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Mark Hamill never went anywhere.

A prolific and astonishingly versatile voice actor responsible for some of the most memorable aural presences out there, he has been an active, vital part of the popular culture for almost forty years now.  In 2015, however, he's going to become a whole more visible than he's been in a while.

Hamill plays a pivotal supporting role in Kingsman: The Secret Service, an irreverent blast of old school spy action hitting theaters this Friday. 

And, of course, he wields a lightsaber as Luke Skywalker for the first time in more than three decades in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, the insanely anticipated sequel that kicks off the Disney era of Star Wars this December.

At a Los Angeles screening promoting Kingsman: The Secret Service, IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick was on hand, along with various members of the entertainment press, to talk to the one and only Mark Hamill.  The much-loved thespian was characteristically enthusiastic and engaging, happily discussing the strange way he became involved in director Matthew Vaughn's revisionist spy adventure, the comic book source material, and working with the film's remarkable cast. 

And yes, he also talked about playing Luke Skywalker again, addressing the on-set secrecy of JJ Abrams's Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The teaser trailer for Hitman: Agent 47 is like a videogame come to life, piling on explosions, visual effects, and gun-toting action that's deliberately, happily ludicrous.

The first trailer for Judd Apatow's upcoming comedy Trainwreck is skilled in the art of cameo-fu, dropping appearances from Brie Larson, Tilda Swinton, John Cena, LeBron James, Colin Quinn, Vanessa Bayer, and Dave Attell, as eclectic a collection of names as you're likely to find.

Even with all those "what the hell?" appearances to distract, though, Amy Schumer and Bill Hader ably hold it down as the leads in what looks like a promising comedy for grown-ups.

The day since Sony and Marvel announced their unprecedented partnership on Spider-Man has been an online maelstrom of hyperbole, speculation, and knee-jerk madness.

Neither Sony nor Marvel's mama-company Disney have issued any further official information since dropping that newsbomb, but details about Spidey's latest reboot have begun emerging anyway.  Preliminary info regarding the inter-studio deal reveals just which Marvel movie the wall-crawler will debut in, how long the arrangement is set to last, the fate of Spider-Man's old producers, and even two very, very early names in the running to play the new Peter Parker.

There’s a wealth of important lessons that young filmmakers can learn from Edward Burns. That is exactly why the acclaimed writer, director, producer and actor recently published his memoir - Independent Ed, which was released on February 3rd and chronicles his 20-year journey as a filmmaker. 

Burns first gained attention from Hollywood in 1995 with his critically acclaimed independent film The Brothers McMullen, which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in himself. As the legend goes, Burns had been working as a production assistant on Entertainment Tonight and used his salary to help finance the film. After it was completed, Burns was able to use his connections at ET to give a copy to actor/director Robert Redford, which eventually led to its inclusion at Redford’s Sundance Film Festival. It would go on to win the Grand Jury Prize and was eventually bought for $10 million by 20th Century Fox. That’s not bad considering the film only cost around $28,000.00 to make. McMullen’s success made Burns the poster boy for DIY filmmaking and one of the forefathers of the independent film movement of the ‘1990s.

Hot on the heels of his first film, Burns made She’s the One, which he also wrote, directed, and starred in opposite (then little known actresses) Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, and Amanda Peet. The film went on to be his most financially successful movie to date. While Burns would continue to write and direct films over the years including Sidewalks of New York, The Groomsman, Nice Guy Johnny, Newlyweds, and The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, it was his acting work that would make him a household name. Beginning with a starring role in Steven Spielberg’s now classic WWII film Saving Private Ryan, Burns became one of the most reliable actors of his generation continually giving daring performances in both studio and independent films. His acting resume includes several diverse projects opposite Oscar-winning talent such as 15 Minutes with Robert De Niro, Confidence with Dustin Hoffman, Life or Something Like It with Angelina Jolie, and A Sound of Thunder with Sir Ben Kingsley. While most recently Burns has appeared in films like Man on a Ledge, Friends with Kids, and Alex Cross, as well as the upcoming TNT series Public Morals, which he wrote, directed, produced and will also star in. 

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the great Edward Burns about his new memoir Independent Ed. The accomplished actor and filmmaker discussed his new book, what he’s learned about filmmaking over the years, how acting in Saving Private Ryan changed his approach to directing, the importance of the Sundance Film Festival, if technology has helped or hurt filmmaking, what is an independent film today, if studios should be involved with independent films, the status of his long rumored sequel to The Brothers McMullen, his upcoming series Public Morals, and why TV is really the new independent film movement. 

Remember last month when Neill Blomkamp instragrammed a bunch of slick concept art from an Alien sequel?  An Alien sequel that looked like it disregarded everything that's happened since Aliens? Remember how he shared those tantalizing images but didn't really explain them in any substantial way. 

That was weird, right?

Well, Blomkamp's new movie Chappie is coming out, which means he's doing press, which means he's being asked about it, which means he's finally explaining Alien: Xeno.  His answers, however, have us more confused than before, since the District 9 and Elysium director is talking like he might actually make the thing, claiming that the studio is already on board and eager to make his Alien movie.

This new poster for Child 44 is a thing of brutal beauty.

Taken on its own, the poster is sharp enough, but it's even more impressive when you consider that the film stars Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, Jason Clarke, Dev Patel, Paddy Considine and Vincent Cassel.  How many of them made the poster?  Not one.  That's bold.

Hey bubs, ready for potentially big news about how the elder statesmen of X-Men figure into the future of the expanding franchise?

Since X-Men: Days of Future Past effectively reset the tangled timeline, we've been thinking that neither Patrick Stewart nor Ian McKellen would appear in an X-movie for a while, having gracefully handed their characters over to James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.

Turns out the older versions of Professor X and Magneto aren't done yet, but we won't see them together again.  It's not official, but Magneto's said to be returning for next year's X-Men: Apocalypse, while Xavier will play a big part in the next Wolverine alongside Hugh Jackman.

New 'Pitch Perfect 2' Trailer Spits Hot Fire

Tuesday, 10 February 2015 09:34

At least one Barden Bella goes commando to calamitous effect in the latest trailer for Pitch Perfect 2.

A few months back, Marvel Studios unveiled its full Phase 3 slate, laying out an ambitious superhero release schedule up through 2019.

But now Spider-Man is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the cross-studio collaboration means Marvel is rejiggering its Phase 3 schedule in order to make room for Spidey's solo movie.

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