With the debates still raging on about the quality of last year’s films, I’d like to take a look ahead to the future. In fact, considering the year we just had, I’ve been looking ahead to 2010 ever since January of 2009. Don’t get me wrong. The movies were great, but it was really tough for me to keep up with movie news while I was out panhandling on I-35. Not to mention dangerous.

Hopefully our country’s fair citizens will have to panhandle no more forever, but instead of rambling off into tangents about the state of our economy, let’s escape a little bit into the future. A peaceful place where everyone gets a puppy, a flying car, and these movies:

30. The Green Hornet

Release Date: December 10

The Who: Directed by Michel Gondry; Starring Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, and Cristoph Waltz

The Pitch: After being hammered to death with news from this project – most of it involving how many times Stephen Chow would drop out (4) – I still have a lot of hope for this flick. It’s refreshing to see Rogen change things up, although there’s the possibility that he’ll just turn Britt Reid into Seth Reid, but it’s a beloved series hitting the big screen in a big way.

29. A Nightmare on Elm Street

Release Date: April 30

The Who: Directed by Samuel Bayer; Starring Jackie Earle Haley

The Pitch: Horror fans are on claws and needles here, seeing a music video director handle the fragile, delicate nostalgia of their upbringing, but seeing Freddy on screen is enough to make me climb up the wall. And drag myself across the ceiling. Fingers crossed that it’s more Dream Warriors than Freddy’s Dead.

28. Paul

Release Date: TBA

The Who: Directed by Greg Motolla; Written by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost; Starring them, Seth Rogen, and a cast of thousands.

The Pitch: I might as well continue the cast list in this section, because with talent like Jane Lynch, Jeffrey Tambor, Bill Hader, David Koechner, and Kristen Wiig at Greg Motolla’s disposal there’s a lot of promise for this strange story about comic book geeks who meet an (animated) alien on their way to Comic Con.

27. Machete

Release Date: April 16

The Who: Directed by Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez; Starring Danny Trejo and Rose McGowan

The Pitch: What you thought was only a fake trailer turned out to be an entire movie. That’s what Rodriguez does. Who the hell couldn’t go for an hour and a half of the dude from Spy Kids slashing his way through a jungle of human flesh and revenge?

26. Robin Hood

Release Date: May 14

The Who: Directed by Ridley Scott; Written by Brian Helgeland; Starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett

The Pitch: One of the most classic characters, an icon that has appeared in a half dozen films already, it’ll be fascinating to see Scott’s take on it. Especially with Gladiator collaborator Russell Crowe by his side spouting out dialog written by the man who brought us L.A. Confidential and Payback.

25. The Conspirator

Release Date: TBA

The Who: Directed by Robert Redford; Starring Robin Wright Penn and James McAvoy

The Pitch: Redford is an incredibly talented, serious director who might have the best eye to peer into a forbidden section of American history on the night Lincoln died. Wright Penn plays Mary Surratt, the only female conspirator tried in court, in what promises to be a gripping historical and legal drama.

24. Date Night

Release Date: July 14

The Who: Directed by Shawn Levy; Starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey

The Pitch: If you read “Steve Carell and Tina Fey” and didn’t get excited, then you haven’t paid attention to comedy television over the past 3 years. Granted, the name Shawn Levy doesn’t inspire much confidence, but there’s a ton of comedic force at work here for a pretty basic story about a married couple attempting romance, mistaken identities, and thrilling adventure in New York City.

23. The Social Network

Release Date: October 15

The Who: Directed by David Fincher; Written by Aaron Sorkin; Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Rashida Jones, and Sexy Back

The Pitch: Considering that David Fincher is my favorite living director and Aaron Sorkin is one of my favorite writers, you should thank me for not annoyingly placing this much higher on the list. I’ll expect those thank you’s in my inbox by tomorrow morning. For better or worse, Facebook has become a potent cultural force, so it seems only fitting that its birth gets told in film form. I’m looking forward to it, genuinely, but not looking forward to the inevitable, ubiquitous Facebook ads for it.

22. Black Swan

Release Date: TBA

The Who: Directed by Darren Aronofsky; Starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis

The Pitch: If Aronofsky does anything right, it’s tight, intimate character work, and by everything I’ve heard, this thriller sounds fantastic. For your prurient side, there’s Portman and Kunis promising a lesbian sex scene, and for your academic side, there’s Portman and Kunis promising a Sapphic encounter.

21. Frozen

Release Date: TBA

The Who: Directed by Adam Green; Starring Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers, and Shawn Ashmore

The Pitch: Green blew me away with his slasher film Hatchet, and this film garnered a lot of positive praise coming out of Butt-Numb-a-Thon. Frozen tells the story of two snowboarders and a skier who are trapped on a ski-lift facing hypothermia and…some surprising choices that bring them face to face with death.

Click Here to See the Final Twenty >>


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