Moviegoers are stuck in the late-summer doldrums. But have hope, film fans: There's a light at the end of the tunnel. Our 10 most anticipated movies of the fall season — and yes, there's even more to the fall than that little "Twilight" flick you might have heard us talk about from time to time — are right around the corner.
"Ghost Town" (September 19)
The tagline for this supernatural comedy states, "Bertram Pincus sees dead people ... and they annoy him." Taken at face value, that sounds absolutely dreadful and boring — except nobody gets annoyed better than Ricky Gervais, who perfected the slow burn of the oft put-upon in "Extras." The story of a dentist who awakens after surgery to find he can bridge this world with the next was directed by "Indiana Jones" scripter David Koepp.
"Eagle Eye" (September 26)
You can't run, you can't hide. No matter where you go or what you do, you're always being watched. Big Brother, meet Big Sister in this paranoid thriller from the mind of Steven Spielberg. But the best part of this Shia LaBeouf flick? Absolutely, positively no vine-swinging.
"Body of Lies" (October 10)
A young CIA agent attempts to turn Iraqi terrorists on themselves in this timely political thriller (yawn) ... starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe and directed by Ridley Scott (cheer!). Crowe told MTV News last year that the movie "would not be popular" — that's more than enough reason to think it will probably be good.
"Max Payne" (October 17)
Mark Wahlberg called Max Payne — the titular character at the heart of this video-game-to-big-screen adaptation — the most complex character he's ever played. That's no small praise from a man who this summer had an engaging tête-à-tête with a houseplant. (Seriously.) The film, about a guy who goes on a killing spree after his own family is killed, needs only sell as many tickets as the PlayStation series sold games and it will be an unqualified success. But where's the love for Donkey Kong?
"W." (October 17)
Misunderestimate this seemingly rushed film about the 43rd commander in chief at your own peril: While the political fallout could be huge — depending on the tone and message of the film — director Oliver Stone has never been one to shy away from controversy ... or make a really bad movie ("Alexander" notwithstanding). Starring Josh Brolin as George W. Bush and Elizabeth Banks as his first lady, filmgoers can smoke this flick out of its cave two weeks before the election.
"Zack and Miri Make a Porno" (October 31)
Seth Rogen and Kevin Smith are two great comedic tastes, so is it any wonder that early reviews out of Toronto indicate that they taste great together? I'm sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit after saying taste and then re-reading my first question to Smith about this film, which centers on a pair of misfits who decide to make an amateur porno.
"Quantum of Solace" (November 14)
Picking up where "Casino Royale" left off, "Quantum of Solace" finds super-secret British agent James Bond shaken and stirred — by anger and sadness — as he searches for the secrets behind the death of his first love. Thanks to "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" moving its release date to next summer, the newest James Bond flick becomes, by default, the most anticipated movie of the fall. Now if only it didn't have the all-time worst title for a movie ever, we might be on to something.
"The Day the Earth Stood Still" (December 12)
It's an apocalyptic thriller that's equal part "Close Encounters" and "An Inconvenient Truth." Alien Keanu Reeves arrives on Earth to save us from our own worst tendencies. "Klaatu Obama nikto?" Maybe. Director Scott Derrickson was cagey with details regarding the remake when MTV News spoke with him in July but says you can expect one thing for sure: rigid acting from Keanu — on purpose!
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (December 19)
What if you knew then what you know now? It's an intriguing concept at the heart of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," the story of a man (Brad Pitt) who ages backward. News of fights between director David Fincher and Paramount over the film's running time only makes us want to see both versions of this sure-to-be Oscar contender.
"Valkyrie" (December 26)
(Editor's note: Sure, this release date might be pushing the whole "fall films" thing, but with how many times this flick has moved around, it might be released in autumn when all is said and done.) Say what you will about this flick's ever-shifting release dates, its bad press and the increasing negativity toward its star (who is not doing himself any favors these days with his behavior) — "Valkyrie" centers on one of the most interesting events to come out of World War II. Follow Tom Cruise as he attempts to assassinate Hitler, bring prestige back to his name and rid his body of thetans. Heck, it's Christmas, the season of giving. Isn't it time the biggest star of the last two decades was given a second chance?
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