Independent Plus

See below to watch the trailers for this week's DVD and Blu-Ray releases

Film: When Harry met cliche

The Big Picture

Horse whisperer shares her trail craft

A Week In The Life: THE DROVER, NEW SOUTH WALES

Letter: The Enforcer

Letter: The Enforcer

I'm watersweeping with joy

PETER YORK ON ADS: No 227: WATERSWEEP

Profile: Self-made hero fails to deliver

Kevin Costner could do no wrong. In `Dances With Wolves' and `Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' he was big, big box office. Then he wanted to be taken seriously and it all went sour. Cameron Docherty in LA traces the decline of the star whose latest film `The Postman' has bombed in the States.

Film: Wake up Savannah, the world is coming to town

It started when John Berendt wrote a book about the Deep South town, its residents and its dark secrets. Then the film rights were sold and life changed for ever. Lucy Broadbent on how the populace is starring in its own true-to-life movie.

Friday's Book: A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American FilmsBy Martin Scorsese (Faber & Faber, pounds 20)

At a time when the output of Hollywood has plummeted to an unparalleled level of infantilism, Scorsese's enjoyable master-class serves as a useful reminder of the industry's glorious past, when even low-budget B movies could be works of startling originality. As Scorsese remarks: "Over the years, I have discovered many obscure films and sometimes these were more inspirational than the prestigious films that received all the attention."

Choice: Film: Few Dollars More

For a Few Dollars More (8pm Sky Movies Gold)

VIDEO REVIEW: RECORDED DELIVERY

Absolute Power (15) Columbia, rental, 10 Dec

Jazz: A kind of magnum music that made Clint's day

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm Clint Eastwood, and I love jazz." So begins old Stoneface's brief and humble oration towards the end of the double-CD, Eastwood After Hours, a remarkable recording of a Carnegie Hall concert held in the actor and director's honour in October last year, and released on his own Malpaso label (via Warner Brothers). What makes the album so special is not the reaching out of jazz to Eastwood or vice versa, but rather the fact that the whole enterprise is so damn good.

CINEMA : An icon tested to the point of deconstruction

If you were watching the trailer with half your mind on something else, it would be easy to mistake Clint Eastwood's Absolute Power (15) for an uninteresting film. There's that title for a start. It has a nasty case of the John Grishams: seeming very macho and awe- inspiring (Men jousting! Testosterone overload imminent!) but actually saying something smaller and less meaningful than a stoat's capacity for remorse. Then there's the story.

I am the egg man

Bill Handel arranges surrogate births for infertile couples. And he gets paid for his work. Anything wrong with that? By Jack O'Sullivan

I gave him my Clint Eastwood stare, but that didn't stop him

It Was an absurd question. "How much have you got to spend?" he asked. I gave him my Clint Eastwood look but surprisingly he did not fall to his knees and beg for mercy. I had forgotten for a moment that Toby was an estate agent whose specialist subject was crassness. They did not break the mould when Toby was born, it was removed by the Health and Safety Executive and buried in reinforced concrete. The nuclear waste demanded to be moved apparently.

The squint, the sigh, and the soul of a loner

Clint Eastwood by Richard Schickel, Cape, pounds 17.99; Graham McCann follows the fortunes of a shifting star

FILM: THE TOP 60 CHRISTMAS FILMS

Critical Guide
News
people
News
John Rees-Evans is standing for Ukip in Cardiff South and Penarth
news
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
Sport
David Silva, Andy Carroll, Arsene Wenger and Radamel Falcao
football
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
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'