Independent Plus

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

New look for Parkhead's tartan army

Football

A prize leak in Caledonia: LEADING ARTICLE

Battle has been joined for who is to wear the glorious mantle of that Scots brave heart Mel Gibson, er, sorry, William Wallace. Will it be baby-faced Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish National Party, whose conference opened in Perth yesterday? Or will it be the avian George Robertson, Labour's shadow Secretary of State for Scotland?

Never mind the meaning, feel the words

'His make-up for "Braveheart", in which he plays the Scottish hero, makes him look more like an Everton supporter on the warpath than an emblem of Caledonian pride'

It's bare knees against articulated metal pyjamas in Mel Gibson's latest butchfest. Adam Mars-Jones referees; BRAVEHEART Mel Gibson (15)

First Rob Roy and now Braveheart: suddenly Hollywood has the hots for Scotland, for misty glens, broad knees and a history of virile defeat. Braveheart is set around the year 1300, and tells the story of William Wallace, who scored notable successes against the English at Stirling and York, before being betrayed and then executed in Smithfield, London, where a plaque outside Bart's Hospital commemorates him.

The natural born fighter with a taste for Guinness

The French love Sophie Marceau, one of their most beautiful and outspoken actresses. And now Hollywood is finally waking up to her. One the eve of a swashbuckling international debut, she talks to Chris Peachment

The Kapow! Zap! factor

`Batman Forever' took $52m on its launch weekend. It needed to. By Peter Guttridge

LEADING ARTICLE: Fear and Lothian in Westminster

The pundits all predict that next month's local elections in England and Wales will be awful for the Tories. They can expect to be routed. This may come as a relief to them. For last Thursday in Scotland, by contrast, they were smashed. Their 11 per cent of the vote, in one of the most important parts of the Union, reduces them to regional party status. It is the kind of performance that they used to reserve for those Welsh valley seats where even the mill-owners were members of the Communist Party.

CINEMA / Too many jokers in the pack

THE SMILES in Richard Donner's humorous western Maverick (PG) are as broad as the sprawling plains and plateaus on which it takes place. Mel Gibson as Brett Maverick, poker-playing adventurer, gives us his goofiest gleam, the one that says he's frankly a little embarrassed at his own handsomeness. Jodie Foster, as the dubious 'Mrs' Annabelle Bransford, following and falling for Brett, glints conspiratorially, letting us in on her amusement at her own smartness. And the screenwriter, William Goldman, is as swift on the draw as Brett when it comes to gags. No danger of getting lost in this Wild West, since there's a signpost at every corner directing you to the next joke.

FILM REVIEWS / Trouble in the Old West: Adam Mars-Jones on Maverick, a crisis of confidence served up with a sickly grin

Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent film, Last Action Hero, showed what happens when a standard movie genre is treated with irony, and the new Richard Donner western, Maverick (PG) achieves the same lavish hollowness. It has a second-hand self-consciousness that denies prevents it from hitting either possible target, freshness or sophistication. It may be a virtue when high art seems to stare back at its audience, but it's certainly tedious when absolutely mainstream entertainment can't stop winking at us.

Arts: The maverick who went full circle: James Garner had all it took to be a fifties film star - except the snobbery about television. Now he's back, as his best-known character's father. David Thomson on a Hollywood great

IN AMERICA, there are a few actors who don't do television. This is a strange kind of snobbery, granted that movies make their inevitable way to the small screen as video cassettes where, in most cases, the leading actors do very well on residual earnings. They are not too proud then to take the checks. But still they do not work directly for television because the screen is small and the image insipid? Because its show their performance may be broken up by sordid advertisements? Because the shooting schedules are so tight? Or just because the legend persists, that television is somehow undignified, nouveau riche and lower-class?

FILM / Reviews: History in the making: Adam Mars-Jones on Century, Stephen Poliakoff's study in time and motion, and Another Stakeout, another romp

If all British films are to be costume dramas (a possible fate for the industry) then let them all be as intelligent and imaginative as Stephen Poliakoff's Century (15). The strength of the film lies not just in strong performance or unusual story line (a young doctor comes to London and joins a sort of visionary scientific think tank), but in images that conflict with our idea of what the past looks like.

FILM / Lights, camera, satisfaction: Time was when Hitchcock called them cattle, but now actors call the shots. Kevin Jackson on the stars turned directors

F Scott Fitzgerald famously observed that there are no second acts in American lives, but any number of American actors seem dead set on proving him wrong by nipping around to the other side of the camera, donning natty baseball caps and starting fresh careers as directors. Over the last couple of weeks, the London Film Festival has screened directorial debuts from the likes of Robert de Niro (A Bronx Tale), Andy Garcia (Cachao) and Forest Whitaker (Strapped). Meanwhile, The Man without a Face, Mel Gibson's first stab at directing, opened at the weekend.

Media: Talk of the Trade: Hooked by fantasy

PLENTY of people still believe in fairies, evidently. The newest figures for video sales (January to March 1993) show the usual crop of pop music performances and blood and guts films. But what is keeping the latest Lethal Weapon film off the top of the chart? Disney's Peter Pan, which has notched up sales of a million.
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee