VIDEO: VIDEO REVIEWS

Velvet Goldmine (18)

VCI, rental HHH

Todd Haynes's examination of the Seventies Glam era, loosely based on real-life events and personalities, centres around Christian Bale's drippy journalist. In a Citizen Kane-style flashback narrative, we follow his attempts to track down his one-time idol, Brian Slade (a Bowiesque Jonathon Rhys Meyers), who disappeared after faking his own assassination on stage. Though Haynes stylishly juxtaposes tales of decadence and music-industry marketing practices, his study of a pop culture that embraced bisexuality, glitter and cocaine offers few surprises. There are moments to be savoured, though, particularly when Ewan McGregor's Curt Wild, a hybrid of Kurt Cobain and Iggy Pop, gives his outrageous stage performances.

Halloween H20 (18)

Buena Vista, rental HHH

Twenty years on, Michael Myers is still trying to skewer his sister, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), having already turned most of her friends into mincemeat. This time he finds himself taken with her 17-year-old son, John, a handsome boy who certainly looks ripe for filleting. The picture fails to elucidate on pressing questions such as: Why does Myers insist on wearing a comedy mask and wig? And: Where has he been for the last 20 years? There are some laughs to be had from rapper LL Cool J as a bumbling security guard, and plenty of look-behind-you tension to keep devotees of classic stalk-and-slash satiated, but the grim sadism of the first Halloween instalment is sadly absent.

Dancing at Lughnasa (15)

Film Four, rental HH

Despite its optimistic title, Pat O'Connor's film, based on the hit play by Brian Friel, is more likely to have you snoozing on the sofa than dancing in the streets. Meryl Streep heads a heavyweight cast as the eldest of five sisters living in a small Donegal town in 1936. Each sister longs for something better, but is reluctant to leave the safety of the homestead. Catherine McCormack's illegitimate son provides the grossly sentimental narrative voice but fails to sweep up our sympathies, as he just falls short of saying, "Things were never the same after that fateful summer." With its bicycle-riding, riverdancing and endless Irish pipes, Dancing at Lughnasa comes across as another in a long line of cliche-ridden Oirish flicks.

Picture Perfect (PG)

Fox Pathe, retail H

The flimsy talents of Jennifer Aniston are showcased in this contrived and sickly sweet romantic comedy. She plays Kate, an ambitious advertising executive and spoilt social climber with a ludicrous crush on creepy man- about-the-office Sam (a skeletal Kevin Bacon). To make him jealous and impress her bosses, she invents a fiance based on an unsuspecting man she meets at a wedding. The camera shamelessly lingers around Aniston's gleaming teeth, ample cleavage and the infamous hairdo; it even gets cut, curled and styled as she deliberates her marriageable attributes with her mother. But worst of all is the fact that this rarely funny picture revolves around such a dislikeable person.

Arts and Entertainment
'Silent Night' last topped Classic FM's favourite Christmas carol poll in 2002
classical
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'