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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