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Film Round-Up

Jeremy Clarke

Terry Gilliam's latest The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus (cert 12a; 122 mins) concerns a travelling stageshow run by Dr Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) who has made his daughter the subject of a a Faustian pact with a devilish, bowler-hatted stranger (Tom Waits). Heath Ledger plays the girl's love interest. His untimely death made it necessary for other actors (Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Jude Law) to portray his character whenever he journeys inside the mysterious Imaginarium, which places the entrant in the world of their own imagination. This device works and there are some incredible fantasy sequences, but the whole thing is very hit and miss.

Allegedly made for £45, Marc Price's Colin (cert 18; 97 mins, also on DVD) is an impressive zombie movie made from the zombie's point of view. Colin (Alastair Kirton) ends up facing a brutal gang of zombie-killers whose hatred is far more frightening than the zombies themselves.

Ip Man (cert 15; 106 mins, also on DVD) is a likeable Chinese curiosity caught between serious drama and action movie. A biopic about a martial artist (Donnie Yen) before and during the Sino-Japanese War, it punctuates its pro-family, pro-community ethos with astounding fight sequences.

In the documentary The Cove (cert 12a; 90 mins) a team of undercover activists and film-makers enter Japan to film covert dolphin-slaughter. Their number includes Richard O'Barry, former technical advisor on Flipper, who believes that programme led via the dolphinarium industry to the current butchery. The earnestly evangelical Vanishing Of The Bees (cert tbc; 96 mins) tackles an important issue by repeatedly beating the viewer about the head with it. While the first is compelling and unnerving; the second's content is marred by constructional blunders.

Finally, the 1960s period piece An Education (cert 12a; 100 mins), based on Lynn Barber's memoir, sees a respectable girl sucked into a world of fast living and dubious business practices. The absorbing, historically accurate story works as a cautionary tale without ever  becoming  to preachy.

Jeremy Clarke