Arts and Entertainment

(15) Dir. Scott Cooper; Starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, 117mins

47 Ronin review: Keanu Reeves struggles to give feeling and meaning to lines in big-budget sword fantasy

Based on a Japanese legend, this is a big-budget sword-and-sorcery fantasy which combines tremendous action sequences with utterly leaden plotting and dialogue.

Granville (David Jason) runs the shop with his son Leroy (James Baxter) in 'Still Open All Hours'

Still Open All Hours review: It was a w-w-worthy effort – but there’s only one Arkwright

With Ronnie Barker gone, it was TV as Garfunkel without Simon, Wise without Morecambe, Hale and Pace without one of Pace or Hale

The 11 Doctors

Doctor Who - From William Hartnell to Matt Smith: What the Time Lords did next

Audiences saw Matt Smith make his last outing as the Time Lord in The Time of the Doctor before regenerating into Peter Capaldi's twelfth Doctor.

Christmas TV review: Mel Smith: I’ve Sort of Done Things was a spirited tribute to a hell-raising comic who was a master of playing it by ear

Mel Smith was a gambler, a smoker, a drinker, a liver of a life. As such, Christmas Eve’s tribute to his work, Mel Smith: I’ve Sort of Done Things (BBC2), was less a maudlin tribute to a man who died young– whatever his excesses – at 60 in July than a tribute to his powers of imbibition (they called it “getting Smithed”).

Family values: 'It's a Wonderful Life'

Ten best Christmas films

The Independent's film critic selects the ten best festive flicks

Hollywood studio Lionsgate has vowed to recall “unauthorised” Italian cinema posters for the Oscar-tipped drama 12 Years A Slave, after they were criticised for promoting the film’s white stars ahead of its black protagonist.

Italian 12 Years A Slave promoters criticised for over-promoting white actors on movie posters

Marketing material for the Steve McQueen film heralds the roles of Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender ahead of the  main character Chiwetel Ejiofor

The View from the Train: Cities & Other Landscapes By Patrick Keiller: book review - A delightful journey in search of Britain's urban hinterlands

Arthur Rimbaud's shimmering poetry collection, Illuminations, was partly inspired by his visit to London in 1872. Brocaded with a dizzy-making imagery of subways, viaducts, raised canals, bridges and steam engines, the poems are thrillingly metropolitan. Accompanied by his lover Paul Verlaine, Rimbaud noted down all he heard and saw. In some ways, Illuminations can be read as a poetic gloss on Karl Marx’s Das Kapital: the London masses as seen by the 19th-century French poet are alienated by “economic horrors” and “feel no need to know one another”.

Lady Mary shares a stern word with Lady Rose in the Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2013

Christmas Day TV: What to watch

In your quest for good Christmas television you’ll probably have to search beyond the predictable big-hitters. Here's our guide.

Family and friends mourned the passing of late actor Peter O’Toole at a private ceremony in London over the weekend.

Peter O’Toole’s funeral: Sian Phillips, Sting among mourners at private London service

The Lawrence of Arabia star passed away aged 81 on 14 December after suffering a long illness

According to studio estimates Sunday, Peter Jackson's 'Hobbit' sequel took in $31.5 million in its second weekend of release. That topped Will Ferrell's 'Anchorman' sequel, which nevertheless opened strongly in second place

The Hobbit holds off Anchorman 2 at the US box office

On a busy pre-Christmas weekend at the box office, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug held off a very different sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Rhys Ifans plays Danny in 'Protest Song' by Tim Price at the National's Shed theatre
Fool cue: Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy in 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues'

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues review - Ron Burgundy's return is dumb at heart – just the way we like him

You can't help but root for Ron Burgundy, the hapless newscaster played by Will Ferrell. That's the genius of the Anchorman films. In this sequel, Ron is shown as an alcoholic, crack-smoking, backstabbing, borderline racist, near moron... and yet he still retains his utterly winning, folksy quality. He is such an engaging character that he even makes up for a screenplay (co-written by Ferrell with director McKay) that is so skimpily written that it would barely pass muster in an old Jerry Lewis/Dean Martin vehicle.

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Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road