A round up of this weeks cinema releases
THE WEE MAN (above)
(18, 106 min)
Based on the life and memoirs of Paul Ferris, The Wee Man is a gritty portrait of the rise of a gangster in Glasgow and his relationships with the people he loved and terrorised.
Growing up in 1970s Blackhill, 11-year-old Paul (Daniel Kerr) is tormented by a gang of bullying local kids.
Surrounded by crime, corruption and senseless brutality, Paul snaps and decides to systematically wreak revenge on his tormentors.
He develops a reputation and is taken under the wing of notorious gangland boss Arthur Thompson Snr (Patrick Bergin).
Ignoring the pleadings of his father (Denis Lawson), Paul (now played by Martin Compston) steadily rises through the ranks of the operation, much to the annoyance of Arthur’s son, ‘Fat Boy’ Thompson Jr (Stephen McCole), which invariably creates friction between the two heirs to the empire.
Thompson Snr’s rival Tam McGraw (John Hannah) exploits this obvious tension by manipulating Fat Boy to bring down Paul so that Glasgow is his for the taking.
(18, 113 min)
Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg and Radio Silence direct this anthology of horror shorts, all loosely linked by the plot device of a rare videotape. In the framing device, entitled Tape 56, a mysterious client asks a small gang of petty crooks to break into the house of an old man and steal a VHS cassette. The misfits discover the elderly owner dead, sitting in front of a television buzzing with static white noise, surrounded by hundreds of VHS cassettes.
Without any clear idea which tape they should take, the thieves begin to watch the cassettes one by one and they are greeted by graphic and apparently genuine recordings which chill them to the bone and hint at undiscovered nightmares that lurk within the house.
(15, 90 min)
While other directors pander to the whims and fancies of their audiences, Michael Winterbottom has repeatedly challenged, tantalised and outraged with his work, including a gritty reworking of Jude starring Christopher Eccleston and Kate Winslet, the notorious 9 Songs featuring unsimulated sex between actors Kieran O’Brien and Margo Stilley, and the disturbingly violent crime thriller The Killer Inside Me.
His new film, Everyday, is a compelling prison drama and portrait of a family in crisis set in rural Norfolk.
John Simm plays the father of a large brood who languishes behind bars, serving a 10-year sentence for his crimes.
His weary wife (Shirley Henderson) makes regular visits to the prison by bus, conveying news of their four children – two boys and two girls – and the pressures she faces raising the youngsters alone, set to a haunting soundtrack composed by Michael Nyman.
(Certificate TBC, 84 min)
As Strictly Come Dancing’s crushing victory over The X Factor in the Saturday night television ratings attests, our national love affair with ballroom dancing is still in full bloom. Documentary film-makers Christian Bonke and Andreas Koefoed cha cha into this competitive world of sequins and fancy footwork to follow Slavik Kryklyvyy, who became the 2000 World Latin Dance Champion with his partner and lover Joanna Leunis. She rose to greater glory with a rival partner while temperamental perfectionist Slavik fell from grace.
In Bonke and Koefoed’s film, it is now 10 years after Slavik’s greatest triumph and he is poised for a dramatic comeback with a new partner: amateur dance champion Anna Melnikova, who is also his girlfriend.
Cameras follow the couple on and off the dancefloor as they attempt to shore up their fractured personal relationship while chasing Slavik’s dreams.
COMING NEXT WEEK...
Director Steven Spielberg tears a page out of American history with an Oscar-worthy performance from Daniel Day-Lewis as LINCOLN.
The hunt for Osama Bin Laden provides director Kathryn Bigelow with awards-worthy food for thought in the gripping thriller ZERO DARK THIRTY.
Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a gun-toting sheriff in THE LAST STAND.
And a cast of dozens clutters the big screen in the comedy anthology MOVIE 43.