News Tom Hanks in the 2000 film Castaway

In a story similar to the plot of the film Castaway starring Tom Hanks, Jose Ivan was found on the atoll having floated 8,000 miles from Mexico

The drill sergeant to the stars

If a Hollywood actor's depiction of the horrors of war is realistic, that is because Dale Dye has driven them through his tough boot camp. Guy Adams salutes him

The Top 10 Christmas book chart

Dan Brown's record-breaking mystery thriller The Lost Symbol has topped the book charts for Christmas.

Pack up your bargains in your old kitbag

A Slice of Britain: Shoppers queue from 2am as Angels sells off the uniforms that fought wars on stage and screen

Hollywood's top tearjerkers

Did you cry in Titanic? Have you blubbed during Up? Rob Sharp wonders why we can't resist sobbing in the dark – and nominates Hollywood's finest weepies

Simpson content to take supporting role in heat

Having witnessed the fate of Janeth Jepkosgei, the defending champion, in the opening first round heat of the women's 800m on day two of the World Championships yesterday, Jemma Simpson was taking no chances.

Nora Ephron: Woman's wit

Heroine to a generation of wronged wives, the writer and director's latest film has strengthened her claim to be the voice of liberal America

The Harrowing, By Robert Dinsdale

A dark fable of warring brothers

Last Night's Television: Life, ITV3<br />Nasa: Triumph and Tragedy, BBC2

Life has a slightly sour twist to its title these days, now that Damien Lewis's oddball cop show has been cancelled in the States and is living on borrowed time. It isn't really the moment to get too attached to it, unless you're thinking of mounting a last-minute write-in campaign for a reprieve, but then I doubt that last night's episode would have persuaded a first-time viewer to reach for the Basildon Bond. The quirks of character that Charlie Crews started out with – a zen fatalism induced by a long stretch in prison for a crime he didn't commit, the Asperger's independence of his thought processes – have now stagnated into something just a little too perky and self-satisfied. I have a feeling, too, that there's something about the set of Lewis's mouth that disqualifies him from uncomplicated screen stardom – a tightness that isn't quite compatible with the quirkiness this series strives for. He can do furious and repressed like a trooper, but light-hearted and quippy is a bit of a stretch for him. The script itself does have moments though, such as a scene in last night's show in which Charlie's financial adviser started teaching at a California business school and found that every word he addressed to his class was followed by a hailstorm of key-clattering on their massed laptops. He paused, startled by the effect, and the hailstorm eased off, only to resume just as vigorously a couple of beats after he's started talking again. I quite liked Charlie's boss Tidwall too, whose role is not to bellow at his underlings about their breaches of police procedure (the canonical role of a police superior in an American cop show), but to make them wrinkle their noses at his sleazy cynicism at least four times in every episode. "Hold him on the charge of freaking me out," he said lazily, when Charlie is struggling to find just cause for holding a mouth-breathing murder suspect. Perhaps if he'd been the star and Charlie had been the sidekick they'd be getting ready for series four right now.

Angels & Demons (12A)

There is a scene about halfway through this sequel to The Da Vinci Code when the scholar-hero, played by Tom Hanks, is locked inside a glass-walled library vault whose oxygen supply has just been treacherously cut off. We are meant to be horrified as he staggers along the precious book-lined corridors, surrounded on all sides by arcane knowledge, yet unable to draw breath into his lungs. There could be no more perfect metaphor for this movie, a see-through construct packed to the rafters with complex information but peopled by characters denied the simple oxygen of credibility. How can we possibly care about a man being starved of air when he has nothing of real life about him in the first place?

The Independent Film Forum: 14. Cheri

Our film forum is your chance to pass judgement on a recent release. Here's a selection of your views on Stephen Frears' new romantic drama

Faster-paced 'Da Vinci Code' sequel premieres in Rome

The movie sequel to "The Da Vinci Code" is being greeted as a faster-paced, more gripping film than the original and is respectful to Catholics, director Ron Howard said at its Rome premiere.

Audition By Ryu Murakami, trans Ralph McCarthy

A Japanese romance in horror style

First Impressions: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (2003)

The word for The Da Vinci Code is a rare invertible palindrome. Rotated 180 degrees on a horizontal axis so that it is upside down, it denotes the maternal essence that is sometimes linked to the sport of soccer. Read right side up, it concisely conveys the kind of extreme enthusiasm with which this riddle-filled, code-breaking, exhilaratingly brainy thriller can be recommended.

Depp's Inferno

The actor is going to hell and back to star in a dramatisation of the life of Dante

There was simply no one else like Paul Newman

Paul Newman was one of the last two greats of his generation. There is only Clint Eastwood left now, I think. He trained in the method style with Lee Strasberg and in the beginning he was criticised for being a mini Marlon Brando. He was a bit younger than Brando, and Brando was the big star. But he moved away from that, and established his own style. He wasn't a second anybody: he was very much Paul Newman.

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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
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor