We've already discussed Easter Eggs in movies and the many ways filmmakers create in-jokes and references for savvy viewers and those in the know, but today we're taking a look at filmmakers referencing other filmmakers (or their stars...or themselves). We bet you'll never watch these movies the same way again.
Honoring Directors They Admire:
1. Star Wars in Star Trek
It's no surprise that Super 8 director J. J. Abrams is a Star Wars fan, but we bet you never caught R2-D2's appearance in both Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness. It looks like Star Wars: The Force Awakens won't be Abrams' first time with the Star Wars world.
Giving a Nod To Its Stars' Careers
2. Romy and Michele's High School Reunion's wink at Quentin Tarantino
Buena Vista Pictures
The comedy has a few subtle references to Quentin Tarantino's film universe. At the time, Mira Sorvino (Romy) was dating Tarantino. Thus, the keen eye can discern a Big Kahuna Burger take-out bag behind Michele's head in the scene where they pig out and decide to emulate top female executives. In one of the next scenes, an ad for Red Apple Cigarettes can be seen behind their car. Both of these brands were made up by Tarantino for his films. Red Apple cigarettes can be seen in films like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Four Rooms, and From Dusk Til Dawn.
3. Bruce Willis' Favorite Song
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
Die Hard With A Vengeance has a Pulp Fiction reference in it! Who knew? Bruce Willis' Pulp Fiction character, Butch, is driving around while "Flowers on the Wall" by the Statley Brothers plays on his radio and he sings along before running into Marsellus Wallace. Die Hard's John McClane exits a cab in the 1995 film with Samuel L. Jackson and references his time suspended by reciting the same lyrics from Pulp Fiction: "I was working on a nice fat suspension. Smokin cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo." Willis starred in Pulp Fiction with Jackson between Die Hard 2 and Die Hard With A Vengeance.
4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with Rango
The beginning of Rango features the Johnny Depp-voiced reptile landing on the windshield of a convertible driven by none other than Duke and Gonzo from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Johnny Depp paying tribute to Johnny Depp.
5. Adam Brody in Mr. & Mrs. Smith
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
Okay, maybe everyone just really loves Fight Club and Brad Pitt, right? In the 2005 rom-com action movie, Seth Cohen plays the man they're both assigned to kill, which is how they realize they're both spies. The whole time, Brody is wearing a Fight Club t-shirt. It's pretty obvious whose side he's on.
6. Fight Club Starring Brad Pitt
20 Century Fox
Fight Club has a bunch of hidden gems in it, including advertisements for its main stars. Theater marquees within the movie advertise films starring Brad Pitt (Seven Years In Tibet), Edward Norton (The People Vs. Larry Flynt), and even Helena Bonham Carter (The Wings of the Dove, although it's obscured by a bus in the scene, so this is questionable).
Paying Homage To Themselves:
7. The Social Network's Tyler Durden
Fight Club's director David Fincher has also been known to reference his own movies. In The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg's Zuckerberg uses Facebook for help on an Art History assignment. The profile he's viewing? Tyler Durden's.
8. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
In the Tim Burton adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic, Charlie's father works for Smilex toothpaste factory; this is a reference to the poison Joker unleashed on Gotham in the Burton-directed Batman by hiding it in their toothpaste. During a tour of the factory, Wonka walks by a room of pink sheep as he says, "I'd rather not talk about this one." While this may just seem like a way to accentuate his eccentricity, Burton's actually referencing his Ed Wood biopic, also starring Johnny Depp; director Ed Wood was a notorious cross-dresser with an affinity for pink wool. In other scenes throughout the movie, children in the Halloween flashback wear masks of Lock, Shock, and Barrel from The Nightmare Before Christmas and a door in the factory is marked "BeetleJuicing."
9. Before Sunrise/Waking Life/Dazed and Confused
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Oscar-nominated writer-director Richard Linklater's film worlds seem to intersect at times. Like when Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprise their characters Jesse and Celine from Before Sunrise in the rotoscope dream movie Waking Life, which they then reference in Before Sunset. But there are subtler ways in which the films inhabit the same world: pinball. The same pinball machine can be found in at least three of Linklater's films: Waking Life, Before Sunrise, and Dazed and Confused.
10. Friends With Benefits picks up Easy A
Director Will Gluck references his 2010 hit comedy Easy A in the totally-okay-but-not-as-successful 2011 film Friends With Benefits. The sign at the airport for an "O. Penderghast" alludes to Emma Stone's character in Easy A. Stone appears in both films and is flawless in both.
Paying Tribute To Other Directors:
11. Indiana Jones/Star Wars/E.T.
R2-D2 makes another appearance - this time in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Spielberg paid tribute to Indiana Jones writer George Lucas by including hieroglyphics of the Star Wars droid in the 1981 film. Three years later, Spielberg did it again by naming a club in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom after Obi-Wan Kenobi.
12. E.T. in Star Wars
20th Century Fox
And then George Lucas thanks Steven Spielberg by featuring E.T. the Extra Terrestrial in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
13. Evil Dead 2/Nightmare on Elm Street
Director Sam Raimi pays homage to Wes Craven in Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn by sneaking iconic slasher Freddy Krueger's glove in the background of a few scenes.
Paying Tribute To The Genre:
Scream is more jam-packed with references than most other movies. It's basically a two-hour homage to the horror genre entirely. The character Billy Loomis borrows his last name from Psycho's Sam Loomis before quoting Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates. The janitor outside Principal Himbry's office (played by director Wes Craven himself) is named Fred and wears Freddy Krueger's iconic striped shirt. The film is so saturated with in-jokes and references that it's pretty easy for even the most savvy viewers to miss Scream Queen Linda Blair's brief cameo. Take comfort in understanding the constant name-checking of other horror flicks.
As obsessive readers and fans of dismissing quality movies as inferior to their literary counterparts, it's important for us to know which books will head to the big screen ahead of time. How else will we know how Wild Reese will be, or what is going to happen to Peeta? Be reasonable. We've decided to use our research for the good of society and share the adaptations coming soon that we are most excited for.
1. The Spook's Apprentice - Joseph Delaney (Seventh Son)
Thomas Ward (Ben Barnes) is the seventh son of the seventh son, which gives him the ability to see things that others cannot: ghosts, ghasts, boggarts, and the like. He becomes an apprentice to John Gregory, the Spook (Jeff Bridges). Julianne Moore is set to play Mother Malkin, one of the most sinister witches who uses blood magic, luring young runaway women into care before sucking their blood to maintain her youth, who was then imprisoned by the Spook. Kit Harington and Djimon Hounsou also star.
2. Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, in case you somehow didn't know, are stepping into the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey for the adaptation of the incredibly successful erotic novel. Steele, a literature student, interviews Grey as a favor to her roommate, but quickly becomes entranced by this brilliant and handsome man who is unable to resist her. He admits his desire, but on his own terms; this is a man with a need to control everything. This is also probably going to be the movie with a bunch of heavy-breathing sweaty middle-aged women trying to control themselves in the theater. You've been warned.
3. In the Heart of the Sea - Nathaniel Philbrick
The last time Ron Howard and Chris Hemsworth teamed up, they brought us one of the best films of 2013, Rush. Now, they're at it again (along with Cillian Murphy and Benjamin Walker) with this story of a whaleship attacked by one angry whale, leaving the crew shipwrecked and stranded for 90 days, thousands of miles from land. The true story inspired a little book by Herman Melville (played in the movie by our favorite, Ben Whishaw) entitled Moby-Dick.
4. The Price of Salt - Patricia Highsmith (Carol)
W. W. Norton & Company
Patricia Highsmith, author of successful novels-turned-movies like Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley (we're choosing to ignore the recent The Two Faces of January here), wrote The Price of Salt, which will be released as 'Carol.' The novel itself, controversial for its lesbian content and unprecedented gay happy ending, is said to have inspired Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. The film stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson, with Far From Heaven and I'm Not There director Todd Haynes helming.
5. Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
Shaye Areheart Books
Gone Girl author brings us yet another chilling thriller. A young girl is the sole survivor of a massacre that leaves both of her sisters and her mother dead in an apparent Satanic cult ritual. She testifies against her brother, but 25 years later, she begins to investigate the actual events. Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Nicholas Hoult, and Christina Hendricks star.
6. A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants director Ken Kwapis is set to direct Bryson's memoir, starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. The hilarious book describes Bryson's attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail with his friend Stephen Katz. Emma Thompson and Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman will also star.
7. Insurgent - Veronica Roth
As conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows, a war looms for Divergent's post-apocalyptic Chicago. In this sequel, we're still following Shailene Woodley and Theo James' Tris and Four as they try to understand the reasons for Erudite's insurrection and obtain information the Abnegation are trying to protect. Kate Winslet, Zoë Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, and Miles Teller return in their supporting roles, and are joined by some all-star names: Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, and Suki Waterhouse.
8. Serena - Ron Rash
The dynamic duo of mega-nominated movies Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle are back at it! Bradley Cooper plays a man trying to maintain his timber empire during the Depression, while Jennifer Lawrence plays his wife who discovers she can't have children. For some reason, we're a little terrified of JLaw in this movie from the trailer.
9. Silence - Shusako Endo
Taplinger Publishing Company
This 1966 novel about a Jesuit missionary sent to 17th century Japan where he endures persecution is set to be adapted by Martin Scorsese. It will also have an all star cast of Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Ken Watanabe, and Adam Driver.
10. The Longest Ride - Nicholas Sparks
The producers of The Fault in Our Stars, the author of The Notebook, and the hottest Hollywood son around, this movie already has us in love with it. Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson play two lovers and there's a rodeo or something; we don't really know, we were just thinking about how much this movie will make us cry. Time to read the book.
11. Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
The Hunt director Thomas Vinterberg tackles Thomas Hardy's novel. Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene, a woman who has too many men in love with her and of course rejects them all until she falls for one. Three men, played by Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone), and Tom Sturridge (On The Road), all after this woman: who will she end up with? We actually just read the plot description and had everything spoiled and somehow still gasped and cried at those three paragraphs. Why didn't we know about this book before?!
12. Paper Towns - John Green
The Fault in Our Stars author John Green's next book to be adapted by the same team who adapted TFIOS (Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber). Margo and her adventures are legendary at her high school, and Quentin ("Q") has always loved her for it. Margo climbs through his window and demands he take an all night road trip of revenge, but when she goes missing the next day, Q realizes she's left clues for him and promptly hits the road again in search of her. Cara Delevingne will play Margo and TFIOS' Nat Wolff will play Q.
13. The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge - Michael Punke
Carroll & Graf Publishers
Academy Award-nominated Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, 21 Grams, Biutiful) is set to direct Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy in this adaptation. Partially based on the life of fur trapper Hugh Glass. Leo will play Glass, who is mauled by a bear, then later robbed and left for dead by his companions. He survives and sets out for revenge against those same men.
14. The Secret Scripture - Sebastian Barry
Faber and Faber
A one-hundred-year-old woman, Roseanne McNulty, in a mental hospital for about 50 years decides to retrace her history. As the hospital faces demolition and he must choose which of his patients should be transferred and which should rejoin the community, Dr. Grene also tries to discover her history. What they find is very different, though there are some consistencies. Vanessa Redgrave and Rooney Mara will play Roseanne McNulty, Eric Bana will play Grene, with Theo James also starring.
15. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
An oft-adapted novel, Mary Shelley's classic is to be turned into yet another film, this time directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin, Push). The updated version, titled Victor Frankenstein, will be told from the perspective of the doctor's assistant, Igor. The film will explain how the doctor became the man who created the legendary monster. Daniel Radcliffe will play Igor and James McAvoy will play Victor Frankenstein.
16. The Martian - Andy Weir
Crown Publishing Group
Described as Cast Away meets Apollo 13, the novel follows an astronaut stranded on Mars, fighting to survive (which also sounds mildly like Gravity to us, no?). Ridley Scott is set to direct a pretty stellar (no pun intended) cast here: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Donald Glover, Kate Mara, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. This sounds like a great movie already, but we'll have to wait until November to see it.
17. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
Walt Disney Pictures is working on this live-action/CGI mash-up of the classic book, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Chef), with a mind-bogglingly incredible cast. Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito will provide voices, while newcomer Neel Sethi will play Mowgli.
Michael Keaton's critically-acclaimed Birdman will lead the way at the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards after landing six nominations on Tuesday (25Nov14). The Batman star, who is hotly-tipped to earn an Oscar nod for his role as a fallen movie star in the new drama, will compete for Best Male Lead against Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler), John Lithgow (Love is Strange), David Oyelowo (Selma) and rapper/actor Andre Benjamin (Jimi: All Is By My Side), while his co-stars Edward Norton and Emma Stone will do battle for the respective supporting actor and actress titles.
Birdman is also shortlisted in the Best Director (Alejandro G. Inarritu) and Best Feature categories.
Other Best Feature contenders are Love Is Strange and Whiplash, in addition to five-time nominees Selma and Boyhood.
Nightcrawler also nabbed five nods, including mentions for Best Screenplay and Best First Feature for director Dan Gilroy.
The Robert Altman Award, presented to a film's director, casting director and ensemble cast, will be handed to the people behind the scenes of Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice, while the cast and crew of Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher will be honoured with the Special Distinction Award.
The 30th Independent Spirit Awards, which recognises films made on a budget of less than $20 million (£12.5 million), will take place in Santa Monica, California on 21 February (15) - the eve of the 2015 Academy Awards.
Taylor Swift gave funnyman John Cleese a taste of her stern, feminist side when he poked fun at women during an appearance on Britain's Graham Norton Show on Friday night (10Oct14). The two stars were bonding over their love of cats when the Monty Python star criticised her pet, Olivia Benson, asking, "How did it have the accident?" before adding, "That's the funniest looking cat I've ever seen", when Cleese told host Norton why he preferred cats to dogs.
He said, "They're unpredictable and cussed - like women."
Swift shot him a stern look and said, "Ooh, we don't wanna do that..."
Cleese previously admitted he was looking forward to joining Swift on Norton's sofa, tweeting, "I am looking forward to discussing cats with @taylorswift13 on @TheGNShow. She has 2, I have 3."
"I am looking forward to discussing cats with @taylorswift13 on @TheGNShow. She has 2, I have 3." Funnyman John Cleese is excited about his upcoming TV encounter with fellow cat lover Taylor Swift on Britain's Graham Norton Show.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Susan Sarandon and Edward Norton joined thousands of eco-activists on the streets of New York City on Sunday (21Sep14) to demand more action on climate change. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, acting couple Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Evangeline Lilly, and rocker Sting and his producer wife Trudi Styler also took part in the Big Apple leg of the People's Climate Change march.
Sedgwick took to her Twitter.com blog during the demonstration and declared, "Today I march (for) the future. #ActOnClimate (Our) only hope is to ban (sic) together And demand change", while actor John Leguizamo revealed his teenage child had also joined in, writing, "My daughter went to protest for global warming counter programing! 14 and already an activist! So proud".
The event attracted as many as 300,000 people and was billed as the biggest march for climate change action in history.
After the march, Ruffalo tweeted, "The #PeopleClimateMarch today was undeniably a historic moment in the fight against #climatechange ignorance 310k people strong!"
Other People's Climate Change demonstrations also took place in cities including Paris, France, Melbourne, Australia and London, where campaigners included Harry Potter co-stars Emma Thompson and Bonnie Wright.
The marches were planned to raise awareness about the cause ahead of the United Nation's climate change summit in New York on Tuesday (23Sep14), where new U.N. Messenger of Peace on Climate Change DiCaprio will address attendees.
Looks like they won't be "live from New York" any longer. After a difficult, uneven season that saw an influx of new cast members, controversy and the loss of Head Writer and "Weekend Update" host Seth Meyers halfway through the year, Saturday Night Live is by cutting down its slate of featured players down to a more manageable size. Brooks Wheelan announced that he would be leaving Tuesday morning on Twitter (via a joke, natch). Later in the day, it was announced that Noël Wells and John Milhiser also wouldn't return after they failed to make an impression with audiences this year. Those announcements come about a month after Nasim Pedrad, one of the current longest-running cast members, would be leaving to work on Mulaney.
But just because they won't be on SNL any longer, that doesn't mean that it's the last we'll ever see of Wheelan, Wells, Milhiser and Pedrad. There are plenty of people who only lasted a couple of seasons on the show and then went on to become major stars: Sarah Silverman, Damon Wayans, Rob Riggle, and Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr., to name just a few. With that in mind, we decided to take a look back at their tenure on SNL in order to best predict what's next for Wheelan, Wells, Milhiser and Pedrad. Although if any one of them is going to wind up playing a superhero, our money's on Heshy.
Brooks Wheelan What’s Next: Wheelan doesn’t have a lot lined up at the moment, though he does have a short film titled Lose Yourself, Save Yourself, where he plays Fighter 2. His Strengths: Possibly because he comes from a standup background rather than a sketch one, Wheelan didn’t create very many memorable characters, and his most significant moments on the show were his two appearances as himself on “Weekend Update,” where he would warn audiences against the dangers of getting terrible tattoos and binge drinking. Where We See Him: Wheelan seems to embody the same kind of “goofy, wisecracking All-American” guy that actors like Jake Johnson or fellow SNL alum Jason Sudeikis trade on. We could easily see him bringing some of the energy to a sitcom where he plays the sarcastic straight guy to a group of off-the-wall characters. Still, his weirdly funny exterminator bit with Ed Norton proves he’s capable of some truly strange characters, and so we could see him playing smaller, supporting roles in films for a while as a variety of strange, obnoxious characters. And of course, there’s always his stand up career to fall back on…
Noël Wells What’s Next: Wells has the TV series Gentleman Lobsters, which is slated for a 2014 premiere. She’s also a photographer in her spare time, and her work has been showcased in exhibitions and been printed in magazines. Her Strengths: Though they were slightly hit and miss – her Nancy Grace was four minutes of eye twitches and catchphrases – Wells made the biggest impact on the show through her impressions, most notably, playing Lena Dunham in the season premiere’s parody of Girls. Where We See Her: Though her talent with impressions and slightly offbeat characters would serve her well on another sketch show, something along the lines of Inside Amy Schumer or Key and Peele, Wells most reminds us of two other early SNL departures: Jenny Slate and Casey Wilson. Like them, Wells has a quirky charm to her that would serve her well in indie films (she actually earned solid reviews for her work in last year’s Forev) and in an ensemble sitcom, where she would be free to play up her weirder side.
John Milhiser What’s Next: Like Wheelan, Milhiser has a short film on his slate, Little Horribles, and he also starred in the indie film Camp Takota, which is available online. His Strengths: Milhiser didn’t get much of a chance to make an impression on audiences, although eh did show off a pitch-perfect Jon Cryer impression during a Family Feud sketch. He did, however, have one highlight during his tenure, a sketch where he and Lady Gaga played “encouraging” stage parents helping their child through a talent show performance, which let him show off his goofier side, and his ability to execute a high kick. Where We See Him: Milhiser strikes us as a Ben Falcone or Nat Faxon-type, someone who pops up in different things all the time, playing characters with varying levels of insanity and oddity. He’s definitely shown that he can play both weird and silly characters, but since he didn’t make that much of an impression, he’ll probably be “that guy from that thing” for a while, until he manages to find the right project to help him break out.
Nasim Pedrad What’s Next: After five years on SNL, Pedrad is leaving in order to play Jane, the roommate of John Mulaney’s character on the FOX sitcom Mulaney. Her Strengths: During her time on the show, Pedrad played a wide variety of characters, including Kim Kardashian, Arianna Huffington, Bedelia, the awkward teenager whose best friend is her mother and Shallon, the world’s most dangerous fifth grader. Though she never made the kind of impression that Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon have, she’s become a vital part of the ensemble over the past five years, thanks to her ability to inhabit both the sanest and the oddest human beings. Where We See Her: Hopefully, her role on Mulaney will be exactly what she needs to properly break out, since she never quite managed to on SNL. From there, we could see her following a similar career path to Wiig or Tina Fey, playing both broad comedy and more serious roles in both television in movies. Alternatively, she could become more of a Michaela Watkins/Ana Gasteyer- type, and becoming the go-to actress for slightly odd, scene-stealing characters.
Actress Emily Blunt hid her pregnancy on the set of action movie Edge Of Tomorrow until her co-star Tom Cruise figured out the truth when she stopped taking part in hair-raising stunts. The two screen stars play alien-battling soldiers in the new sci-fi movie, and shooting on the film wrapped before the British actress fell pregnant with her first child.
However, after conceiving, she had to return to shoot some additional scenes, and Top Gun star Cruise suspected something was amiss when he noticed Blunt was no longer keen to perform her own stunts.
She tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "For some additional photography I was pregnant but it was still early and I wasn't really telling anyone. So Tom was confused as to why I wasn't engaging with all the stunts, as I was game when we did them originally. So I told him I was growing a human. He was so cute about it and protected me - he almost went overboard on helping me. In the end I had to say, 'Tom. I'm fine, I can do stairs!'"
Blunt gave birth to daughter Hazel, her first child with her husband John Krasinski, in February (14).
Gender-bending Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst thrilled gay fans in the U.K. on Saturday night (25May14) when the bearded drag queen took the stage at the city's top nightclub. The Austrian singer, real name Tom Neuwirth, gave a dazzling performance G-A-Y, where Kylie Minogue and Miley Cyrus have recently performed sets.
Wurst prepared for the big gig by sitting down for an interview with British TV host Graham Norton, who introduced the entertainer at G-A-Y.
During the chat, the singer revealed Sir Elton John sent a bouquet to congratulate her on her win, and she had even received a tweet from Cher, adding, "I was so excited to receive the tweet, which said, 'Darling, you deserve a lovelier name and better wig'."
Wurst also told Norton that she hopes to host the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria next year (15).
Jersey Boys is a big glitzy musical full of show-stopping, finely tuned musical numbers, and that signature layered sound that originally shuttled Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to the top of the music charts in the '60s. Now, Clint Eastwood is looking to shrink the live theater experience into a film adaptation.
The first trailer for the Jersey Boys film has been released, and the upcoming flick looks to stick pretty closely to the source material. The original musical tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Season, a couple of rough and tumble kids from Jersey that defied the odds and became pop music sensations. John Lloyd Young, the original Tony winning star of the show, is reprising his role as Valli for the film. The Jersey Boys film looks to carry over stage show's beguiling narration where each member of the Four Seasons tells a different, skewed version of the group's collective story. Breaking the fourth wall is a device used by many television shows and films, and while it remains to be seen whether Jersey Boys uses the device well, some works have used it better than others.
Warner Bros. UK Trailers/YouTube
Wolf of Wall Street Does it work: Yes. Scorsese's ode to excess uses the fourth wall device sparingly, having the crass Jordan Belfort unload his unholy sermons on the almighty dollar in only a few doses. It only happens a handful of times throughout the film so the technique never overstays it's welcome.
House of CardsDoes it work: It's a mixed bag. While it's sometimes fun to hear Frank Underwood deliver a vicious tongue lashing in that deep-throated southern drawl, many of the fourth wall breaking asides in House of Cards only serve as the delivery mechanism for mind numbing exposition. It's almost as if the show doesn't trust us to follow along with its political punches without Frank directly telling us what is happening.
Fight ClubDoes it work: Yes. Fight Club is often a call to action as much as it is a riotously loopy thriller. Both Brad Pitt and Edward Norton speak right to the audience while denouncing the shackling nature of our consumerist, image-obsessed culture.
Malcolm in the MiddleDoes it work: Yes, the episodes near-constant shattering of the narrative/audience barrier is in deeply coded into the DNA of the show. Malcolm in the Middle simply wouldn't be Malcolm in the Middle without Frankie Muniz's exacerbated asides to the camera. If you had a family like that, you'd probably start talking to an imaginary audience as well.
Ferris Bueller's Day OffDoes it work: An emphatic yes. Ferris' one day sabbatical from high school isn't just a solo adventure. You and everyone else in the audience is along for the ride. Part of the reason Ferris Bueller has endured over the years is because of Bueller's ability to seemingly warp and shape reality around him and ensure that everyone is having a good time. It's the ultimate teenage power fantasy, and you have you're own personal demigod tour guide.