Kevin Spacey in Ameowadeus

For the last few years, one of the highlights of the Academy Awards night has been what comes after the Academy Awards. Namely, Jimmy Kimmel‘s post-Oscar spoof of Hollywood filmmaking at its grandest. This year was no exception.

After knocking it out of the park two years in a row with Movie: The Movie and its inevitable sequel, he switched gears this year to bring us highfalutin Oscar bait trailers starring the likes of Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Ben Kingsley… based on the likes of YouTube classics “David After Dentist,” “Keyboard Cat,” and “Charlie Bit My Finger.” Check ‘em all out after the jump.

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Bruce Willis‘ year of action sequels continues this summer with Red 2, which reunites him with stars John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, and Mary Louise Parker while bringing on some fresher blood in the form of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Lee Byung-hun, David Thewlis, and Anthony Hopkins.

If you’ve seen the first one, you know basically what to expect — lots of old people running around shooting people and exploding things. But to get more specific, the plot this time centers on the gang’s attempt to track down a missing nuclear bomb while Frank (Willis) is being chased by an elite assassin (Lee). They try to enlist the help of a scientist (Hopkins) locked up in an institution for the criminally insane. A new trailer has just dropped, and you can watch it after the jump.

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Lionsgate made two release date changes today.

Now You See Me, which comes from director Louis Leterrier and features Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, and Michael Caine, has been pulled up from July 7 to May 31. The thriller centers around a group of illusionists who pull off heists, seemingly at the same time they’re on stage doing magic tricks. The trailer has been out for a while, and the cast is certainly appealing. Hard to tell if the movie will follow through on the great premise and talented cast. It’ll be up against narrow competition from Universal’s The Purge and a limited release of Zal batmanglij’s Sound of My Voice follow-up The East, but The Hangover Part III and Fast & Furious 6 will still be in theaters from the week before.

Another film from the studio has moved up, as well. The action/comedy sequel Red 2 was slated to open on August 2, but will now bow on July 19. Dean Parisot directed with Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren returning and Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones showing up to augment another story of retired assassins going back into action.

Steven Soderbergh, so often adventurous over the course of his career, closes out his theatrical run with the relatively conventional thriller Side Effects. Though the ideas within are familiar, a winding narrative path keeps predictability out of sight, and prevents Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns from ever falling back to one simplistic message. Soderbergh’s own skill with the form allows him to pursue that path at length, without losing the plot.

Starting off with pharmacological paranoia, the two take clear inspiration from Rosemary’s Baby, and toy with notions that call back to Hitchcock. But this is no throwback. Soderbergh has crafted a smart but pessimistic film rooted firmly in fears that are becoming more and more common today.

The film is built around a woman (Rooney Mara) who suffers from severe depression and falls into the care of a potentially dodgy psychiatrist. Side Effects traffics in the tone of modern paranoia that defined previous Soderbergh/Burns collaboration Contagion, and revels in the duplicity that was a cornerstone of their first partnership, The Informant!. The three films define something like an informal trilogy in which we are chronically disconnected, dishonest, and perhaps eventually doomed. Read More »

As Steven Soderbergh hurtles toward retirement, he’s dropping one last theatrical feature. (He also has the HBO movie Behind the Candelabra, but that’s not hitting cinemas.) In Side Effects, Rooney Mara plays a woman dealing with her husband’s (Channing Tatum) imminent release from prison. To help her cope with her anxiety, her psychiatrist (Jude Law) puts her on some new drugs. And then, somehow, everything goes terribly wrong.

I say “somehow” because the last couple of trailers have purposely been vague about the plotline. Characters walked around saying dramatic things against an unsettling backdrop of growing tension, and because all of it looked pretty well done, that was enough to attract some curiosity. But the latest interntional trailer finally gives us a better idea of what, exactly, happens in this movie. Watch it after the jump.

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Bruce Willis has starred in many sequels over the course of his three-decade career, but in 2013 he really outdoes himself with three separate sequels and nothing else. The first of them, A Good Day to Die Hard, hits next month, followed by G.I. Joe: Retaliation in March. Bringing up the rear is Red 2, which has just unveiled a first trailer in advance of its August release.

While the first one wasn’t anything special, it was an enjoyable bit of fluff elevated by a stellar cast. Red 2 looks to be in a similar vein. Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) takes over directing duties this time around, while Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, and Mary-Louise Parker all reprise their roles. This time around, the gang is headed to Europe to stop a nuclear device from falling into the wrong hands. Anthony HopkinsCatherine Zeta-Jones, David Thewlis, and Willis’ G.I. Joe co-star Byung-hun Lee also appear. Check out the video after the jump.

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Director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns have spent the last couple years making genre films with prestige casts to explore modern anxieties in a unique manner. The Informant! tackled fears of impotence and mediocrity through the story of a guy who envisions himself as a powerful insder agent. Contagion charted paranoia about the ever-closer proximity in which we live with others, using a tagline that warned “Don’t talk to anyone. Don’t touch anyone.”

Now the two finish out an informal anxiety trilogy with Side Effects. The film wraps a thriller structure around a look at the insidious pharmaceutical industry, and the ways in which we rely on it, often blindly. A short new trailer for the film dropped today. It’s a brief edit, just a minute long, but the effect is much bigger than the short running time as a husband and wife (Channing Tatum and Rooney Mara) deal with the fallout of the woman’s use of medication. More than a few things are obscured in this trailer, but there’s enough here to get my attention. Read More »

Steven Soderbergh‘s retirement may be imminent, but over the past couple of years he’s been busy as ever. Where most directors might’ve opened one film between 2011 and 2012, he’s released three: Contagion, Haywire, and Magic Mike. Now, for his final (at least for now) act, he has the thriller Side Effects due out early next year, followed by his final effort, Behind the Candelabra.

Rooney Mara, in her first post-Dragon Tattoo role, stars as a woman struggling with anxiety over her husband’s (Channing Tatum) recent release from prison. She turns to a new brand of anti-depressant, prescribed by a doctor (Jude Law) who apparently harbors a not entirely professional interest in her. Before long, everything is spiraling badly out of control. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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