Screen Talk: Toon time

The recent swoop by Sony to poach Michelle Raimo-Kouyate from DreamWorks Animation is the talk of Hollywood. Raimo-Kouyate, an executive producer and popular creative suit at DreamWorks, has been drawn in by an offer to be president of production at Sony Pictures Animation, a rival studio cartoon creator.

Screen Talk: No laughing matter

Citizens of the United States are vociferous about the right to freedom of speech, especially when it comes to entertainment. And especially when it allows said citizens to vent and vent and vent.

DVD: Greenberg (15)

Roger Greenberg is prickly, paranoid and petty. It's Ben Stiller's best role since his winning "loser" in There's Something about Mary.

Rhiannon Harries: 'Nothing says 'Cheese!' louder than those online self-portraits'

You can spot them a mile off: the odd camera angle, a glimpse of awkwardly positioned arm. Mainly, it's the exaggerated tilt of the chin and the massive pout. No doubt the amateur photographic self-portrait pre-dates the social-networking revolution, but in the era of Facebook, MySpace, dating websites and Twitter, these über-posed images are everywhere.

How did all that movie talent crash?

Ten years ago Owen Wilson, Wes Anderson, Spike Jonze and others promised to revitalise US cinema. As Wilson's latest gets a mauling, Ben Walsh laments their recent record of stinkers

Screen Talk: Not a CEO in sight

The money men all want a safe pair of veteran hands to take up the reins as CEO of beleaguered studio MGM. But it seems that while there are any number of famous old executives out there, most are happier working the golf clubs than the numbers. Big name former studio heads such as Jonathan Dolgen, Peter Chernin (above left) and Bill Mechanic have said they don't want the job of turning the Lion's roar back on. Burdened by $4bn (£2.7bn) in debt, MGM owners tried unsuccessfully to find a buyer for the studio and are now looking to attract a fresh ringmaster to restructure and consolidate. So the wait for the next James Bond shoot 'em up and a planned co-production with Warner Bros based on Tolkien's The Hobbit continues.

Greenberg (15)

Shame it’s all about the boy

Tom Sutcliffe: There's no gold in the Games, Danny

The week in culture

The Week In Radio: Yes, there's something about Mary Whitehouse

I rather liked Mary Whitehouse. She would often ring me up in a previous journalistic incarnation to "draw my attention" to upcoming outrages. And when she did she was always polite, intelligent and firm, like the girls' school teacher she once was. If the tide of filth had already been broadcast, she would read out the profanities, "eight bloodys, two buggers and a Christ", in her special, taking-the-register monotone, which always enlivened a dull day. And while her repressive views on homosexuality and pre-marital sex were deeply unappealing, her biggest impact on broadcasting was not about sex at all. It was establishing the idea that listeners and viewers should have a say in what broadcasters provide.

Generation X: A mid-life crisis

They were the so-called slackers who didn't feel compelled to grow up. Now, with middle age a sobering reality, are their years of underachieving beginning to hit home?

The Independent Film Forum: Have your say on 'Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian'

The next film up for discussion in the Independent Film Forum will be Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Does the sequel to the 2006 family hitmovie, starring Ben Stiller, really warrant another night at the movies? And does former indie queen Amy Adams (above) as his love interest create any sizzling chemistry? Add your comments and we'll print the best in next week's paper

DVD: Tropic Thunder, Rental & Retail, (Paramount)

Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr and Jack Black star as three has-beens who think they're filming a Vietnam war epic in the jungle, unaware that the people who keep shooting at them aren't actors playing the Viet Cong, they're genuine trigger-happy guerrillas.

DVD: Tropic Thunder (15)

Tropic Thunder, Ben Stiller's Vietnam-film-within-a-film, has a lot of gags to get through in its two-hour running time – the self-regard of actors; the greed and ruthlessness of Hollywood producers; a raft of 'Nam movie clichés – and yet it still seems at least 20 minutes too long, with all the best jokes used up in the first act (including a terrific trio of spoof trailers).

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (PG)

The quartet of zoo animals that lit up the first movie – Ben Stiller's lion, Chris Rock's zebra, David Schwimmer's giraffe, Jada Pinkett Smith's hippo – make a return, though the comedy is, like themselves, somewhat tamer than it ought to be.

Fashion: The latest in hobo chic

Anyone who has ever chuckled at the scene in Ben Stiller's fashion-world spoof Zoolander in which a designer unveils a clothing collection inspired by "the vagrants that make this wonderful city" will no doubt be aware of the industry's occasional ability to transform the most inappropriate subject matter into a sartorial statement. In the case of this season's "luxe grunge" trend, designers have fortunately stopped short of channelling actual vagrants and opted for the nearest acceptable alternative, the proponents of the early 90s grunge scene.

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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain