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SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW Films feature mystery, superheroes and Cher
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

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This summer Hollywood seems to have learned a lesson on producing overhyped blockbuster movies, films based on TV shows or just too many sequels. There are a few on the roster, though, with The Incredibles 2, A Hotel Transylvania 3 and another Mission Impossible flick to wade through.

The LGBT community has plenty to come out and see, with increasingly visible actors like Lena Waither in the blockbuster Ready Player One, released earlier this year.

In 2018, the community is already celebrating mainstream movie success with Love, Simon and Disobedience. ( Alex Strangelove looks to be the next on the list. )

Pride Month kicks off with Hairspray being screened in Millennium Park June 5 and continues with Kinky Boots on June 19 in collaboration with Filmmaker's Reeling LGBTQ International Film Festival ( at 6:30 p.m. ).

Meanwhile, inside the movie house, there are several flicks and movie festivals to take notice of in the upcoming months:


—Juggernaut Film Festival: Many lesbians had a crush on Beverly Crusher from the Star Trek: The Next Generation series played by Gates McFadden. She hosts the 6th Annual Juggernaut Film Festival presented by Otherworld Theatre Company June 2-3 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Music Box Theatre. With movies including Squee: Identifying as a Fangirl, a documentary exploring feminism, race, and sexuality, there's something for everyone.

—Chicago Underground Film Festival ( June 6-10 ): CUFF screens classics like John Waters' Hairspray and docs like Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records, which is about Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher, the gay creators of a record empire. This festival will take place at the Logan Theatre.

—A Kid Like Jake ( June 1 ): Trans director Silas Howard takes on the school system as two parents discover their child, Jake, prefers Cinderella to G.I. Joe. Starring Claire Danes and Jim Parson, Octavia Spencer, and Amy Landecker, who Howard directed in Amazon's Transparent.

—Hotel Artemis ( June 8 ): stars Jodie Foster as The Nurse who runs a hospital for criminals with out actor Zachary Quinto ready to steal the show.

—Alex Strangelove ( June 8 ): Airing on Netflix, this is the story of Alex Truelove ( played by Daniel Doheny ) who meets gay Elliott from the other side of the tracks—and which sends his world into a tailspin. It's produced by Ben Stiller, so it could be hilarious.

—Ocean's 8: This is also being released on June 8. The Ocean franchise switches the genders, with an all-star and diverse cast including lesbian Sarah Paulson. A heist at the Met Gala? Count us in, but was a female director not available?

—Pride Film Festival Summer Shorts ( June 12 ): Pride Films and Plays presents a series of sexy films for the summer screened at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, with information at .

—Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ( June 22 ): The age-old story of dinosaurs being saved from a volcano that erupts on their island should pack movie houses around the world. Out actor B.D. Wong plays Dr. Henry Wu among a big name cast that again includes Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.

—Believer: Imagine Dragons' frontman Dan Reynolds and gay lead singer of the Neon Trees Tyler Glenn take on the Mormon church in this documentary while creating LOVELOUD, a music and spoken-word festival attended by the LGBT community. Debuts on HBO June 25.


—Ant-Man and the Wasp ( July 6 ): Audiences are still recovering from Avengers: Infinite War and, without missing a heartbeat, we get a new dynamic duo. But why is her name Hope? It's supposed to be Janet, dammit! We can let the little things go, I guess. Funnyman Paul Rudd, as Ant-Man, increases his brand.

—Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! ( July 20 ): The title says it all, as Mama Meryl is back for more "who's your daddy" business. Streep reprises her role as Donna, along with stars of the first flick, Christine Baranski and Amanda Seyfried. Are they going to let Pierce Brosnan sing ABBA again? At least we know new cast member Cher can carry a tune in a movie that turns back time.

—Puzzle ( July 20 ): The story about a housewife whose life changes after discovering she is good at putting together jigsaw puzzles is a primarily straight story, but look for Australian actor Liv Hewson ( who uses "they" and "them" pronouns ) in a small role.

—McQueen ( July 27 ): It's a documentary about the tortured life of openly gay British fashion designer Alexander McQueen.


—The Spy Who Dumped Me ( Aug. 3 ): Family Guy's Mila Kunis and SNL's first openly lesbian cast member, Kate McKinnon, team as longtime friends who have to save the world.

—The Happytime Murders ( Aug. 17 ): With family history up his sleeve, Brian Henson creates a world where puppets live together with humans and a murder mystery needs to be solved with the help of Melissa McCarthy. Is this another Roger Rabbit in the making?

—The Little Stranger ( Aug. 28 ): This movie is included on this list because it's the only non-gay novel from Sarah Walters and has a queer sense of style with the story of a dysfunctional family living in a decaying mansion.

—Crazy Rich Asians ( Aug. 17 ): It has been 25 years since a major Hollywood studio has released an English language film with a primarily Asian cast. Out actor Nico Santos plays cousin Oliver.

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