Wednesday, February 17, 2010

50 Most Anticipated Films of 2010: Part III

30. Cemetery Junction
Directed By: Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant.
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Hughes, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson.
Why? I am a huge fan of Ricky Gervais, and the fact that he has teamed up to directed this film with his co-creator of The Office and Extras, has me giddy. His first film behind the camera, The Invention of Lying, was quite an underrated little comic gem last year. Gervais will have a supporting role, giving the leads to some unknown youngsters. I’m sure it will still be hilarious.

29. Fair Game
Directed By: Doug Liman.
Starring: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Noah Emmerich, David Andrews.
Why? Based on the Valerie Plame scandal, where a CIA agent’s covert status was compromised after her husband wrote several op-ed pieces criticizing the Bush administration and the issue of Weapons of Mass Destruction. This may feel like yesterday’s news by the time it hits theaters, and director Doug Liman is hit or miss – but with Watts and Penn in the lead roles, it is a must see.

28. The Runaways
Directed By: Floria Sigismondi.
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon, Scout Taylor Compton.
Why? Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett? Dakota Fanning and Halloween’s Scout Taylor Compton as her band mates? Michael Shannon as their producer? Full on 1970s punk rock outfits from everyone. Damn right, I’m looking forward to this one.

27. The Expendables
Directed By: Sylvester Stallone.
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Eric Roberts.
Why? No, I don’t really expect the new film by Sylvester Stallone to be an Oscar worthy film or anything like that. But his last film behind the camera, Rambo, was a surprisingly good film and the bloody, strong violence was more than I had anticipated, and made the film a little more serious than any of the previous Rambo films. And, how can you not want to see this one with Stallone, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham and Eric Roberts? Not to mention Dolph Lundgren, and cameos by Bruce Willis and the Governor of California?

26. The Fighter
Directed By: David O. Russell.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams.
Why? David O. Russell has hit some hard times – what with his temper tantrum on the set of I Heart Huckabees hitting the internet and become a sensation, and the fact that his film Nailed may never see the light of day due to funding difficulties. But no matter how big of an ass Russell is, he is also talented filmmakers – as the aforementioned Huckabees and Three Kings proves. So this boxing movie, with a solid cast (how can you not like Wahlberg, Bale and Adams), should hopefully get him back on track.

25. Splice
Directed By: Vincenzo Natali.
Starring: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley.
Why? Director Natali is still probably best known for his low budget, sci-fi wonder Cube from years ago. This time, he has Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley in an incredibly strange looking film about a couple who try and splice together some human DNA with animal DNA for medical benefits, and the result is the very strange, and terrifying little creature, you see in the picture. Natali is usually more for intelligent sci-fi, then big budget special effects, so I hope the same is true for this one.

24. Kick Ass
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn.
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong, Aaron Johnson, Chloe Mortez, Christopher Minz Plasse.
Why? The trailer for this comedy about teenagers with no powers who decide to become superheros is hilarious. The cast is quite good, and Matthew Vaughn is a fine director – just go back and watch Layer Cake where, Vaughn, who was Guy Ritchie’s producer, made a British crime film better than anything Ritchie ever made. There have been a lot of superhero movies in the past few years, so an intelligent comedy about them is overdue.

23. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Directed By: Edgar Wright.
Starring: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzman.
Why? Admittedly, Michael Cera has not had a role as great as the two in his breakout year – Superbad and Juno. But the man still makes me laugh. Add in the gorgeous Mary Elizabeth Winstead (who has talent to match her looks), and Jason Schwartzman and I’m laughing already. Directed by Edgar Wright, of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame, and produced by Jason Reitman and based on the brilliant, hilarious graphic novel series, this is one comedy I cannot wait to see.

22. The American
Directed By: Anton Corbijn.
Starring: George Clooney, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten, Paolo Bonacelli.
Why? George Clooney has become one of, if not the most, consistent actor in American movies – delivering intelligent performances that are at the heart of intelligent movies. Based on the acclaimed novel A Very Private Gentleman by Martin Booth, this is a major step up for director Corbijn, whose previous film Control was a wonderful black and white study of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis. We are in short supply of genuinely good adult thrillers, so I hope this one delivers.

21. Toy Story 3
Directed By: Lee Unkrich.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen.
Why? Considering Pixar’s last three films have all made my top ten list at year end, and I do think that Pixar has been the most consistent creative force in American movies for the last 15 years, I have to put this film high on the list. However, I am slightly disappointed that Pixar, who only makes one film a year, is returning to this story rather than something new and different – which has been their forte for years now. Nevertheless, both previous Toy Story’s were brilliant, so I have faith this one will be as well. (in case you're wondering why I choose this post, Hammy has always been my favorite).

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