Arts and Entertainment Knives out: Martin Freeman in a scene from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Peter Jackson's sequel took $92m over Christmas Day and Boxing Day

Greengrass's Bourne ultimatum

Director may have quit fourth instalment of film franchise after dispute over script

DVD: Land of the Lost, For retail & rental (Universal)

This terrible Will Ferrell sci-fi comedy can't decide whether to aim for small children or teenagers, and ends up alienating them both.

Will Ferrell tops list of 'over-rated' film stars

As revenues slump, big names struggle to justify million-dollar paypackets

Bloodbath in Hollywood: Do recent high-level studio sackings reflect the changing tastes of the public?

Forget football. If you want to see a cut-throat profession where a short run of poor form will see balding managers who wear very bad suits get publicly sacked, just wander into the air-conditioned offices of a major film company.

Sport on TV: Ferrell beast on loose as Kenny plumbs depths of his powers

One of the many great things about cricket is that you don't have to be fit to play it. In fact you can even be something that sounds a lot like "fit". Just look at Tim Bresnan. He saunters into the England side, smashes the Aussies around the park without the need to run very much between the wickets, snacks on a few flying ants as he runs in to bowl. So England were thrashed in the Champions Trophy semi-final (Sky Sports 1, Friday) but the burden of blame does not rest with him, he can reflect over a beer or five afterwards.

Friel the force: Anna Friel's stage incarnation as Holly Golightly proves to be a high point in her career

The actress shares more than a few traits with Truman Capote's feisty heroine

The decline of the Hollywood star

After a series of expensive flops this summer, executives are wondering if it's time for a new business model

Land of the Lost (12A), Brad Silberling, 110 mins

Based on a 1970s TV series, this spoof adventure epic stars Will Ferrell as an idiot palaeontologist whose invention of a showtune-singing time machine magicks him and two friends into a parallel dimension where dinosaurs roam.

My Secret Life: KD Lang

Singer-songwriter, 47

Anna Friel - Home is where the part is

After cementing soap notoriety and making a few false starts beyond the small screen, Anna Friel has finally found her niche – and a house – in the Hollywood Hills. Gill Pringle talks to Britain's latest star export

Sarah Sands: A world without men? Easy. But if there were no women, what then?

The prospect of a single-sex society raised by a scientific breakthrough leads our writer to consider a world of pizza boxes and clothes on the carpet

Bush to defend decisions in memoirs

For the past few months he has lived by proxy – depicted by Josh Brolin in the movie W, and by Will Ferrell on the Broadway stage. But soon the real Dubya will be back. He might not be celebrated for his command of the English language – but, like most of his White House predecessors, George W Bush is writing his memoirs.

An unlikely new type of Hollywood hero

Battered, bruised and more than a little flawed, Hollywood’s current crop of leading men is breaking the mould. It’s a sign of the times, says Rosamund Witcher
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'