December 19th, 2008
11:56 AM ET

Not the best of 2008

Given the mountain of movies, TV shows, records and books released in 2008, I would be foolish to make a list of the "best of" the year. I will leave those lists to others.

"The Dark Knight": It should be nominated for best picture.

What follows is simply a list of favorites from the year just past. Feel free to contribute your own favorites, either in the comments or on iReport.com.

Movies
- "The Dark Knight": Though Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster occasionally suffers from popcorn-movie overload, the serious issues - how do you fight terrorism? How do you cope with a world gone mad? - and the terrific performances by Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Heath Ledger give the year’s biggest movie a depth few others attempted. It should get a best picture nomination. Really.

- "Man on Wire": James Marsh’s documentary on Phillippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the Twin Towers is thrilling, sad and ultimately triumphant.

- "Wall-E": I didn’t think much of the human characters, but the sublime interplay between Wall-E and Eve - or Wall-E and anything - is worth double the price of admission.

As for films just opening, I have high hopes for “Frost/Nixon” and “Slumdog Millionaire,” among others … but I’ll have to squeeze them in over the holidays.

Records
- "Dear Science," TV on the Radio: I can’t remember the last time I agreed with Rolling Stone magazine. But this will do it.

- "Harps and Angels," Randy Newman: I hadn’t paid attention to Newman’s work in years - "Land of Dreams" may have been the last one - but this album, with Newman’s bluesy half-sung vocals, has the sharp observation of his best work. Newman sounds like he’s given up on the world, but he hasn’t lost his sense of humor - or a touch of anger.

- "Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8," Bob Dylan: Perhaps this shouldn’t count - it’s a collection of alternate takes and unreleased songs from the last 20 years - but Dylan makes even his most familiar work sound fresh. May he continue for many more years.

Books
- "Nixonland," Rick Perlstein: Perlstein can be occasionally glib in his history of the 1960s and early ‘70s, but as he connects the dots from the crisis of the cities to the Vietnam War to the era’s culture clashes, what emerges is a brilliant picture of a country falling apart – and how a shrewd politician like Nixon could take advantage of it all.

- "Pictures at a Revolution," Mark Harris: The five best picture nominees of 1967 wouldn’t seem to have much in common, but as Harris’ terrific book illustrates, they tell a story of how one Hollywood gave way to another.

- "John Lennon: The Biography," Philip Norman: I started Norman’s book wondering what he possibly could add to the story of the Beatles – one he told so well in "Shout!" more than 25 years ago. I finished in admiration of his abilities to give new perspective on Lennon’s life - and grieving all over again for Lennon’s death.

I’d also like to give nods to books from previous years I finally read, including William Goldman’s "The Season" (1969) (a beaten-up paperback I found in a Chicago bookstore and bought on a whim), Jeremy Larner’s "Nobody Knows" (1970), Junot Diaz’s "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" (2007) and Alan Weisman’s "The World Without Us" (2007).

OK, your turn. Have at it.

– Todd Leopold, CNN.com Entertainment Producer


Filed under: Books • movies • Music

soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Jake Molder

    Pretty informative post. Thank you spending some time to share your view with us.

    November 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. M.R. in L.A.

    I'm a fan of Aniston and have been since seeing her in the underwatched Fox sketch comedy show The Edge. She's why I decided to check-out that new show Friends.
    That said, her resume's not exactly full of award-bait if you will. She's won a few – most notable are an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Friends – but she doesn't even have an Oscar nomination. For the full list look here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000098/awards
    As for the best of the year, I used to see at least 50 movies a year but now I have a kid so I saw 9 2008 releases in the theater this year. Best drama I saw was The Duchess, best comedy was Forgetting Sarah Marshall and best action was Iron Man (and yes – I did see Dark Knight).
    I like awards season – I usually make room to see things and a few screeners usually come my way. I'm interested in Doubt – it was brilliant on stage and if anyone has even a chance of topping Cherry Jones' Tony-winning performance it's Meryl. I'm curious of Slumdog. I love everything Kate Winslet does so want to see both of her films despite so-so reviews. Milk sounds great.

    January 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jen

    No matter the opinion you have on Jennifer Aniston, think about this: she's been the most widely talked about element on this page. You're now all thinking about her and many of you probably googled her. That's just good marketing. Way to contribute to someone half of you think is a waste of screen time.

    January 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Laura in NC

    I know we are supposed to be on a different topic, but in Jennifer Anistan's defense, she did portray a rather different (and evil) roll in Derailed. I happened to catch it one day on HBO. I don't think it made it to many theaters (if any) but she was very good in that and it wasn't a "Rachel" roll at all (though very few parts you may have caught a hint of it). But on the other hand, she mostly does the girl next door "Rachel" thing in her movies and it does get old. She is in no way to be compared with any of the women listed. She needs a few more good rolls under her belt for that. But you can't really blame her for being typecasted either – look at her "Friends" (especially Matthew Perry!). Though David Schwimmer fell victim to it, until both of them pretty much fell out of the limelight. I think Courtney Cox may be the only one who escaped unscathed...
    As far as the Dark Knight – I think it was fantastic! It had tons of plot twists. You forgot that Heath was the Joker. I agree that Christian Bale was good but I hated that gravelly voice he used as Batman. I love Maggie Gyllenhal but I think she was not right for this part – something didn't fit right. I think overall, the acting and the storyline itself was actually really good. I believe that it was a bit overshadowed and overpumped by Heath's death, very similar to "The Crow" when Brendan Lee died and that took the headlines before the movie came out. It didn't take away from the fact that the parts he did play were really good!

    January 2, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Renee

    Gran Torino is great. Too bad it hasn't hit theaters yet, because everyone who sees it will love it. The movie is not what you expect from seeing the trailers, it is a very emotional film. Every character does a great job.

    January 2, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Shane McGuire

    I decided to leave another posting here in this area. I wanted the opportunity to give you some of the best movies of 2008. As some of the other folks here mentioned Wall-E. Yes I can say that film was a definate watch this summer along with Kung-Foo Panda. Jack Black was completely the Panda in the film, and Kudos to all of the other folks that made that film what it was, (very entertaining).

    We just watched Valkryie. This was truely an excellent film. No the actors did not have to have German Accents in order to make the film believeable. Keep in mind when you see this film it is based on true events with assaination attempts during Hilter's Reign, (Operation Valkryie), being the most famous of the attempts on his life.

    Wanted was an interesting film, with a very Bond Esque feel to it with a nice Matrix cross into the plot. It was definately a "Theater Movie" as the special effects loose their luster on DVD. But a definately plauseable story line with the exception of being able to "Curve Bullets". Uh, yeah right! But hey its Hollywood, and its what they do best.

    As for Quantum of Solice, very nice continuance to Casino Royal. Its is definately going to be a popular DVD, and the car chase scenes are very nice. I can only compare them to the Robert DeNero film Ronin a few years back, which were nothing short of great.

    Checked out Death Race with Jason Statham. this rated right up there with the carnage in Doomsday. Like Doomsday, not a film that had a deep plot, or really good lines, but the special effects and sheer on screen carnage was worth a one time pass.

    Transporter 3, well what more can we say about Jason Statham. Its definately another good one time through, and a definate improvement over the Transporter 2 film, which really did nothing for myself or my wife.

    Ahh, and the hit of the year, that I have heard no end of discussion. Batman! Heath Ledger posted a part in this film that can only be described as sinister. This is the true form of Joker. Jack Nicholson's rendition should be proud to have finally seen a joker that was worthy of Batman's attention. A true foe to be feared and reveared.

    Christian Bale, carried his role as Batman quite well, though I could have done without the sawdust in his voice. but he make a quite compelling character in this film. The question is now, who can he face in the next movie to make an equal film.

    So now I have to include the Prince Caspian film for this summer. Well, when you as a child were brought up on the Cronicles of Narnia, and you are left with a warmed over Disney Production that leaves something to be desired, it makes the film not even worth the placement in a personal DVD collection. But admitedly, this film also had a hard time keeping up. When you are compaired to the Harry Potter Series, and Lord of the Rings, you are placed in a spot where you are running to keep up. I guess my real disaappointment was the fact that Walt Disney Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer did such an excellent job with Pirates of the Caribbean, I was expecting Disney Studios to step up to their own benchmark with the second installment of the Cronicles of Narnia.

    At this point if there is a third film in their thought, I'd suggest selling the license to New Line Cinema and let the directors of the Lord of the Rings series take a stab at a real Cronicles of Narnia.

    In closing this commentary out, I see the commentary of the John Adams HBO Miniseries was mentioned. For those of you who might like a tour of our US History, and a very accurate recount of the life of John Adams, I would suggest that you have a look at this Miniseries. Like the Band of Brother's Series produced by Tom Hanks after Saving Private Ryan, the John Adams miniseries is a guranteed classic. This miniseries is as patriotic as it can get. The Mel Gibson film The Patriot, holds no candle to this Miniseries. It is nothing less than awsome, and Paul Giamatti is nothing short of stellar in his role as John Adams! It will literally by 7.5 hours of not moving your booty off the couch because you cannot quit once you start this series.

    The problems with the construction of our Constitution are as real as you being a member of the Founding Fathers who designed it. John Adams is an in your face reality of the issues past and present that created our country and our values that make it continue to function.

    And in the words of our famous movie critics, I hope to see you in the dark!

    January 2, 2009 at 4:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. Teneal

    My husband and I recently rented and watched the "John Adams" miniseries. We were transfixed the entire 7 hours. It prompted us to read more about the early presidents and the time period in which they lived. It was fascinating and very well done.

    December 30, 2008 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. Danilo

    Top 3 movies 2008:

    No Country for Old Men
    Valkyrie
    Gran Torino

    3 movies avoided like the plague this year:

    Twilight
    Australia
    High School Musical

    Top 3 TV Shows 2008:

    The History Channel "Dog Fights"
    The History Channel "Hero Ships"
    Discovery Channel "Deadliest Catch"

    3 worst TV shows 2008:

    Brothers and Sisters
    Nip Tuck
    All the CSI shows

    Books I finished reading in 2008:

    Yamamoto by Edwin P. Hoyt
    Firewall by Andy McNabb

    12 random samples of artists -song/song(s) in my iPod:

    Hootie and the Blowfish – Cant find the time to tell you
    One Republic – Appoligize/Say/Stop and Stare
    Prefab Sprout – The Sound of Crying
    David Archuleta – Crush
    Blue Nile – Lets go out tonight
    Daniel Bedingford – If your not the one
    Layla Kaylif -Shakespear in love
    Level 42 – Silence/Something About You
    The Used – The Taste of Ink
    Linkin Park – In the End
    Feeder – Morning Life
    The Style Council – The Paris Match

    Top 3 News events 2008

    Israeli-Palestinian 2008 skirmishes and politics
    Global Economic Crisis
    US Presidential Elections 08

    December 30, 2008 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. Scott

    Best CD hands down is Cyndi Lauper Bring ya to the brink. Nice attempts by Madonna and Donna Summer, but Cyndi definatly had the best CD.

    December 29, 2008 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dan McLaughlin

    "Wall-E" was one of the biggest surprises for me. It was an amazingly well done film, full of heart.
    David Sedaris' "When You are Engulfed in Flame" is probably the best book that I read from last year. I have to be careful where I read it because I'm apt to just burst out with laughter without notice.
    It's amazing that someone in the music business for 25+ years can be so consistent in delivering quality material. Madonna's "Hard Candy" was just more proof that she's not going to slow down or coast on her laurels.

    December 29, 2008 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. Shane McGuire

    My wife and I watcheed many movies on 2008, but the one that was really quite bad for this year was Austrailia. In our opinion this seemed to be an attempted cross of the classic Quigley Down Under and Pearl Harbor. The film was too slow, in too many places. Though Hugh Jackman's portrayal of the given chracter was outstanding, the film as a total was a near "Walk Out" for my wife and I.

    When you go to the trouble to advertize Japanese Zero Fighters on your movie posters, and claim that this is going to be a WWII film, that is exactly what it had better be. Not the Austrailian version of "Out of Africa". This film was an attempted cross of so many other movies that I cannot even begin to count them.

    There were other aspects of this film that drew from "Open Range" and a few other classic westerns. But for all of the beauty on Austrailia, its our opinion this film just did not deliver what its trailers claimed. Disappointing really, because the film could have been so much more than it was.

    The other film that was just an "OK" film for this year was "Four Christmases" The concept ot the film was great, as my wife and I both can relate to many of the issues addressed in this film. But once again the film lacked real punch. This almose seemed like an attempt to remake National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, which is truely a holiday classic that all too many families can relate to when it comes to the rushed round robin of visits that many of today's families are subjected to. Not that I want to sound like a Scrooge or a Grinch, but the fact is that many of us in the work force can relate to the issues addressed in "Four Christmases." Reese Witherspoon's role was excellent as usual playing a snobby self centered professional, her counterpart, needed to be a little less of a dork, and more of a real person.

    Another, film that was in the not so greats, was the Indiana Jones and the Legend of the Crystal Skull. For starters, I want to make a major correction in the film detail. Gun Powder is NOT magnetic, and has no magnetic properties. Neither does lead shot from shot-gun shells, bullets or any other non-ferrous metallic objects. Nice try, but no cigar! Since when does Indiana Jones go hunting for Ailens? I beleive that is a role reserved for Sigourney Weaver. The CGI was very hokey and the giant Fire Ants looked like something out of Clash of the Titans, nearly 25 years ago when Stop Animation, was state of the art. Though, Harrison Ford delivered his usual outstanding Indiana Jones/Han Solo performance, the story lack origionality and a quality plot. Basically, what I witnessed was a rushed attempt from Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic that was better reserved for DVD.

    For all of the hype for a film released this summer, it was a let down in too many departments. Personally, I would have been more pleased with a two hour Mythbusters Special, or even a Dirty Job's Marathon.

    Though I am not a professional movie critic, I consider these comments pretty fair and balanced.

    December 28, 2008 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  12. lindiana

    Come now, Angelina Jolie is a homewrecking ho. And she can't keep her panties on. She'll cheat on Brad too, mark my words.

    Jana said she was serious. Deluded too I am guessing since I love Jennifer Aniston but not THAT much.

    I don't go to the movies but I would say my favorite TV show of 2008 is "Sons of Anarchy". I also enjoy "Life", "Pushing Daisies", "Lipstick Jungle", "My Own Worst Enemy", "House" and "Eli Stone".

    I read a great deal but I don't recall what specifically I read in 2008 however I will put a shout out for an older than 2008 book called "Ines of My Soul" by Isabel Allende. I love anything by Isabel Allende. She is magnificent.

    December 27, 2008 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dannyboy

    100% agreement about PICTURES AT A REVOLUTION and THE SEASON. PICTURES... is a delicious and amazingly insightful look at the transformation of Hollywood. I've given copies to all of my friends who love movies. And THE SEASON? My Dad gave me the book as a birthday present when I was in college in the early 70s. I've read it many times since then. A breezy and on-target look at the Broadway world.

    December 27, 2008 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cathy

    Best movies by far are a given: Wall-E, Dark Knight, Frost/Nixon and Milk

    Best tv by far: Pushing Daisies and Doctor Who

    Best music: ehh this year was boring for music, but I'd go with Damon Albarn's Monkey Opera, if that counts

    December 26, 2008 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. gordygirl

    ok i think u can tell alot about a person by the movies they watch and the music they listen too... I love movies but i am a singer so i love my music too... as far as movies go i am really tired of the jen vs. jolie who cares who the other married... jen should not care it made brad a cheater and a lier when he got with jolie and makes jolie trash for going after a married man so move on jen and find a better man.... and as for as music i have a wide varity i like a lot of diff sounds

    December 26, 2008 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
  16. mdegge

    As far as the music scene some of you really need to listen to more music. Coldplay?? Seriously? That band is one of the most boring, overrated, bands I've ever heard. I can't take more than two minutes of their overblown, over pretentious music.

    December 25, 2008 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  17. mandy

    Now let's not all forget the stunning performance of Jennifer Anniston in LEPRACHAN 3 or 4 or 5, wichever peice of junk that was! I mean, if that's not an Oscar worthy performance than I don't know what is! : ) haha! Merry Christmas all!

    December 24, 2008 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Ginny

    Movies: I hate to sound like a broken record here, but I also loved The Dark Knight and WALL-E. Though I do have high hopes for Doubt and Slumdog Millionaire.

    Guilty Pleasures: High School Musical 3, Twilight, Kyle XY

    Album: Revelation – Third Day

    Books: Adam Canfield of the Slash by Michael Winerip, The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

    TV Shows: The Big Bang Theory, Numb3rs, Summer Heights High

    Things I should have been able to enjoy this year (thanks a lot writer's strike): Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Big Love Season Three

    December 23, 2008 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  19. zelda

    who cares about this stuff? It's all smoke and mirrors! It's JUST MOVIES>>>>>>>>>>>>>YIKES!

    December 23, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  20. The Canadian D

    The Office, best on TV.

    December 22, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  21. ren

    Because of work I have seen maybe three movies at the theater and yes twilight was the best. It's got drama, comedy and remance. The books were great. And no I am not a teenager and everyone I know who has read them and seen the movies loved both and none of them are teenage girls.

    Best television is house hands down. Its about the only good thing on tv these days with the exception of NCIS and Eurica which I love also.

    December 22, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  22. KC

    I would have to agree with a majority of you. Jennifer Aniston is an okay actress not to be compared to or with any of great leading ladies such Hepburn (Audrey or Katherine) and Meryl Streep. I also thought that Dark Knight was just okay and I think the movie was saved by everyone BUT Batman. I was hoping that Bale would give up the crazy voice in Dark Knight but I was sadly disappointed to hear that weird Grover/ Snuffalopgus voice from Sesame Street.

    I thought that Robert Downy Jr. was hilarious in Tropic Thunder. Honestly I havent seen that many movies that were release in 2008 and none of the ones I've seen have been earthshatteringly great. BUT I am very excited to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Milk, Yes Man, and Doubt.

    Fave TV Shows of 2008-
    True Blood, Dexter, Californication, 30 Rock, and Weeds

    Fave Records of 2008-
    ADELE – 19, Duffy – Rockferry, Radiohead – In Rainbows (it either came out late '07 or early 08 either way I am counting it :-) ), Erykah Badu -Amerykahn Promise.

    December 22, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Nathan

    The Dark Knight was very good, but i think that batmans entire character was not neccessary. If you took him out, would the picture really suffer?

    Ledger, freeman, and oldman were outstanding, but i thought that bale's batman seemed really pised off all of the time.

    That is just my opinion thought, i am no critic.

    December 22, 2008 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Aleš

    THE DARK KNIGHT notning else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 22, 2008 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  25. bale is horrible

    "the dark knight" was a decent movie but it wasn't everything everybody is making it out to be. yes, ledger's performance was outstanding. at the same time, bale's performance was lacking. especially, when he was donning the batman suit. the way he was trying too hard to lower and make his voice raspy was atrocious. let's just say he isn't michael keaton who happened to be the best batman to date. also, anybody saying that "the dark knight" was better than "batman" has got to be smoking a bowl. first of all, they were both based on two different batmans. "batman" was based on the original "batman". "the dark knight" was based off the darker "dark knight" comics. both keaton and nicholson were exceptional in their portrayal of their "batman" characters. ledger was exceptional and bale was lacking in their portrayal of their "dark knight" characters. advantage..."batman" (1989).

    as for my list of 2008...

    movie: "ironman" – of course robert downey jr. was brilliant but everybody seems to forget that jeff bridges was awesome too. jeff bridges made the character obadiah stane so shady that you couldn't help but want to punch him in the face...lol.

    record: anything but coldplay – these guys are horrible and so played out. actually, a lot of today's music is horrible so i find myself listening to my oldies, classic rock, and 80's cds.

    books: "treat your own rotator cuff" – look mom!!! no more shoulder pain!!!

    December 22, 2008 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  26. Stefan

    While I agree with your comments on movies, can we really take you seriously?

    I mean... who reads that kind of boring material? You really need to de-intellectualize yourself just a bit and have some FUN. I'd fall asleep reading most of what you listed. I'd understand it, but it would take months to make it thorough :)

    December 22, 2008 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  27. Nse Ette

    My favourite music albums this year? "Crayons" by Donna Summer, "Renaissance" by Q-Tip, "New Amerykah" by Erykah Badu, and "Dear science" by TV on the Radio. All flawless releases!!!

    December 22, 2008 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  28. Peter Pan in a Plastic Can

    Ok, Jennifer Aniston has not won and Oscar. I doubt she ever will. She's some pinup doing movies. Horrible horrible date night movies to say the least.

    And omg, Dark Knight wasn't that good. Everyone just oggles it because of the Ledger OD. It's like if you say it was an O.K or not good movie, you get heckled about dissing a dead druggy.

    Speaking of druggies. Robert Downer Jr has apparently made a come back. He needs to die so his next movie may become a smash hit that was "THE BEST FREAKIN' MOVIE EVER!" – quote the pimpled face Blockbuster cash register worker upon ringing the Dark Knight up when I rented it.

    December 22, 2008 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
  29. Mike, St. Louis

    Also one other thing. Coldplays album was a good album and is one of the best of the year. However, I think "In Rainbows" by Radiohead was hands down the best album of the year. It is true that it was released digitally late last year but its up for album of the year this year so I will go with it :). Not only did "In Rainbows" speak to me on an emotional level, the instrumentation and structure of its music was absolutely brilliant (check out "Nude" on that CD and you will see what I mean).

    Vida was a leap forward by Coldplay and is probably their best album to date. That said, I still found the lyrics and music writing somewhat simplistic. It is no where near as complete as an album as "In Rainbows".

    December 22, 2008 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
  30. Mike, St. Louis

    I totally agree with the Dark Knight. There are few action movies that I have seen that can pull off the dramatic qualities to perfection. The reason being is that the action often takes away from the plot or the main story. I felt that the Dark Knight pulled it off brilliantly. I usually don't rate action movies the best movie of the year but in this case, I can make an exception.

    As far as TV goes, there is really one tv show that, to me, is well written and beautifully done, that being Battlestar Galactica. It is a shame that this show is going off the air early next year. I never thought a scifi show would actually hit me on an emotional level. The 4th season so far, I think, has surpassed even the excellent 1st season. There is only so much you can do with that storyline and I understand logically why it is in its last season, but I am going to miss it.

    December 22, 2008 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  31. Frankie

    I don't know what the buzz is on Dark Knight, yeah, it's pretty good but as far as Heath Ledger, he made a terrific Joker. Alas, Batman suffers the curse of The Joker. I don't know how they will top this one?
    As far as best Super-Hero movie? Iron Man, it's the only storyline that followed the comic book. Can't wait for an Avenger Movie!!
    Wall*E is my pick for best animated film, I fell in love with this film.

    December 22, 2008 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  32. Dagny

    Favorite movies of 2008:
    Slumdog Millionaire
    The Visitor
    Wall-E
    Iron Man
    Henry Poole is Here
    Prince Caspian

    Movie I wish I had seen this year:
    Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

    Favorite Albums of the Year:
    Magnetic Fields- Distortion
    Portishead- Third
    Girl Talk- Feed the Animals

    December 21, 2008 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  33. jacinta

    from a while back, but maybe jana meant jennifer hudson?
    she was in "the Secret Life of Bees" and the Sex in the City movie, so maybe she just got confused....

    As for my favorites this year, The Dark Knight and Wall-E were definitely top picks...
    as for music, Coldplay's Viva la Vida
    and for whatever reason, i only read one new book this year, and it wasn't as spectacular as i was expecting, so no go there!

    December 21, 2008 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Mary Witaszek

    Movies:
    The Dark Knight – not only was heath ledger amazing, but Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, and Aaron Eckhart were amazing!!!
    Iron Man – Robert Downey Jr. Talk about a comeback. Love him. And then to follow it up with Tropic Thunder in the same year – wow!
    Wall-E – for a disney movie – it had surprisingly great meaning behind the story. But also the characters were just so loveable!
    I did love Kung Fu Panda – it was a fun movie with incredible art
    Eagle Eye had me on the edge of my seat the entire time – it was so suspensful and amazingly crafted!!

    Shows:
    House
    NCIS
    Law and Order original, Svu, and CI

    December 21, 2008 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Tbone

    jana – your sarcasm is refreshing. If you're serious about Aniston being better than Hepburn, Streep and the like, my advice to you, is seek professional help...

    December 21, 2008 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Rebecca

    OK we get it....it was a joke. Jennifer Aniston is a pretty girl who will never win an Oscar let's move on...

    December 21, 2008 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  37. KJ

    Mad Men (Christina Hendricks, John Slattery)
    Burn After Reading (Pitt, hilarious)

    Those are about the only two things I will take away as 'best of '08', and I'm sure Milk will not disappoint.

    Oh,,and that Obama guy, too.

    December 21, 2008 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Dan

    Speed Racer, hands down, no contest the second best movie of the year.

    The Dark Knight would be #1

    December 21, 2008 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  39. I saw "Australia", can I get a refund?

    Thanks Mike NYC. I laughed out loud!

    December 21, 2008 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Sara

    best music: gypsy (patti lupone, boyd gaines and laura benatti), south pacific (kelli o'hara and paolo szots) and in the heightsbest movie- dark knight, rachel getting married, frost/ nixon, milk and doubt
    best tv: 30 ROCK (how can you forget tina fey?)!!! and gossip girl

    December 21, 2008 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  41. jc

    jana, you're insane. jennifer aniston doesnt even touch the level of those classic hollywood giants. aniston's name will be forgotten in time but their names and roles will continue to live on.

    December 21, 2008 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  42. ia

    To Robert: "Rachel Getting Married" was probably too brutally honest for you to watch. Nice to know that you must have come from a "Brady Bunch" family. Take off your mask, we all have some sort of dysfunction in our families and Jonathan Demme's "Rachel Getting Married" exposed just that. The cramped, closed-in shots really brought the tension on as to being stuck in one's family and trying to muddle through. Anne Hathaway's one-step a way from winning an Oscar for
    Best Actress unless the voters give Meryl Streep her first Oscar since the days of "Sophie's Choice." I'll be rooting for Ms. Hathaway!

    December 21, 2008 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  43. ia

    If Jenn Anniston is the greatest actress ever, then Rodney Dangerfield is the greatest actor! Come on, now! And to all you popcorn movie fans: seeing one or two of these is okay, but also get out & see "Slumdog Millionaire," "Rachel Getting Married," "Frozen River," "The Visitor," "The Wrestler," "Man On A Wire." These movies are truly capable of holding your interest just as much as a popcorn movie like "The Dark Knight" or "Iron Man." Best books this year: "The Shack," "Dewey," and "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle." Best music this year: Adele's "19," Kings Of Leon, Death Cab For Cutie, and Jack White & Alicia Keys duet on the song from
    "Quantum of Solice." Best movies this year: see above along with "Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" which, by the way, is loosely based on a F. Scott Fitzgerald short story.
    Check it out!

    December 21, 2008 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Marshall

    Movies:
    Appaloosa
    Frost/Nixon
    Grand Torino
    Wal-E
    In Burges

    TV:
    Sons of Anarchy
    Life on Mars
    The Big Bang Theory
    Generation Death
    The Tudors

    Music:
    NIN – Ghosts I-V
    The Racconteurs – Consolers of the Lonley

    December 21, 2008 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  45. anonymous

    the dark knight was ridiculously overrated. best picture? its a cheesy non-batman action movie with subpar performances (except heath ledger. but best supporting actor? no way.)

    December 21, 2008 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  46. hellooo

    It's Jennifer HUDSON who won an Oscar, not Anison

    December 21, 2008 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Fran

    I have been vindicated. I refuse to watch anything with Aniston for the last 3 years. She is no very talent and should not be in the same sentence with Steep and Davis. The closest she will get to Oscar is the hot dog. She is highly overated.

    Go Robert Downy, Jr. Brad Pitt, Eastwood and Will Smith.
    Cate Blanchett is the best, Angelina is very good.

    Happy Holidays!

    December 21, 2008 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  48. Micky from Georgia

    The X Files: I Want to Believe

    What the hell was that?

    December 21, 2008 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  49. Kathy

    I don't go to the movies and give to people that overact and or don't act at all. No one is worth $20 mil per picture. As far as TV–House, The Closer are favorite dramas and Psyche, Monk and My Name is Earl for comedies.

    December 21, 2008 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  50. Sam

    I really can't believe all this hype about Jennifer Anniston being a great actor, or better than the likes of Hepburn (I think Meryl Streep is overrated).. Between those comments and all the raves about "27 Dresses" which has quite deservedly made several ciritics worst movie of the year lists, I'm convinced that the inmates are running the asylum, and the inmates are twenty and thirty something chick flick watchers.

    December 21, 2008 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  51. gerri

    Favorite 2008 movies: In Bruges was great! Also Dark Knight was exceptional and we really enjoyed Appaloosa. In music: the Avett Brothers, For television, Dexter is he absolute best series with a great cast. Also Rachel Maddow rocks on MSNBC!

    December 21, 2008 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  52. jay bazz

    Although it's not as good as it used to be, House is still the best show on TV.

    Wall-E was unbelievably good. liked Cloverfield too.

    Tom Cruise was great in "Tropic Thunder" but Ben Stiller is so over-rated. He plays the same role is every single movie and has no depth whatsoever

    December 21, 2008 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  53. timothy

    book of the year would be "Human Smoke" by Nicholson Baker...ought to be required reading in history classes.

    December 21, 2008 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
  54. Arooj Syed

    Jennifer Aniston is Rachel in every movie she is in.Period

    December 21, 2008 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  55. Charles T.

    Some of my favorite movies of the year:
    Religulous
    The Dark Knight
    Pride and Glory
    Wall-E
    Inside (unrated version)
    Redbelt
    Fetus

    Music:
    The Bedlam In Goliath by The Mars Volta
    XV by King's X
    Dreadnought by Mountain Mirrors
    Fly Paper by Tiles
    Watershed by Opeth
    Twilight of the Thunder God by Amon Amarth
    Just A Little Lovin' by Shelby Lynne
    Along Came A Spider by Alice Cooper

    December 21, 2008 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  56. OCMusicJUnkie

    I know it's not a critical success, but Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist is a timeless movie for that generation. It fully and realistically captures the experience of being a teen in today's time, the music scene of so many major cities, and even manages to incorporate gays without using any cheesy stereotypes or overdramatic point to make.

    December 21, 2008 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  57. mdegge

    I think that people overlook Christian Bale's performance in Dark Knight not because it was bad, but because it was good but not great. There were better performances in the movie. Add on the fact that his Batman voice got annoying towards the end and you can see why he gets overlooked.

    December 21, 2008 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  58. mike mccaffrey

    Dark Knight was best movie of '08. Ledger is equal to James Dean. It's o.k. to like it even if it wasn't an indie flick.

    December 21, 2008 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  59. Libby

    Why are we talking about jennifer aniston? AT ALL? Talk about career over!

    December 21, 2008 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
  60. Brad

    I see nods to 27 Dresses...and I am confused as to why. This so-called romantic comedy was formulaic, predictable, not funny and suffered from annoying performances by Katherine Heigl and the actress who played her best friend (her name escapes me)...my wife commented on how the last 20 minutes were convoluted and asinine...and she was looking forward to seeing the movie.

    December 21, 2008 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  61. Nathan

    Jana's comments must be sarcastic, Aniston, though very attractive does a) not have an Oscar, nor was ever close to being nominated for one and b) doesn't hold a candle to Davis, Streep or Hepburn (either of them).

    Best movie I saw all year; Wall-E, but that could change when The Wrestler hits town. and PS, Twilight sucked it real long and hard.

    December 20, 2008 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  62. abc

    favorite book of the year = Breaking Dawn
    favorite movie = Twilight (yes, I know its stupid but I love it!)
    favorite TV show = its between Life and Pushing Daisies
    And no I am not a 13 year old girl. I am an adult with a college degree.

    December 20, 2008 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  63. colin

    I'll give multiple options because if you looked in the right places there was a lot of exceptional material to be found.

    Best Film: Milk / Pineapple Express / The Wrestler / Doubt / In Bruges
    Best TV: The Wire / It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia / Lost / Dexter / Brotherhood
    Best Album: Evil Urges by My Morning Jacket / Untitled by Nas / Dig, Lazarus, Dig by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
    Best Read: Lush Life by Richard Price / When Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

    December 20, 2008 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Morgan

    Twilight?! Really ren? Please, the book was bad enough, and it's a shame that someone with as much potential as Robert Pattinson was wasted on that role.

    My favorite movie this year was probably Dark Knight, but mainly because of the action (that truck flipping over was sick) and Heath Ledger. Without him, it would have been a decent comic book movie, but with him it was much more. And that's coming from someone that was excited to see him in the Joker role as soon as word of it got out last year (or it may have been '06), way before his tragic death. But I'd say that upcoming movies like Milk, Doubt, and Frost/Nixon will prove to be the year's best

    Records: Gotta give it up to the great crop of soulful young British artists, including James Morrison, Duffy, and Adele. And on the more pop side there's Leona Lewis, who may not quite have the voice of a younger Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey, but definitely has the same amount of potential and the x factor (no pun intended)
    And a great pop record that you've probably never heard of: Radio:ACTIVE by British band McFly. Catchy, genuine, fun music by a young band of hardworking guys.

    I'd name some books, but I haven't had the chance to read any '08 releases.

    December 20, 2008 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Phil

    Favorite album: Sigur Ros’ Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust.

    December 20, 2008 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  66. drew

    one of the few who gets sarcasm-

    Sarcasm doesn't come across well in mediums like this. (Because there's little to no context.)

    And consider the possiblity that the level of intelligence portrayed in a thread about pop entertainment isn't indicative of American intelligence in general.

    December 20, 2008 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Rex

    Wow, you guys; remember that every one is intitled to an opinion. If Jana or whoever thinks Jennifer Aniston is a fabulous actress, then great. If you think Dark Knight is the No. 1 film of all time, great, you are allowed to say that. But, no one has the right to slam anyone else for voicing their opinion. I can't believe some of the answers I read; some people are so ignorant; they are the joke here for staing so. And for the record, Jennifer Aniston may be a great actress, bad actress, etc. but she has won an Emmy, Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award, and has shown versatility and couldn't be that bad. Perhaps comparing her to the proven greats is a little too much, but in any event, she must be doing something right; she is not a flashin the pan or has been and continues to make decent movies. Some actors/actresses can't say that. I am in no way a Jennifer Aniston fan, but do think that everyone is losing sight of what the question is here, this is not a slam fest. Happy Holidays, everyone, and Peace!!

    December 20, 2008 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  68. moviefan

    Opinion Q&A on The Dark Knight:

    Great Movie = Yes
    Best Batman Movie = Very slightly better than 1989's Batman, so Yes
    Best Movie Ever Made = No way!

    The Dark Knight is a great film and could one of the year's best movies, but it gets that exaggeration by people. You hear this movie being mentioned on the news, people keep talking about it, and IMDb ranks it one of the best movies ever made, next to The Godfather and The Shamshank Redemption (which is also a little exaggerated). I also hate it when people compare Heath Ledger's Joker to Jack Nicholson's Joker. In 1989's Batman, Nicholson is goofy and crazy at the same time, but in The Dark Knight, Ledger also shares the craziness, but is more of a sick, twisted psychopath than a goofy guy. If you were a room with Ledger's Joker, he'd kill you, with Nicholson, maybe not. I think both are great Jokers and they deliver their own unique style, so one can't be better than the other. It's like comparing Star Wars to Star Trek, there's no point.

    December 20, 2008 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Albert

    why6 does everyone hate on heath ledger for doing drugs? drugs are great

    December 20, 2008 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Alicia

    A TV show that got surprisingly better this year was “Smallville”. I do not think it is the best show on television, not by a long shot (“House”, “Lost”, and even some episodes of “Heroes” can be better). But when the show’s creators and main villain (Lex Luther played by Michael Rosenbaum) leave, I expected this season to be an unremarkable end to a once wonderful dirty pleasure. Instead, the story line and use of actors has far exceeded my expectations, and leaves me wanting more.

    December 20, 2008 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Roberta

    I loved Dark Knight. When I watched it , I expected that Heath Ledger would not be as good as people were saying. I expected his performance had been romanticized because of his death. How happy I was to be proven wrong. He was simply stunning.

    I also loved Tropic Thunder. My favorite character was Tom Cruz's character. I never expected Tom Cruz would be my favorite person in any movie of which he was no tthe main star.

    Now, my unexpected favorite, straight to DVD movie was The Beach Party at The Threshold to Hell. It's a National Lampoon movie. It was weird, fun and thought provoking (in other words not like a National Lampoon movie).

    December 20, 2008 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  72. JJ in Chula Vista, CA

    Boy, there's some Dark Knight haters out there. Yes, the Dark Knight was a good movie, Heath Ledger did a great job, and I thought it was well written, but I can admit that it was a bit long, there were some holes in the plot, and Christian Bale was eclipsed by a lot of the cast of the movie. Perhaps the Dark Knight deserves an Oscar nod, or perhaps not. But some of you people out there that are writing in to this blog to say that Dark Knight sucked are doing it because you're taking some satisfaction in saying so...as a way to counter the comments from the people who liked the movie. It's really quite childish to do that.

    December 20, 2008 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  73. ren

    had NO desire to see dark knight, best movie I saw this year was laugh or not Twilight. It has romance and drama and none of the foul language typically found in movies.

    December 20, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Shannon Townsend

    The Dark Knight- I think what I appreciated most about this film was the fact that for once, something went completely and utterly right with a comic book movie. Too often they're full of fun little jibes that only die hard geeks understand. But Dark Knight had layers of psychotic intrigue, coupled with outstanding acting and, most importantly, a true look at what makes Batman the anti-hero. It was a deep dark romp into the mob of the public, and posed so many ethical questions that truly made you think, truly made you wonder about the human psyche. Ledger was outstanding, and if he doesn't receive a best actor award, something is horribly remiss.

    Wall-E- Pixar has a habit of setting the bar very high for their own personal level of achievements, so we often joke in our household that even a bad Pixar movie is better than most mainstream flicks. Wall-E was no exception. I'll admit, Ratatoullie didn't do much for me. It was predictable and while whimsical, not what I've come to expect from Pixar's fare. But Wall-E did something that is truly difficult to do. It told a fabulous story with very little dialogue, and kept the focus off of human involvement. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't the Incredibles (still my favorite overall in terms of genius and script and art in one great bundle). But it had several deep messages I think many folks overlooked. Great artists can tell a story without the aid of dialogue, and Wall-E was animated proof of that basic rule.

    December 20, 2008 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  75. jeannie

    I was so disappointed by the movies released this year. Movies I felt excitement and anticipation for were few and far between. That being said, I thought Batman was too loud and overrated. I don't think either Katherine Heigle or Jennifer Aniston are particularly good actresses, and 27 Dresses was sugary nonsense.

    My favorite movie this year was "Rachel Getting Married." Anne Hathaway proved she can carry a serious dramatic movie all by herself. I am really looking forward to "Revolutionary Road."

    My favorite books this year were "The New Kings of Non-Fiction" and David Sedaris new collection of essays "When you are Engulfed in Flames."

    My favorite TV series hands down was LOST, followed by the Tudors and the Office.

    December 20, 2008 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  76. Michele

    All respect intended, Aniston couldn't carry the shadow of Streep, Davis and Hepburn.............the only thing multilayered about Aniston is her hair.

    If she ever wins an oscar I'll eat my tv......

    December 20, 2008 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  77. Karen

    I think " Man on Wire" was the best movie of the year ,
    I also loved The Visitor" I don't like crowds so I wait for the blockbusters to come out on dvd . On Tv I loved Breaking Bad and Mad Men

    December 20, 2008 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  78. David Ehrenstein

    What';s this? Zip for "Milk"? It's not just a great performance by Sean Penn, it's a superior political biopic that will be remembered long after "The Dark Knight" is forgotten.

    December 20, 2008 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  79. Andrea

    Just saw Dark Knight last night on DVD. Heath Ledger was pretty good in it but for Todd Leopold to say "terrific performances by Gary Oldman, Michael Caine" I HAVE to shake my head at. Seriously? Terrific? I thought the acting was quite bland – mainly as the characters were bland but still. FAR from terrific! I have always said that Christian Bale's voice in Batman is what puts me off those movies – my husband always tells me "But that is how Batman talks......!"

    RDJ in Tropic Thunder was UNBELIEVABLE! Now HIS acting could easily be described as terrific......

    December 20, 2008 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  80. huh

    Ah, WALL*E.... WALL*E... WALL*E....

    In 2008 I found out I that I am a humanoid WALL*E, trapped in a world of robotic humans as depicted in the film. His going gaga over EVA was a mere subplot to me.

    December 20, 2008 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  81. Jill from Indiana

    I agree that Cold Play had the best album of the year with Viva La Vida. It is genius, one of the few albums in recent years that I can listen to from beginning to end without cringing. I think the last album that did that for me was Sarah McLachlan's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, and it's been well over a decade since that one came out.

    December 20, 2008 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
  82. Reality

    It's the new form of entertainment. From watching the "George Bush Show" wherin America's sense of moral superioirty disintegrates, to the drama of the Obama/Clinton conflict, to the comedic comeuppance of O.J. Simpson – reality has become the best show on television. We are watching our own culture and civilization collapse, and it's getting great ratings. It's a circular thing: the more we watch, the faster it all goes to hell.

    ENicolas
    California

    December 20, 2008 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  83. John in AZ

    As far as "The Dark Knight," I think the accolades for Ledger are spot on. The film itself, however, was not as good as "Batman Begins" precisely because of what you mention: "Nolan’s blockbuster occasionally suffers from popcorn-movie overload." The first time I've seen my opinion reflected on an official review. On a side note, ever consider making a list of the worst of 2008?

    December 20, 2008 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
  84. Kevin

    Hands down, Dark Knight was the best of 2008. Ironman was good, and so was Tropic Thunder. However, none compare to this Batman installation. Heath Ledger dominated that movie, because Christian Bales voice took too much away from his physical performance. It was too "ooh, I'm really mad and hope my rage scares you- grrr". I was put off by that. Besides, once you saw The Joker, no one else stood a chance in that movie.
    Wall-E was terrible. I couldn't get past the comparison to Johnny 5 of Short circuit.
    Best TV: Heroes, The Mentalist, and House.

    December 20, 2008 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
  85. kyle

    I can tell you what the WORST thing is...Jimmy Kimmel Live. OMG how does this painfully unfunny and clearly bitter and racist guy – and his show still get to be on TV?

    December 20, 2008 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  86. next1

    Jennifer Aniston is the most highly overrated "celebrity" there is
    Wah Wah Wah Brad left me
    Angelinas mean

    Truth be told Angelina has talent and is a babe

    BRad probably left skidmarks in the driveway getting away from her

    December 20, 2008 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  87. Mark

    Best movies: Wall-e and the Dark Knight

    Most missed Tv show: The Shield. This was one of the best and most realistic cop shows ever made and I hope that they make a movie or direct to DVD releases to continue the story of Chiklis character and tie up the loose ends.

    December 20, 2008 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
  88. Tammy

    All this Jennifer Aniston back and forth is keeping me laughing, but on to the real subject, the best of '08:

    Movies; I loved The Dark Knight, and its my pick for one of the best of the year, but "the voice" did grate on my nerves after a while.

    Some other good ones were Quantum of Solace and Role Models (a surprise and really good aside from SWS playing the same character as in American Pie). I have not seen Tropic Thunder, Iron Man, etc., but am planning to catch up soon.

    Records: I have to give a nod to Coldplay for Viva La Vida-it just draws you in- and my hometown boys R.E.M. Accelerate brought them back in a big way this year. I also am loving some of the other Brits, James Morrison, Adele, and Duffy being my favs (I could care less about Amy Winehouse though).

    Books: There were a lot of good ones, but the one I am reading now is Tony Horowitz's "A Voyage Long and Strange." History meets travelogue, good stuff.

    TV: Nothing compares to "Lost," and that show was back on its game in a big way this year! Too bad it got shut out for Golden Globe noms.
    I also love "The Office," but I liked season four much more than I am liking season five. Fav. new show: by far "Fringe"

    December 20, 2008 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  89. CH

    For TV, I have to say that "Mad Men" was the best discovery I made this year. Some of my favorite shows ("The Office," namely) slipped a little, but "Mad Men" and "LOST"'s return to form really rounded out the TV season for me. Naturally, Tina Fey's "30 Rock" deserves every ounce of praise it receives, too.

    In terms of movies, I enjoyed "The Dark Knight" but was wowed by "Frost/Nixon." I saw it in early release and nearly fell out of my seat after Frank Langella's performance. He was simply brilliant. "Milk" was also wonderful. The biggest let-downs were "Hancock," the new installment of "Indiana Jones," and "Twilight" (though honestly who had high expectations on that one?).

    December 20, 2008 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  90. hopelessly wishing for a good movie

    Just saw an ad for "My Bloody Valentine 3D". What is wrong with this world? My vote for best movie of 2008 might go to the Coen Brothers' follow-up to No Country, "Burn After Reading". Funny, interesting and dark performances, and lots of black comedy. Just like I like it.

    December 20, 2008 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  91. Robert

    Can anyone tell me why Rachel Getting Married is loved by so many critics? My wife and I saw it a few weeks back and left the movie after about an hour. Many others walked out of the picture before we did. This is the first time ever that we did this as I feel even the worst movies have some good qualities but not this one. I agree that the acting was very good but the problem we had was that these were people that we did not care about and would never want to be around. The characters did nothing but complain and critize each other and we just couldn't take all the negative and uninteresting conversations in the movie. Are we the only ones who feel that this movie was boring and torturous to watch? Pardon my spelling.

    December 19, 2008 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Ryan Braithwaite

    Thank you so much for acknowledging the Dark Knight on your list. Admittedly, I am an artist/geek who enjoys all forms of fiction and fantasy, from comics to films, from art to literature and so on. The best thing about both "The Dark Knight" and "Iron Man" (especially coming out within the same year) is that while most ordinary citizens view comics as a childish and juvenile passage of time for kids and grown ups who refuse to grow up, these films finally show a mass audience what we, the geeks, have always seen in these characters: that beneath the armor and bad guys is a great and compelling story that entertains and challenges us. From the themes of "Iron Man" (personal, selfish excess vs. social responsibility) and "The Dark Knight (law & order vs. chaos & anarchy, protection of citizens vs. violation of civil liberties in order to catch the maker of chaos, etc.) Both films shined more than any other this year by showcasing raw talent not seen in genres like this before. From a final blaze of glory (Heath Ledger) to a phoenix rising from the ashes (Robert Downey Jr.) 2008 has been a year for the books............sorry Indy.

    December 19, 2008 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Jackiesha

    O.K...Tom Cruise in "Tropic Thunder" should win best supporting everything, but there was a distinct lack of quality movies all through 2008. Now that we're in the "holiday season," there are movies with meat, and I can' t wait for wide release on "Frost/Nixon" and "The Reader." "Marley and Me" was an excellent read, but who knows if the movie will hit a home run??? We'll know in six days. Yes; Jen is adorable, but she's no Hepburn/Streep, so let's just see how her film future plays out?

    December 19, 2008 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Paul Newman

    how about indiana jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull. It may not have been a perfect film, but a decent addition to the indy series, especially in the box office.

    December 19, 2008 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Benjiehorn

    TV on the Radio's Dear Science was by far this years best album. I'd have to throw in Sigur Ros' Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust comes in a very close second for me. Nice choice!

    December 19, 2008 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Mike NYC

    Two words. Kung Fu Panda.

    December 19, 2008 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  97. gregory

    I like how Mel made fun of Jana for praising Jennifer Anniston and then turned around and claimed Heroes was the best show on TV. What a DORK!

    TV Drama: Madmen
    TV Comedy: Summer Heights High
    Movie Comedy: Burn After Reading
    Movie Drama: I've Loved You for So Long
    Album: Thao- We Brave Bee Stings And All
    Book: Born Standing Up by Steve Martin (I think this was published in O7 but I read it in 08 and it was better than everything else I read this year)

    December 19, 2008 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Louise

    Slumdog Millionaire was one of my favorite films this year. The first five minutes tell you what is going to happen but you still get sucked into the movie. Weeks after seeing it I'm still thinking about it.

    December 19, 2008 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Kayla

    For movies I really enjoyed 27 Dresses, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Dark Knight, The X-Files: I Want to Believe and The Secret Life of Bees

    For TV, Pushing Daisies absolutely mesmerized me, and SNL was great fun (it's been a while!) during the election.

    December 19, 2008 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Bill

    Who's Jennifer Aniston?

    December 19, 2008 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  101. Jana

    I wasn't being sarcastic. Jerks.

    December 19, 2008 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  102. Brandon Brown

    "Tropic Thunder", "The Ruins", and "Alvin and The Chipmunks" should be nominated for Oscars, too, if "The Dark Knight" should.

    December 19, 2008 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  103. Fox

    Hey Sidney,

    Get a life. Its mildley sad that Ledger died but it is not the "tragedy" people are making it out to be. Tragedy is a child being killed in a ar accident, or a young man dying of cancer. Its not tragic that a grown man made a CHOICE to take a bunch of pills and OD, on purpose or not.

    And BTW, "under pressure"? Please....pressure is having to feed a family on minimum wage. Sorry I dont feel sorry for a million who over-dosed in his $13,000 a month Sojo Flat. Poor baby...couldnt decide what model to sleep with?

    December 19, 2008 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  104. mykl

    Frozen River with Melissa Leo. She should get an oscar nom. Definitely one my faves.

    December 19, 2008 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  105. Alex

    Movies
    Get Smart is probably my favorite film of the year – not the best, but favorite. It's one of the only times a movie remake of an old TV show actually got it right.

    TV
    Gotta be Doctor Who. While there was some really great TV produced this year, Doctor Who actually crossed over into event television, something that nothing on US TV was able to accomplish this year. It may not have the heavy dramatics of some shows, or the "gee-whiz" factor of others, but for sheer entertainment and smart storytelling, it wins the ball game.

    December 19, 2008 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  106. Tia

    RE: Jennifer can be somewhat entertaining, however as far as a great actress I'm sure she couldn't even fake an og convincingly. What's even more dumbfounding are the folks calling her beautiful. I give her credit for the great hair do she made popular on Friends, but the buck stops there people!

    December 19, 2008 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  107. Andy

    Wall-E was phenomenal. Dark Knight was everything I hoped it could be. The final fall of Harvey Dent in becoming Two-Face is the most under-appreciated part of that whole movie.

    Everyone will hate me for saying this, but Cloverfield was a great flick. It was an excellent revamp/tribute to the monster movies of the 1950s.

    The Happening was proved to me once again that you should check out M. Night Shyamalan's movie trailers, and then imagine what they could be about. The movies themselves are not scary, and hardly suspenseful.

    Crystal Skull was better than Temple of Doom, but not quite on par with Raiders or Last Crusade. Still, it was an enjoyable movie.

    Coldplay's latest seemed to me like their label said, "Give us another one of those." after X&Y. I'd pick it over most of the stuff on the radio now, but that's not saying a whole lot.

    December 19, 2008 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  108. bella

    best movie of the year: haven't seen it yet. am interested in the meryl streep/phillip seymore hoffman move, seven pouds, brad pitt's reverse aging movie, and marley and me.

    i don't think jennifer anniston is a very good actress. role, after role, after role is the same. put in some serious drama and see if she can handle that. to rate her over katherine hepburn, bette davis, meryl streep, or audrey hepburn is blasphemus! goes to show what kind of sorry movies your are seeing if you think she is the best. she will never win an oscar – just doesn't have it. let her stick w/her light comedy and leave the acting to the pros!!

    best cd no-one is talking about: van morrison's latest. excellent~ as is anything by him.

    best book i've read this year is the 'last campaign', the story of bobby kennedy's presidential campaign in 1968. powerful. what could have been......

    indiana and quantum were bearable. feel like i wasted my money on both. want to see dark knight to see what the fuss is all about.

    27 dresses – okay, not anything more.

    anything w/robert downey jr. did you see chaplin? acadamy award winning performance (although he didn't get one). a fine actor.

    December 19, 2008 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  109. groucho

    Jennifer Aniston is not that bad. She was excellent in "The Good Girl" and "Friends Wih Money" but her other films did not really show range or acting ability at par with Hepburn or Bette Davis (I thought Streep is excellent in some movies but has become generic and predictable but fun to watch still).

    Best films: Man on Wire, Frozen River, Let The Right One In, The Band's Visit, My Brother is an Only Child, The Visitor, The Flight of the Red Balloon, Reprise, Tuya's Marriage, Tell No One, Kabluey, I Served the King of England, Happy-Go-Lucky, Synecdoche, New York, In Bruges.

    Best recorded music: the latest albums of Erykah Baduh, Fleet Foxes, Johan Johansson, Randy Newman, Aimee Mann, Koen Holtkamp, John Dee Holeman, the reissue of the 1970s Algerian Proto-Rai Underground Music and Bon Iver.

    Fun movies: The Dark Knight, Wall-E, Mamma Mia!, Quantum of Solace, Slumdog Millionaire, Mongol, TransSiberian

    Excited to see: Milk, Frost/Nixon, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Revolutionary Road, The Reader

    December 19, 2008 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  110. T

    Best of '08 ?

    The Dark Knight & Iron Man.
    That's pretty much it....not much else to say....maybe Wall-E also ?

    Could it be that a superhero movie gets an Oscar for best supporting actor (Ledger) ?!? That would be a first !
    Looking forward to the next Batman installment w/ Bale....with more
    (hopefully) Oscar caliber actors....keeping the franchise exciting, watch-worthy and healthy and avoiding those crappy, awful Bat-flicks of the '90s. Yeesh !

    As for Shell-head, I'm looking forward Iron Man 2 and hope that Terrence Howard returns as Rhodes.

    December 19, 2008 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  111. suzangrace

    jena, you must be loopey! jennifer anniston is an ok actress, and a nice person, but no way her acting talents outway katherine hepburn, bette davis and the rest. you must be in a time warp (see rocky horror picture show for that). i can't imagine you even putting her in the same league. there are many exceptional actresses out there (meryl street, jessica lange, glen close, cate blanchett, kate windlett, emma thompson, natasha richardson, etc. but, she can't even touch them when it comes to talent. keep watching her on friends repeats, i'm sure you'll get your fill. watch a few more movies and maybe you'll see our point.

    December 19, 2008 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  112. Mandy

    giggle jennifer aniston giggle i'm not a fan of hers, but didn't she get nominated for something, not an oscar i don't think, maybe sag, for good girl or something like that. i never saw the movie......not a fan of hers, but i think she was nominated for something like that.

    December 19, 2008 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  113. JB

    Dark Knight was an incredibly boring movie.

    Too long, too dark, too lame a plot, clumsy editing, and ... did I say too long?

    December 19, 2008 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  114. Kevin

    Hands down, Dark Knight was the best of 2008. Ironman was good, and so was Tropic Thunder. However, none compare to this Batman installation. Heath Ledger dominated that movie, because Christian Bales voice took too much away from his physical performance. Besides, once you saw The Joker, no one else stood a chance in that movie.
    Let me be the first to say: Wall-E was terrible.
    Best TV: Heroes, The Mentalist, and House.

    December 19, 2008 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  115. Babs

    Favorite new series: TrueBlood. If you haven't seen Alan Ball's take on a "southern vampire" you should give this a try – sex, action, mystery and an outstanding cast make this something to see.

    December 19, 2008 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  116. Forrest

    I liked MILK....excellent flick and should be Oscar nominated for picture.

    December 19, 2008 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  117. Debbi

    This blogging is not my thing but anyone who thinks Jennifer anniston is in the Hepburn, Streep, Roberts,etc is on serious drugs!!!!!
    I loved friens, and still watch returns, but she does dopey movie after dopey movie. there is no way she is in the same statosphere as those other actresses, nor has she won an Oscar!

    December 19, 2008 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  118. FFoxes

    Best Album of the Year: Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

    December 19, 2008 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  119. Jeremy, Littleton, CO

    Movie: Iron Man. RDJ did so well, the line "I am Iron Man" is as much his as the character's he played. I saw it 3 times in the theater. Leger was awsome as the Joker, but he really carried that whole movie. Bale blew away pervious Batmen with Begins, but he just didn't show the same depth in Dark Knight. His costume got bulkier, his voice got raspier, and he turned one dimensional. Ledger delivered an Oscar-worthy performance, Bale delivered an action movie performance.

    Book: Small Favor (The Dresden Files, Book 10) by Jim Butcher. Saw the TV series, thought it was interesting, and decided to check out the books. Now the TV series looks like someone read the Cliff Notes, then told their drunk friend about it, who then made a TV series. I've read the whole series twice so far.

    Records? Haven't really heard any new music that didn't sound like studio pop, produced by formula. Rather just listen to podcasts like Red Bar Radio, comedy show out of Chicago.

    December 19, 2008 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  120. Some people will never get it

    Jana, I think you might be too smart for this board. Although I adore Jennifer Aniston, I can certainly appreciate your sarcasm-dripped comment and actually giggled. But then I stopped gigglling when I realized that nobody got it. Oh well, what can you do?

    I am torn between Robert Downey, Jr. and Heath Ledger. Both were incredible. And loved, loved, loved Wall-e.

    December 19, 2008 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  121. tiff

    Favorite show: It's gotta be House. I love Hugh Laurie. Seriously, you can't even tell that he is British.

    December 19, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  122. Allen

    Jennifer Anniston should have won an Oscar for her role in Leprechaun Part 1......Golden Globes for the GQ spread. M. Streep is too tortured of a person to not be a good ACTOR. The world is such a bad place.

    December 19, 2008 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  123. Steve

    Best movie the critics hated: Mamma Mia...all it did was put a smile on the face of everyone who saw it. A fun movie – no wonder critics hated it.

    TV show that was too good for network TV: Pushing Daisies. 15 minutes into the first episode I knew this would never succeed. What a shame.

    Great TV show but the books are even better: Dexter on Showtime is superb...the books are funnier and more gruesome.

    Best writer of mystery/crime novels since Dennis Lehane decided he was too good to write them anymore: George Pelecanos. His 2008 novel The Turnaround is brilliant.

    Best loving tribute to Dusty Springfield: Just A Little Lovin' by Shelby Lynne. Runner up: Rockferry by Duffy

    December 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  124. monica

    I could not get into Indiana Jones, actually fell asleep at the theater on one of my rare date nights which really ticked off my husband. Woke up just in time for one of the weirdest endings in movie history. A disappointment to say the least. What a waste.

    December 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  125. Kirsten

    Moving to albums, I must heap praise on Love on the Inside, by Sugarland. Simply excellent – I listen to at least a portion of that album every day.

    December 19, 2008 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  126. dmv

    27 dresses?? Jeez that was just a typical romantic comedy. I saw it on a plane and couldn't hear half of it and I still knew the plot as well as the outcome.

    December 19, 2008 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  127. Michael

    Dark Knight – the best comic book adaptation ever made (unless you count graphic novels like Sin City). It actually beat out the original Spiderman (which was the best until now). The Joker was finally done correctly and Batman wasn't reduced to a kid's book. Overall, what movies should be – fun.

    Tropic Thunder – Superbly written, Robert D Jr was fantastic, overall the movie wasn't nearly as funny as I had hoped (but it did make me like Tom Cruise again).

    Jennifer Aniston = Goddess, but she's not that great of an actress. I could care less as long as I can stare at her.

    Music – it's so far into the depths of corporate, candy laced, uninspired, lipsynched, machine generated, garbage nowadays, I can't even think of a decent song produced in the past year.

    December 19, 2008 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  128. one of the few who gets sarcasm

    It is very very sad that so many thought Jana was serious. Are Americans that dumb or are they just unwilling to think and digest the connotative meaning of words rather than just obeserving everything at a most superficial level. Although not directly related to politics, it is this type of thinking that leads to George Bush.

    December 19, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  129. Laurie Mann

    Most Overrated Movie: The Dark Knight. It looked great and the cast, particularly Heath Ledger and Aron Eckhart were very strong. However, it was a hopelessly dumb movie with way too many flying semi-tractor trailers for my tastes.

    While I haven't seen a really great movie all year; I saw a few good ones (Tropic Thunder, Iron Man, Wall*E, Rachel Getting Married). I expect to like Milk, Doubt, Slumdog Mllionaire and Benjamin Button, but none of them have reached my area yet.

    December 19, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  130. VP

    Thanks, Kate. You beat me to the punch by saying she's the same character in every film. Saying Jennifer Aniston is worthy of an Oscar is like saying that "The Hills" deserves an Emmy.

    Another actor that always plays the same role is Tom Cruise.Tom Cruise never plays anything but Tom Cruise. "Tom Cruise stars as Tom Cruise in a film directed by Tom Cruise and produced by Tom Cruise."

    December 19, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  131. Sydney

    Directed to PP...
    Heath Ledger died from a prescription drug overdose. While Xanax and Oxycontin can be just as bad as the illegal drugs, he was not taking those. He was under a huge amount of stress that you would know nothing about, mate. So why don't you quit accusing the man of being a druggie, K? Oh and he left behind a daughter as well so why don't you have a little respect?

    December 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  132. steve

    Wow, how anyone could possibly say Anniston is a better actress that Hepburn, Davis or Streep must not know what they are talking about. These three ladies of the screen are the real deal and all other actresses should learn from their craft. I agree Ledger's performance was most outstanding. And to those who say anything less of Ledger bit me. It was unfortunate that we lost him but we will all agree that we can put him up there with James Dean. A great actor gone before his time. Thank god for DVD's!

    December 19, 2008 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  133. Ben

    27 Dresses was one of the worse movies ever made. Who are you people?

    December 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  134. Mikael

    Ok Jennifer Aniston is good, but she in no way is better than the greats, Katherine, Audrey, Meryll, she has nothing on them. Christian Bale's batman is laughable when he does the voice, what's with him thinking he is a dinosaur, I loved the movie but I think Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine and Heath Ledger were the actors that made it so. And whoever said that Ledger died of an overdose, it was an accident of prescribed medications, it's not like he was doing heroin. I thought Indiana was good only because it was Indiana, what's with the aliens? George Lucas ruins everything they let him write.

    December 19, 2008 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  135. gretel

    The Dark Knight was awesome! Bale, Ledger, and the rest really did a great job, I was truly impressed. I guess I'm a bit of a "fangirl" because yet another comic book movie that i adored was Iron Man.
    On the music front, check out Iron and Wine.
    TV Shows: True Blood!!!! Heroes was better this season.
    Books:too many to pick just one

    Jen Aniston is fine in what she does but don't EVER compare her with Hepburn, you fail at life if you do.

    December 19, 2008 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  136. BB

    PP, judge not lest ye be judged. Remember that nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol are drugs as well, albeit legal. Ledger was brilliant in that role. Grant it, the movie wouldn't have received as much publicity without Ledger passing away, but I don't solely base the success of a movie on the fact that it was his last film (see Raul Julia in Street Fighter).

    December 19, 2008 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  137. Sydney Bristow

    Some of My Favorite Movies of '08-
    The Dark Knight
    Australia
    Horton Hears A Who
    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

    Have yet to see and can't wait to:
    Quantum of Solace
    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Frost/Nixon
    Wall-E
    Tropic Thunder
    Seven Pounds
    Revolutionary Road
    Valkyrie
    . . .
    Favorite Shows of '08:
    LOST
    Friday Night Lights
    Fringe
    Eli Stone
    Pushing Daisies
    Bones
    NCIS
    . . .

    December 19, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  138. way2gojana

    Stop the hating. Aniston is the real deal. I mean have you people seen Camp Cucamonga or Ferris Bueller the TV Show? Outstanding! And who could forget her portrayal of Suzie Brooks in those 2 episodes of Herman's Head, or Kiki Wilson in that one episode of Quantum Leap? She was in Quantum Leap people! They didn't just put anyone in that show, you had to be on top of your game to hang with Bakula. I think she gets all that talent from her dad.

    December 19, 2008 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  139. DUH!

    People, Jana was OBVIOUSLY being sarcastic. Are you seriously that clueless?!

    December 19, 2008 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  140. Steve

    Best movie of the year was "How to lose friends and alienate people" Simon Pegg was amazing as always. And lets be honest people The Dark Knight was not all that good. If Heath was alive nobody and I mean nobody except comic book nerds would even be talking about this movie. And Jennifer Annison is no Streep. Was that a serious comment?

    December 19, 2008 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  141. kate

    Jennifer Aniston? An Oscar? You must be joking–she plays the same character every single time she's in a movie.

    December 19, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  142. Andrew

    Jennifer Aniston is better than Streep, Hepburn or Davis? Have our standards sunk that low? She isn't nuanced....she has one nuance which is the same character in everything she does: Rachel.

    She isn't nude on the cover of GQ because she's a timeless actress...she's just a 'personality' making a desperate move to stay in the spotlight.

    Yeesh! No wonder I stopped going to movie theatres years ago. I can figure out better and more fun ways to waste all that $$$.

    And yes, Robert Downey Jr. was amazing in Tropic Thunder...too bad the movie stunk after the first 5 minutes of hysterical faux-trailers.

    December 19, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  143. PP

    Hey, give it a rest with Heath Ledger. He died of drugs. He obviously didn't have a good head on his shoulders or he would not have taken them. You are what you are and he was a druggie no matter how good or bad of an actor he was. I don't feel sorry one bit, there to many other good, drug free actors who need jobs.

    December 19, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  144. monica

    Okay, since I am a full time working mother of 2 young children with rarely a date night with the husband; I am ashamed to admit I have not seen Dark Knight. However it should be in my mailbox waiting for me tonight when I get home courtesy of Netflix. LOVE Christian Bale from waaaay back, and LOVED Heath Ledger in everything, especially Brokeback. Just tragic. Can't wait to see this one!

    December 19, 2008 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  145. GAC

    Jana: Jennifer Aniston never won an oscar

    December 19, 2008 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  146. AJ

    Jennifer Anniston can't act, what were you looking at? She is very pretty but acting is not her forte. She hasn't found her niche yet. If she could do another comedy like Friends then that would be great. I like her but she isn't Meg Ryan.

    December 19, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  147. Bale Rules

    Heath's performance was good but Bale was on top of his game. How can people not see the despair he brought to the role. Bale played two characters(Bruce, Batman) with perfection.

    December 19, 2008 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  148. way2gojana

    Right On Jana! You go girl! Aniston is getting it done. No one has the depth and/or range of this true American Treasure. Her performance in Leprechaun (1993) as T&A was simply breathtaking. Cannot wait to see her in the new movie remake of a popular television show from long ago!!!!

    December 19, 2008 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  149. Cindy

    Jennifer Anitson? Better than Streep?! You really need to expand your horizons more. Yeah, she has great potential and is a great actress but playing a twig on Friends for 10 years and doing silly date movies puts her NOWHERE near the acting skills of Streep. I wish she would do a more serious role, but please. I see her in a movie, all I see is Rachel.

    December 19, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  150. suzanne

    Max, Jena must be joking, or so I hope!

    December 19, 2008 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  151. Beth

    I have to disagree with Jana.
    to say that Jennifer Aniston is far better and exceeds the Katherine Hepburn and Meryl Streep and you think she is Oscar worthy – you don't know good acting. She cannot act. She looks pretty on TV and movies, but she has NO skills that would even make her worthy to be in the same sentence as those actors.

    December 19, 2008 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  152. mel

    jnennifer aniston and oscar in the same sentence is blasphemous! she's a good actress who has had some good moments, but to compare her to the greats is ridiculous. my faves for the year – tv: heroes; music – coldplay's viva la vida; movie – ironman; book – too many to mention.

    December 19, 2008 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  153. Robin G. Christopher

    The Dark Knight was an excellent picture, although it was terribly depressing and should have been broken up into two pictures. Heath Ledger's appearance in the movie eclipsed that of Christian Bales. It is sad to lose such a talented actor.

    December 19, 2008 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  154. Max

    Jana unless you are being sarcastic, you are insane

    December 19, 2008 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  155. monica

    Jennifer Aniston has an Oscar? Did I miss something?

    December 19, 2008 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  156. Teri

    And agreed, Jennifer Aniston is awesome!

    December 19, 2008 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  157. Teri

    Loved 27 dresses...went by too unnoticed...made of honor, not that good.
    I loved, Hamlet 2, Role models, Tropic Thunder, Wall-E was amazing, the Dark Knight (why does everyone always leave out Christian Bale's performance?) and who can forget Iron man??

    December 19, 2008 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  158. jana

    Anthing with Jennifer Aniston is wonderful! She is a marvelous actress she far exceeds Hepburn, Streep, Bette Davis and the others. Her characters are multilayered and nuanced. She will continue to add to her Oscar collection. A true genius!!!!

    December 19, 2008 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  159. Jackie in Dallas

    Favorite fun movie: "27 Dresses". I've always liked Katherine Heigl, but I think this is one of her best movies.

    Favorite serious movie: "Elizabeth: The Golden Age". Cate Blanchette can really play a conflicted, lonely Queen of England!

    Favorite book: well, I read mostly Science Fiction/Fantasy, so my tastes are not to mainstream novels. My favorite authors who released new books this year would have to be Elizabeth Moon, Tamora Pierce, and Mercedes Lackey.

    Most Missed TV Show: "Sex in the City". Somehow, "Entourage", "Californation", "Weeds", etc. just do not make up for missing Carrie and the girls! While "Weeds", "Medium", etc. have strong female characters, they tend to be overshadowed somewhat with all the testerone around them. And don't get me started on Housewifes of any type!

    Music: ah, that's easy, a new release of music by the late Eva Cassidy. If you've never checked out her music, do so. We lost her to cancer a few years ago, but this "find" by Mick Fleetwood in Washington DC had an amazing voice, a stubborn dislike for being pigeonholed into a genre, and an innocent, but not unsophisticated style. Check out her cover on Sting's "Fields of Gold" on her CD "Songbird" as a good example.

    December 19, 2008 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  160. monica baumberger

    Although my husband really loved the entire production of "Tropic Thunder" and I thought some of it was utterly silly; Robert Downey Jr.'s performance of Kirk Lazarus was flippin unbelievable and he should win the Golden Globe in my opinion. You forgot it was him playing the role from the first time he opened his mouth. Talk about a comeback, and let's not even bring up "Iron Man". Simply amazing! Way to go Robert! 2008 has been your year!

    December 19, 2008 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |

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