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SPRING MOVIE PREVIEW Spring has sprung at the movie theater
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2017-03-29

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Movies this spring started early in 2017. New films like Get Out, Beauty and the Beast and Kong: Skull Island have people back in the theater right after award season.

Superhero films are going to big this year, and Fox's Logan shredded the competition at the beginning of March.

Sequels are usually a Hollywood staple and this year is no different, so look for T2: Trainspotting and Transformers: The Last Night. ( Fifty Shades Darker was already spanked, and sank at the box office. )

More sequels are planned to wrangle in the kiddies so we have Cars 3, Despicable Me 3 and Smurfs: The Lost Village. A mixture of talking cars, minions and Demi Lovato, who voices Smurfette, begins in April and continues through Pride. We even have a cartoon aimed at adults with Alec Baldwin's The Boss Baby.

Television adaptations take over with Saban's Power Rangers and Chips. Dax Shepard and Michael Pena attempt to fill the boots of Baker and Poncherello, with a lot of crude jokes in the process. Baywatch is on the horizon so look for shirtless hunks Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Zac Efron at the end of May.

Original movies that look promising and could be early Oscar frontrunners include The Zookeeper's Wife, Wilson and Gifted. Oscar winner Brie Larson, just seen on Skull Island, shoots 'em up in Free Fire. Larson is not the only one releasing two films this year, Emma Watson wants to continue her cinema take over with The Circle with Tom Hanks at the end of April.

Will Scarlett Johansson's Ghost in the Shell be too robotic to triumph? Will Sleight possibly be the next genre-bending Get Out? Stay tuned, true believers. The Shack tanked, Before I Fall failed and let's just say one sci-fi film didn't give me Life.

Morgan Freeman's Going in Style is like Grumpy Old Men robbing a bank, and we even get a star from that geriatric franchise, Ann-Margret, in it. Elsewhere, why do we need another Furious franchise flick? ( However, they're likely to run as long as they make money. ) The Fate of the Furious crashes into cineplexes in April.

Indie movies this spring include Anna Kendrick's Table 19, about quirky wedding guests; Kristen Stewart's snore of a film titled Personal Shopper, during which she texts for more than 30 minutes of screen time; and the low-budget French flick Raw. Raw is an uncomfortable movie to watch, with a gay, college roommate ( who resembles Nick Jonas ) living with a cannibal; it was a big hit on the festival circuit. Speaking of film festivals, the 33rd Annual Latino Film Festival plays April 20-May 4, with information at ChicagoLatinoFilmFestival.org . Look for several LGBT-themed films to go see.

Want to see a movie star up close and personal? Spot two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey, to be honored at the Chicago Four Seasons on May 13 with the annual Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award.

Feeling like a couch potato? Many movies can be viewed at home, thanks to Netflix. Also, don't miss the Logo documentary Strike a Pose, about Madonna's seven Blonde Ambition dancers; it debuts on Logo on Thursday, April 6, at 8 p.m.

On home video this spring, check out critically acclaimed and award-winning films like Moonlight, La La Land, Lion, Captain Fantastic and 20th Century Women.

Head back into the theater with superhero films bringing spring into summer. Watch out for punches from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: The Homecoming and Wonder Woman, with Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League finishing out the year. Need more comics in your life? Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, from Dreamworks Animation, is aiming to fly into your heart—make that Hart, as in Kevin Hart.


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