Thrilling new 'Captain America' trailer puts The Winter Soldier center-stage

Plus the Falcon takes flight in a big way

The buzz has been building behind the scenes for the last few months, and if this new trailer for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is anything to judge by, the buzz is right.

This looks awesome.

What works best for the Marvel movies at this point is the sense of mounting continuity. Film to film, we're getting to know these characters better, and there is a sense of cause and effect. Actions in one film have consequences in another. I thought it was one of the nicest moments in the entire series so far when in a recent episode of "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.", the characters took notice of a memorial wall in a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility with names of fallen agents, and Bucky Barnes was one of the people listed there.

As fans of the comics know, though, Bucky's fate was more complicated than a simple death, and from the moment Marvel announced the title for the sequel to "Captain America: The First Avenger," they have been waiting to see how Marvel would handle not only the introduction of The Winter Soldier, but the entire mythology around him.

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<p>Plutarch Heavensbee will still be played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in the two final films of the 'Hunger Games' series</p>

Plutarch Heavensbee will still be played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in the two final films of the 'Hunger Games' series

Credit: Lionsgate

Update: 'Hunger Games' studio, case and crew react to Philip Seymour Hoffman's death

We examine what fans can expect from the last two 'Hunger Games' films

Updated:  A follow up statement on behalf of "Hunger Games: Mockingjay" director Francis Lawrence, author Suzanne Collins, producer Nina Jacobson, star Jennifer Lawrence and the cast and crew of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 1 & 2" was released regarding the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

"Words cannot convey the devastating loss we are all feeling right now. Philip was a wonderful person and an exceptional talent, and our hearts are breaking. Our deepest thoughts and condolences go out to his family."

 - Statement from Francis Lawrence, Suzanne Collins, Nina Jacobson, Jon Kilik, and Jennifer Lawrence on behalf of the cast and crew of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 1 & 2

Original post: This is certainly not the only thing I will be writing today about the great Philip Seymour Hoffman, but since Lionsgate sent out a statement to acknowledge how deeply the cast and crew of the "Hunger Games" movies has been struck by the passing of Hoffman, we wanted to update fans about what they can expect from the final two films in the series.

It can never be easy for a filmmaker to think of practical considerations when they are still grappling with the overwhelming grief that comes from losing someone. When I saw Francis Lawrence at a small gathering just before the release of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," one of the things we talked about what the role played by Hoffman in the film.

In particular, I was struck by what a canny challenge it was for a performer to play the role the way Hoffman did. For the majority of the running time, Plutarch Heavensbee seems to be the bad guy, or at least one of them. He's the guy in charge of the games, and he seems to be deeply complicit in trying to not only kill Katniss Everdeen, but to also discredit her and to destroy her as a symbol.

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<p>You'll notice that in this shot of Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler from 'They&nbsp;Came Together,' it's almost like New York is a third character.</p>

You'll notice that in this shot of Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler from 'They Came Together,' it's almost like New York is a third character.

Credit: Lionsgate

Review: Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd savage the rom-com genre in 'They Came Together'

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The 'Wet Hot American Summer' team demolishes another type of film

PARK CITY - Before the Friday night premiere of "They Came Together" at the Eccles Center in Park City, John Cooper talked about the reaction the programming team had back in 2001 when they saw "Wet Hot American Summer" for the first time.

"We had to ask ourselves if it was okay to show a comedy at Sundance," he said. "So thank you to David Wain and Michael Showalter for showing us that, yes, it is okay to show a comedy at Sundance." That seemed like an unintentional middle finger to Kevin Smith whose "Clerks" had played Sundance prior to 2001, but perhaps Cooper just got his timeline confused a bit. The point was obviously more to praise Wain and Showalter for making movies that have one very pointed goal: to make you laugh. A pet peeve of mine is that moment in almost ever mainstream comedy where the laughs stop and the plot kicks in. There should be a name for that moment, because almost every single time that happens, it kills a good film dead in its tracks. Comedies that manage to make the actual mechanics of the plot part of the comedy and part of the entertainment should be praised and singled out because it is a very difficult skill set to acquire, evidently.

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<p>Miles Teller, Zak Efron, and Michael B. Jordan turn the smarm up to high in the completely unlikeable and emotionally hollow 'That Awkward Moment'</p>

Miles Teller, Zak Efron, and Michael B. Jordan turn the smarm up to high in the completely unlikeable and emotionally hollow 'That Awkward Moment'

Credit: Focus Features

Review: Efron, Teller and Jordan can't charm their way out of 'That Awkward Moment'

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This one reaches for wisdom and falls perilously short

Writer/director Tom Gormican has certainly established a voice for his debut feature, "That Awkward Moment," but unfortunately, it is a grotesque, immature, and cheerfully misogynistic voice, one that I would not want to hear a second time.

Miles Teller, Zac Efron, and Michael B. Jordan play three young successful pretty worry-free guys in Manhattan who have sex often and with lovely partners. They tell some pointless lies to people they allegedly care for, feelings are hurt, and then everything works out exactly the way they want it to and they have more success and more sex and everyone is, as I mentioned, gorgeous.

That's it. That's the story. That's all the complications you can look forward to. That's all the drama you can expect. There are lots of very cheap bathroom jokes, lots of sub-Mamet vulgar banter, and then some miserably executed romantic comedy mechanics. By hiring Teller, Efron, and Jordan, Gormican buys himself a certain amount of audience good will. Teller is establishing himself as a guy who can handle the heaviest drama and who also has a loose and funny persona that can shrug off all the darkness. Efron confuses me. I'm not sure if he's a talented guy who just hasn't found the right film yet or if he's a pretty kid who has coasted on his looks farther than anyone would have reasonably expected. Jordan is on everyone's radar at this point, and he's going to be able to work in big blockbusters and personal indies whenever he wants. The three of them together are able to keep a scene up and moving even when the scene it total junk on the page, and for a while, "That Awkward Moment" almost seems charming.

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<p>Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are joining the party at SXSW&nbsp;as 'Neighbors' is announced as a special work-in-progress screening this year.</p>

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are joining the party at SXSW as 'Neighbors' is announced as a special work-in-progress screening this year.

Credit: Universal Pictures

SXSW 2014 line-up adds sport, TV premieres and Seth Rogen's 'Neighbors'

The biggest Austin party of the year just keeps getting bigger

The first full wave of programming for the 2014 edition of the South By Southwest Film Festival was announced this morning, following a few early titles that were announced recently, and my first reaction, as it is every year, is that there is no way I'm going to get to see everything I want to see at the fest.

They announced 115 films today, and that's just the first wave. There's a Midnighters section they'll announce next week, and then we'll get the full schedule the week after that. One thing that immediately jumps out is that SXSW is starting to build in room for special television-oriented events, screening individual episodes of shows and bringing in the talent behind the series to speak. Shows including HBO's "Silicon Valley," Showtime's "Penny Dreadful," AMC's "Halt" and "Catch Fire," the reboot of "COSMOS" from Fox, and even Robert Rodriguez's "From Dusk Till Dawn" will be represented.

They're also adding a SXSports category this year that both Film and Interactive registrants will be able to attend. It blows my mind that they're actually adding things to SXSW. It is already one of the biggest events I attend, an assault on Austin that just happens to coincide with the spring break of UT, making it one of the rowdiest film events anywhere.

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<p>Rose Byrne and Seth&nbsp;Rogen go to war against a frat when they end up living next door to it in what they thought was their dream house in Universal's new comedy 'Neighbors'</p>

Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen go to war against a frat when they end up living next door to it in what they thought was their dream house in Universal's new comedy 'Neighbors'

Credit: Universal Pictures

Producer Evan Goldberg on wrangling the comic mayhem of 'Neighbors'

Plus we discuss 'Goon,' Rose Byrne, and the evolution of his films with Seth Rogen

Evan Goldberg may not have the instant name recognition of his creative partner Seth Rogen, but he is every bit as responsible for "Superbad," "Pineapple Express," and "This Is The End," and like Rogen, he is now able to help shepherd younger comic talent through the studio system as a producer.

The two of them are playing that role for the new movie "Neighbors," which stars Rogen and Rose Byrne as a young married couple who spend their life savings buying what they hope is going to be a dream house, a place to raise their newborn child. Instead, they find themselves locked in a sort of comic "Straw Dogs" scenario when a fraternity buys the house next door and proceeds to terrorize Rogen and Byrne with sex and drugs and rock and roll.

On the day I visited the set, I watched Dave Franco, Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, and Rose Byrne all play a scene where the frat guys stop by to announce a Robert De Niro party they're holding. It was a preposterous moment, and director Nicholas Stoller, who I've visited on three films prior to this, was in a gregarious mood, laughing and enjoying each new take.

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<p>Will Loki set off a major war across the Nine Realms in 'Thor 3'?&nbsp;Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost are the ones with the plan.</p>

Will Loki set off a major war across the Nine Realms in 'Thor 3'? Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost are the ones with the plan.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios hands 'Thor 3' to one of their execs-turned-screenwriter

The franchise is in good hands, so where is it headed?

When I was on the set of the original "Thor," the person who spent the day showing the press around was Craig Kyle. At the time, he was one of the junior guys with the company, but it was obvious that, like most of the guys at Marvel, he had one character who was more near and dear to his heart than any of the others, and for him, that character was Thor.

As a result, I'm pleased to see that Craig Kyle's been hired to co-write the third "Thor" film with Christopher Yost.

He was the senior vice-president of Production and Development for Marvel when this decision was made, and he'll obviously leave that job to become the writer of the film. Yost, his co-writer, was one of the guys who shared screenplay credit on "Thor: The Dark World," along with Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely and Don Payne and Robert Rodat. There are some big story threads that have been left dangling at the end of "Thor: The Dark World," including Loki's final trick, and I would assume the third "Thor" will deal with those elements as well as whatever story threads are set up in "Avengers: Age Of Ultron."

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<p>'I see dead careers'</p>

'I see dead careers'

Credit: Hollywood Pictures

Why 'Labor Of Love' will be the most important film in M. Night Shyamalan's career

And, no, it's not just because he's working with Bruce Willis again

"Citizen Kane" holds such a monumental place in our popular culture that whether or not you've seen the film, you most likely know the film's "big secret," since like "Psycho" and "Planet Of The Apes" and "The Empire Strikes Back," the film practically embodies the idea of a film built on a twist or a surprise or a reveal, and those things have been parodied and re-stated and borrowed from endlessly by now.

In the case of "Kane," the entire film is built around a search for meaning in the final words of a dying mogul, and it is only in the film's closing moments that the meaning of the cryptic word "Rosebud" is revealed. It all goes back to a pivotal moment in childhood, a lost sled that he misses still. So many people are defined by a few particular moments along the way, and one of the biggest questions in life is whether we would be different people if a few key things that happened a different way at key turning points in our lives. It's easy to pinpoint those moments in a movie, but for someone's real life, it can be far more difficult. However, in the case of M. Night Shyamalan, I think there is a pivotal moment that pushed him in the direction he's been heading for most of his career, and in a surprise twist, it looks like he's about to get a chance to go back and try again.

For Shyamalan, everything changed when "The Sixth Sense" was released and he was a sudden overnight sensation. For most people, that was their introduction to his work, and when he ended up on the cover of Newsweek, where they declared him "The New Spielberg?", it helped cement the narrative that he had come out of nowhere, fully formed and awesome.

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<p>Russell Crowe's going to try to save his family from the flood when Darren Aronofsky opens the floodgates in 'Noah'</p>

Russell Crowe's going to try to save his family from the flood when Darren Aronofsky opens the floodgates in 'Noah'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

The Super Bowl ad for Darren Aronofsky's 'Noah' goes heavy on the spectacle

No one can blame Paramount for not trying on this one

Every studio must sit down near the start of the year to discuss which films they think would be an appropriate fit for them to cut a special commercial to air during the Super Bowl.

There are some movies that seem like perfect fits, and it seems like any movie that is a visual spectacle is a good fit. If you've got a trailer that ends with massive eye-popping special effects, then you want that conversation that's going to result from you showing off some of that eye candy.

Even so, I'd love to have heard the conversations that went on before Paramount decided to advertise "Noah" during the game on Sunday. Internally, Paramount's been wrestling with how to sell this movie, and it's hard to blame them. Aronofsky's script is earnest and unusual and filled with some strange digressions that will throw people who expect a standard-issue Bible movie, and while there is a huge audience out there ready to support Christian-themed movies, they might not know what to make of his vision for this story.

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<p>Sean Penn, Don Harvey, and Michael J. Fox all threw down when they went head to head in Brian De Palma's largely overlooked 'Casualties Of War'</p>

Sean Penn, Don Harvey, and Michael J. Fox all threw down when they went head to head in Brian De Palma's largely overlooked 'Casualties Of War'

Credit: SPHE

Movie Rehab: Fox vs. Penn in Brian De Palma's overlooked 'Casualties Of War'

This one got lost in the tidal wave of Vietnam films in the late '80s

It is the responsibility of the working film critic to not only offer opinion and context for the newest releases, but also to constantly champion and curate the films that matter, especially if they were misunderstood or poorly released or somehow handled badly the first time around.

Critics should take it upon themselves to rehabilitate the under-loved, to defend the wrongly-maligned, and rehab the films that need it; it is the only way film as a whole can be healthy.

Brian De Palma has had exactly two moments in his career when everything broke his way, commercially and artistically.

The first was early on, and "Carrie" was lightning in a bottle. It was a best-selling book that was written in this fevered language, as much a matter of the author's immaturity as the actual urgency of the story, but it launched Stephen King's career, deservedly, and the film version managed to tap into that same sense of momentum. De Palma turned out to be the perfect guy to give voice to that films mix of woozy revenge fantasy and bottomless angst.

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