Forest Whitaker has been a Hollywood staple for 20 years when he finally scored Oscar gold in The Last King of Scotland, for his unforgettable performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. The film received criticism for a typically Hollywood tactic of including a white guy to serve as an audience surrogate, but considering the West’s support of the Amin regime — and considering that the white guy in question (James McAvoy) eventually gets gets hung up by a set of hooks — it’s a fair cop. The Last King of Scotland opened today in 2006.
Chuck Norris movies go beyond guilty pleasures for me into an active source of shame. I confess a kitsch weakness for their cartoonishly right-wing politics and Norris’s own breathtaking lack of onscreen charisma wallpapered over by some decent fighting skills. Put that man in a 1980s Cannon movie and all bets are off. Case in point, Invasion U.S.A., the ridiculous tale of horrible, awful brown people launching a terrorist assault on our country, only to be stopped cold by the man with the beard and the twin MAC-10s. As a viable expression of current Republican foreign policy, it’s chillingly accurate. As a movie, it will drive you to endless fits of giggles. It opened today in 1985.