WHAT TO SEE
Out of the Furnace
Two of Hollywood's most intense actors, Mr Christian Bale and Mr Casey Affleck, play brothers in peril in a depressed rust belt town when the younger (Mr Affleck) gets involved in a dangerous bare-knuckle-brawling crime ring while the elder (Mr Bale) is temporarily indisposed at the Federal Government's pleasure. The movie is sprinkled with the kinds of actors that usually indicate an interesting picture is afoot: Messrs Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker and Woody Harrelson among them. Directed by one-time struggling actor Mr Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart), who also co-wrote the original script, the Oscar mumblings have already begun.
Out on 6 December in the US and 31 January in the UK
WHAT TO HEAR
Nina by Xiu Xiu
Ms Britney Spears' record may be out, but far more intriguing is the latest from avant-garde Californian outfit Xiu Xiu, which is comprised entirely of free-jazz reworkings of the songs of Ms Nina Simone. "Just Say I Love Him" starts with spare, distorted sax, before descending into dark, husky vocals from Xiu Xiu's mastermind Mr Jamie Stewart that make Mr Tom Waits sound like Ms Judy Garland. "Don't Smoke in Bed" follows a similar format, but if you think that all sounds a bit gloomy, Xiu Xiu's next record, Angel Guts: Red Classroom, which is due out in February, is described as a "descent... into the deepest blackness endurable". Happy times.
Out now. xiuxiu.org
WHAT TO READ
Dangerous Women edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois
If you're up to speed on Game of Thrones, you'll know that its creator Mr George RR Martin knows a thing or two about dangerous ladies: you wouldn't want to be messing with Arya Stark or Melisandre of Asshai any time soon (and if you're not up to speed on GoT, you'd be forgiven for skipping to the next item). Here, Mr Martin takes on co-editing duties for this collection of 21 fantasy/ sci-fi stories based around strong female characters from other authors, 12 of whom are New York Times bestsellers, plus a GoT prequel novella from Mr Martin himself.
Out now. georgerrmartin.com
WHAT TO CLICK
Google "incredibly awkward montage of"
We've left off the last word of the actual title of this video for the sake of our more tender-hearted readers, but the above search terms are enough to bring up this genius video that is doing the internet rounds, which works on the simple premise of asking sweaty young people at Dublin nightclub C U Next Tuesday (hence our self-censoring) to pose for a photo when actually they were being filmed. There's something exquisitely tragic about their attempts to get themselves captured at their most handsome, sexy and fun - held in wobbly stasis for a few seconds - even if it is a bit evil.
WHAT TO ATTEND
If you know two things about Mr Bret Easton Ellis' most celebrated psychopath Patrick Bateman, it's that he likes murdering people with power tools and wearing quality tailoring. One of these two facts - we'll let you decide - has resulted in MR PORTER sponsoring this exciting new stage production at the Almeida Theatre in London directed by the terrifyingly talented Mr Rupert Goold, with none other than the recently retired Doctor Who, Mr Matt Smith, in the title role. Oh, and did we mention it's a musical with melodies and lyrics by Spring Awakening maestro Mr Duncan Sheik? We know, we know. You're very welcome.
From 3 December, Almeida Theatre, London. almeida.co.uk
WHAT TO WATCH
This new show from truTV is a kind of real-life take on the recent lo-fi horror movie trend - getting pairs of contestants to stick it out in a haunted house full of unnerving happenings and unexpected guests for as long as their shredded nerves can take it. Having said that, it's also a bit like an updated Candid Camera or Beadle's About, given that watching people being terrorised by creepy-crawlies, scurrying around on all fours in the dark with blindfolds on and locked into coffin-like boxes is, we have to admit, just a little bit hilarious. If you want something a little milder tonight, there's always The Sound Of Music Live! over on NBC.
Starts tonight in the US on truTV. trutv.com