Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Secret Diary '08: Confessions Part III

Welcome to Day 3 of my 2008 year in review. I've announced two awards these past two days, but now it's time to kick it in gear. If you're behind, don't forget to catch up:

Part I

Part II

Award #3: Best Cameos of 2008

Obviously, this award recognizes actors or famous personalities who pop in for a brief grin-and-wink as themselves or some minor character. When done properly, a great cameo might be the best (or only) moment you remember about a movie.

The Sloppy Seconds:
stephen king Stephen King- It may come as a shock, but there were a number of cameos in Diary of the Dead, including director George A. Romero. Of all these people, it was Stephen's hysterical hillbilly rantings that carried over the airwaves and made an impression more lasting than the zombies overrunning the countryside.
Jennifer Coolidge- There are two words you won't soon forget after watching Soul Men: 'Velveteen Rub.' Whenever a film calls for a cougar or just a damn funny lady, Jennifer Coolidge delivers on all fronts. Jennifer-Coolidge
isaac hayes Isaac Hayes- Another Soul Men cameo comes from the late Isaac Hayes. I think what made his last onscreen appearance so great was that he played himself, the cool cat that he always was.
Justin Long- For all the sex and vulgarity in Zack and Miri Make a Porno it was the appearance of Justin Long as Brandon St. Randy that still has me cracking up. His exchanges with Zack and Bobby are the best material from Kevin Smith's latest project. justinlong
tedraimi Ted Raimi - One might argue that a quality horror flick isn't worth its salt unless Ted Raimi makes an appearance. In Midnight Meat Train, he's no more than a subway passenger but those few moments really do elevate the film to another level.
Tobey Maguire - All the kudos are going to Robert Downey, Jr. for his performance, but Tropic Thunder's trailer for Satan's Alley wouldn't have been such a smash without the inclusion of MTV Movie Awards' Best Kiss Winner Tobey Maguire. Satan's Alley; now that's a movie the public is ready to see! tobeymaguire

And the award for Best Cameo of 2008 goes to:

pattilabelle Patti LaBelle - For those of you who have seen Semi-Pro, you understand exactly why Patti is the uncontested winner. If you haven't seen Semi-Pro, you shouldn't put it off any longer. Sure, it's far from Ferrell's best film but the highlights, Ms. LaBelle included, make it worth the rental.

Award #4: Most Wasted Actors of 2008

On the flipside of cameos, sometimes an actor or actress is advertised in a film that essentially wastes the talents that audiences have come to know and love. As an audience member, I feel gypped when someone I was excited to see turns out to be barely a footnote in a film. Shame on these 2008 movies for wasting these brilliant folks.

The Sloppy Seconds:
nick swaardson kristindavis
Nick Swardson- If I have one fault with The House Bunny it's that Nick Swardson was woefully underused. I'm happy that he's working but I'd be happier if he's given meaty roles like that pictured above from Grandma's Boy.
Kristen Davis- You may be thinking, Sex and the City was a big film and Kristen's one of the four major characters. True, but the writer decided to take a massive dump on Charlotte's storyline. Hell, Jennifer Hudson was given more to do with her contrived role than poor Davis.
zoe saldana woody harrelson
Zoe Saldana- I understand this up-and-coming actress needs to work whenever she can, but Vantage Point really screwed the pooch. They flaunted her in the trailers only to have her take a backseat to the plot and the lameness of Matthew Fox.
Woody Harrelson- Though I'm a slave to any film with Rosario Dawson, the prospect of seeing some quality Harrelson also lured me into Seven Pounds. The biggest fault of the film is that a monkey could have played the part Harrelson was given.
Mila Kunis
William Fichtner- You may recognize him as 'That Guy' who is always playing the cop or doctor, who may come off as a prick but is really not that bad a dude. If you saw The Dark Knight, you wouldn't know that because he's little more than a blur in the action. For that alone, Dark Knight lost a smidgen of its infinite cool points.
Mila Kunis- Kunis is the perfect example of the power of film. Forgetting Sarah Marshall utilized every ounce and inch of this petite performer and made a great film in the process. Max Payne did the exact opposite...and, well, we all know what happened there.

And the award for Most Wasted Actor of 2008 goes to:

stephen root-milton

Stephen Root- Where oh where do I begin with the shameful misuse of Mr. Root in Over Her Dead Body? He's essentially given the role of the driver who backs over Eva Longoria. I'm thinking there's a fairly long line of people willing to do that for free. He does appear later in the film but the zip, the pizzazz, the Root we all know and love is nowhere to be found. I hope he at least got paid well.

That's a wrap for Day 3! Tomorrow we reach the climax of my weeklong Confessions. Be sure not to miss it! If you want more movie-blogger insights while you wait for my next installment, I highly recommend checking out the Second Annual LION Awards over at the LAMB.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. That's MY stapler! And I said, no salt on the glass, but there was salt...

  2. Ah Stephen Root, the Whore household does care for you so.

    "The L is for Love!"

  3. I'm loving the folks you called out as being wasted. The William Fichtner one was a big, big one for me. Such a great character actor and he's done in 3 minutes? For shame, Chris Nolan - he could have played Eric Roberts' role, easy.

    LOL @ the Wood/monkey line. Yes, what a waste of a fine actor. And in a smarmy role, no less.

    Thankfully, I didn't see the film that Root was wasted in, so my ire is less than yours. But damn it that guy ain't the most versatile bastard - he's really underused.

    Not-so-fun-fact: Woody and Root each had small roles in No Country. Memorable, but small...

  4. Fichtner could have certainly been the Robert's mobster.

    That's right, both Woody and Root were in NCFOM. They both went out like punks too. Root is an alum of UF just like my wife. I wonder if she could convince him to come for dinner sometime, gator to gator? He'd have to do his Milton impression for her, though I'd settle for his Bill Dauterive.