The Dictator (2012)

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Released 4-Oct-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 79:52
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Larry Charles

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Sacha Baron Cohen
Sayed Badreya
Rocky Citron
Liam Campora
Aasif Mandvi
Rizwan Manji
Rick Chambers
Elsayed Mohamed
Adeel Akhtar
Case ?
RPI ? Music Erran Baron Cohen

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Sacha Baron Cohen is a very funny man, whose taste sometimes deserts him but always generates a reaction. He proves this again in his latest film, The Dictator. There are lots of really funny moments in this film, interspersed with some humour which possibly should have found its way to the cutting room floor. I am not being prudish, I enjoy this style of comedy but I believe off-colour things need to be funny AND off-colour not just off-colour. On balance, however, this is a very funny film and his best since Borat.

     The story is simple and topical. The non-existent African country of Wadiya is ruled by an autocratic dictator, Admiral General Aladeen (Cohen) who is referred to as the 'beloved oppressor' and is in the process of developing nuclear weapons. He is called to account by the United Nations who demand that he appear before them to explain what he is up to. Accompanied by his uncle Tamir (Ben Kingsley) and his security detail made up of virgins he travels to the US to appear before the UN. Before he can appear, however, he is kidnapped by a local security agent, Mr Clayton (John C Reilly) who plans to torture him and then kill him. Aladeen escapes (minus his beard) and while attempting to get into the United Nations for his speech, falls in with a group of activists who think he is from the Wadiya resistance. Here he meets Zoey (Anna Faris) and starts to develop a relationship with her. Can he foil his evil Uncle's plan and get his dictatorship back or will he change his mind about what he really wants?

     There are lots of great sequences in this film, with lots of hilarity ensuing for the audience. There is a mixture of quality satire, sight jokes, one-liners and pratfalls which all provide significant amusement. As I mentioned earlier it is the more risqué or off-colour jokes which tend to fall flat adding only shock value. Aladeen is another great character creation by Cohen and he is obviously having a great time with this character. The story is a bit silly but it is really only designed as a vehicle for the jokes, so no major problem. Domestically in the US this film did not do as well as Bruno but globally it significantly exceeded Bruno's box office. Both are nowhere near Borat in that regard.

     All in all, this is a very funny film, funnier than most recent comedies. Recommended.

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Transfer Quality


     The video quality is very good.

     The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture is quite sharp and clear for DVD. Shadow detail is very good.

     The colour is very good without being truly vibrant. I am sure some of the costumes would really burst off the screen on Blu-ray.

     There are no noticeable artefacts.

     There are subtitles in English and English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read.

     The layer change occurs at 49:21 but is not obvious.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The audio quality is very good.

     This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1 plus an English Audio Descriptive track in Dolby Digital 5.1.

     Dialogue was quite easy to understand and clear throughout, which is obviously the most critical element for a comedy.

     The music by Erran Baron Cohen works really well including the Arabic versions of famous pop tunes.

     The surround speakers were used for mild atmosphere at times such as a crowd scene and music and the subwoofer supported the music mostly.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     Two extras.


     The menu featured music and was still.

Deleted & Extended Scenes (11:56)

     Some really worthwhile stuff here included extended versions of the torture scene and the birth scene plus a completely new sequence about a goat which was very amusing and could have made the final cut. Well worthwhile. Based on what I read these scenes may be different to those in the extended cut (on the Blu-ray).

Larry King Interview (2:44)

     Amusing joke interview where Larry King tries to question Aladeen about his nuclear program.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The DVD seems to be the same globally and the film is also available on Blu-ray. For DVD this is a draw.


    A funny and sometimes offensive comedy from Sacha Baron Cohen.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    Two decent extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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