Student

22-year-old adult James Ashford recently visited Harry Potter World on his own. This is his sorry tale

Rian Johnson: How I went from Brick to Brothers Bloom

Californian writer and film director Rian Johnson achieved critical acclaim in 2005 for a low budget neo-noir murder mystery movie inspired by Dashiell Hammett detective novels called ‘Brick.’ His second film, ‘Brothers Bloom,’ which hits cinemas in the UK tomorrow, is an intense departure from the edginess and careful stylisation of Johnson’s debut. It is instead a light-hearted conman movie, filled with slapstick capers and cons within cons, which might miss the mark for early converts to Johnson’s initial Wes Anderson-alike style, but which possesses a kooky, if self-aware, charm.

DVD: The Gruffalo (U)

A ridiculously starry cast – including Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, Tom Wilkinson, James Corden and Robbie Coltrane – voice this witty adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's children's tale of a shrewd little mouse who outwits a ravenous snake, owl and a fox with the threat of a gruffalo, a creature with terrible claws, orange eyes and purple prickles all over its back. In the old days, one voice – Bernard Cribbins, say – would have voiced the whole lot, no trouble, but this was the centrepiece of the BBC's Christmas schedule so they threw the kitchen sink at it.

DVD: Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince

Unlike the first few filmsin the Potter franchise,the sixth instalmentdoesn't have a completestory of its own: it's reallyjust a small piece ofa large jigsaw. It's stilla colourful piece, mindyou. There's no doubtingthe quality of thewondrous productiondesign, the magicalspecial effects, and thehamming theatricalgrandees. But thatdoesn't make up for thelack of plot. The identityof the mysterious "Half-Blood Prince" is an irrelevance– and so is almosteverything else.

Murderland, ITV1<br/>Modern Family, Sky 1

Robbie Coltrane makes a welcome return, but haven't we seen this character somewhere before?

The ten best Harry Potter landmarks

As film-goers psyche themselves up for the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth film in the series, the flight search engine Skyscanner picks the best spots to experience some of that wizard magic.

Harry Potter stars to remember Knox at premiere

The stars of the new Harry Potter film are expected to wear white ribbons on their wrists at the movie's world premiere as a mark of respect for murdered actor Rob Knox.

Chris Maume: Incredible 'Hulk' the retiring type after growing tired of Tyre Flip

World's Strongest Man: Five, Friday

Rowling's latest: reduced from &#163;1.95m to &#163;6.99

A new work previously available only at auction goes on sale in the shops today

Potter film release delayed by eight months

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth instalment in the blockbuster film franchise about boy wizard Harry, is moving from its planned 21 November US release to 17 July next year, distributor Warner Bros said.

Sixth-formers to take Harry Potter test

It is enough to leave traditionalists spluttering into their tea – Harry Potter is about to be placed on the school curriculum.

Coltrane used to catch thief, 16

Police in New Zealand are hoping that posters featuring a photo of Robbie Coltrane will help them catch a teenage burglar.

The Weekend's TV: A brief spell in the chamber of secrets

JK Rowling: A Year In The Life, ITV1; The Shadow In The North, BBC1

Athletics: Gatlin makes fast riposte to Powell

A day after Asafa Powell demonstrated his awesome capabilities in toying with the field at the Bislett Games, where he won the 100m with contemptuous ease in 9.98sec, his co-world record holder Justin Gatlin responded with an equally impressive performance on the other side of the Atlantic, running 9.87sec at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York on a evening when Meseret Defar of Ethiopia set a women's 5,000m world record of 14min 24.53sec.

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