Entourage hits theaters this week, and though fans are excited to see the return of the characters from the show, the film's main selling point has been the massive cameos from different members of the film industry. Among the announced cameos are Liam Neeson, Kelsey Grammar, Jessica Alba, Ronda Rousey, Mark Wahlberg, Haley Joel Osment and Billy Bob Thorton.
So in the spirit of Entourage, here are our picks for the top ten best movie cameos.
Jonah Hill, Django Unchained
Quentin Tarantino has a history of attracting some of the industry's most talented actors working today. In Django Unchained, Tarantino gave Jonah Hill a fantastic cameo as a villainous robber intended on capturing Jamie Foxx's Django. As a cameo it provides one of Jonah Hill's funniest performances to date, and fits within the crazy throwback western the Tarantino has created.
Vince Vaughn, Tim Robbins, Ben Stiller, and Luke Wilson, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is an iconic comedy known for its incredible scenes of flat out goofiness and comedy. In the film's battle of the news teams, Ron Burgundy and his news team are up against the villainous rival news teams of CBS (Tim Robbins), Spanish-speaking news team (Ben Stiller), Channel 2 (Luke Wilson), and Channel 9 (Vince Vaughn). The ridiculous nature of the fight scene fits perfectly within the film's tone, and is a perfect climax to a classic comedy.
Samuel L. Jackson, Iron Man
Marvel Studios has no problem attracting big names to their big movies, and they're recognized for becoming the first studio to succeed in creating a cinematic shared universe of crossover franchises and characters. Both abilities are exemplified in the post-credit sequence from the original Iron Man in which Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury is introduced as a character that would tie the universe together and lead to 2012's The Avengers. As a cameo it does an excellent job at setting up the universe, teasing even bigger things to come in the future.
Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek
2009's Star Trek was a return to form for the beloved franchise following the critical and financial failure of the series of Next Generation films. In addition to resetting the timeline and reintroducing iconic characters, the film reintroduced Leonard Nimoy's Spock in his first appearance since 1991's Star Trek VI: The Unexpected Country. Not only does Nimoy's appearance legitimize the reboot and explain the time travel elements of the film, it's also a welcome return for a fan-favorite character giving another iconic performance.
Johnny Depp, 21 Jump Street
21 Jump Street stands out as one of the wittiest comedies of the generation, playfully parodying Hollywood's obsession with rebooting '80s films, as well as the genre clichés found in action films. In one of the film's best moments, Johnny Depp makes an appearance as the same character from the original TV series, and provides a great comedic role as the aging cop who's been too long undercover. It's a hilarious tribute to the character's history, and another great elements for the film's satire.
Christopher Walken, Pulp Fiction
In another iconic Tarantino film, Christopher Walken delivers a bizarre monologue as Captain Koons. Not only does Walken's surprise performance do a great job at explaining the psychology behind Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis), but it's also a great example of how Tarantino's dialogue fits within the hands of a veteran actor. It's also a great example of Walken's comedic talents, and another reason why Pulp Fiction is one of the greatest films of all-time.
Steven Spielberg, The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers is the epitome of a great American comedy, and also one of the greatest ending scenes in film history. At the climax to the film, Joliet (John Belushi) and Elwood (Dan Akroyd) encounter an office clerk, played by the one and only Steven Spielberg. It's not a flashy cameo, and is more of a "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" type of appearance, but it's a nice cameo, and another reason why the film is a representation of '80s culture.
Stan Lee, the Marvel Films
One of the greatest running jokes in cinema history, Stan Lee has made an appearance in every Marvel film since 2000's X-Men. While the state of Lee's cameos is at the point that it's never unexpected, it's great to see Lee make his appearances, paying tribute to his work creating these characters. His cameos are a welcome in-joke for fans everywhere.
Alfred Hitchcock, All His Films
Another iconic running joke, Alfred Hitchcock first begun serving as an extra in his films in order to avoid working with large amounts of extras. What first began as a necessity became a great running joke within Hitchcock's filmography, and a great trademark of style for the master of suspense.
Tom Cruise, Tropic Thunder
Tropic Thunder is a film that succeeds due to its iconic and diverse cast, and none of which were more successful than Tom Cruise's Les Grossman. A hilarious jab at the studio system, Cruise delivers a hilarious performance that combines the film's satire with ridiculous humor. As a cameo it's both shocking and fitting, and a perfect culmination to one of the generation's greatest cameos.
By Liam Gaughan, Special Contributor