Arts and Entertainment Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone attend the 'Grudge Match' Rome Premiere

The screenplay is as sclerotic and slow moving as its two punch drunk leads

The ugly face of beauty

Cosmetic surgery is a consumer service like any other, and one that is booming

Afghan tribes take on the Rambo myth

WHEN THE Hollywood moguls dedicated Rambo III - in which Sylvester Stallone single- handedly liberates most of Af-ghanistan from the Soviet Union - to the country's "brave people", they felt they were celebrating men who had fought a just war against an evil enemy. Such certainty would be unlikely now.

Essay: Death is hard, but there's life in it

`Die Hard' copycats can set their own body count, says Daniel Rosenthal, but they should leave the rules alone

Police blame Hollywood for rise of hit-men

A RISE in the number of murders by "hit-men" in Britain is linked to more gratuitous violence in Hollywood films, according to one of Britain's most senior policemen.

Why Are They Famous: Jackie Stallone

Main Claim

Films: Videowatch

One Night Stand (18), New Line (available to rent now)

Obituary: Judge Dread

THE BRITISH love novelty records. Put saucy lyrics to a groovy beat, add a dash of seaside postcard humour and you're on to a winner. Judge Dread, the risque cod-reggae artist who died on Friday night at the end of a concert in Canterbury, had a string of Top 20 hits in the Seventies with singles like "Big Six", "Big Seven", "Big Eight" and "Big Ten" which left little to the imagination and were all banned by the BBC. Somewhere between coarse rugby songs, Benny Hill and ska, these proved firm favourites with skinheads, "rude boys" and spotty teenagers chuckling at their first taste of swearing on albums like Dreadmania, Working Class 'Ero and Bedtime Stories.

Film: Box-0ffice UK

1 Tomorrow Never Dies

FILMS: LONDON TOP TEN

1 / ALIEN: RESURRECTION

New films: box-0ffice UK

1 Alien Resurrection

Cinema: Stallone and Liotta pull their paunches

Stallone. Liotta. Keitel. De Niro. Say them out loud in the husky transatlantic tones of the man on the legendary Denim advert. Impressive, isn't it? These men are icons of masculinity, a gang of guys who've come to personify a buckish true grit that's made them Pub Man's eternal pin- ups. But did you know they have a combined age of 207?

He could have been a contender

Few stars had a bigger, better more starry start than Sylvester Stallone. `Rocky' catapulted him to fame and millions. But, argues Nick Hasted, the man is a failure.

Interview: The method of Robert de Niro's money-making

From his early classic performances to his latest appearance in `Cop Land', De Niro has gone from a method actor who gave his all for a part to a man merely cashing in on cameos. Sarah Gristwood discovers why

Film: Take a good look in the Miramax, boys

The US film company Miramax has brought ground-breaking movies to a mass audience since 1980. But, argues Geoffrey MacNab, with the launch of `Copland' next week the stress of reconciling art with commerce is beginning to tell.

Letter: Women climb for themselves

Charles Arthur says that"women are also discovering that the traditional image of a top climber - Sylvester Stallone ... is false" ("It's a long hard ascent for women climbers", 26 October).
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?