So I figured it out... 2009 is the year of Carla Gugino.

Must be.  When I picked a movie at random to be my first film of the year, who was one of the co-stars?  Carla Gugino.

Last night, I went to the first screening I've gone to in 2009, and who was one of the co-stars?  That's right.  Carla Gugino.

And we all know she's the star of one of the year's most anticipated films, right?  I mean, everyone IS breathlessly awaiting the arrival of "Race From Witch Mountain," right?

And, sure, there's "Watchmen," too.

So this is her year.  No question about it now.  And considering how much pretty much any dude with a pulse crushes on her, I'd say we could do much worse as far as poster faces for the year are concerned.

Anyway... just a random thought as I settle in with my first daily jolt of caffeine, some more cough medicine, and today's Morning Read.

Over at Ain't It Cool, Merrick offers up a hearty batch of "Tales Of The Ancient Empire" stills and artwork and more.  Albert Pyun isn't just a low-budget filmmaker... this guy wrestles movies onscreen with budgets lower than what most films spend on catering.  "The Sword And The Sorceror" was a grimy, dirty, insanely gory little piece of sword-and-sorcery that, god help me, I really loved.  And now, almost 30 years later, he's making a sequel.  I doubt you'll be seeing this one in Entertainment Weekly's big 2009 preview, but I'm glad to see it get a little love.

Quint is only three movies away from finishing out his AMAD column, and today's movie was "The Sunshine Boys."  It's always interesting to see what holes someone else has in their movie-watching knowledge.

Even though it's not at Sundance, the new Broken Lizard film "The Slammin' Salmon" will be in Park City, and I'm going to do my best to see it while I'm up there.  Right now, Frosty over at Collider has the exclusive red-band trailer premiere for "The Slammin' Salmon," and it's well worth a look.

One of the blogs over at Wired.com has a story today about David Goyer's fascination with potato bugs and the way he utilized them in "The Unborn."

The always-great Glenn Kenny has posted an article on The Best DVDs of 2008, and I'd recommend picking up anything you don't already own on that list.

Did you know you can watch the entire run of the '60s version of "The Prisoner" right now online for free?

MTV's Splash Page talked to Justin Theroux, who says that the main thing they're using to drive "Iron Man 2" is the idea that Tony Stark is no longer a superhero with a secret identity, but is instead living a very public life.  That's a great new idea to play with for one of these films, and I trust they're going to give us something worthwhile in the sequel.

iO9.com has some early artwork for the next "Judge Dredd" film.  I'm still not sure why they're rebooting this... it's like getting excited over a new "Tank Girl" movie.

Variety's got a few things of note up today.  "Watchmen" is headed in front of a federal judge, for example.  I still don't think we've heard the punchline on this one, and I'm working on tracking down parts of the behind-the-scenes story on this one that have not been told yet.  Warner wouldn't be fighting this hard if they didn't have an ace up their sleeve.

A 3-D animated film produced by NASA and voiced by William Shatner and Chris Pine, the two Kirks?  Sign me up, please.

I'm just glad Mickey Rourke is working.  I loved him in "The Wrestler," but if anyone can fuck up a comeback, it's Rourke.

There is something very, very wrong with Scott Sanders at Twitchfilm.  Otherwise, he wouldn't have made this list of forgotten '80s films.  Sometimes, we forget for a reason, Scott.

Twitchfilm's Todd Brown also posted the trailer for "Hybrid," a new film from Eric Valette, who made such a promising debut with the micro-budget French horror film "Malefique."

And I'll leave you with one last trailer, this one courtesy of Bloody-Disgusting.  It's for the sequel to last year's surprise Spanish horror sensation, "[REC]", which was remade here in the US as "Quarantine."  Check out your first look at "[REC] 2" right here.