Finally. The Oscar-grab season that ended 2008 was even more shameless and grabby than most, filled with platitude-spoutin' old men, anguished pedophiles, and enough movies about the Holocaust to... to... uh, never mind. I'm not going to make a joke about the Holocaust, but goddamn, there were a lot of movies about it. Thankfully, 2009 is here, with a bunch of promising movies, and not a single one is about pedophile geriatrics at Dachau! Onward, 2009! Wipe clean our memories of shoddy Oscar bait!
Che (January 16)—A five-hour biopic about Che Guevara? That sounds fucking awful! Until you realize that Steven Soderbergh's directing.
Coraline (February 6)—Portland animation house Laika's debut is based on a Neil Gaiman book and directed by Henry Selick.
Youth in Revolt (February 20)—C.D. Payne's beloved YA novel gets Michael Cera-fied.
Watchmen (March 6)—300's Zack Snyder takes a crack at adapting Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' postmodern superhero comic.
Star Trek (May 8)—J.J. Abrams tries to make Star Trek cool again. Wait. Star Trek was never cool.
Funny People (July 31)—Mega-producer Judd Apatow steps behind the camera for the first time since Knocked Up.
Inglourious Bastards (August 21)—Quentin Tarantino's long-hyped WWII epic finally sees the light of day.
Where the Wild Things Are (October 16)—We'll see if Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers' take on Maurice Sendak's classic children's book actually comes out; the troubled film has been delayed so often that I'm pretty sure it doesn't actually exist.
The Box (November 6)—Donnie Darko's Richard Kelly riffs on an old Twilight Zone episode—and tries to prove to everyone who jumped on the "let's hate on Southland Tales!" bandwagon that Darko wasn't a fluke.
The Fantastic Mr. Fox (November 6)—Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach make a stop-motion film based on a Roald Dahl story I had to do a book report on in second grade.
Sherlock Holmes (November 20)—Guy Ritchie casts Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson; tries to avoid "no shit" one-liners.
Avatar (December 18)—It's James Cameron's first film since 1997's Titanic—and this super-expensive, decade-in-the-making, 3D sci-fi epic might have the potential to remake Hollywood.
Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (May 22)—Ha! Ha. No.