25. 'The Hobbit'
What do you do when your geek base demands a prequel to one of their biggest fantasy trilogies, and that it be done right? You hire Guillermo bleepin' del Toro to get around to it, as soon as he's done with eighteen other projects. Two things are sure: he'll find a place for Doug Jones, which is always welcome, and the thing can't help but end less times than Return of the King did. -- WG
I initially praised Cloverfield as being "dazzlingly, dizzyingly, thrillingly, thoroughly now." Later viewings on screens of all sizes have only reinforced my admiration for the ambition and execution of J.J. Abrams' monster movie, a roller-coaster ride that tapped into our zeitgeist and yet will hold up beyond its considerable web hype. We should at least be grateful for that uber-geeky Michael Giacchino suite at the end. -- WG
23. James Franco as a Stoner Dude
You might only know James Franco as angst-y Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man series, but his stoner-ific comic role was one of the best parts of Pineapple Express ... and it won him a Golden Globe nomination. He also plays against type in Milk, as the title character's lover. Keep taking a variety of roles, especially in comedies, dude. Can't wait for Howl. -- JK
22. Angelina Jolie
She played two fine assassins over the summer -- in Wanted and Kung Fu Panda -- and even made time to bait the Academy as a distraught mother in Clint Eastwood's Changeling. Say what you will about the woman, but she keeps get hired for a reason. -- WG
21. Elizabeth Banks
As much as I harp on about Anna Faris being one of the sharpest comediennes around, 2009 should keep her in the spotlight. This year, though, belongs to the equally beautiful and talented Elizabeth Banks, who demonstrated her capacity for all manner of comedy over the course of no less than six films: February's Definitely, Maybe; April's Meet Bill; July's Meet Dave; October's W. and Zack and Miri Make a Porno; and November's Role Models. -- WG
20. Good Horror Films
Teeth, Diary of the Dead, The Signal, The Ruins, Frontier(s), The Strangers, Midnight Meat Train, Eden Lake, Splinter, Repo, and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. Enough said!"
19. Josh Brolin as 'W'
After kicking around Hollywood for years, Brolin struck pay dirt in No Country for Old Men. But it's his indelible portrayal as a very different Texan, the oft-caricatured George W. Bush in Oliver Stone's biopic, that's made him white hot. Charming and surprisingly likable, Brolin was, by turns, presidential, goofy and romantic. He'd win our vote for whatever he wants to do next. -- PM
18. Male Full-Frontal Nudity
In the history of cinematic sex romps, a little skin is nothing new that is, unless the skin belongs to a man. 2008 was the year that filmmakers finally decided to play fair and showed us dudes (dudes that don't spend their life at the gym) baring it all for laughs -- making Jason Segel and Jason Mewes the patron saints of schlubs everywhere. -- JB
17. 'Sex and the City'
Women may have earned the right to vote back in 1920, but only in 2008 did they opt to vote with their moviegoing dollar, and they turned out in droves for this epic estrogen session, a big-screen mini-season with their favorite gal pals, plenty of purses, and an amount of flowing alcohol worthy of such superficial lifestyles and the occasional crotch gags. Good thing this came out when the economy was in vogue... -- WG
Some would argue that this year's San Diego Comic-Con may have gotten too big for its fanbase, skewing more and more to movies and less to, y'know, comics. The rest of us just want you to sit down already so we can watch these bootlegged clips of these potentially badass coming geek attractions. -- WG