From Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney and producer Graydon Carter comes a probing look into the uncanny life of national treasure and gonzo journalism inventor Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. A fast moving, wildly entertaining documentary with an iconic soundtrack, the film addresses the major touchstones in Thompson's life-his intense and ill fated relationship with the Hell's Angels, his near-successful bid for the office of sheriff in Aspen in 1970, the notorious story behind the landmark Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, his deep involvement in Senator George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign, and much more. Narrated by Johnny Depp.
Best Romance: All in all, this was a pretty lean year for both the romantic drama and the romantic comedy. Maybe that's why the best romance of the year came courtesy of a girl with a pig snout. In Penelope, Christina Ricci played a cursed socialite with a horrifyingly deformed nose. It took Wanted's James McAvoy to warm her cold heart, and a scooter trip with Reese Witherspoon for her to learn how to love herself. In the process, she gave us one of the most unique love stories of the year. Sure, Never Back Down flirted with the idea of a teenage love affair, but it was mostly about breaking bones and defining punches. The relationship held between Maggie Gyllenhaal and Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight was heartbreaking, but again, there was too much movie going on to really look at their sad state of affairs. Forgetting Sarah Marshall was sweet, but relied a little too much on its own gross-out humor to be a winning romance. Which only leaves Sex and the City: The Movie and the Richard Gere/Diane Lane weep fest Nights in Rodanthe as worthy successors to Penelope's plight in life. One film was age affirming and socially gratifying for woman over the age of thirty, and they other was a heart breaker that offered hope only to crush those dreams in its last few fleeting moments of screen time. All three are great romance films, yes. But they faced little to no competition and were released far enough apart that they didn't need to compete for their audiences.
Comeback of the Year: There were so many. 2008 was definitely the Year of the Comeback. Sylvester Stallone revamped Rambo. Tom Cruise won back audience members with his cameo in Tropic Thunder. Vern Troyer gave two winning performances with both Postal and The Love Guru, and Audrey II the outer space houseplant was back terrifying people in The Ruins. But it was really Mickey Rourke and Robert Downey Jr. that made the most noise. These two master magicians fell off the map due to their own personal demons in life. And in 2008, they reemerged as the most talked about performers of the past year. Both put in excellent work, but it was Downey that truly came out on top. Where Rourke had the acclaimed The Wrestler, Downey came with four great films that included Iron Man, Charlie Bartlett, Tropic Thunder, and the withheld drama The Soloist. There's no doubt about it. 2008 was the year of Robert Downey Jr., and he didn't disappoint at all. Let's hope he keeps up this golden boy run in 2009.Read More