "Razzies", including Worst Movie of the Year, Worst Actor (Travolta), Worst Supporting Actor (Pepper), Worst Supporting Actress (Preston), Worst Director (Christian), Worst Screenplay (Mandell and Shapiro) and Worst Screen Couple (Travolta and "anyone sharing the screen with him"). This tied for the highest number of Razzies "won" by a single film at that time, with Showgirls achieving seven "wins" in 1995. Battlefield Earth was later awarded an eighth Razzie for "Worst Drama of our First 25 Years".

Before the film was released, rumors and allegations began to circulate that Battlefield Earth contained subliminal messages promoting Scientology. Former Scientologist Lawrence Wollersheim, in a press release issued by his group Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network, said that the Church of Scientology "has placed highly advanced subliminal messages in the Battlefield Earth film master to surreptitiously recruit new members from the movie audience and to get the audience to develop a revulsion for psychiatry and current mental health organizations and practices". Other critics said that the film "is a veiled attempt to gain converts and influence," and that writers were gagged from making connections between Scientology and the film with threats of lawsuits. Warner Bros. dismissed the claims as "silly nonsense", the Church of Scientology denounced them as "hogwash" and the media reacted with skepticism; as the British journalist Duncan Campbell put it, "the only subliminal voice I could detect came about 10 minutes into this 121-minute film and it seemed to be saying Leeeaaave thisssss cinemmmaaa nooow". When asked about the similarities between the film and Scientology beliefs in intergalactic travel and aliens, church spokesman Aron Mason stated, "That's a pretty crude parallel ... You'd have to make some serious leaps of logic to make that comparison." John Travolta also stated that the film was not inspired by Scientology tenets.

Following the failure of Battlefield Earth and other films independently produced by Franchise Pictures, The Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI was probing "the question of whether some independent motion picture companies have vastly inflated the budget of films in an effort to scam investors". In December 2000 the German-based Intertainment AG filed a lawsuit alleging that Franchise Pictures had fraudulently inflated budgets in films including Battlefield Earth, which Intertainment had helped to finance. Intertainment had agreed to pay 47% of the production costs of several films in exchange for European distribution rights, but ended up paying for between 60 and 90% of the costs instead. The company alleged that Franchise had defrauded it to the tune of over $75 million by systematically submitting "grossly fraudulent and inflated budgets".

The case was heard before a jury in a Los Angeles federal courtroom in May–June 2004. The court heard testimony from Intertainment that according to Franchise's bank records the real cost of Battlefield Earth was only $44 million, not the $75 million declared by Franchise. The remaining $31 million had been fraudulent "padding". Intertainment's head Barry Baeres told the court that he had only funded Battlefield Earth because it was packaged as a slate that included two more commercially attractive films, the Wesley Snipes vehicle The Art of War and the Bruce Willis comedy The Whole Nine Yards. Baeres testified that "Mr. Samaha said, 'If you want the other two pictures, you have to take Battlefield Earth — it's called packaging'". Baeres commented: "We would have been quite happy if he had killed ".

Intertainment won the case and was awarded $121.7 million in damages, bankrupting Franchise Pictures. Samaha himself was declared by the court to be personally liable for $77 million in damages. However, the jury rejected Intertainment's claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute, which would have trebled the damages if Franchise had been convicted on that charge.

The failure of the film was also reported to have led in 2002 to Travolta firing his manager Jonathan Krane, who had set up the deal with Franchise in the first place.

Battlefield Earth is significantly shorter than its source novel, covering only the first 436 pages of the 1,050-page book. A sequel covering the remainder of the book was originally planned at the outset. When asked during promotion of the film if there would be a Battlefield Earth 2, Travolta responded, "Sure. Yeah ... I am so thrilled, believe it or not, at the outcome because I didn't believe I could get it done." Travolta asserted that the first film would become a cult classic, stating that there were already fan websites dedicated to the film. Corey Mandell, the scriptwriter for the first film, was commissioned to deliver the script for the sequel and Travolta, Pepper and producer Krane were all signed up to the sequel in their contracts for the first film. Christian and Whitaker were approached to reprise their respective roles, and the producers planned for a 2002 release date so as not to compete with George Lucas' Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

Author Services announced in 2001 that Pine Com International, a Tokyo-based animation studio, would produce 13 one-hour animated television segments based on the book and rendered in a manga style. The plans appear to have fallen through and, according to Parish, "little has been heard of the series since".

South Park parodied the film at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards. The MTV short was the first time South Park had satirized Scientology, in a piece entitled: "The Gauntlet". Although the short was primarily a Gladiator parody, with the characters fighting Russell Crowe in the Roman Colosseum, it included "John Travolta and the Church of Scientology" arriving in a spaceship to defeat Crowe and attempting to recruit the boys into Scientology. Travolta, along with his fellow Scientologists, was depicted as a Psychlo, as he appeared in the film.

A commentary for the film was released by RiffTrax on January 28, 2007. The RiffTrax includes comedic audio commentary from Mystery Science Theater 3000 veterans Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett.

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The Shield

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The Shield is an American television drama series which aired on FX Networks in the U.S. and other networks internationally. Known for its controversial portrayal of corrupt police officers, it was originally advertised as "Rampart" in reference to the true life Rampart Division police scandal, which the show's Strike Team was loosely based upon. The first season gained the most Emmy nominations for a basic cable drama. The series was created by Shawn Ryan and The Barn Productions for Fox Television Studios and Sony Pictures Television (formerly Columbia TriStar Television).

Notable film actors who took extended roles on the show included Glenn Close in the fourth season and Anthony Anderson in Season 4, 5 and 6 and Forest Whitaker in seasons 5 and 6. The Shield began airing its seventh and final season on September 2, 2008, and concluded on November 25, 2008.

The Shield was about an experimental division of the Los Angeles Police Department set up in the fictional Farmington district ("the Farm") of Los Angeles, using a converted church ("the Barn") as their police station, and featuring a group of detectives called the Strike Team who will stop at nothing to bring their version of justice to the streets. Michael Chiklis has top billing with his portrayal of Strike Team leader Vic Mackey. The show has an ensemble cast that will normally run a number of separate story lines through each episode.

Detective Vic Mackey was the leader of the Strike Team, a four-man anti-gang unit based on the Los Angeles Police Department's real-life Rampart Division CRASH unit (Rampart was seriously considered as the series name and was even used in some early promotional ads for the series). The Strike Team uses a variety of illegal and unethical methods to maintain peace on the streets, while making a profit through illegal drug protection schemes and robbery. The Strike Team isn't above planting drugs on and coercing confessions out of gang members or framing them. Attempts to give the team a fifth member have frequently led to near-catastrophe for the group.

The Shield has a variety of subplots, notably David Aceveda's political aspirations and internal confrontation of a previous sexual assault; Vic Mackey's struggle to cope with a failing marriage; Shane Vendrell's rocky but burgeoning marriage; and Julien Lowe's internal conflicts between his belief in the teachings of the Bible and his latent homosexuality.

Common themes are the citizens' distrust of police, the social impact of drugs and gang warfare, and the conflict between ethics and political expediency. Most characters are portrayed as having both vice and virtue. For example, Vic's loving relationship with his children contrasts with his thuggish attitude towards police work; in addition, his brutality is generally directed at those who seem well deserving of such treatment — in Season 2, the Strike Team prepares to rob the "Armenian Money Train," a money laundering operation of the Armenian Mafia. Another episode had Mackey cornering a serial rapist, then letting him be mauled by a police dog before calling the dog off.

Season 1 premiered March 12, 2002. It gives an introduction to The Strike Team and the other characters of the Barn. Important plotlines are the aftermath of Vic's murder of Terry Crowley and Captain Aceveda's scheming to bring Vic and the Strike Team down; Dutch and Claudette's attempts at tracking down a serial killer; Julien's training under Danny and his struggle with his homosexuality; Vic's use of Rondell Robinson to control the local drug trade and the fallout; as well as the corrupt actions of Ben Gilroy.

Season 2 premiered January 7, 2003. The season mostly revolves around a brutal new drug lord, Armadillo--a sadistic child rapist, who likes to set his rivals on fire using a tire necklace and gasoline--who begins to take over the drug trade in Farmington. Meanwhile, Officer Sofer is involved in a shooting of a Muslim man and has to deal with the fallout. This season is also heavily concerned with the Strike Team's plan to rip off the money train of the Armenian Mob, which ends up going down in the season finale.

Season 3 premiered March 9, 2004. The season mainly revolves around the aftermath of the Money Train Heist and its effects on the Strike Team, as the Armenian mob and also David Aceveda begins to suspect the Strike Team. In order to save the team, Lem (Curtis "Lemonhead" Lemansky) burns a majority of the money, ultimately leading to a confrontation which causes the Strike Team to split up in the season finale. The Armenian mob sends Margos Dezerian to wipe out the Strike Team. Dezerian leaves a trail of murders, resulting in his own execution at the hands of Mackey. Claudette had been promised a promotion to captain and throughout the season was in a supervising role, while Aceveda prepared to move onto city council. Near the end of the season an assistant district attorney was shot, and Wyms and Dutch discovered she had been a heavy drug user for the past 3 years. Wyms explored further and became very unpopular with the D.A. and around the Barn because she was (against orders) reopening the assistant DA's closed cases. This resulted in her being denied her promotion to captain of the Farmington District.

Season 4 premiered March 15, 2005, with the addition of Glenn Close taking over the role as Farmington's new captain, Monica Rawling. The season dealt with the fallout from the Strike Team disbandment. Shane Vendrell, with new partner Army, enters into a dangerous situation with major drug lord Antwon Mitchell (Anthony Anderson), and seemingly accepts an order to kill Vic Mackey. The police were outraged after two officers were kidnapped and subsequently found murdered. In the end, the Strike Team is re-formed and manages to successfully put Antwon in prison. The season also deals with the controversial asset forfeiture policies of the new captain; Julien's opposition to these policies; and David Aceveda (now a City Councilman) dealing with the psychological aftermath of his sexual assault incident from the previous season. The season concludes with Captain Rawling losing her job over a dispute with the DEA. This plot twist reflected a real-life need for Glenn Close to return to New York.

One of the season's secondary plots involves Claudette and Dutch's marginalization as detectives because of Claudette's refusal to apologize to the DA for reopening the cases of a public defender who was discovered to be a functioning drug addict. Claudette's moral stand resulted in many of the prosecutor's cases being overturned. This cost Claudette her shot at becoming Farmington Captain. Dutch eventually resolved the situation by making a back-room deal with the DA to "keep Claudette in line" and do favors for the office in return for breaking back into action.

Season 5 premiered January 10, 2006. The season revolved around Internal Affairs Department Lt. Jon Kavanaugh's (played by Forest Whitaker) investigation into the Strike Team, representing one of the greatest threats the team has ever faced. As a result of Kavanaugh turning one of Vic's informants, IAD became aware of Lem stealing heroin which he never turned in. Having found the heroin, IAD is capable of arresting Lem, but Kavanaugh wants him to incriminate the whole team and has him wear a wire, which he warns the team of and they use it to embarrass IAD. Kavanaugh puts on any form of pressure he can, finds out about Vic's share of the Money Train money, and ultimately arrests Lem having made a deal with Antwon Mitchell to put Lem there if convicted. Vic stands with him and gets bail, while Shane is worried he'll be turned. Claudette finally gets her shot as the captain of the Barn which she reluctantly accepts. The season concluded with Shane Vendrell murdering his friend and fellow team member Lem with a hand grenade.

The producers of The Shield produced a 15-minute "promosode", which premiered on Google on February 15, 2007 to bridge the gap between Seasons 5 and 6. The episode focuses on the aftermath of Lem's death, including his funeral and flashbacks as co-workers reflect upon Det. Lemansky's life. The episode was said to have cost between $500,000 and $1 million to produce and was on Bud.TV for a 4 week period and later released to AOL and other media outlets. The "promosode" is also one of the special features included on the Season 5 DVD set.

Season 6 premiered on FX on April 3, 2007. Continuing directly after season 5, Vic and the Strike Team are distraught over Lem's death. Shane has been overcome by guilt and becomes reckless and suicidal. Kavanaugh refuses to let the case die and resorts to planting evidence and coercing witnesses to lie about the Strike Team and specifically, Vic. Dutch and Claudette begin to suspect his integrity and Kavanaugh finally confesses to his actions and finds himself under arrest. Vic learns from Claudette that the Chief plans to force him into early retirement — and vows to wreak bloody vengeance on Lem's killer before losing his badge. Claudette learns that the Barn could be shut down if no improvements are made by the time quarterly crime statistics are released. The season concludes with the breakdown of Vic and Shane's friendship and Shane getting in over his head with the Armenians.

Season 6 was originally intended to be aired as the second half of Season 5 (in the same way that HBO split up the last season of The Sopranos); FX decided to refer to these ten episodes as "Season 6" instead.

Season 7 premiered September 2, 2008 consisted of 13 one-hour episodes and a ninety-minute finale, first aired in the US on FX on November 25, 2008. Vic's ex-wife Corinne has learned of his many crimes and agrees to work with Dutch and Claudette to try and send him to prison. Ronnie is also implicated in the process. Shane, Mara and Jackson go on the run and Dutch has problems of his own while dealing with a teenage serial killer. As part of an immunity deal with ICE, Vic admits to every crime the Strike Team has committed and implicates Shane and Ronnie in enough to send them to jail for life. After learning that there is no way to escape prison, Shane commits suicide after poisoning his pregnant wife and five-year old son. Claudette reveals the terminal status of her illness to Dutch, who promises to stand by her as a friend. Ronnie is arrested and prosecuted. Desperate to escape Corinne and the children disappear into the witness protection program. Aceveda stands on the verge of being elected mayor. Meanwhile, Vic is left trapped in a desk job at ICE, loathed by his co-workers and ostracized by his fellow cops, who want nothing to do with him now that his many crimes have been exposed.

The Shield has won critical praise for its realism, particularly in its portrayal of gang violence in Los Angeles. Although names of actual gangs are not used, the portrayals are based on real gangs. Latino gangs with names such as "Los Magnificos" (or "Los Mags"), the Byzantine Latinos (or "Byz-Lats") and the "Toros" are a constant thorn in the Strike Team's side in the early seasons of the show, while African American gangs become more prominent in later episodes. In particular, a gang calling itself the "One-Niners" is central to the plot of Season 4. Like the notorious real-life Blood and Crip gangs, the One-Niners identify themselves strongly with one color (in this case purple), wearing it on various items of clothing. To enhance its realism, the show makes very little use of background music until the end of each episode.

Time magazine's James Poniewozik named it one of the Top 10 Returning Series of 2007, ranking it at #8.

The final season won a 2008 AFI Award for best television series.

On September 5, 2005, The Shield: Music from the Streets was released by Lakeshore Entertainment. The soundtrack features 19 tracks, including two versions of the theme song and tracks ranging from artists such as Black Label Society to Kelis.

After a rocky development cycle, The Shield, the video game, was released for the PlayStation 2 on January 9, 2007 and for the PC on January 22, 2007. It is a third person shooter that bridges the gap between the third and fourth seasons by exploring the gang war between the Byz-Lats and the One-Niners. It received generally negative reviews, receiving a 3.9 out of 10 from GameSpot.com.

In Region 1, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released The Shield on DVD for seasons 1 - 5. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases it elsewhere, and holds the rights for all Region 1 season sets of The Shield as of 2008, including seasons 6 and 7. Region 1 sets (released by 20th Century Fox) are displayed in 4:3 (fullscreen), while international releases (distributed by Sony Pictures) display 16:9 (widescreen). Sony Pictures re-released seasons 1-5 on March 25th, 2008, all seasons in region 1 are now displayed in 16:9 widescreen, as they are in international releases. There are several differences between the S1 & S2 boxsets, with slightly fewer extras on the R2 boxsets and with episode 5:11 drastically shortened. While the release date for Season 5, Region 4 was November 26, 2008, that was only at JB Hi-Fi stores across Australia. The release date across all stores is March 11, 2009.

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Repossession Mambo

Repossession Mambo is an upcoming science fiction action thriller directed by Miguel Sapochnik, starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker.

Twenty years in the future in Toronto, two disturbed veterans (Jude Law and Forest Whitaker) who have returned from war in Africa take up lives as repossession agents for a union company who makes artificial organs, pursuing customers who are unable to make payments for the implanted organs.

In 2003, screenwriters Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner began collaborating with Miguel Sapochnik on a screenplay based on a novel by Garcia, which has yet to be published. In June 2007, Universal Pictures cast Jude Law and Forest Whitaker into the futuristic adventure thriller Repossession Mambo. The film will be directed by Sapochnik in his directorial debut. Production began in September 2007.

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Winged Creatures (film)

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Winged Creatures is a 2009 film adaptation of Roy Freirich's novel of the same name. starring Kate Beckinsale, Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and Embeth Davidtz.

While in a restaurant, Carla Davenport (Kate Beckinsale), Charlie Archenault (Forest Whitaker), Bruce Laraby (Guy Pearce), Anne Hagen (Dakota Fanning) and her best friend Jimmy Jasperson (Josh Hutcherson) suddenly hear gunshots. Anne's father, Anne and Jimmy retreat under a table to watch a suicidal gunman shoot several people (including Anne's father) and then himself. This is what causes the trauma among the five that survived the murder. Struggling to understand her father's death, Anne forms some sort of religious hysteria. Jimmy becomes mute, protecting a secret that he and Anne share until it nearly destroys him and his already fractured family. Charlie, who was grazed by a bullet and is a driving-school teacher, attempts to make his incredible luck work for him at the casino. Carla, the restaurant cashier, loses her ability to take care of herself and her infant son. (Ron Abler), a psychologist, attempts to help the survivors but is met with suspicion and little response from any of them. Dr. Laraby (Guy Pearce), an ER physician who failed to save two of the shooting victims, turns to his wife as someone to 'save.' The movie follows these five traumatized people as they struggle to regain their trust in the ordinary world.

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The Great Debaters

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The Great Debaters is a 2007 film directed by and starring two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington and produced by Oprah Winfrey and her production company, Harpo Productions. It is based on an article written about the Wiley College debate team by Tony Scherman for the 1997 Spring issue of American Legacy. .

The film co-stars Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise, Denzel Washington, Nate Parker, Gina Ravera, and Jurnee Smollett. The screenplay was written by Robert Eisele. The film was released in theaters on December 25, 2007.

The film, based on a true story, revolves around the efforts of debate coach Melvin B. Tolson (Denzel Washington) at historically black Wiley College to place his team on equal footing with whites in the American South during the 1930s, when Jim Crow laws were common and lynch mobs were a pervasive fear for blacks. In the movie, the Wiley team eventually succeeds to the point where they are able to debate Harvard University.

The movie also explores the social milieu of Texas during the Great Depression including not only the day-to-day insults and slights African Americans endured, but also a lynching. Also depicted is James L. Farmer, Jr and Melissa. who, at 14-years of age, were on Wiley's debate team after completing high school (and who later went on to co-found C.O.R.E., the Congress of Racial Equality). According to the Houston Chronicle, another character depicted on the team, Samantha Booke, is based on the real individual Henrietta Bell Wells, "the only female member of the 1930 debate team from Wiley College who participated in the first collegiate interracial debate in the United States." Melvin B. Tolson also happens to be a major African American poet whose papers are housed at the Library of Congress.

Another major line, repeated in slightly different versions according to context, concerns doing what you "have to do" in order that we "can do" what we "want to do." In all instances, these vital lines are spoken by the James L. Farmer, Sr. or by James L. Farmer, Jr. characters.

The film omits another reality: even though they beat the reigning champions, the Great Debaters were not allowed to call themselves victors because they were not truly considered to belong to the debate society; blacks were not admitted until after World War II.

The film was the first since 1979 to be allowed to film on Harvard's campus.

It is also the first film to feature two African Americans who had previously won the Academy Award for Best Actor: Denzel Washington (for Training Day) and Forest Whitaker (for The Last King of Scotland).

The Great Debaters debuted at No. 11 in its first weekend with a total of US$6,005,180 from 1,171 venues. The film has grossed domestically US$30,227,882 surpassing its budget of US$15 million. The movie was released to DVD & Home Video on April 29, 2008.

Critics gave the film generally favorable reviews. As of June 14, 2008, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 80% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 122 reviews. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 65 out of 100, based on 32 reviews.

Carrie Rickey of the The Philadelphia Inquirer named it the 5th best film of 2007 and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times named it the 9th best film of 2007.

The release of the film coincided with a nationally stepped-up effort by urban debate leagues to get hundreds of inner-city and financially challenged schools to establish debate programs. Cities of focus included Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

On December 19, 2007, Denzel Washington announced a US$1 million donation to Wiley College so they could re-establish their debate team.

The soundtrack to the film contains remakes of traditional blues and Gospel songs from the 1920s and 1930s by artists including Sharon Jones, Alvin Youngblood Hart, David Berger, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

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The Last King of Scotland (film)

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The Last King of Scotland is a 2006 British drama film based on Giles Foden's novel of the same name. It was adapted by screenwriters Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock and directed by Kevin Macdonald. The film was a co-production between companies from the United Kingdom and the United States, including Fox Searchlight Pictures and Film4.

The Last King of Scotland tells the fictional story of Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), a young Scottish doctor who travels to Uganda and becomes the personal physician to the dictator Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). The movie is based on factual events of Amin's rule.

The film opens in Scotland in 1970 as Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) graduates from medical school. Faced with the unappealing prospect of joining his bourgeois father in the family's village practice, he journeys to rural Uganda to work in a missionary clinic run by Dr. David Merrit (Adam Kotz) and his wife Sarah (Gillian Anderson).

Garrigan arrives in Uganda as General Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker) concludes a successful coup d’état to overthrow incumbent president Milton Obote. The two men meet at the scene of a minor car accident, where Garrigan treats the new president's injured hand. Impressed by Amin's charisma and by his vision of an egalitarian golden age for Uganda, Garrigan accepts the president's invitation to become his personal physician and to take charge of modernizing Uganda's health care system. This appointment allows Garrigan to extricate himself from an awkward relationship with Sarah Merritt, to whom he has become attracted.

Garrigan quickly becomes the president's trusted confidant and adviser. Although he is aware of the shootings and executions going on around Kampala, Garrigan accepts Amin's explanation that cracking down on Obote's insurgent supporters will bring about lasting peace. However, the viewer sees that Garrigan has become an apologist for a repressive regime, and that his privileged lifestyle (which involves living in a spacious modern apartment, driving a brand new Mercedes-Benz car, and attending lavish pool parties at the presidential mansion) is being funded through the economic exploitation of the Ugandan people whom he came to the country to help.

While serving as Amin's family physician, Garrigan discovers that the polygamous leader has ostracized the youngest of his three wives, Kay (Kerry Washington). Amin believes that she is an unfit wife because she has given birth to an epileptic son, Mackenzie. In the course of treating Mackenzie's condition, Garrigan comes to admire Kay's beauty, independence, and strength of spirit. The two become lovers.

Garrigan loses faith in Amin as he witnesses the president's increasing paranoia, brutality, and xenophobia. When the dictator decides to expel Uganda's Asian minorities, and the British Foreign Office shows him photographic evidence that Amin's brutal regime is perpetrating mass genocide against the Ugandan people, Garrigan decides that he has seen enough. He wants to return to Scotland, but when Amin learns of his intentions, he confiscates Garrigan's British passport and replaces it with a Ugandan one. When Garrigan appeals for help to the Foreign Office, its officials tell him that he has been so complicit with the regime's atrocities that they will allow him to leave Uganda on one condition: Garrigan must use his role as Amin's personal physician to assassinate the dictator.

Garrigan's situation is further complicated when Kay tells him that she has become pregnant with his child. If her pregnancy becomes known to Amin, she will be murdered for her infidelity, so she begs Garrigan to abort the fetus. Delayed by Amin's command that he attend a press conference for Western journalists, Garrigan fails to meet her at the appointed time, so she instead seeks out a primitive abortion in a nearby village. When Garrigan searches for her, he finds only her cadaver, savagely mutilated by Amin's forces. As he falls retching to his knees, Garrigan finally confronts the palpable inhumanity of Amin's regime. He decides that he must atone for his complicity and avenge Kay's death by assassinating the dictator.

After a hijacked Air France aircraft lands at Entebbe International Airport seeking asylum for the Palestinian hijackers on board, Amin and other state officials rush to the airport, taking Garrigan along. Here, one of Amin's bodyguards discovers Garrigan's plot to kill the president by poisoning him, under the ruse of giving him headache pills. Uncovered as a traitor and an assassin, Garrigan is beaten by Amin's henchmen. Confronting Garrigan, Amin discloses that he has been aware of the doctor's sexual relationship with his youngest wife, and tells the doctor that his village traditionally punishes infidelity by hanging the culprit from a tree by his skin until he is dead. Amin wants Garrigan to die in this horrific manner.

Amin's henchmen pierce Garrigan's chest with meat hooks and string him up while Amin looks on. When they temporarily leave Garrigan broken and bleeding on the floor to attend to the release of a group of hostages, Garrigan's medical colleague Dr. Junju (David Oyelowo) comes to his rescue. In exchange for Garrigan's promise to return to Britain and tell the world the truth about Amin's regime, Junju dresses Garrigan and wipes the blood from his face so that he can sneak aboard a plane amidst the group of freed hostages. At the film's conclusion, Garrigan's plane soars into the skies, leaving a furious Amin behind. For his act of compassion in helping Garrigan escape, Junju is shot dead.

The film closes with archival footage of the real Amin. Forty-eight hours after some hostages were released, Israeli forces stormed Entebbe and liberated all but one of the remaining hostages. International public opinion turned against Amin for good. When he was finally overthrown in 1979, jubilant crowds poured onto the streets. His regime had killed more than 300,000 Ugandans and expelled tens of thousands of Asians who had made Uganda their home for years. Amin died in exile in Saudi Arabia on 16 August 2003.

The Last King of Scotland received a limited release in the United States on 27 September 2006, with a UK release on 12 January 2007, a French release on 14 February 2007, and a German release on 15 March 2007. In the United States the film was rated "R" by the MPAA for strong violence, gruesome images, nudity, and strong language.

In the United States and Canada, the film earned $17,606,684 at the box office. In the United Kingdom, the film took $11,131,918. Its combined worldwide gross was $48,362,207.

The film was released on DVD in North America on 17 April 2007.

Whitaker received outstanding critical acclaim for his performance as dictator Idi Amin in the film. He won the Best Actor award at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild and the BAFTAs, in addition to awards from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the National Board of Review and many other critics awards, for a total of at least 23 major awards, with at least one more nomination.

The film was received well in Uganda, where it premiered two days before Whitaker won the Best Actor award.

The film received a 2007 BAFTA Award for Best British Film and the BAFTA award for Best Adapted Screenplay, in addition to receiving nominations for Best Film. James McAvoy was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

While the character of Idi Amin and the events surrounding him in the movie are mostly factual, Garrigan is a fictional character. His story is loosely based on events in the life of English-born Bob Astles. Like the novel on which it is based, the film mixes fiction with real events in Ugandan history to give an impression of Amin and Uganda under his authoritarian rule. While the basic events of Amin's life are followed, the film often departs from actual history in the details of particular events.

In real life and in the book, Kay Amin was made pregnant by her lover Dr. Mbalu Mukasa, not by Astles (or Garrigan.) She died during a botched abortion operation by Mukasa, who subsequently committed suicide. Kay's body was mutilated on Amin's orders, in the manner shown in the film. Amin never had a son named Campbell.

The film condenses the time frame of events. For example, Amin expelled the Indians and South Asians in 1972. The airplane hijacking took place in 1976. In the film they appear to occur closer in time.

Despite the wording of the film's coda, three hostages died during Operation Entebbe. The film makers may have chosen to state that the Israeli Special Forces team "liberated all but one of the hostages" because they recovered the bodies of the airport casualties. The body of a fourth hostage, 75-year-old Dora Bloch, who was killed by Ugandan army officers at a nearby hospital was eventually returned to Israel and buried with state honors in Jerusalem's Mount of Quietudes.

Many of the Ugandan landmarks seen in the movie did not exist in the 1970s.

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Source : Wikipedia