Independent Plus

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.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own