The 10 Most Anticipated Summer Movies of 2010

Let’s face it, every year there’s only a handful of movies that everyone who dares call himself a fanboy is dying to see. 2010 is no exception, with titles like “Iron Man 2”, “Prince of Persia”, and “Jonah Hex” on the slate, to name just three. Here is our extremely early preview of the 10 movies you should be keeping an eye on and we’ll be following very closely ahead of their Summer 2010 launch. Some are more fanboyish than others, but they’re all definitely intriguing.

10. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (June 30)

The “Twilight” franchise? No interest whatsoever. David Slade directing another vampire movie? Oh hell yeah. As if Summit Entertainment’s “Twilight” franchise needed new injections of blood into its already impressive fanbase, the third part in the series, “Eclipse” got it anyway when the producers hired David Slade (“30 Days of Night”) to take a stab at darkening up the teen angst vampire series. Of course, it remains to be seen how dark the studio will allow Slade to go, but you have to figure that even if he’s restrained, Slade will probably end up making the most non-Twilighter friendly movie of the bunch. You may have been going out of your way to avoid the franchise before, but this may be your way in. I hear girls love the series. Now you can pretend you like it too, and you won’t be telling a complete lie just to get in her pants. Complete Movie Preview


9. Jonah Hex (June 18)

Serious actor guy Josh Brolin slips on the comic book movie boots for an old fashioned Wild West showdown — complete with a trampy Megan Fox and a villainous John Malkovich in the sidecar. Tell me you ain’t tempted and I’m calling you a liar. The film hit a bump or two on its road to being realized, but one thing’s for sure — it’s going to prove Josh Brolin’s bankability as a movie star. He’s either a very good actor, period, or he’s a good actor who also happens to be a movie star. “Jonah Hex” will tell the tale. And besides, how long has it been since we’ve been treated to a good ol fashion Western shoot’em up with a Hollywood budget? Throw in some supernatural curve balls and the film’s comic book roots, and like the leading man’s face, there won’t be a whole lot of “typical” in this one, folks. Complete Movie Preview


8. Robin Hood (May 14)

When Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe get together as director and star, and without the confines of a “romantic plot” to get in the way, things usually turn out pretty good. The latest collaboration for the “Gladiator” duo is a re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend, which in this case seems to be translated into a grittier, more badass Sherwood avenger. Add in Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, Vanessa Redgrave, and William Hurt, and the filmmakers are clearly stacking the deck with unquestioned talent. Even if Crowe completely whiffs on the Robin Hood part, this is Ridley Scott we’re talking about. The man was born to make epic movies where people are trying to take each other’s heads off with broadswords. “Robin Hood” should be no exception. Complete Movie Preview


7. A Nightmare On Elm Street (April 30)

Give them credit: Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes boys know how to remake a horror franchise. Or at least, cater to the new breed of horror movie fans. Their latest is “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, and they’ve recruited a fanboy favorite in Jackie Earle Haley to play the lead and music video veteran Samuel Bayer to present the film’s sure-to-be fantastic visuals. The rest of the cast is unimportant, as they’ll either end up dead in the movie or in subsequent sequels. The trick to remaking a franchise like “Nightmare” is to keep as much of the original as possible, like the killer’s iconic image, while still offering up something new in terms of various tweaks. The announcement of an official MPAA rating for the movie should put to bed the question of whether this will be a gruesome horror movie or a PG-13 friendly waste of time. At this point, it could go either way. Complete Movie Preview


6. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (May 28)

Jake Gyllenhaal as the leading man of a Disney action-adventure franchise? Are you kidding me? What have you been smoking? Of course, that’s probably what they were saying about Johnny Depp when he slapped on the mascara for the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. As Jack Sparrow proves, a good actor is a good actor, and Jake Gyllenhaal is most definitely a good actor. Plus, have you seen the shape he’s in? Holy cow. The videogame background will be lost on 99% of the people who pony up to see this movie, and that’s just how Disney wants it. The film, the first of a potentially lucrative franchise from uber producer Jerry Bruckheimer, promises sweeping romance, epic and sprawling action, comedy, and plenty of fantastical elements. Basically, “Pirates of the Caribbean” on sand. Complete Movie Preview


5. The A-Team (June 11)

Maybe it’s just my childhood talking, but the idea of seeing a contemporary take on “The A-Team” makes me giddy all over. The fact that Joe Carnahan, a master of wanton cinematic mayhem is directing, gives me great confidence that even if this thing turns out to be a total abortion, at least the action will be first-rate. Then you add in the casting of Liam Neeson as Hannibal, Bradley Cooper as Faceman, Sharlto Copley as Murdock, and Quinton Rampage Jackson as — okay, three out of four ain’t bad. From everything I’ve seen of the movie so far, it looks like Carnahan knows where his bread is buttered — it’s all about the action, stupid. And come on, they even brought back the van! The van! Complete Movie Preview


4. Clash of the Titans (March 26)

Current Hollywood “It” Aussie Sam Worthington leads the charge into Summer with Louis Leterrier’s “Clash of the Titans” remake. Worthington has the marquee, but there is a pretty fantastic cast here, including Liam Neeson, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos, Danny Huston, Jason Flemyng, and the criminally underappreciated Mads Mikkelsen. While the concept intrigues me (I’m a sucker for swords and sandals movie, then you add in Medusa and Gods? How could I resist?), the first teaser trailer gives me pause. Leterrier has never been a particularly cerebral director, and one can only hope that he has maintained some of the charm and wonder of the original, and not sold out completely for Hollywood flash and sex appeal. Complete Movie Preview


3. The Expendables (August 22)

Jet Li. Sylvester Stallone. Jason Statham. Dolph Lundgren. Mickey Rourke. And cameos from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. What the hell else do you need to be convinced that “The Expendables” has the potential to be the best time you’ll have at the movies in 2010? A sure-fire slam-bang, shoot’em-up, blow’em-up action movie from beginning to end, with just enough “story” to convince you it’s not just a bunch of action movie guys getting together to blow shit up. Which, essentially, that’s what this movie is. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The only bump in the road I can see is if Stallone acquiesce to studio pressure (should there be any) and tones down the violence for a PG-13. That might just be one obstacle even the film’s abundant men of action can’t overcome. Complete Movie Preview


2. Inception (July 16)

How could you not be on pins and needles to see what Christopher Nolan has cooked up as his follow-up to “The Dark Knight”? The film will, in all likelihood, arrive in theaters with a healthy dose of cloak and dagger concerning its plot, and for good reason. “Inception” boasts a who’s who of great actors, including star Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, and Michael Caine. The plot has been under wraps since the film was announced, and remains so today. Of course, this being the Internet age, if you really wanted to know what “Inception” was about you could have Googled it and found out in a matter of minutes. But don’t do that. Remember when you saw Nolan’s “Memento” for the first time, not having known anything about it going in? “Inception” promises to have a similarly rewarding experience for the viewer who goes into it with a blank slate. Complete Movie Preview


1. Iron Man 2 (May 7, 2010)

This is a no-brainer, right? The first “Iron Man” movie was one of the most critically acclaimed and fanboy-loved comic book movie adaptation of all time, and the filmmakers didn’t know what they were doing back then! This time around, they actually do. Jon Favreau struck gold with the first, from the left field casting of Robert Downey Jr. to the film’s surprisingly brilliant blend of comedy, action, and Origins Story of Tony Stark and his eventual awakening as Ol Shellhead. In “Iron Man 2” (no gratuitous subtitles, apparently), Iron Man has been outed, a new villain arises, and the Black Widow makes trouble in the background. And oh yeah, War Machine makes his appearance, probably towards the end of the movie. Plus, all the major creative elements return in front and behind the camera. “Iron Man 2” is going to break the bank — it’s just a question of how much. Complete Movie Preview


Honorable Mentions:

“The Last Airbender” – M. Night Shyamalan steps out of his comfort zone to give epic action moviemaking a try. There is real potential to be hit and miss here. Either M. Night revitalizes his career, or it just sinks lower. Complete Movie Preview

“The Losers” – An adaptation of a comic book you probably never heard of. The film will live and die by its trailer. The lack of a big name star will keep it on the down low for most of the year, and opening in the same month as “Iron Man 2”, the latest “Shrek”, and “Prince of Persia” isn’t going to help, either. Complete Movie Preview

“Salt” – Angelina Jolie tries to open an action movie by her little lonesome. The trailer looks excellent, but can Angelina Jolie actually open a movie? We’ll see. Complete Movie Preview

“Resident Evil: Afterlife” – The latest in the never-say-die zombie horror franchise. Everyone’s back, plus some new faces, but only fans of the franchise will be hitting theaters for this one. Complete Movie Preview