Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Promotion: Destiny Awaits
Win a limited edition PS4 and a copy of Destiny
Feature
13 Of Cinema's Most Meta Moments
Did you see what they did there?

submit to reddit

Trying to define exactly what a “meta” moment is caused a near-apocalyptic argument in the Empire office. Eventually we came to this conclusion: passing in-jokes and obscure prop gags didn’t cut it: to be truly “meta” the reference has to draw the character out of the film he was appearing in, and also require knowledge of previous work from that actor. Phew, that was technical. It all came up because of a beautiful moment in the charming indie comedy Cedar Rapids, where a cast of The Wire ends up impersonating another cast of The Wire. So in honour of that movie-stealing piece of happenstance, here are 12 other priceless meta-moments from through cinema`s history. And if you have any other favourites, then please do let us know in the comment box below.

WORDS ALASTAIR PLUMB
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...
  1 of 13 Next
13 Of Cinema's Most Meta Moments | Cedar Rapids (2011)
Cedar Rapids (2011)

Playing off: HBO crime drama series The Wire (2002-2008).
Stars involved: Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr.
Quote: “I’m straight up gangster, and I always keep one in the chamber.”

As any Guardian-reading telly snob will happily tell you, The Wire is “The Greatest TV Show Ever”, which makes it compulsory viewing for anyone who appreciates good drama, donchaknow. Anyway, just in case you haven’t watched it all yet, in The Wire there’s a character called Clayton 'Clay' Davis, a corrupt State Senator played by Isiah Whitlock Jr., best known for saying the word “Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit” every other scene.

There’s also another character called Omar, a morally ambiguous stick-up man who spends most of his working day robbing people and being pretty goddamn scary.

We mention this because in Cedar Rapids, there’s a scene where Isiah Whitlock Jr. does an impersonation of Omar to intimidate the men beating up his friend, Tim Lippe (Ed Helms). It works, and afterwards he tells the group: “I do a pretty convincing Omar from the HBO programme, The Wire.” That, ladies and gentlemen, was meta. If he’d dropped in a “Shiiiiiiiiiit” we might have passed out in the cinema, to be honest.
 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...
 
1 of 13
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1 RE: 13 Of Cinema's Most Meta Moments
The bit at the end of Hot Fuzz where Edward Woodwards character says "Oh lord no" just after he sets off the sea mine, the same thing he says at the end of The Wicker Man when he's about to be burnt... More

Posted by edjones95 on Wednesday June 8, 2011, 23:30

2 RE: Also in Ocean's 12...
i find this reply weird. lol More

Posted by sherylradcliff on Monday May 9, 2011, 10:21

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Michel Gondry Talks Mood Indigo
Gondry on Bjork, erections and Mark Ruffalo in his pants

Everything You Need To Know About The Dragonriders Of Pern
The lowdown on Warner Bros. new fantasy sci-fi

A Pocket Guide To Game Of Thrones’ New Cast Members
Know your Doran Martell from your Nym Sand

Empire's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Covers Are Here
Bard The Bowman or Smaug The Magnificent?

Directors Special: Peter Hyams Goes Film-By-Film
The veteran director on Timecop, Outland, 2010, Enemies Closer and more

The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)