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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.

Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is heading right where he belongs, into the MCU, where he'll get up to derring-do alongside Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Yes, the day for which Spider-Fans have long pined has actually, really arrived: Sony announced tonight that the wallcrawler is set to appear in an as-yet unspecified Marvel Studios movie before starring in a new, Marvel-produced solo movie set for July 28, 2017.

English actor Joe Anderson is best known for his work in such films as Control, Across the Universe, The Crazies, The Grey, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, A Single Shot, Horns, and Hercules. He can now be seen in the acclaimed new drama Supremacy, which was directed by first time filmmaker Deon Taylor.

Supremacy is based on a true story and revolves around a recently paroled white supremacist named Garrett Tully (Anderson). After Tully and his girlfriend (Julie Benz) kill a cop, they take an African American family hostage. Mr. Walker (Danny Glover), the patriarch of the family and an ex-con himself, must now rely on his wit and understanding of the racist mind to find a plan to free his family. In addition to Anderson, Benz, and Glover, the film also stars Derek Luke (Captain America: The First Avenger), Lela Rochon (Any Given Sunday), and Anson Mount (Non-Stop). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Joe Anderson about his work on Supremacy. The talented actor discussed his new film, how he got involved with the project, his character as it was originally written in the script, the true story the film is based on, working with Danny Glover, the relationship between Tully and Mr. Walker, and what he hopes audiences will take away from the film. 

Fifty Shades of Grey is already the fastest-selling R-rated movie in Fandango's history.  It's poised to set Presidents Day weekend records, maybe making north of $85 million at the box office.

Even if audiences stop turning up after this weekend, Fifty Shades of Grey is basically a hit already, tracking strongly not just with fans of the novel, but also with lots of women who've never bit their lips whilst reading the sadomachistic bestseller.

Is it even faintly surprising to hear that sequels are an absolute certainty at this point?

All right, head to the kitchen and grab the biggest grain of salt you can find, because there's a humdinger of a Marvel rumor making the rounds.

The rumor: Marvel Studios is talking to Angelina Jolie about directing Captain Marvel, offering her a queen's ransom to helm the studio's first female-driven superhero movie.

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