It was no surprise to find that Alan Bennett’s biggest West End hit since The Madness of George III should

the teaching of history as a game played against

examiners, rather than a thing of value it itself. Between them there’s no suggestion of Dead Poet Society sentimentalism versus dark bureaucracy, for each is

follow it to the silver screen, given the cash it generated, but one wonders whether its producers might have taken into account other factors before commissioning this project. For this National Theatre smash of 2004 revolved around a succession of theatrical turns in a manner that George III didn’t, the latter being more inherently cinematic in both technique

flawed, slightly unlikeable, but fraught with pathos. The boys are in fact much less repressed, though the young Jewish gay boy Posner’s (Samuel Barnett) crush on the precocious and amoral school wideboy Dakin (Dominic Cooper) creates emotional tension.

Hynter’s refrain of his theatre production mystifyingly

and content. For all that, Nick Hytner’s production manages to maintain some of the humour and pathos

of the original.

The story, for the sake of any benighted folk unfamiliar with the theatre, follows the progress of a group of boys in a Sheffield Grammar School of the early 805, who, having completed their A Levels to positive effect are now sitting Oxbridge entrance exams. They are torn between an old buffer of an art for art's sake teacher (Richard Griffiths) with the occasional penchant for fondling the boys during motorbike rides home, and a colder, more pragmatic teacher (Stephen Campbell Moore) a young repressed gay who thinks of


The fifth instalment of the Police Story series sees Jackie Chan playing an older. less mobile and tagged cop. A gang of hoodlums using hi-tech methods based on a warped computer game are rampaging through Hong Kong. stealing and killing at will. They even take 0th Detective Chan's fellow officers in one dramatic sequence. whiCh is packed with great stunts.

40 THE LIST 5—19 Oct 2006

removes the prologue of the play, which tells us so much of subsequent history personal and political, and quite crucially alters the fate of a central character,

somewhat diminishing his final punch. All the same, the

When the stunts struggle to hold interest in a Jackie Chan vehicle you know you're in for a tough time and the Asian superstar struggles when called upon to play a broken man. estranged from his girlfriend and down on his luck. His new partner Frank (Nicholas Tse) is a street smart Sidekick in this generic tale. which IS a pale shadow of the two Police Story movies. which the lead actor directed himself. It's a further nail in the reputation of Jackie Chan who has recently been surpassed by both the inventive Stephen Chow and masterful Tony Jaa in the affections of ASia's cinema going martial art afICionados. (Kaleem Aftabl I General release from Fri 73 Oct.


THE ARYAN COUPLE (12A) 119min 0 John Daly is a big man in the filmmaking world. His exec producer credits include Salvador. River's Edge.

quickfire dialogue is still funny, and Bennett’s melancholic observations about the teaching of history within the new Thatcherite order continues to pack a slightly diminished punch. And while such cheerfully sexually polymorphous boys might seem a little like wish fulfilment on Bennett’s part, the soundtrack, featuring the likes of The Smiths, The Cure and The Clash, brings a nicely nostalgic feel that should propel you through the story. (Steve Cramer)

I General release from Fri 73 Oct.

Loach's Hidden Agenda. So how he came to direct a film this bad is something of a mystenl. Based on the not very true stOry of two Aryan servants lKenny Doughty and Caroline Carver) of German Jewish industrialist Joseph Krauzenberg iMartin Landaui who. in order to guarantee safe passage to his family. hands his busmess over to Himmler lDanny Webb) during WWII. The Aryan Couple IS. Without question. the most amateurish feature to be given distribution in a while.


Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (18) 90min .0. i". Vietnam earoltt Dean Hills Taylor Hartdim has t‘een called to tt‘e tmf‘. Before Dean can 'epor’. To the local inductim‘ centre. "is t;'"‘.":e'. i‘ric iMatt Borne! am thei' respective

girlfrrends heat a ,rnss: Texas for

It's ‘969 and there is .‘i

scme serous; ‘tic It .::_1it7ti'ttoi. that will bring them face to, amt: with a {dung burgeoning killer called l,e.’tt"e'f.ilte Artitrev. Br‘y'iuarski. The producers of the commercially successful IMO.) rer'iake of lube floorie's 10.31 horror clastut~ 'ettirri to ilf‘Il'Jlf a brett, good prequel Interesting". this details the beginnings; of the l‘lf‘Vl/ll'l clan and expose“, their psychotic irtea of farnrl, flirt fans of the franchise ‘.‘.'lli tinally learn what led tr; the orzgin o‘ Leatherface. horror purists may however find it all too slick Nice touch reIeaSing it on I'riday the thirteenth, though General re/et'rrm front Fri 73 Oct.

Open Season (U) 100min

00 900R) grizzly bear Boog lvoiced by Martin I awencm takes on a nasty group of human predators during the open hunting season with the help of i-Iliot iAshton Kutchnerl. a Iélfil'léllklllg mule deer. Predictal'ile. bland. cliche ridden and oversweet animation that JUSI about passes; muster as a soft-brained family flick. General release from In 7.3‘ Oct.

Stick It (PG) 103min O. Forrnulaic sporting drama set in the world of gymnastics where disgraced gymnast Hailey lMissy Peregriml is sent back into training as an alternative to reform school. Once there she has to deal wrth tough but fair coach lJeff BridgeSI and a team full of snooty girls. Written and directed by the lady who wrote the screenplay for the superior high school cheerleading comedy drama Bring rt On. this is something of a disappomtment. despite some good dialogue and fairly solid acting. Genera.l release from Fri 73 Oct.

Badly framed. badly shot. badly recorded and edited by what seems to be a rhinoceros wrth a hoof in1uny, this really is poor. At its best it plays like a really shoddy cheezeball 80$ mini series. The cast try their best given the Circumstances but Daly and Kendrew Lascelles' terribly heavy handed and derivative script is so full of stilted exposmon and unnecessary Iongeurs that they are stranded in a fairly airless and awkward historical drama. If it's WWII dramas yOu want. y0u w0uld do much better renting Oliver Hirschbegel‘s Downfall or Marc Rothermund's excellent Sophie Soho/l: The Last Days. (Paul Dale) ICineworld Renfrew Street Glasgow 8 Crnewor/d, Edinburgh from Fri 73 Oct.