School might be back in session, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still see plenty of movies this fall. Last week, we brought you an in-depth preview of the eagerly anticipated films hitting theaters in the next few months, and now it’s time to look at the people whose big breakthroughs are just a few weeks away.
Which funnyman is on the verge of becoming a big star? What sexy starlet’s flirtations are about to pay off? To answer these questions and more, we’ve peeked into the yearbook to see who will earn a title in the fall class of 2009.
Ricky Gervais may have stolen scenes in films like “Night at the Museum” and been critically acclaimed in TV shows like “Extras,” but so far, he hasn’t broken through here in America. Now, the British funnyman will take his best shot yet with “The Invention of Lying,” an October 2 film co-starring Gervais-worshippers Jonah Hill, Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Christopher Guest. We think the movie, about a writer inventing the modern fib, could finally make Gervais a mainstream juggernaut — and that’s no lie.
Most Likely to Succeed
Jesse Eisenberg has spent the past few years as the poor man’s Michael Cera, carving out a successful, if non-A-list, career with films like “Adventureland” and “The Squid and the Whale.” Look for that to change with October 2’s “Zombieland,” a film that casts the 25-year-old actor as a neurotic undead hunter whose obsessive-compulsive game plan has made him one of the last survivors in a world full of brain-eaters. The movie looks like it could be the season’s big sleeper hit — or at least make Eisenberg enough of a star that he can finally stop answering those damn “Arrested Development” reunion-movie questions.
Imagine if you could lie around in your sweatpants all day, with an untamable case of bedhead and zits all over your face, while your gorgeous doppelgänger goes out in the real world always looking picture-perfect. It’s one of the key elements in “Surrogates,” particularly pertaining to the character played by Rosamund Pike in the September 25 Bruce Willis sci-fi flick. The gorgeous Pike walks around in evening gowns radiating beauty — but the acting takes place when we see her character’s “real self” sitting at home in a dark room, refusing to end the fantasy. Sure, her marriage is a mess because she won’t interact as a human anymore — but she looks fabulous!
If Megan Fox walked up to you and started cooing sweet nothings in your ear, would you take her home? Congratulations, you’re dead! That’s the basic gist of “Jennifer’s Body,” the irreverent comedy/horror hybrid from Diablo Cody that casts Fox as a demon-possessed seductress who lures in men who can’t say no — then makes them scream it instead. Wondering if Megan might have a hard time getting a date after her film’s September 18 opening? Something tells us she’ll still be able to find some brave volunteers.
Ellen Page was last seen wearing a fake belly and drinking Sunny D by the gallon. Now, the “Juno” star is ready to return in “Whip It,” Drew Barrymore’s ode to roller-derby girls that features the pint-sized actress kicking ass on wheels. If her body is half as dangerous as Juno’s tongue, we’d better watch out.
For 20 years now, smart people have known that if you see Michael Moore coming at you with a camera crew, you’d better run. So why are there so many dumb ones left? On October 2, the cinematic crusader returns with “Capitalism: A Love Story,” seeking answers for our current economic mess. Love him or hate him, it sure is good to know that somebody is out there terrorizing the fat cats.
The animated characters of “9” take home this prize, hands down. Smart, ponderous and well-written, the September 9 flick tells the post-apocalyptic tale of tiny beanbag-looking robots attempting to piece humanity back together. It’s a feast for the eyes and the brain — and should make for some pretty awesome action figures too.
Who knew Jim from “The Office” was an auteur? Wait until you get a look at “Brief Interviews With Hideous Men,” the directorial debut of John Krasinski that displays the confident hand of a complicated filmmaker. Exploring the dark nature of male/female relations, Krasinski proves he’s a director worth watching. The film hits theaters in limited release September 25.
We’re going to put a big “TBD” next to this category and keep a close eye on the cast of September 25’s “Fame.” Much like their characters in the film, these youngsters have been working hard, paying their dues and are eager to make a name for themselves. If this reboot of the 1980s musical franchise is able to tap into pop culture’s current hunger for all things dance, they need not worry: We’ll remember their names.
MTV is taking you “Behind the Screen” on Friday, September 4, at 7 p.m. Tune in to check out exclusive clips from “Jennifer’s Body” and “Ninja Assassin,” your first look at “Clash of the Titans,” a special appearance by Rain and a revealing exclusive interview with Megan Fox.
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