Arts and Entertainment

John Sheppard "Sacred Choral Music" (Delphian)

Album: R.E.M, Collapse Into Now (Warner Bros)

R.E.M., by bookending the album with the ringing guitar drone of "Discoverer", are suggesting Collapse Into Now has a conceptual unity absent from their recent albums; and certainly, the recurrent themes of conclusion, starting over and rebuilding do lend it a muscular sense of purpose. That muscularity finds its musical equivalent in the rock heft of tracks like "Alligator_Aviator_ Autopilot_Antimatter" and "All the Best", although it's the more tender songs, such as "Überlin" and "Oh My Heart", which are the standouts, recalling Automatic for the People. The latter track, with its waltzing accordion, has a distinctly European flavour, while elsewhere the presence of mandolin/bouzouki folk-rockers like "It Happened Today" and "Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and I" marks a welcome return to a more varied textural palette.

Screen Talk: Listen to the boys

The role of the fan boy in Hollywood is a serious one. At least among studio executives who believe the vast pool of internet-savvy, movie mad, boy scrutinisers who analyse everything and criticise any slip-ups are worth listening to. Some studios even act on the intelligence gathered from this very specific movie-going geekdom. So part of the reason Jon Chu has been handed the mission of directing Paramount's sequel to G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra, is down to the young man's street cred among fanboys. The first outing for G.I. Joe was a commercial hit, but a flop with critics and fanboys alike so the studio is aiming to put that right next time around. Chu is adept at playing to that particular gallery. He is responsible for Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, Paramount's hit documentary made for $13m that grossed over $53m in the US. The director also worked quickly to recut the Bieber movie for a director's "fan cut".

New Charlie Sheen interview set to be aired

US network ABC said it will broadcast an interview with Charlie Sheen that was recorded after the incendiary rant that led CBS and Warner Bros Television to halt production of Two and a Half Men for the season.

Charlie Sheen show pulled after radio outburst

In the wake of an incendiary radio interview with Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen, CBS and Warner Bros Television said they are ending production on TV's top-rated sitcom for the season.

DVD: The Town, For retail & rental (Warner Home Video)

Ben Affleck follows up Gone Baby Gone with his second film as director, and it's another blue-collar Boston crime drama.

Charlie Sheen thanks fans for support

Charlie Sheen has thanked his fans for their support after he began his home rehab stint.

England beat Australia with dramatic finish

Debutant Chris Woakes was the match-winner as England claimed a record eighth consecutive Twenty20 victory with a last-ball win over Australia in Adelaide.

Album: James Rhodes, Bullets & Lullabies (Warner Bros)

James Rhodes' populist charm is given free rein in the sleevenotes to this double CD of contrasting approaches to the piano, with plenty of winking references to chemical stimulation.

DVD: Where the Wild Things Are, For retail & rental (Warner)

Directed by Spike Jonze and co-written by Dave Eggers, this live-action adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic 10-sentence children's picture book should probably have been renamed Where the Neurotic Things Are: it's a melancholy indie mood piece in which Sendak's leonine rumpus-raisers are moth-eaten and needy yetis.

Former Warner boss backs new music firm

The former boss of Warner Bros International Paul-René Albertini is backing an innovative new music company that will officially launch in the UK this week with its first talent showcase. Claiming its model is designed to "fill some of the gaps" left by traditional record labels, My Major Company (MMC) was set up at the end of October and this Wednesday will launch its first 10 artists in London.

DVD: Sex and the City 2, For retail & rental (Warner)

For the first half-hour, SATC2 is quite enjoyable – self-congratulatory, but bubbling with escapism and spiced with some smart quipping between the self-labelled "girls".

Harry Potter and the death of an industry

The wizard has cast a spell on British film. But he vanishes soon

DVD: Whatever Works, For retail & rental (Warner)

We should have known. It turns out that Vicky Cristina Barcelona was a blip, and Woody Allen has slipped back into his usual recent practice of rehashing old scenarios in a slipshod, one-take manner.

Forgotten authors No 59: Rex Warner

"Important" books can sometimes be a chore, so here is the author of a masterpiece with the pacing of a soap opera. The forgotten member of the Cecil Day-Lewis/WH Auden circle at Oxford in the 1920s, this dandyish vicar's son and disillusioned Marxist led a life packed with colour, incident and, by his own admission, lechery.

Warner buys Harry Potter studios

Warner Brothers announced yesterday that it had bought the British studios where the Harry Potter franchise was filmed, raising hopes of a resurgence in home-grown cinema.

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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
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?