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Watch trailers for our critic's film choice of the day in the videos below:

Film review: Jack the Giant Slayer (12A)

Perhaps "Jack and the Beanstalk" sounded a bit tame, and "Jack the Giant Killer" a bit bloodthirsty.

Ewan McGregor (centre) in the 1996 film Trainspotting

Danny Boyle to make Trainspotting sequel with original cast in middle age

Two decades after choosing heroin over life, the stars behind seminal British film Trainspotting are set to return for a sequel, as the characters face a mid-life crisis.

Keith Allen: 'Litterers should be shot and killed'

I got knocked out a few times performing stand-up I did it early in my career as a way to express the punk attitude. [Allen fronted punk act the Atoms in the 1970s.] One night it would feel like I was sleeping with 127 virgins; the next night I'd get my arse kicked after making jokes about the Army. I got knocked out by soldiers twice. I'd get my own back by walking over seats and pissing on people.

Someone at a Somerset school still loves Piers Morgan

Schools: Someone still loves you, Piers Morgan

In order to practise the skill of persuasive writing, Year 11 pupils at Chew Valley school in Somerset were asked in early December to write to their favourite celebrity asking for an autographed picture.

Miller in 2000: he headed several film committees

Claude Miller: Film director who showed the dark side of youth

Claude Miller didn't do lightweight. His best-known film, Garde à vue, an adaptation of the novel Brainwash by the British crime writer John Wainwright, is a dark thriller revolving around the police interrogation of a lawyer accused of raping and murdering two little girls. The viewer is never quite sure whether the inspector, played by Lino Ventura, should pin the ghastly crimes on the suspect, the wonderfully ambiguous Michel Serrault, who knows the law inside out but appears almost too willing to dig himself into a hole.

Poetic prose: Jon McGregor

This Isn't The Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You, By Jon McGregor

Ten years ago, Jon McGregor's first short story was published in Granta magazine. "In Winter The Sky" was about a teenager who, driving back home after a romantic tryst, is so distracted by the warm memory of the girl he has just kissed, that he runs over a man and kills him. He doesn't tell a soul. Having long since married the girl, the story ends as he confesses to her the secret that has burdened, and shaped, their relationship. The dead body, its furtive roadside burial, and the baleful weight it has exerted over the years, becomes a metaphor for the unmentionable secrets that couples carry.

Beginners, Mike Mills, 104 mins (15)

Mike Mills tells the story of an older man revealing his true sexuality with a pleasing mix of melancholia and whimsy, aided by Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor receives death threat on set

It sounds like the plot to the latest Hollywood blockbuster. It involves an A-list star, his understudy, and a violent death threat. Unfortunately for Ewan McGregor, it is the reality unfolding on the set of his new movie.

Polanski's 'The Ghost' wins best film at European Film Awards

Roman Polanski's The Ghost – the story of a journalist hired to write the memoirs of a British prime minister – has won the prize for best film at the European Film Awards.

DVD: The Ghost

A topical DVD this, considering that Roman Polanski’s film of Robert Harris’s political thriller revolves around Blairish memoirs.

DVD: The Men Who Stare at Goats, For retail & rental (Momentum)

Jon Ronson's book about the Pentagon's secret experiments in psychic combat has been turned into a film in the most unsatisfying possible manner.

The Ghost (15)

Spirited thriller the Roman way

The skip of Britain's curling team: All about Eve

Bagpiper, ace golfer and now – at just 19 – the skip of Britain's curling team. Eve Muirhead tells Simon Turnbull why she has gold in her sights

The Island (nc)

The spirit of Tarkovsky is never far from this rebarbative fable of guilt and atonement by Pavel Lounguine.

The Men Who Stare at Goats (15)

The Men Who Stare at Goats, Jon Ronson's book about the Pentagon's secret experiments in psychic combat, has been adapted into a film in the least satisfying way possible. It stars Ewan McGregor, as a small-town reporter who hears about the experiments from George Clooney's retired sergeant, far right, while the pair of them are driving through Iraq. Shown in flashback, these goofball anecdotes are all very watchable, but the film is ultimately neither one thing nor the other.

Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
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Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
peopleFilm star says he is 'not interested in making money anymore'
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newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
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people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksChristmas comes early for wizard fans
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news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

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Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
tv

Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker