January 26, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

Before we gaze into our crystal ball and perform our annual show-and-tell about the biggest events in TV, movies, theater, and music for 2001, let’s look into the past, and tally last year’s batting average. Twelve months ago in this space, we tipped you to Gladiator and Erin Brockovich, told you to look out for Michael Chabon’s novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and alerted you to a forthcoming CD from Eminem that he promised would be ”rawer” than his last. Props to us! We also told you about what was sure to be the year’s biggest phenomenon — a bunch of people fighting for survival on a deserted spit of sand … Unfortunately, we were talking about Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach. Well, you can’t win ’em all. So pull up a sofa, take a grain of salt, and feast your eyes on the hits (and, yes, misses) of the coming year. It all begins with a trip to Middle-earth

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