News Allan Umscheid, owner of Yards By Al in Lawrence, Kan, feels the bitter wind and catches drifting snow on his face as he runs a snow blower early morning

With Arctic winds plummeting temperatures to  -50C, much of North America has shut down as authorities warn of the life-threatening freeze

Leslie Nielsen, the comic actor who never cracked a smile

Geoffrey Macnab mourns the deadpan star of Airplane and Police Squad!

Unstoppable: Disaster movies that are a runaway success

As Unstoppable goes on release, Geoffrey Macnab explores the thrill an out-of-control train brings to the screen

US turns to king of the disaster movie for its happy ending

The American government may be turning to Hollywood in its desperate search for an end to the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, but even if the director involved is James Cameron no one is assuming a happy ending.

2012 (12A)

Roland Emmerich, 158 mins

Spoofs? Don't make us laugh

The latest crop of parody films has marred the genre

Album: Patterson Hood, Murdering Oscar (and other love songs), Ruth St Records/ATO

The Drive-By Truckers' creative mainspring springs no surprises on his debut solo album, Murdering Oscar (and other love songs) carrying on where the DBTs' magisterial 2008 album Brighter Than Creation's Dark left off.

Disaster Movie (12A)

Disaster Movie isn't so much a film as an insult to cinema-goers everywhere. I know I should really ignore a product which is nothing more than a splinter scraped from the bottom of the Hollywood barrel, but it's the second film its writer-directors have had out this year. The guilty parties are Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the same dud duo who excreted Date Movie, Epic Movie and March's Meet the Spartans, and for sheer crappiness they've excelled themselves: their latest soul-sapping "spoof" is rightly ranked on imdb.com as the worst film ever.

Theatrical turn from the heroic lead

If Hurricane Gustav is turning into a real-life version of a Hollywood disaster movie then Ray Nagin, the Mayor of New Orleans, has cast himself firmly in the role of heroic lead male.

Flood, ITV<br/>Midnight Man, ITV<br/>Shrink Rap, More 4<br/>Clarissa and the King's Cookbook, BBC4

The Thames rose and we watched, helpless, as writers' careers sank: ITV had a week of disasters, and James Nesbitt as a reporter fighting dark forces did little to turn it round

10,000 BC (12A)

Roland Emmerich's junk epic promises an odyssey "into a mythical age of prophecies and gods, when spirits rule the land and mighty mammoths shake the earth" – which sounds like a Spinal Tap concept album but plays more like a junior and less gory version of Apocalypto.

Cloverfield, 15

Monster takes Manhattan, as posted on YouTube: It has shaky footage, jerky cuts, no stars, and you barely see the creature causing all the terror. But believe the hype: this is a truly scary movie

Joel Hirschhorn

Oscar-winning songwriter with Al Kasha

Good Scene / Bad Scene

Chosen by Michael Bay, director of 'Bad Boys 2'
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
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 Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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