The Wee Man is written and directed by Ray Burdis, whose previous directorial offering Love, Honour and Obey featured gangsters in London; now we are removed to Glasgow. Based on an account of his time in the Scottish city’s underworld, the film gives us the rise and fall of Paul Ferris, the notorious ‘Wee Man’ of the title. Expect violence, crime and formula all the way.
The release of Gangster Squad has got us reminiscing about our favourite screen mobsters, and we thought it was about time someone lent a voice to the most unsung criminal masterminds in film. But don’t go looking for Goodfellas and Godfathers – we’ve excluded Scorsese, because his characters are a whole top 10 on their own. NO MORE shall these forgotten bandits be ignored. Who’s the most ruthless, the most unsung gangster of them all? (Some of these are cartoons, by the way. What does that tell you about your childhood?)
Gangster Squad is based on the true tale of a group of LAPD officers and detectives in the late 1940s who used, shall we say, extra-judicial methods to smash the operations that allowed gangster Micky Cohen to control the underworld of the US west coast. The film is directed by Ruben Fleischer, who has mainly worked in the worlds of advertising and music-video production, but has two previous films (Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less) to his credit. An ensemble cast including Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte and Emma Stone play out a plot we get the feeling we have already seen before.
London Boulevard has a great premise. Guns and money, seedy thugs and intelligent crooks, and the chance for freedom in an unforgiving world. Unfortunately, the story jumps around looking for direction, avoiding the avid gunfire of genuine performances from Ray Winstone, David Thewlis and even Colin Farrell, and in the end falls head first in a ditch for trying too hard.
What do you mean you’ve never heard of the Essex Boys and the Rettendon murders? Are you trying to wind me up? Bonded By Blood is a true-blue British gangster film about the 1995 range rover killings. It’s “The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing but the F**king Truth”, so round up the few lads you still trust and get yourself down the picture house. Now. You don’t get second chances round here. This is Essex…