DOCUMENTARY THE END OF THE LINE (PG) 86min no
In Rupert Murray’s documentary about the depletion of fish stocks in our oceans, scientists mention that the decline of cod and other predators due to over-fishing has led to a proliferation of lobster, prawn and shrimp - the very creatures the fish would usually feed off. This is seen as deeply ominous; for what will happen when we eat up all the lobsters? We’ll be left scraping the bottom, if not of the barrel, then the oceanic equivalent.
Watching the film, we may find ourselves wondering whether the ecological documentary is not unlike the humble lobster, the state of the world reflected in their ever increasing numbers. True the eco-doc has a long tradition - and Pare Lorentz’s 1937 The River remains the equal of any of the last decade - but now there seems a new one out every month warning us of planetary collapse in one form or another.
With the odd exception, notably l-lupert Sauper’s comparable 2004 Darwin’s Nightmare and the second half of veteran filmmaker Ermanno Olmi’s documentary about the slow food movement, Terra Madre, the eco- doc is an ethical forum rather than an aesthetic form, and Murray’s film, adapted from Charles Glover’s book, should be seen in the cinema not for its careful compositions and subtlety of exploration, but to join in collective indignation and subsequently take some action.
We need, if we’re not veggies, to think very carefully about where the fish is coming from, and wonder whether that delectable soft flesh on the end of our fork isn’t an endangered species. A number of the screenings will be accompanied by talks to enrage and enlighten. (Tony McKibbin)
I Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Fri lQ-Wed l 7 Jun. Visit wwwendofthe/ine.com and www. fi/mhousecrnema.com for details of talks.
WAR/EPIC RED CLIFF (15) 148min 000
Asian action auteur-turned-Hollywood hired hand John Woo hasn‘t directed a film since 2003 thriller Paycheck. And Woo hasn't been home to China to make a movie since 1992. Back behind the camera, Woo's first Chinese film in almost 20 years is a triumphant return to his roots.
Based on Guanzhong Luo's nationally popular Romance of the Three Kingdoms. the film is an account of a conflict that took place in the year 208AD and changed the course of China's history forever. In the final days of the Han Dynasty. scheming Prime Minister Cao Cao (Fengyi Zhang) connives to get his fickle young Emperor's approval to invade the western and southern kingdoms. But the tyrant's grand scheme is halted at the titular riverside fortress. where the southern warlord Sun Ouan (Chen Chang) and his viceroy Zhou Yu (Tony Leung) have joined forces with the western warlord Liu Bei and his military strategist Zhuge Liang (Takeshi Kaneshiro).
Aside from a brief scene setting introduction. the entire running time is devoted to the battle of Red Cliff. But the bloody mayhem doesn't outstay its welcome thanks to the clever cut-and-thrust reversals of fortune as the leaders on both sides of the conflict deploy various cunning strategies. In fact. the film would benefit from being
released as it was in China. in two parts that featured more character and plot development than in this abridged Western version. (Miles Fielder)
I General release from Fri 72 Jun.
COMEDY MISS MARCH (15) 89min 0
20th Century Fox's recent decision to abandon their Fox Atomic subsidiary stemmed from the failure of such ghastly teenage fare as The Rocker and Miss March. This leaden buddy comedy features Eugene (Zach Cregger) and Tucker (Trevor Moore) attempting a cross-country road trip to attend a party at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion. After four years in a coma. Eugene is keen to relieve his virginity with his ex-girlfriend Cindi (Raquel Alessi). who is now featuring as Playboy‘s Miss March. while Tucker is keen to meet up with Hef himself to swap philosophies on womanising.
Writers and directors Cregger and Moore have found success with New York comedy troupe The Whitest Kids U Know. but fail painfully here with running 'jokes' including a bunny girl accidentally drinking dog urine. Tucker's girlfriend being stabbed in the face with a fork during sex. and Eugene expelling gallons of excrement on-camera.
Despite constant praise for his PlaybOy lifestyle. Hefner never appears in the same frame as any of the other participants. a wise disdain perhaps due to Miss March's unappetising portrayal of Playboy women as brainless bimbos grateful to have anonymous sex for money. Hefner‘s magazine used to offer titillation mixed with wit; Miss March just offers crude. aggressive sexism. (Eddie Harrison)
I General release from Fri 79 Jun.
Doghouse (15) 88min Comedy horror starring Danny Dyer and Noel Clarke about a group of men stranded in a remote village with a bunch of man-hating female cannibals. Selected release from Fri 72 Jun.
Sol Cowboy (15) 116min In Thailand‘s capital city a bizarre mixed-race relationship between an obese European man and a small Thai woman is examined while a rural gangster plans a murder. New film by Thomas Clay. the contentious director of The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael, set around the notorious red light district in Bangkok. The film caused something of a scandal at this year's Cannes Festival. Selected release from Fri 72 Jun.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (12A) 146min Unavailable to review at time of going to press. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeOuf) again joins with the Autobots® against their sworn enemies. the Decepticons® Michael Bay is at the helm again so it's going to be big and norsy but will Transformers 2 please the fans? General release from Fri 19 Jun.
North By Northwest (PG) 136min Hitchcock‘s evergreen 1959 thriller starring Cary Grant. James Mason and Eva Marie Saint on new digital print. Selected release from Fri 79 Jun.
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