Arts and Entertainment

A riff on a cosmic joke turns this space comedy into something far greater

DVD: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (20th Century Fox)

This shoddy melodrama draws tenuous parallels between two women in 19th-century China, and two more in present-day Hong Kong.

Left to right: Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers

The Avengers: Superheroes unite to conquer cinemas

After a string of Disney flops, 'The Avengers' is breaking all records

Rebecca Tyrrel: 'Gina Ford hasn't so much as a parking ticket to her name'

Who knew that Benjamin Spock, the first and perhaps greatest of the child-rearing gurus, won a gold medal for rowing at the Paris Olympics of 1924?

Oh, brother: Ed Helms (left) and Jason Segel shine in Mark and Jay Duplass’s family comedy 'Jeff, Who Lives at Home'

Jeff, Who Lives at Home (15)

Mark & Jay Duplass, 83 mins. Starring: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon

DVD: Clone

After the death of Eva Green's boyfriend, Matt Smith, she gives birth to his clone.

A hit: Battleship, which is based on the guessing game

Why has Hollywood gone toy crazy?

Hollywood's new assault has begun. It's the march of all your childhood playthings, from Battleships to Lego, Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Space Invaders, says Daniel Bettridge

Buzz worthy: Michael Fassbender in a 'Prometheus' short

Marketing: Creating a monster movie hit

The short clips being released to promote Prometheus are as intriguing as the movie itself. Tim Walker salutes Ridley Scott's approach to film marketing

Robert Fuest: Film director who worked with Vincent Price

Given his flair for the visual, unexpected camera angles and a streak of black humour, to call the film and television output of Robert Fuest colourful and kaleidoscopic would be an understatement. A physically slight figure who exuded nervous energy when committed, he captured some of what was best in the popular culture of the 1960s and was informed by his other activities as artist and comedy writer.

Between the Covers

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books

How videogames stole Sci-Fi

Games like Mass Effect 3 have become launching pads into exciting universes where action and adventure are only a few button pushes away.

Album: Human Don't Be Angry, Human Don't Be Angry (Chemikal Underground)

Human Don't Be Angry is a side-project by Malcolm "Arab Strap" Middleton which mostly eschews his usual glum ruminations in favour of pleasingly methodical instrumental trifles.

Game of Thrones spin-off RPG to release in June

As the second series of Game of Thrones descends once more on to our screens, Koch Media have announced that the release date of the videogame spin-off isn’t too far behind.

Enzo Ferrari Museum

Where the car's the star

The Enzo Ferrari Museum in Italy is a fitting memorial to its maverick creator as well as a racing giant. By Jay Merrick

Enzo Ferrari Museum

The fast show: Italy's Enzo Ferrari Museum is a fitting memorial to its maverick creator

Jan Kaplicky knew how to fail, brilliantly, better than any other architect in the 21st century. The practice that he and Amanda Levete ran in London's swish Holland Park was called Future Systems, and it became famous for losing architectural competitions with building designs that ranged from gleaming amoebas to towering, ribbed condoms. Even so, they delivered two of Britain's most extrovert buildings, the periscopic Lord's Media Centre, and the glittering supersized basque known as Birmingham's Selfridges.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
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Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
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Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
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Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
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Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

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