RENTAL Rogue Trader I (15) 97 mins * t ir

There's not much dramatic tension left in this biopic of Nick Leeson, the ambitious young Englishman whose high-risk gambles on the Singapore stock market caused the collapse of Barings Bank Real life events we know he got caught, we know he’s now suffering from cancer overshadow Leeson's desperate attempts to dig himself out of a finanCial hole, and not even an on- form Ewan McGregor can engage our Sympathies Because the film races into the Far East segment far too quickly, the crux of the plot becomes nothing more than a series of meaningless numbers (Fox Pathe’) (AM)

Office Space (15) 86 mins * it

Writer/director Mike Judge (Beavis And Butthead, King Of The Hi/f) goes live action With this slacker generation comedy. Computer nerd Peter (Ron Livmgston) is depressed by his office job, until he’s hypiiotised into a state of bliss, which becomes permanent when the therapist dies of a heart seizure. Thereafter, nothing ruffles his feathers: patroniSing boss, irritating secretary, faulty photocopier. Peter's so chilled

that he pulls McJob waitress Jennifer

' Aniston. Despite hilarious observations about the routines in such a working environment, Office Space fails to live up to its initial promise. (Fox Pathe) (MF)

Wing Commander (PG) 90 mins * at

As the mowe made from a computer game, this was pretty much doomed from the start. This is part Star Trek, Top Gun and Starship Troopers, but has few of their attractive qualities. Saffron Burrows, who stars as the boss, is frightfully English and frowns disdainfully at the excitable young Yankee bucks: Matthew Scream Lillard

being his usual annoying self and Freddie / Know What You Did Last Summer Prinze Jr, who spends his time looking nervous and piloting the occasional spacecraft. A mediocre idea fairly well done isn't much of an achievement. (Fox Pathe) (MR)

RETAIL It All Starts Today

(12) 113 mins ****

The mining towns of northern France were once the setting for the tragic heroism of Germ/nah today it’s just tragedy, as 34% unemployment takes its toll on the communities. Of course, it’s the children who suffer most, and infant school teacher Daniel Lefebvre (a magnificently strong but sensitive Philippe Torreton) finds his role straying towards that of surrogate father and social worker. Bertrand Tavernier’s film takes social commitment into a more cinematic and lyrical domain than Ken Loach's TV-style grit. (Artificial Eye £15.99) (AM)

Your Friends And Neighbours

(18) 95 mins ****

Neil LaBute’s debut, In The Company Of Men, was regarded in two ways: it was either a spiteful, bile-laden examination of the relations between the sexes. Or the film marked a new dusk in the realm of black comedy. For his second movie, LaBute lightens up only slightly as Nastassja Kinski, Jason Patric and Ben Stiller are among a set of old and new friends and lovers who backstab, bitch and bed their way through life and one another. LaBute requires your full attention to keep a handle on the deceitful webs. And he thoroughly deserves it. (Vision Video £15.99) (BD)

The Polish Bride (15) 90 mins *ttir A beautifully shot and compelling story

with a dark shadow. A young Polish woman is taken to Holland to work in

Missing person: Claude Rains has a hidden agenda in The Invisible Man. part of The Universal Monsters Collection which also includes Bride Of Frankenstein. Creature From The Black Lagoon and Phantom Of The Opera. Available to buy on Mon 17 Jan. priced £9.99 each.

88 THE lIST 7—20 Jan 2000

RENTAL The War Zone

(18) 95 mins *****

Directorial debuts rarely come much more devastating than this. You could describe Tim Roth as brave, calculating or crazy to have taken on Alexander Stuart‘s somewhat controversial 1989 novel about the dark side of family love. Liberals, conservatives and book judges alike. found The War Zone too daring to swallow (the book was originally voted by the Whitbread panel as a winner before backtracking in anticipation of further media hellraising). Yet, Roth's filmic treatment somehow missed the tabloid wrath.

The War Zone sees a happy-ish family having moved from London to Devon with a new member soon to arrive. The fragile stability at their domestic heart is unsettled when acne-riddled son Tom catches father and daughter in an uncompromising position at bath-time. Upset but keen on uncovering the truth. further clues fall into his path before the full stark horror becomes apparent.

Marrying a cast of seasoned pros (Tilda Swinton and Ray Winstone) with a pair of plucked-from-the-streets unknowns (Lara Belmont and Freddie Cunliffe) works beautifully and it can only be to Roth's directing credit that the joins in acting experience are practically invisible. He also utilises his sets to great effect; a dual sense of normality and doom pervades the isolated home and the wasteland shelter where the main abuse takes place. Whatever Roth comes up with next, he has set himself the unenviable task of matching near-perfection. (Brian Donaldson)

I Available to rent from Film Four on Mon 17 Jan.

Simply incest: The War Zone

a brothel, is raped, escapes and finds

, warm to each other and develop a

Dark Star (PG) 92 mins * *

Time hasn't been too kind to John Carpenter’s Cult stoner SCI-il ’classic’. Then again, how anyone couldn’t see it at the time (1973) as a lame amalgamation of two Kubrick landmarks is baffling, it nicks the Slim Pickeris bomb-Surfing scene from Dr Strange/ove While, ineVitably, 2007 is plundered at every opportunity. Four dopey astronauts are lost in space on a ship called Dark Star With nothing to do but light off frisky alien beachballs and av0id thermostellar nuclear devastation. Which they do With less than hilarious results. Unless you're wrecked, probably. Also available on DVD, priced £17.99. (Fabulous Films £12.99) (BD)

Cube (15) 87 mins it it

One of the mysteries of the ’99 film universe must be why Cube was paired in many a cinema double bill With Pi.

Mathematics doesn’t make the most

obvious of mowe topics so when two

come along at once, it may be natural to

f get them together. Yet, while Pi broke

beautiful new ground With the artistic

pOSSibilities of a minuscule budget,

: Cube’s tale of SIX strangers inexplicably

finding themselves in a surreal and

deadly prison treads manky water. You'd

have to be a sci-fi square to love this.

Also available on DVD, priced £19.99.

(Columbia Tristar £12.99) (BD)

refuge with her ’gentle bear’ of a lonely farmer. As she recovers, they

closeness that is threatened when her previous employers try to find her. A much awarded European film, with strong performances that never look in danger of slipping into sentimentality. (Artificial Eye £15.99) (SB)

Basket Case (18) 91 mins “not

The gore quotient is restored in this low-budget cult schlocker from 1982, in which a pair of former Siamese twins goofy young Duane and VlClOLlS human blob Belial arrive in New York intent on killing all those involved in the operation that separated them. Farcical humour/violence, silly gags and the worst stop-motion animation you’ve ever seen work in favour of a strangely likeable movie that’s full of weird touches and oddball characters right down to the tiniest role. (Tartan £12.99) (AM)

Our Daily Bread

(Exempt) 74 mins 4: ‘k ‘A'

King Vidor (The Fountainhead and War And Peace are among many of his cinematic landmarks) independently financed 1934's Our Daily Bread When Hollywood refused to make this Steinbeckian drama about the poverty stricken Depression-era public. Vidor’s journalistic background is much in evidence in this tale of a group of homeless folk who support themselves by running a farm based on socialist principles. The film is worthy rather than great, but the video release

REVIEWERS THIS ISSUE: Simone Baird, Brian Donaldson, Miles Fielder, Alan Morrison, Mark Robertson

comes with an introduction by Vidor ****STAR and fascinating newsreel footage from ' g in” Vgg'sgabd Californian sooalist politICian Upton I h”. Won 3 shot Sinclair's election campaign. (Academy i ** Below average

l 1: You've been warned

£12.99) (MF)