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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
The End of the Line: Special Edition (2009)

The End of the Line: Special Edition (2009)

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Released 5-Oct-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Featurette-Webisodes
Featurette-The Coral Triangle: Nursery of the Seas (13.13)
Introduction-Ted Danson on The End of the Line(1.04)
Theatrical Trailer-(1.06)
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 82:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Rupert Murray
George Duffield
Christopher Hird
Claire Lewis
Ovation Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music Srdjan Kurpjel
Marios Takoushis
Claire Ferguson

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

Imagine a World without fish.

     Here's something to make you choke on your sushi! The End of The Line is a documentary based on the book by British journalist Charles Clover which bore the unwieldy title The End of The Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World And What We Eat. The book and the film are about the same thing - the threat currently facing the world’s fish stocks through overfishing.

     Make no mistake, this is not a fish hugging film. Clover came to the realization that something was wrong with the fish stocks when he caught the last big salmon at his "old fishing hole". Why did the Spring Run come to an end? Clover, who appears as the central "character" in the film, fears a time when fish will no longer grace our tables as well as grace our oceans.

     The film by Rupert Murray looks at the effect that man is having all over the globe on sending fish into oblivion. Clover believes that the current worldwide fish consumption is unsustainable. Frighteningly, some studies suggest that by 2048 there won't be a fish anywhere in the vast seas. Such a topic is potentially unwieldy so Murray concentrates on a few ideas and problems. For sushi lovers, the film looks at the possible extinction of the Bluefin tuna caused by increasing demand for sushi. It is not just a question of demand, rather it is the increasing technology available to the fishermen and the shift from individuals farming the oceans to mega-ships carving swathes through the seas.

     The film uses historical precedent to devastating effect. The collapse of the cod population in Newfoundland provides a clear example of a species that simply can't be fished due to the "gold rush" in an earlier age. When the problem became apparent it was, the filmmakers suggest, already too late to stop it. Recently I had the opportunity to review the BBC series Last Chance to See. In the section on the Blue Whale the crew travel to the Gulf of Mexico where an uncontrollable outbreak of the very aggressive Humboldt's Squid has threatened to decimate all other large marine life. The suggested cause - the fisherman removing the key predator, the shark, from the environment allowing this dominant species to appear in plague proportions. The fact that there are so many lobsters off the coast of Newfoundland is not a gift to the lobster loving public but rather a symptom of the effect that the absence of the cod has had on that environment. When the lobster are gone there will be nothing edible left.

     The film doesn't just concentrate on sushi eaters. Instead it looks at the subsistence fisherman in Africa who are faced with decreasing catches. The reason? The stocks have declined and the major fishing corporations have bought the rights to fish the oceans from the governments of these tiny nations. The fishing boats are getting larger to cope with the deeper oceans and greater lengths they need to travel to get the fish. It is mostly, but not all, doom and gloom. Governments and bodies such as the European Union are still not recognizing the problem. Top restaurants still serve the endangered Bluefin tuna. When Clover finally gets to talk to the owner of the swish Nobu Restaurant about this problem, the owner agrees to put a sign on the menu stating that it is endangered!

     Fish farming, it turns out, is not the solution as it uses fish resources for feeding. Nature reserves are, however, the key as well as restrictions on fishing.

     The film is a must watch and will have you looking at the side of the next tuna can you buy. Narrated by Ted Danson and expertly presented it belongs on the shelves of every documentary lover.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


     The End of The Line was shot on High Definition digital video and was presented at the cinema in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. That ratio has been preserved for the DVD release. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The film consists of a blend of footage from a variety of sources. There is the historical material which varies in quality according to the source. Then there is the interview footage which looks clear and bright, with accurate flesh tones. Finally, the film has some very attractive photography of men fishing etc, which is clear and crisp. Without being reference material this is a pretty good looking DVD. There is mild compression evident.

     There are no general subtitles. The film does subtitle any foreign language segments.

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


     The End of The Line features an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack running at 224Kb/s. This is quite adequate for a film that really consists of interviews and voice-over. The sound is clear and easy to understand.

     Special mention must be made of the music attributed to composers Surdjan Kurpjel and Marios Takoushis. The score is a high quality piece of work that provides a perfect backdrop to the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     There are a number of interesting extras on this DVD.


     A series of Webisodes are presented here. There is a lot of material that is repeated from the film but it does give director Murray a chance to talk about his attraction to the project. Each is a must see addition to the film. They are :

  1. The Biggest Problem You've Never Heard Of (9.53)
  2. The European Union: A World Leader in Overfishing (9.03)
  3. The Future of Fishermen (9.49)
  4. The Future of Protection (8.13)
  5. The Future of Seafood (8.51)
  6. The Future of Fish (9.13)

The Coral Triangle: Nursery of the Seas (13.13)

     The Coral Triangle is a large area in Asia which is the centre of marine biodiversity containing thousands of species of fish. It is also an example of success in protecting some fish stocks and also the dangers that threaten some species.

Ted Danson on The End of the Line (1.04)

     Narrator Danson explains his attraction to the project and stresses his concerns for the seas.

Theatrical Trailer (1.04)

     A short but effective trailer for the film.

R4 vs R1

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

    This is designated a Region 0 DVD.


    The End of The Line is an excellent documentary that brings attention to a problem many may not be aware even existed. It is a good starting point for consumer awareness.

The DVD is a good looking product and contains a number of interesting extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output
DisplaySony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC-LX 81 7.1
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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