The best games of the film

Videogames based on blockbusters are often poor imitations of the cinematic originals. So what does it take for a title to make the grade? Michael Plant investigates

Games Review: Ghostbusters:
the Video Game

PSP, £29.99

'Sexy' Sigourney Weaver is first lady of sci-fi

Ellen Ripley, Sigourney Weaver's character from the Alien film series, has been named the number one Sci-Fi Woman Of All Time by leading genre website Totalscifionline.com.

Observations: The cinematic secret that's proving too good to keep

Secret Cinema shouldn't really be a secret, despite the society's website warning attendees to "tell no one". It's the best night out at the movies in Britain, especially now that going to the local multiplex has become a celebration of bland and brand, the same overpriced confectionery and an overdose of adverts and trailers.

The Girl in the Park (15)

There's a prissy self-congratulation about early parts of David Auburn's family-bereavement drama, though it got to me eventually. Sigourney Weaver plays a mother who has never recovered from the abduction, now 16 years ago, of her three-year-old daughter. She invites a young drifter (Kate Bosworth) to stay, wondering if she might be her long-lost child, then hoping she is. Unfortunately, the film's practical and psychological implausibilities never disappear.

Calendar Girl Mirren does it again

It was only a bikini. But it had the power to set tongues wagging and pulses racing around the globe. Pictures of Dame Helen Mirren luxuriating on the beach at Puglia in southern Italy last Tuesday sent media commentators into a frenzy. Some have applauded the 62-year-old for her figure, while others blanched at the prospect of myriad wrinkly copycats trying to emulate her this summer.

The Orphanage, 15

This Spanish horror is stewed so thick you expect lumps of chorizo and garlic to float to the surface. Not for the weak-stomached or faint-hearted

Be Kind Rewind (12A)

Be Kind Rewind is the latest offering from the French director Michel Gondry, best known for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and his innovative promos for bands such as the White Stripes, whom he animated with the clever use of Lego.

AVPR (15)

The modish shortening – for Aliens vs Predator Requiem – is a hopeful attempt to align the franchise with the likes of T2 and MI:2, but it's nothing more than a tawdry cash-in. We are assured that the directors, Colin and Greg Strause, know the original movies inside out, "know the AVP comics and play the AVP videogames". Whether this qualifies them to make anything of the smallest originality is severely in doubt.

Kevin McCloud: Interview with a space man

Kevin McCloud is passionate about architecture's power to change the world, his TV show 'Grand Designs' is the most compelling thing on the box and he's quite dishy as well. It's all just too much to bear

Liverpool 3 Bolton Wanderers 0: Pennant wings it as Reds outflank Allardyce

What had threatened to turn into an embarrassing start to the new year for Rafael Benitez evolved instead as a satisfyingly emphatic victory for the Liverpool manager over an opponent with whom he has developed something of a fixation.

Tissue firms accused of falling short on recycling

It may sound like an impertinent question: does your loo paper really need to be quite so bright and fluffy? But it's serious, according to the green pressure group WWF, which says that too much virgin fibre from the world's forests is being used in lavatory tissue, when recycled fibre would be just as good.

Hundreds protest at murder of Putin's fiercest critic

Anna Politkovskaya's intelligent bespectacled face stared back from a small portrait pinned up outside her Moscow apartment block yesterday. Russia's most famous and controversial crusading investigative journalist was dead, cut down by two shots from a hitman's pistol.

Shalimar the Clown, by Salman Rushdie

Noman - the name of a killer

FILM: THE STORY OF THE SCENE: `Alien' (1979)

Raised from their stasis-like sleep, the crew of the spaceship Nostromo have stopped to investigate a mysterious distress signal. It's not a good move. In the ruins of an ancient craft in a windswept planet they discover a cargo of giant eggs. John Hurt bends over to peer at one. In a flash, a terrifying organism has attached itself to his face. Taken back to the ship, he remains unconscious until the creature appears to die and fall off. But in the mess hall of the Nostromo he convulses - and a gruesome junior alien bursts from his chest, spraying the onlookers with blood. It's gone down in film legend as the event that Ridley Scott concealed from 28-year-old Sigourney Weaver and her co-stars, hoping to catch real expressions of fear and revulsion.
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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
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Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
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Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?