20 Most Anticipated Movies Of 2010: Page 2 of 2

10. Machete

Release Date: 2010 TBA
Directors: Ethan Maniquis & Robert Rodriguez
Screenwriter: Robert Rodriguez
Starring: Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, Jeff Fahey, Steven Segal and Robert De Niro

2007's Grindhouse was like nothing I had ever seen at the time -- a brilliantly-orchestrated double feature of mayhem and violence hearkening back to the days of the 70s and 80s exploitation film.  Robert Rodriguez directed the zombie gorefest Planet Terror while Quentin Tarantino paid homage to the action-road genre with Death Proof, and though the feisty collaboration scored big with critics and fans alike, what a majority of the ticket buyers applauded most were the "fake" movie trailers stuck between the two flicks (which, for whatever reason, have all been excluded from the DVD releases of the respective films).  One of these previews, Machete (also directed by Rodriguez), is receiving a full-length makeover tentatively set to be released sometime this year, and... well, you'll just have to watch the original Grindhouse trailer below to get an idea of the plot because words cannot do it justice.  Warning -- the following preview contains violence and strong language, so kiddies, get your parent's permission before pressing play!

Red Band Trailer

9. MacGruber

Release Date: April 23
Director: Jorma Taccone
Screenwriters: Will Forte, John Solomon & Jorma Taccone
Starring: Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Jason Bateman, Powers Booth and Val Kilmer

Not since 2000's The Ladies Man has a film inspired by a Saturday Night Live sketch come into fruition, but the decade-long drought is about to end.  MacGruber, a spoof of the 80s television series MacGuyver, is getting the big-screen treatment this spring with jokester Will Forte reprising his role as the blunderous special ops agent.  The story involves MacGruber assembling a group of enforcers to take down his lifelong adversary (Val Kilmer as Dieter von Cunth) who has just hijacked a nuclear warhead from the United States government, and while this might sound like the plot from any old generic action movie, I have faith that Forte (along with fellow SNL chums Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Bill Hader) will take this concept to new, unexplored comedic heights.  Early reviews are christening MacGruber as "the best SNL film since Wayne's World," so let's just hope that the hype doesn't disappoint.  WWE superstars "The Big Show" Paul Wight, Chris Jericho, The Great Khali, Kane, Mark Henry and MVP make cameo appearances as members of MacGruber's trusty battalion.


8. Date Night

Release Date: April 9
Director: Shawn Levy
Screenwriter: Josh Klausner
Starring: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Ray Liotta, Mark Ruffalo and William Fichtner

Next month's Date Night offers a perfect compromise to even the most hypercritical of couples.  The movie stars the excellent pairing of Steve Carell and Tina Fey as a married couple bored with the monotonous routine that has become of their union -- that is until a simple case of mistaken identity catapults them into a web of danger involving a gang of menacing street thugs bent on making their lives a living hell.  Carell currently triumphs as one of Hollywood's funniest personalities (2005's The 40-Year-Old Virgin still cracks me up and The Office shines on as television's best comedy) and Tina Fey's previous work on 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live solidifies her as a force to be reckoned with in the world of comedy.  This teaming of the two contains all of the ingredients necessary to satisfy anyone during a date night of their own.  The all-star cast also includes Ray Liotta, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Mark Ruffalo, Common, Olivia Munn and William Fichtner.


7. Hot Tub Time Machine

Release Date: March 26
Director: Steve Pink
Screenwriters: Sean Anders, Josh Heald & John Morris
Starring: John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Lizzy Caplan, Crispin Glover, Lyndsy Fonseca and Chevy Chase

Have you ever watched a preview for a movie and then said to yourself, "That just looks so ridiculous... that I absolutely must see it"?  That's exactly how I felt after viewing the trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine, the upcoming time travel farce directed by Steve Pink (co-writer of one of my favorite movies of all time, High Fidelity).  The film follows four guy friends who head to a ski resort for a weekend of male bonding and, after an evening of pounding booze in the seemingly-ordinary Jacuzzi, awaken to find themselves warped back to 1986.  This premise could easily turn into a one-trick pony by prodding effortlessly at oldfangled styles and trends from the 80s, but in the steady hands of Pink (who directed the underappreciated 2006 college romp Accepted), I have a feeling that this zany comedy will avoid the obvious clichés and prevail as one of the most enjoyable movies of the year.  Chevy Chase co-stars as a hot tub repairman who may or may not know more about the situation than he's willing to admit.


6. Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows Part I

Release Date: November 19
Director: David Yates
Screenwriter: Steve Kloves
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Bonnie Wright, Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman

The ending of Harry Potter And the Half-Blood Prince reminded me a lot of the conclusion to The Empire Strikes Back in that it left you feeling as though all hope was lost for our heroes even though we all knew that there was still a good portion of the story left to tell.  Deathly Hallows opens with Harry, Ron and Hermione embarking on a treacherous mission to destroy the Horcruxes -- objects used by the venomous Lord Voldermort to safeguard his everlasting immortality and unstoppable supernatural powers -- thus barreling on toward the inevitable final battle between good and evil that will determine the fate of the world.  The Harry Potter movies grow darker and more mature with each installment, and this highly-anticipated climax (no doubt split into two separate episodes to soothe the diehard fans who protested that too many important details have been omitted from the films) is one that this particular moviegoer is eagerly awaiting to witness this Thanksgiving.


5. Get Him to the Greek

Release Date: June 4
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Screenwriters: Rodney Rothman & Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Elisabeth Moss, Rose Byrne, Colm Meaney, Karl Theobald and Aziz Ansari

2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall quickly became an instant classic in the heart of this particular movie fanatic.  Nearly every minute of that film produced another burst of laughter straight from the gut, the kind of merriment that reminds us why we immerse ourselves in the marvelous realm of cinema in the first place.  After discovering that English comedian Russell Brand's flamboyant rockstar persona Aldous Snow would be making another appearance in this summer's Get Him to the Greek, my vote for the year's best comedy may already be cast.  Get Him to the Greek reunites Brand with Forgetting Sarah Marshall director and screenwriter Nicholas Stoller to follow the antics of the disorderly musician as he is constantly pestered by a wavering record company intern (Hill, playing a completely different character from his obsessed waiter from FSM) who has been assigned to escort the unmanageable Aldous from his comfortable set-up in London to a momentous concert in Los Angeles -- a task that could mean the difference between receiving a promotion and being booted out onto the streets.  Be on the lookout for cameos by Christina Aguilera, Dee Snider, Lars Ulrich, Pink and Brand's real-life main squeeze, Katy Perry.


4. A Nightmare On Elm Street

Release Date: April 30
Director: Samuel Bayer
Screenwriters: Eric Heisserer & Wesley Strick
Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Rooney Mara, Kyle Gallner, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz, Katie Cassidy, Clancy Brown and Connie Britton

I was indecisive about my feelings concerning this retread of the 1984 horror benchmark that spawned a string of sequels, a television series, and even a video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1989.  I wanted to believe that the original had room to be improved upon with today's obvious advancements in filmmaking (much like the aforementioned Clash Of the Titans reboot), but at the same time, I couldn't endure one of my all-time favorite scarefests being tarnished just for the sake of lining a few conniving Hollywood executives' pockets (here's looking at you, Michael Bay).  Ultimately, I committed to the former opinion and decided to give this "re-imagining" the benefit of the doubt.  It's like my roommate told me: "Go into it with your expectations set to zero and you won't be let down."  If you didn't already know, A Nightmare On Elm Street tells the blood-spattered story of child killer Freddy Krueger, who is burned alive by disgruntled citizens fed up with their offspring being skewered by the raving psychopath.  Ol' Fred doesn't stay dead for long before invading the nightmares of the town's teenagers and obtaining revenge by hacking them up with his weapon of choice -- a glove armed with razor-sharp blades made to slash adolescent skin to ribbons.  Here's hoping that this latest remake is a little more Dawn Of the Dead '04 and a little less Friday the 13th '09.  Watchmen and Shutter Island star Jackie Earle Haley attempts to fill the massive shoes of Robert Englund with his updated version of the iconic murderer.


3. Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer

Release Date: 2010 TBA
Directors: Zack Beins & Richard Taylor
Screenwriters: Zack Beins, Tim Johnson & Richard Taylor
Starring: Mark Shonsey, Lindy Starr, Zachary Byron Helm, Matt Need, Clay Greene, Jazz Copeland, Babette Bombshell and Lloyd Kaufman

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to have your brains scrambled and your stomach emptied by one of the most ingeniously-produced independent horror comedies in recent memory, Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer!  Don't bother scratching your head while thinking to yourself, "I've never even heard of this!"  The low-budget blood and guts extravaganza is still in the production stages and should be showing at film festivals all over the country shortly after its release sometime this year.  Uber-talented directors and genre buffs Richard Taylor and Zack Beins have gathered and mobilized a small but resourceful crew of volunteers that has donated endless hours of support to turn this gore-soaked spectacle from a dream into a reality.  Inspired by such classics as Dead Alive and The Evil Dead, Taylor and Beins have given birth to a whole new brand of zombie movie, but to explain the plot in detail would spoil what makes Atom such an original concept to begin with.  Let's just say that it's a cross between Dawn Of the Dead and The Big Lebowski and we'll let you draw your own conclusions!  To find out more information about Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer, check out the Facebook and MySpace links below.  Be sure to check out the trailer below as well, and watch for an appearance by yours truly at the 0:31 mark where I accomplish a lifelong goal of portraying a member of the walking dead on-screen!  LONG LIVE INDEPENDENT CINEMA!!

Red Band Trailer

2. Kick-Ass

Release Date: April 16
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Screenwriters: Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Moretz, Mark Strong, Lyndsy Fonseca, Yancy Butler, Jason Flemyng and Nicholas Cage

Everyone has been asked at some point in his life, "If you could have just one superpower, what would it be?"  This spring's Kick-Ass is about to teach us that one doesn't need to run faster than a speeding bullet, be more powerful than a locomotive or be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound to attain the notoriety that comes along with being a real-life superhero.  Kick-Ass is the upcoming live-action adaptation of the comic book series written by Mark Millar about a spirited teenage (Aaron Johnson) who decides to take on the persona of Kick-Ass, a spandex-clad vigilante who attempts to clean up the streets at night by giving evildoers a well-deserved taste of justice.  After a video taken of him rescuing an innocent from being beaten by a gang of thugs blows up on YouTube, Kick-Ass soon realizes that taking the law into his own hands has its pitfalls.  Superbad's Christopher Mintz-Plasse takes on the role of sidekick Red Mist while Nicholas Cage and (500) Days of Summer's Chloe Moretz join in on the fun as the father-daughter crime-fighting duo of Big Daddy and Hit Girl.


1. Iron Man 2

Release Date: May 7
Director: Jon
Screenwriter: Justin Theroux
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Garry Shandling and Samuel L. Jackson

Here it is -- this film aficionado's most anticipated movie of 2010.  This high-octane sequel to the 2008 blockbuster aims to bring together all of the elements that made the original such an enthralling masterpiece and build upon them to deliver the most satisfying follow-up to a comic book adaptation since Spider-Man 2.  The film kicks off with our pompous but charismatic hero, the brash multi-billionaire national defense mastermind Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr. returning to the role he was destined to portray), ignoring a request from the United States government to hand over his homemade Iron Man weapon, an act of arrogance that a determined enemy (comeback kid Mickey Rourke) refuses to tolerate.  Downey's Iron Man and Rourke's Russian brute Whiplash soon become entangled in a feud where run-away technology will decide the ultimate victor.  With a solid A-list supporting cast present to help contain the massiveness of this incredible project, including the world's sexiest woman, Scarlett Johansson, as Stark's new personal assistant Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a. Black Widow), Iron Man 2 guarantees to please the fanboys and rock the foundation of the box office this May.


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