Voices

Sweden has introduced a test to stamp out gender bias in film, what a relief

Screen Talk

Grist to the Milla

For most it is no news flash that critics of Hollywood think the town churns out movies that cater to the lowest, most miserable denominator. So when it emerged that plans were already drawn up for a fifth outing of Resident Evil as the fourth one hit the screens, emotions ran high. "As long as there are fan boys clamouring for more of this brainless plotless slop, airbrushed eye candy and increasingly ridiculous wire stunts... they'll get it," was one reaction. But for every angry web head, there are three excited fan boys, delighted at the prospect of Milla Jovovich (above left) kicking otherworldly butt dressed in tight clothing. But perhaps for the first time, one debater volunteered the theory that the films were spoiling the image of the computer game that originally spawned the pictures. Now that's a turnaround. At least Jovovich will be back for the fifth and suggested that perhaps ideas for the next instalment may come from suggestions on Twitter, via one of her own tweets.

Grown Ups (12A)

Wouldn't cinema be a kinder, happier place without Adam Sandler in it?

Movie dross that leaves all joking aside

Don't bank on the multiplex to assuage World Cup misery, says Ben Walsh – Hollywood comedies just aren't funny anymore

Guy Adams: Siding with the snappers in surf war

LA Notebook

Ruck and Maul: Johnno gives nothing away to pack of hacks after a snifter

Martin Johnson's latest meeting with the media at Twickenham on Wednesday was notable for the jaded expressions greeting the revised England and Saxons squads. One reason was the usual labyrinthine explanation of the elite player agreement. New squad member Chris Ashton admitted he has yet to work out how he replaced Phil Vickery – it's because selections need not be like-for-like in terms of playing position if the change is made for injury. The other reason was the minimal number of hours which had elapsed – for some – since the conclusion of the previous night's Rugby Writers' Club dinner (at which Brian O'Driscoll was announced as the winner of the annual Pat Marshall Memorial Award). "Good timing for you fellas," said Johnno with a grin as glasses of mineral water were passed round. He was quizzed about the England captaincy, as routine dictates. He is sticking to his custom of naming a captain shortly before the next series of matches. So is there any alternative to Steve Borthwick? "Jonny [Wilkinson] and Lewis [Moody] came in and helped with leadership in the autumn," he said, and that was about as far as it went.

Movie heaven: Anthony Quinn's 100 Best Films, Day 3, 60-41

The Independent's film critic selects his favourite films ever made: 60-41 - from Psycho to Taxi Driver

Funny People, Judd Apatow, 146 mins, (15)

Judd Apatow's latest film brilliantly lampoons the life of an A-list comedian – but where are the substantial female characters?

Funny People (15)

In which comedy meister Judd Apatow tries to meld his trademark scatological humour to a character-based drama and ends up with a Lawrence Kasdan movie for the emotionally stunted.

King of bromance: Judd Apatow

Think of a recent smash-hit movie comedy: chances are Judd Apatow will have had a hand in it. Tim Walker on the oddball who made men fall in love with rom-coms

A champion spectacle: Free running in the UK

Trafalgar Square sees demonstrations of a different kind as urban acrobats compete for a world title. Andrew Johnson reports

Lesbian Vampire Killers, Phil Claydon, 88 mins, 15<br>Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Steve Carr, 91 mins, PG

Boys, beers, blood-suckers &ndash; and not a lot else. It's Hammer time!

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG)

Coming from Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production stable, this family comedy initially had me assuming the brace position.

Alice Jones: Why I love a happy ending

There is nothing, nothing, on earth that makes me happier than a spot of heavily choreographed silliness at the cinema.

DVD: Alison Krauss, A Hundred Miles or More, (Decca/Rounder)

An hour "in the studio" with the purest musician in America, watching her do songs from her last, elegant but over-finessed album. For a woman who places so much emphasis on naturalness and authenticity, she must really like her make-up artist, who appears to have done the job with a spatula and blowtorch.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?