With the arrival of December, awards season is in full swing, and usually that just means limited releases of some big new films, to establish them as Oscar contenders. And so a film like Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty will open in New York and LA on December 21, but won’t go wide until January 11.

But we also see the occasional re-release, meant to remind Academy voters that films are worth considering for awards. And so December 7 sees two films re-opening, the better to angle for Oscar. Open Road is doing a nationwide re-release of David Ayer‘s End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as LA cops. And as the following tweet shows, Joe Carnahan‘s The Grey is getting a two-week run at two LA-area theaters:

Granted, Carnahan’s film, starring Liam Neeson as one of a team of roughnecks stranded in the Alaskan wilderness, has been on DVD for months; you can even stream it on Netflix right now. But it’s a solid film, and I’m happy to see it get a small shot at awards recognition.

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Training Day writer and Street Kings writer/director David Ayer seems to have put together a solid street-level LA cop movie in End of Watch, which features Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as close-knit LAPD partners who come up against a vicious drug cartel after a routine traffic stop. A new trailer for the film plays up some of the important character background of the two cops, crucially grounding them as recognizably real people, before things go all to hell.

Anna Kendrick, Frank Grillo, and America Ferrara also appear; see them in the new trailer, below. Read More »

A few months ago, End of Watch wasn’t on anyone’s radar. One trailer here, a Comic-Con panel there and now the LAPD action drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena and directed by David Ayer has a ton of positive buzz rolling with it. This latest red band trailer is sure to continue that train as it features brutal language, disturbing violence and a level of intensity rarely enjoyed by films in this genre. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

As the writer behind Training Day and the helmer of Street Kings and Harsh Times, David Ayer‘s clearly got a deep and abiding interest in the LAPD. So it’s no surprise that his latest directorial effort, End of Watch, centers around that same theme.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña star as a pair of young officers assigned to some of Los Angeles’ roughest neighborhoods. Though the guys are used to being targeted — as one of them says, “We’re cops, everyone wants to kill us” — when they stumble upon a dangerous discovery, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a drug cartel. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Looks like that film Prisoners we talked about the other day, starring Hugh Jackman with Denis Villeneuve directing, is going to have to keep waiting to be made. Villeneuve has signed to make an indie called An Enemy, based on the novel The Double by Jose Saramago.

The film follows a history teacher who discovers that he has a double out in the world, and tries to find the other man. As one might expect, there are some repercussions for that. Now Jake Gyllenhaal has been cast in both of the lead roles. Read More »

Briefly: The script for Motor City, written by Chad St. John, sounds pretty rote: a former Army Ranger is framed for a crime, and when released from prison he goes after the guy who did the framing, and who stole his girl to boot. But the script has almost no dialogue — a few lines, maybe — and that makes it sound like an interesting exercise, at least.

Dominic Cooper was going to play the lead role, with Gary Oldman as the bad guy and Amber Heard as the female lead. But Cooper ended up moving on, and now Jake Gyllenhaal will play the lead role, under the direction of Albert Hughes. (His first film without brother Allen.) A spring start is scheduled, with the film set to shoot in Berlin. [Deadline]

Update: Or maybe not. A second Deadline report says that Gyllenhaal has backed out, when schedules couldn’t be worked out.

VOTD: 25 Actors Before They Were Famous, in 3 Minutes

I’ve always had this fascination with seeing current rich and famous figures in their humble beginnings, and the success of tabloid columns and webpages devoted to that very topic suggest I’m not the only one. When some A-list faces are as familiar to us as those of our actual loved ones, seeing long-ago photos or videos of them is amusing in the same way that seeing pictures of your friends as little kids is amusing. “Before They Were Famous: 25 Actors in 3 Minutes” collects some especially amusing snippets of today’s biggest stars, including Angelina Jolie, Ryan Gosling, Jack Nicholson, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, in some of their earliest acting gigs. Watch the video after the jump.

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Glee star Darren Criss has landed a part in Imogene, a dark comedy by American Splendor directors Shari Springer Bergman and Robert Pulcini. The Michelle Morgan-penned script revolves around a New York playwright (Kristen Wiig) who fakes a suicide in order to get her ex-boyfriend’s attention. Instead of winning him back, however, she winds up forced to move in with her gambling-addicted “tacky Jersey Shore mother” (Annette Bening).

Criss will play “a younger love interest” who catches the eye of Wiig’s character, but let’s be real — the really intriguing bit of info here is the fact that Bening will be, as Vulture put it, “channel[ing] Snooki” to play “the mother who’s a little inappropriate all the time.” Shooting for the project will begin in New York City this summer. [ThePlaylist]

After the jump, Frank Grillo picks up two new roles on either side of the law, and Patricia Clarkson gets ready to scare the living daylights out of Ron Fucking Swanson.

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