Arts and Entertainment Family values: 'It's a Wonderful Life'

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

Album: Joshua Radin, The Rock and the Tide (Warner Bros)

Thirty-six-year-old Joshua Radin, in case you're bewildered by modern music's deluge of Joshes, is the singer-songwriter from Ohio who had a medium-sized hit last year with "I'd Rather Be With You".

Nicolas Cage and the return of the $1m comic

Clark Kent wouldn't necessarily rush to a telephone box to change into superhero garb, but he'd probably put a call in to The Daily Planet after learning that a copy of the comic in which he made his fictional debut has turned up safe and sound, more than a decade after being stolen from the home of Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage.

Nicolas Cage's rare comic recovered

A rare comic book stolen from Nicolas Cage 10 years ago has been recovered.

Drive Angry: Video interview with Amber Heard

Nicolas Cage stars as a vengeance-fuelled father pursuing the killers of his daughter and to save her kidnapped baby in Drive Angry, the new in-your-face shocker from the team behind My Bloody Valentine!

Neil LaBute: 'I put heavy things on my audiences. I love it'

He's famous for his brutal characters and shocking plotlines. What personal experiences inform Neil LaBute's dark material? On the eve of a new play, he talks about family, critics and telling racist jokes

Nicolas Cage: From the sublime to the ridiculous

It's time Nicolas Cage ditched the duds and focused on the kind of blistering character work he's capable of, says Ben Walsh

Independent Operacast: Mike Figgis

Opera is the one thing MIKE FIGGIS hasn't done before and as he bows in at English National Opera with Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia he talks at length to EDWARD SECKERSON about theatre, film, and his first love - music.

US trial for 'Merchant of Death' after extradition

Thailand extradited accused Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout to the US yesterday to face terrorism charges, siding with Washington in a tug-of-war with Moscow over whether to send him to stand trial or let him go home.

Still crazy: Director Mike Figgis reveals the stories behind his favourite shots

Mike Figgis is better known for his films than for taking photographs. But now some of the director's sexually charged images of women, including blindfolded girls, an abstract nude and Kate Moss descending a staircase in suspenders, are going on show in "Best of British", at London's Little Black Gallery, alongside pictures by Terence Donovan, Terry O'Neill, Patrick Lichfield and Bob Carlos Clarke.

Thailand: 'Lord of war' could be extradited to US

A court yesterday dismissed charges of money-laundering and wire fraud against the suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, bringing him a step closer to extradition to the United States to face terrorism charges.

DVD: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans (18)

Nicolas Cage's New Orleans cop, Terence, starts out as a cocky, sharp-suited, wisecracking law enforcer and spirals – via his crack and painkiller addiction – into a depraved sinner, lurching from one unruly scenario to the next.

DVD: Kick-Ass, For retail & rental (Universal)

"How come nobody tries to be a superhero?" wonders Dave Lizewski, teen nerd.

DVD: Kick-Ass (15)

"A putz in pantyhose," is how Mark Strong's wise-guy crook, Frank D'Amico, describes Kick-Ass, a crime-buster in a green wetsuit (snapped up for $99 on the internet) and yellow rubber gloves.

Guy Adams: Has Jerry Bruckheimer lost his magic?

This weekend’s box-office charts will make ugly reading for Disney, whose ambitious $150m kids flick The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, starring Nicolas Cage, opened to a raspberry of public disinterest and global returns of just $32m.

DVD: Astro Boy, For retail & rental (E1 Entertainment)

This fast, fun superhero adventure has everything you might want from a cartoon about a robotic youngster who zooms through the skies above a floating future city.

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
Voices
voicesI like surprises - that's why I'm bringing them back to politics, writes Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Adam Levine plays a butcher who obsessively stalks a woman in Maroon 5's 'Animals' music video
music'Animals' video 'promotes sexual violence against women'
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people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
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newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Horowitz will write the next 007 novel
booksAnthony Horowitz to write new instalment in spy series for 2015
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

Sport
Kicking on: Nathaniel Clyne is relishing the challenge of the Premier League after moving from Crystal Palace
footballSurprises include a first ever call-up for one Southampton star
Voices
4 May 2013: The sun rises over Tower Bridge in London. Temperatures across the UK could be higher than several European holiday destinations by Monday, including parts of Italy and France (Andy Hepburn/PA)
voices
News
The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

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Prices correct as of 26 September 2014
Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?