Wim Wenders had long planned to make a documentary about the German choreographer Pina Bausch. However, she died in June 2009, just two days before their collaboration could commence. Wenders decided to continue the project, nonetheless, and focus less on Bausch's methodology than on the works she devised and the impact that she had on the ensemble at her Tanztheater Wuppertal. The result is Pina, which is being hailed as one of the first arthouse films to make creatively kinetic use of 3-D. However, this review is based solely on the flat version seen on disc.

Judging by the inertia and pretentiousness of the talking-head recollections of the Tanztheater's principal performers, it's perhaps no great shame that Wenders was unable to produce his cherished profile. In fact, this task had already been admirably performed by Klaus Wildenhahn's What Are Pina Bausch and Her Dancers Doing in Wuppertal?, Chantal Akerman's One Day, Pina Asked For.. (both 1983), Lilo Mangelsdorff's Ladies and Gentlemen Over 65 (2002) and Anne Linsel's Dancing Dreams (2010). Thus, Wenders was much better off being forced to concentrate on the dance itself and the challenge of using three-dimensionality to capture the grace, dynamism and uniqueness of Bausch's choreography.

Both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly would have approved of Wenders's positioning and movement of Hélène Louvart's camera, as he not only shoots the dancers (for the most part) in full figure, but he also makes potent use of space and cutting on action to capture both the meticulous blocking of the dances and their distinctive vivacity. Consequently, even in 2-D, it's possible to appreciate the conceptual brilliance of Bausch's choreography and Wenders's mastery of stereoscopy and its ability to immerse the viewer in the action. However, it might have increased this sense of inclusivity had Wenders identified the pieces for non-aficionados.

The opening interpretation of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring is not particularly inspired. But its energy contrasts with the more measuredly mesmerising movements contained in the dance-hall flirtation, Kontakthof, the dramatic restaurant sextet, Café Müller, the quirky human nature study Arien (complete with giant plastic hippo), and the audaciously splashy aquatic reverie, Vollmond. Wenders follows Bausch in utilising both teenage and veteran casts for Kontakthof, which explores the preening pressures of trying to make an impression of members of the opposite sex across the dance floor. And this generational mix is also employed in a gesticulatory procession that meanders beyond the proscenium and out in to ridge of a nearby quarry to the accompaniment of Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five's rendition of `West End Blues'.

Indeed, Wenders shrewdly sets a number of set-pieces outdoors to exploit such eye-catching backdrops as the Wuppertal Schwebebahn monorail, an old factory, some woodland and a public swimming pool. But, even though this is a tribute and not a treatise, the refusal to name the talking-heads or contextualise their reminiscences is frustrating and reinforces the rather supercilious air that Wenders had so scrupulously avoided in such previous actuality outings as Lightning Over Water (1980), Notebooks on Cities and Clothes (1990) and Buena Vista Social Club (1999).

The terpsichorean tone is markedly different in Sue Bourne's Jig, which follows various juvenile contestants during their preparations for the 2010 Irish Dance World Championships. Forming an unofficial trilogy with Marilyn Agrelo's Mad Hot Ballroom (2005) and Beadie Finzi's Only When I Dance (2009), this is an engaging, if not always enlightening insight into the effort and expense involved in helping a child realise a competitive dream.

Although she hops over to Holland to profile Sri Lankan adoptee Sandun Verschoor and ventures further afield to Moscow to watch Ana Kondratyeva rehearse with her ceilidh team, Bourne focuses primarily on Midlands-based ex-champion John Carey's tutelage of 10 year-old John Whitehurst and 15 year-old Joe Bitter, and the friendly, but still intense rivalries between 12 year-olds Brogan McKay (Derry) and Julia O'Rourke (New York) and older teenagers Simona Mauriello, Claire Greaney and Suzanne Coyle, who hail respectively from London, Galway and Glasgow and have been competing against each other for many years without Simona ever taking the top prize. There are occasional interjections from proud parents, but Bourne wisely let the kids do most of the talking, as not only are they enthusiastically garrulous, but they are also utterly devoted to their art and refreshingly free of ego and attitude.

Invariably cuddling a member of the menagerie that dwells on his bed, Whitehurst is easily the most charming subject, as he hopes rather than expects to do well. Relocated from California to Solihull to follow his star, Bitter is equally genial. But Bourne never lets on quite how talented the pair are until they reach the competition itself. Nor, for that matter, does she reveal much about Carey's credentials as an eight times former champion and a key component of Michael Flatley's Riverdance and Lord of the Dance shows.

But at least Carey gets a name check, as McKay and O'Rourke's coaches at the McConomy and Petri schools barely merit a mention. Indeed, Bourne seems more interested in the boys and rather struggles to develop storylines for the girls beyond their relationships with each other and their mothers. Consequently, she pays as much attention to their wigs, dresses and make-up as she does to their training. But all this changes once everyone assembles at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.

In truth, the climactic sequence is a bit of a muddle. But the chaotic structuring conveys something of the excitement of the event and the chasm between the lows of Verschoor and Kondratyeva's early exits and the highs of Whitehurst and Bitter's inevitable triumphs. Yet the most dramatic moment turns on the reading of the results in McKay and O'Rourke's category, with the changes in facial expression raising more pertinent questions about the psychological toll that competing takes on the youngsters than the rest of the film put together.

Single-mindedness is also the theme of Paul and Sandra Fierlinger's My Dog Tulip, an animated adaptation of JR Ackerley's deeply affectionate 1956 account of his 15-year relationship with the Alsatian bitch who transformed his life. Determined to find her the right vet and the best mate, the fiftysomething Ackerley (who had never previously owned a dog) repeatedly goes above and beyond the call of doting duty. Yet, while the unconventional graphics often prove amusing, the 58,320 images will be remembered less for their artistic allure than for being the first to be drawn and painted for a feature film using entirely paperless computer technology.

Living alone in a flat in Putney, Ackerley (Christopher Plummer) has little to distract him from the daily grind until he learns that a family need a good home for an 18-month Alsatian. Immediately taking to Tulip, who had been confined in a coal-dusty terrace yard, Ackerley requires the assistance of a soldier to coax her into the train compartment home. He also takes some time adapting to sharing his space with a newcomer who was willing to please, but just as keen to have her own way. Thus, he puts a good deal of effort into finding her a suitable vet after the first banishes them because of Tulip's excessive barking and the second slaps her on the snout for resisting an injection.

However, Italian-born Ms Canvenini (Isabella Rossellini) proves a perfect fit and Ackerley comes to trust her as implicitly as he suspects the motives of his sister, Nancy (Lynn Redgrave), whose lengthy visit is seen as a pretext for alienating Tulip's affections by coddling her while he is at work and locking her behind bedroom doors at night. Indeed, Ackerley's encounters with anyone other than Tulip have a habit of turning sour, as accounts of a fouling incident outside a greengrocer's shop and a weekend stay in the country with old army buddy Captain Pugh (Brian Murray) ably demonstrate.

Unfortunately, things run no more smoothly when Ackerley sounds out Messrs Blandish (Murray again) and Plum (Peter Gerety) with a view to having Tulip serviced by their dogs Max and Chum. However, she seems more interested in Watney, the perky terrier who resides at the local pub, and is no more aroused by the prospect of Mountjoy, a strapping brute discovered near the holiday home that Nancy finds them in Sussex. Consequently, Ackerley abandons the scientific approach and allows Tulip to pursue her fancy for a mongrel stray named Dusty and seeks to atone by building her a special box in which to give birth to her eight puppies.

After so much close detail (particularly during the disconcerting post-whelping segment), it comes as a disappointing surprise for the story to end here, with the couple's later years being consigned to a hurried summation. But, by this stage, the Fierlingers had long since run out of novel ways of depicting Ackerley's fixation with Tulip's toilet habits and even Plummer's affably earnest recitation of the writer's drolly deadpan prose and the ceaseless jauntiness of John Avarese's score had started to lose their charm.

The cartoon-style anthropomorphising digressions presenting Tulip as a biped in a dress are highly resistible. But there is a sketchily simple watercolour beauty to the central narrative illustrations that are infinitely more interesting than the bland computer generations now dominating so many kidpics. Moreover, the tone suits Ackerley's tender erudition, which Plummer catches splendidly. However, no mention is made of the fact that he was both the long-serving arts editor of The Listener and openly gay at a time when homosexual practices were still punishable under British law. Perhaps the Fierlingers felt this latter topic had already been adequately tackled in Colin Gregg's take on the equally canine-centric We Think the World of You (1988), which starred Alan Bates, Gary Oldman and Frances Barber? But, as least, audiences are spared the truth about Ackerley's attempts to ease Tulip's adoring distress when in heat.

A more familiar London provides the setting for Alexander Holt and Lance Roehrig's Forget Me Not, a touching variation on Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise (1995) that clearly feels the need to lean on such landmarks as Tower Bridge, St Paul's, the South Bank and Whitehall to bolster the low-key drama as it creeps inexorably towards contrivance. This is anything but an updating of David Lean's Brief Encounter (1945), as some have erroneously suggested. But it is still sensitively played and evocatively photographed by Shane Daly against the capital's ever-changing light.

Following a less than captivating gig at a half-empty bar, musician Tobias Menzies returns to his flat with the intention of committing suicide. However, his indecision over whether to swallow pills or slash his wrists in the bath allows barmaid Genevieve O'Reilly to call and remind him that he has forgotten his guitar. More begrudging than grateful, Menzies collects the instrument and purchases a bottle of scotch. But no sooner has he returned home than he sees O'Reilly being pestered by a drunken customer and he agrees to walk her to a taxi rank after they discover the nearest tube station is closed.

The taciturn Menzies bucks up after busking for hen-partying Charlie Covell and her best mate Jessica Lawless and he agrees to escort O'Reilly to friend Laurie Hagen's engagement party. They chat amiably as they stroll, with harmless secrets being revealed and Menzies trying to guess O'Reilly's new profession. However, she is stung into striding away when he turns down a kiss and is surprised when he shows up on the dance floor (where everyone is moving in seeming silence to their own MP3 players).

Having won a bottle of champagne in an egg-and-spoon race, the pair meander down to the Thames and take a ride in the London Eye. Romance again seems a possibility until O'Reilly reveals she is training to be a nurse and has to visit grandmother Gemma Jones that afternoon as she undergoes tests for Alzheimer's. Once more hurt by Menzies's sudden detachment, O'Reilly is reluctant to go for coffee. But she ends up asking him to accompany her to Jones's old people's home and, after he pulls away from a post-downpour smooching session, she finally learns the reason for his hesitancy.

Despite a couple of dreadful songs and the odd passage in which scripted speech supplants natural conversation, screenwriter Mark Underwood allows Holt and Roehrig to keep the storyline moving, while skirting the truth about Menzies's condition until the affecting, if bathetic conclusion. The co-directors are sometimes guilty of pictorialism. But they coax sincere performances out of Menzies and O'Reilly, even though they never make an entirely convincing couple and are both upstaged by Jones during her harrowing interview with doctor Martina Laird.

Few will be moved to tears, while some may be irked by the emotional coerciveness of Michael J. McEvoy's sombre score. But most will recognise the awkward etiquette of a first meeting and the perils of misreading signals, although others will regret that the feature debutants couldn't have come up with something more effective for the finale than melodramatic coincidence and mawkish compassion.

The ending is also the weak point of Menhaj Huda's Everywhere and Nowhere, the long-awaited follow-up to Kidulthood (2006) that relies far too heavily on putting an ethnic spin on the class clichés and caricatures that have informed juvenile rebellion movies in this country since delinquent teenagers first started listening to the devil's music in 1950s coffee bars. Nevertheless, Huda makes his points about family, race, chauvinism and identity with an incisiveness that is enhanced by decent ensemble performances and Brian Tufano's edgy camerawork.

With his mother and father long returned to Pakistan, James Floyd lives in suburban London with older brother Alyy Khan while he completes his studies. However, he has no desire of either becoming an accountant or working in Khan's shop and hopes that sister Shivani Ghai can persuade black DJ boyfriend Simon Webbe to listen to one of the mixes he has compiled in his bedroom.

Floyd is also keen to prevent timid cousin Neet Mohan from proving himself to disapproving father Art Malik by enlisting with the extremists at the local mosque and best pal Elyes Gabel from abandoning his womanising ways to settle into a marriage arranged by his ultra-conservative parents. Indeed, only Bangladeshi-Irish buddy Adam Deacon seems content with his lot, although even he is concerned about the fading health of his jovial, joint-smoking father, Saeed Jaffrey.

Despite his eagerness to kick against convention, Floyd is also a fine cricketer and he is in the process of winning a club match when the envious Khan runs him out. However, Floyd has overheard his brother arguing with cousin Farzana Dua Elahe and realises he has cheated with her on wife Shaheen Khan. Consequently, when Webbe offers him a slot at the club, he defies Khan to seize it. But Jaffrey's sudden collapse and Mohan's arrest by racist copper Dexter Fletcher for having training camp fliers in his car jeopardise his big chance.

With subplots involving Floyd's crush on Swedish club dancer-cum-artist Katia Winter and Gabel's mistreatment of adoring blonde Sophie Berenice, this can hardly be accused of lacking incident. However, it is short on originality, as Huda and co-scenarist Gurpreet Bhatti rehash themes that have quickly become staples of British Asian cinema. Moreover, too many momentous scenes are saddled with portentous dialogue. But Floyd spars well with Khan and Gabel and if the Sunday lunch shouting match feels a little like something out of Eastenders, it is certainly provides a combustible climax.

Finally, the explosions are considerably more spectacular in Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins, a remake of a 1963 Eichi Kudo samurai adventure that shows the prolific maverick reining in his tendency towards excess to fashion a heartfelt homage to the kind of classical chambara picture produced by such masters as Akira Kurosawa. Boasting exceptional contributions by cinematographer Nobuyasu Kita, production designer Yuji Hayashida, costumer Kazuhiro Sawataishi, editor Kenji Yamashita and composer Kôji Endô, this is a satisfyingly complex tale of court intrigue and violent vengeance that proves that visceral action sequences can be shot without shakicam and assembled without obfuscating flash cuts.

In the mid-1840s, Japan is ruled by the Tokugawa shogunate. However, the regime's reputation is seriously damaged when the shogun's spoilt half-brother, Gorô Inagaki, murders nobleman Koshiro Matsumoto's son (Takumi Saito) and rapes his daughter-in-law (Mitsuki Tanimura) and drives kinsman Masaaki Uchino to commit hara-kiri. Realising that raising the matter with the Shogun could bring an end to decades of peace, high-ranking courtier Mikijiro Hira decides to dispose of Inagaki and his retinue and asks revered samurai Kôji Yakusho to assemble a trusted team to complete the mission.

Aware that Inagaki is protected by his onetime dojo friend Masachika Ichimura, Yakusho calls upon the services of police inspector Ikki Sawamura and his assistants Yûma Ishigaki and Kôen Kondô, as well as Hira's loyal lieutenant Hiroki Matsukata and his aides Sosuke Takaoka and Seiji Rokkaku. He also enlists apprentice Tsuyoshi Ihara, the intrepid Ikki Namioka, novice Masataka Kubota, pragmatic veteran Arata Furuta (who asks for his fee up front to purchase a headstone for his late wife and enjoy a little luxury before it's too late). Most surprisingly, however, Yakusho also persuades dissolute nephew Takayuki Yamada to quit gambling and honour the family name.

Riding out across the muddy terrain, the posse is soon ambushed by a rag-tail mob hired by Ichimura. But, while the novices are quickly dispatched, Yakusho decides to take a more circuitous route through marshland and forest to throw his adversary off the trail. He also sends Sawamura ahead to buy out the residents of Ochiai so he can turn the entire village into a booby trap. But the closer Inagaki gets to danger, the more he relishes the anticipation and he even allows Matsumoto to block his path and divert him directly into Yukusho's clutches.

Hunter Yûsuke Iseya has swollen the assassins' ranks to the requisite thirteen by the time that Ichimura realises he's been outmanoeuvred. But Inagaki is so taken by the sight of slaughter that he vows to start a civil war once he has vanguished Yakusho to satisfy his bloodlust. However, as the 200-strong force begins to fall foul of the ingenious network of barriers and barrages, it becomes clear that Inagaki is going to have to put his own life on the line if he is to survive.

The scale, slickness and audacity of Yuji Hayashida's sets are crucial to the success of the devastating 45-minute denouement, as the suspenseful prelude finally ends and battle commences. But, for all the intricacy of the mechanical wooden props and the precise swordsmanship of the athletic cast, the gruesome noise of butchery produced by Kenji Shibazaki's sound effects unit leaves the deepest impression.

That said, this never approaches the Japsploitation goriness of the Zatoichi, Hanzo the Razor and Lone Wolf and Cub franchises and Miike's self-control is almost the most impressive thing about the entire enterprise. His use of bleak humour is particularly well judged, most notably in allowing Inagaki to revel in such pitiless acts of villainy as firing arrows from point blank range into cowering human targets. But he also questions the unconditional obedience demanded by the Bushido Code and the extents to which honour is the preserve of the privileged and those in power always know what is best for their minions.