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New movies to stream this week: 'Fin,' 'Gunpowder Milkshake' and more

Midland Reporter-Telegram
 2021-07-15

Cover picture for the articleThe latest film from the director of such violent horror movies as "Cabin Fever" and "Hostel" is a save-the-sharks documentary called "Fin." Debuting on Discovery Plus as part of Shark Week, Eli Roth's new project turns out to be less of a surprise than it might seem at first. For one thing, the film shows lots and lots of blood and guts - Roth's signature - though not for the same reasons the filmmaker might normally utilize them. Roth, who tells us he was terrified of sharks as a child, came to love them after swimming with them in the Bahamas (and he was, after all, a host of the TV show "Shark After Dark"). Here, he's still trying to scare us - maybe even gross us out a little - but with a very different end in mind: to motivate viewers to end behavior that encourages the slaughter of endangered animals, more than 100 million of which are killed every year, for their fins (which are used in shark fin soup, an Asian delicacy); for the oil from their livers (used in cosmetics and other products); and less often for their meat. Scenes abound of shark "finning," in which cartilege-filled fins - thought by some to prevent cancer - are sliced off and the rest of the animal, sometimes still living, is tossed back into the water. It's disturbing, and more than a bit perplexing; Roth tells us that the soup tastes like "nothing," an opinion confirmed by a food critic. The director, who acts as an on-camera guide as the film hops from Liberia to Hong Kong to Mexico to Massachusetts and beyond, is fond of muttering some version of "This is nuts/crazy," often accompanied by an expletive. You may find yourself saying the same thing by the end of this film - whose title means "the End" in French, a bit of wordplay that suggests both something terrifying and, potentially, more hopeful. TV-MA. Available on Discovery Plus. Contains frequent bloody images of shark fishing, clubbing, finning and butchering, crude language, images from horror films and a scene of sharks mating. In English and a smattering of several other languages, with some subtitles. 100 minutes.

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