Extras

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FILM / Cinema

Childhood ain't what it used to be, particularly with parents like Kit Culkin about. This monster forced film-makers to give his tiny daughter a role in son Macaulay's (as yet unreleased) movie The Good Son. The poor scrap of a thing had an assist ant onhand to cheer her up in the morning, which is something nobody should need until they hit their twenties.

Deathless, ruthless and bloodless

This vampire never dies. He never makes us laugh either. Or feel afraid . Adam Mars-Jones on Neil Jordan's all too melancholy Interview with the Vampir e

Film: Finishing straight: Boy meets boy, boy loves boy, boy sleeps with - girl. Has Hollywood come out of the closet or just redecorated it?

Don't look now, but upfront homoeroticism seems to have arrived at the multiplex. Fancy a romp in the Australian outback with a troupe of drag queens? Try Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Or perhaps an exploration of the ambiguous boundaries of human sexuality, a Jules et Jim for the Nineties?

Superwoman mellows out: John Arlidge joins Ffyona Campbell on the final lap of her round-the-world walk and encounters a softer spirit

SIX O'CLOCK in the morning in Caithness and, as the sun rises over a coastline laid bare by the Highland clearances, Ffyona Campbell packs up her tent and starts the last full day of her round-the-world walk. After covering 200 miles a week for the last year, she will tread the final three miles from Canisbay to John o' Groats this morning and become the first woman to cross the globe on foot.

FILM / The thrill of the high-speed chase: Coming soon (faster than you think) to a cinema near you, Speed is a refinement of that staple of the movie-goer's diet - the car chase. Ryan Gilbey on the guilt-free trip

Jan de Bont's new thriller Speed must have been a breeze to pitch. It goes like this: a bus making its way through the downtown LA rush-hour will, courtesy of a mad bomber, explode if its speed falls below 50mph. It is this rush (with all the word's narcotic connotations), which drives the film: there is no chase. This simple premise duly yielded one of the summer's biggest box-office hits, with US takings standing at dollars 116,746,957, catapulting it into the major league with The Lion King, Forrest Gump and True Lies. Phenomenal business for something with a first-time director and no major stars. De Bont has refuelled one of the most popular genres of Seventies American cinema - the car-chase movie.

Bell Atlantic pursues video network plans

BELL ATLANTIC, the most aggressive of the US regional telephone companies, is to make a dollars 3.5bn restructuring charge and confirmed plans with Hollywood agent Mike Ovitz for a video network.

Opinions: Could you give the kiss of life?

'DANGEROUS' DAVE PEARCE, Breakfast Show DJ, Kiss FM: Only if they'd flossed their teeth, weren't wearing Brut and didn't support Millwall. And I'd avoid beards too.

Heart Searching: For those in search of paradise: Despite Sara Eden's 'beautiful people' image, you don't have to look like Kim Basinger or Tom Cruise to join, says Angela Wilkes

Karen Mooney sold just about everything she owned, and only had two months mortgage repayment money in hand when she launched her introduction agency, Sara Eden.

BOOK REVIEW / Ghostly sons and lovers: 'The Magnolia' - Philip Callow: Allison & Busby, 5.99 pounds

PHILIP CALLOW's career as a writer runs back to the Fifties. Common People, a fine early novel, dates from 1958, and he contributed to Tom Maschler's collection of 'committed' post-Suez essays Declaration (1957).

FILM / The Big Pictures: No Stone unturned: Sheila Johnston reviews Heaven and Earth, the conclusion of Oliver Stone's Vietnam trilogy

One day, maybe, some angry young film-maker yet unborn will make a biopic of Oliver Stone. He is, after all, the quintessential angry American anti-hero: Yale drop-out, decorated Vietnam veteran, pothead and, these last few years, self-appointed scourge of the national conscience. In the meantime, Stone has been busily enshrining angry American anti-heroes in films of his own. But, thanks to a tireless talent for self-publicity, he's as celebrated as any of his fictional heroes - in Dave, the comedy about a Presidental doppelganger, he raises a huge laugh in a split-second cameo sending up his own paranoia (he alone rumbles Kevin Kline as an imposter).

Turning swords into legal paperweights

ON HOLIDAY for the past two weeks, I let down my literary guard and took thrillers to the pool; mainly current American bestsellers. And although my first intention was escapism, there was no getting away from the fact that the books fell into an intriguing pattern.

FILM / Strutting the mushy stuff: A Few Good Men (15); A Winter's Tale (12); Tous les Matins du Monde (12)

AT THE start of A Few Good Men we get a bravura display of parade-ground dexterity: a line of dapper marines whip through a close drill, rifles sloped at lightning speed to give the impression of a domino collapse. Their movements have a giddy comic beauty - a split second out and the whole routine would be in disarray. It's the most enjoyable sequence in a movie that is itself excessively regimented.

FILM / All present and correct: A Few Good Men and Almodovar's Labyrinth of Passion

You realise very soon into A Few Good Men, a barnstorming courtroom drama that lays most of its cards on the table early in the game, that Jack Nicholson is a bad 'un. It's not that he is caught telling a point-blank lie about one of the case's central events. It's not his brusque crew- cut and menacing manner. It is well before he goes apeshit in court (in one of those small but significant movie scenes that seems to say to Oscar 'Give this man a Best Supporting Actor Nomination'). It is at the moment when he levels his lizard squint full on to Tom Cruise and discourses long and lewdly on the peculiar pleasures of sex with a senior female officer. Not just any old sex, mind, but the kind that would require her to kneel before him. 'There is nothing on earth sexier than a woman you have to salute in the morning,' he leers.

FILM / Here's the beef, where's the meat?

WHAT is the point of Tom Cruise? Leading men should really get on and lead, but he always seems to operate within limits, or under orders. He was lauded for taking on a 'difficult' role in Born on the Fourth of July, but he made the difficulty look a cinch. His mavericks are regular guys, his tough types chirpy: he is the rebel with a perfectly understandable cause, and he wouldn't let us hate him for a moment. Is he really called Tom Cruise? Even his agent couldn't dream up a name like that: the lad next door with the flush of faraway places, a high-school jock with satin skills at the wheel.
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

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Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

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Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

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Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

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Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

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The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
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A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

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Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

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Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee