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.

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Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor