If the Christmas gifts have already been returned and the Valentine's Day crap is popping up on drugstore shelves, it can only mean one thing: It's time for your MTV Movies team to once again head to the Sundance Film Festival.
The 25th annual fest begins this week, so stay tuned as our snow boots will soon be hitting the ground in Park City, Utah. But before we bring you all the first-look interviews, clips and movie reviews, check out our hit list of the 10 Films We're Most Eager to See at Sundance '09:
10. "The Carter"
In case you haven't heard, Lil Wayne is kind of a big deal. And the latest jewel in his crown is a documentary portraying the shockingly complicated life of the hip-hop star, who carries his own portable recording studio in a black shoulder bag wherever he goes. Granted unfettered access, "Bomb the System" director Adam Bhala Lough promises to bring us the real, raw Wayne.
We've already expressed our sheer, unadulterated anticipation for this far-out flick, which has Sam Rockwell stranded in outer space and seeing some very strange things. When a futuristic lunar contractor begins investigating the nature of his "replacement," things get freaky — a midnight screening sounds like a perfect fit for us.
8. "It Might Get Loud"
You and I have both dreamt of becoming rock stars, but let's be honest with ourselves: It ain't gonna happen. The closest we might ever get is "Loud," a new documentary focusing on guitarists Jack White, Jimmy Page and the Edge. The film follows the three guitar virtuosos all over the world, from the location where "Stairway to Heaven" was composed to the Tennessee farmhouse where Jack White wrote a song while the camera was rolling. Later in the doc, the trio join up for a jam — and we get to sit in for a unique peek at the creative process of three rock gods.
7. "Spring Breakdown"
Ever since we visited the set back in the day, we've been looking forward to this funny-sounding flick that combines the formidable forces of Amy Poehler, Parker Posey and Rachel Dratch. "Breakdown," which tells the story of three prudish, older women who unexpectedly find themselves at spring break, also marks the movie debut of Kristin Cavallari. Could it be the next "Mean Girls"?
It's no secret that we're excited about this '80s coming-of-age comedy quirkfest, which teams Kristen Stewart with "Superbad" director Greg Mottola and actor Jesse Eisenberg, who we've loved since his "Roger Dodger" days. Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader from "Saturday Night Live" and other notables co-star. Check out these clips and see for yourself why it's the Sundance flick with the most buzz heading into the festival.
5. "Paper Heart"
Remember Jodi, the Asian girl who hung out with the "Knocked Up" guys? Well, her real name is Charlyne Yi, and she's a very funny writer/director who makes her leading-lady debut with this small, heartfelt comedy co-starring the one and only Michael Cera. The super-secretive movie is ostensibly a documentary, chronicling Yi's skepticism over love and whether her real-life boyfriend (Cera) is the answer. Sounds like it could be something special.
Ashton Kutcher makes his Sundance debut in this "Bright Lights, Big City"-like story of a guy trying to sleep his way to the top in Hollywood. The last film by director David Mackenzie was "Young Adam," in which Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton basically spent the entire movie naked. Will "Spread" be more steamy or funny? We'll find out soon enough.
3. "500 Days of Summer"
When we went to the set last summer, we saw a fun-looking love story, Joseph Gordon-Levitt leading a parade and 15 Zooey Deschanel doppelgängers standing alongside the real thing. This genre-twisting, pop music-loving flick is promising a wonderful, twisted take on life that we can't wait to see onscreen.
2. "The Killing Room"
"Sundance, it's a dream come true to be there," director Jonathan Liebesman says of his political thriller starring Nick Cannon, Chloë Sevigny and Peter Stormare, which tells a dramatic tale based loosely on a real-life government agency that may or may not still exist. "Essentially you have four guinea pigs who come in for an experiment ... they're civilians off the street, and they don't know that the classified ad they answered is actually a government experiment." Shot predominantly in one room, Liebesman hopes it follows in the tradition of indie landmarks like "Saw" and "Reservoir Dogs": "It's great, because you get to hire more-accomplished actors who have room to run."
1. "I Love You Phillip Morris"
Last month's "Yes Man" was a decent start, but we're still pulling for a full-blown Jim Carrey career renaissance. Now, the onetime funniest man in Hollywood is hoping to build on his momentum with this sure-to-be-controversial flick, which casts him as a crooked policeman who realizes he's gay when he falls in love with an inmate (Ewan McGregor). Check out this clip and tell us whether it similarly piques your curiosity.
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.