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It never rains but it pours for front man Dave; DVD.

Byline: SIMON KUKURUZOVIC

THE WEATHERMAN (15)

Available to buy pounds 17.99.

DIRECTOR Gore Verbinski takes time out from the Pirates of the Caribbean to deliver this clever and offbeat tale.

Nicolas Cage stars as Dave Spritz, the weather man of the title.

All smiles onscreen, offscreen his life is going nowhere and he knows it.

Undervalued and undermined by his Pulitzer prize-winning dad Robert Spritzel (another fine turn from Michael Caine), Dave is trying to make something of his life but just can't manage it.

His ex-wife Noreen (Hope Davis) is engaged to Russ (Michael Rispoli) but Dave still thinks a reconciliation is on the cards.

His attempts at bonding with daughter Shelly, who is being bullied at school, isn't working and he doesn't realise the danger son Mike is getting himself into with an adult counsellor.

An inventive, funny and moving story, this isn't the wacky comedy you could be expecting. But it is a very fresh and worthwhile watch.

***

TSOTSI (15)

Available to rent and buy at pounds 19.99.

WRITER director Gavin Hood delivers a compelling morality tale set among the Johannesburg slums in this powerful film.

Presley Chweneyagae stars as young hoodlum Tsotsi who after hijacking the car of a middle-class mum is left with a baby in the back seat.

Abandoning the vehicle but not the distressed child, Tsotsi tries to take care of the infant, grabbing a young mother (Terry Pheto) at gunpoint to help care for the tot.

Tsotsi tries to keep the child safe but ultimately realises he must return the baby to the parents.

A gripping film, adapted from a novel by Athol Fugard, this avoids sentimentality or sermonising and paints a powerful portrait of rich and poor, rage and redemption.

Shot in the street dialect of Tsotsi-taal, it has won the Oscar for best foreign language film.

****

TODAY YOU DIE (18)

Available to rent and buy pounds 12.99.

ANOTHER month and another straight-to-DVD actioner from the ever-popular actor Steven Seagal. Seagal stars as Harlen, a modern-day Robin Hood who targets drug dealers.

Persuaded to go straight by his worried girlfriend Jada (Mari Marrow), he finds himself driving a security van for Las Vegas businessman Max (Kevin Tighe).

But when he is caught up in a $20million robbery, Harlen finds himself framed for it and sent to prison.

With DEA agents Rachael (Sarah Buxton) and her boss Agent Saunders (Seagal's Under Siege co-star Nick Mancuso) pressuring him for information and Max apparently dead, Harlen has to find a way to break out.

Aided by gangster Ice Kool (rapper Treach) he intends to find who set him up.

From the same team as last month's Mercenary for Justice, this is formulaic stuff with Seagal on good blow-things-up form.

**

CAPTION(S):

OSCAR WINNER ... Gavin Hood's powerful morality tale is a gripping adaptation of a novel by Athol Fugard.' BLEAK OUTLOOK ... Nicolas Cage stars as beleaguered Dave Spritz in The Weatherman (15).
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 14, 2006
Words:490
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