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Hot summertime movies

Left to right: Christopher Plummer as Jack and Vera Farmiga as Laura in Boundaries. Photo by Lindsay Elliott, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

In the middle of what an old Nat “King” Cole tune referred to as “those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer,” certain folks choose to take a break from the heat in a nice, air-conditioned theater and catch a movie. Or, in the case of the usual summer night in San Francisco, escape the chill by cozying up with a date at the local multiplex. For the cineastes who prefer to experience films in first-run big-screen mode, whether the offering is blockbuster-y or intimate, here’s a guide to some promising features coming our way over the next three months.

JUNE

‘Hotel Artemis’

In a noir-ish sci-fi movie set in a dystopian future version of Los Angeles, Jodie Foster portrays a nurse who oversees a unique underground hospital catering to the criminal element. Dave Bautista, Sterling K. Brown, and Jeff Goldblum head the supporting cast.

‘Ocean’s 8’

The latest sequel to director Steven Soderbergh’s three comedic Ocean’s 11 heist movies is a distaff version with a mostly female ensemble (led by Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett) going for the big score. Gary Ross takes over as director.

‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’

Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville’s documentary tells the behind-the-scenes story of beloved children’s show host and advocate Fred Rogers.

‘Hereditary’

This mix of mystery and horror features Toni Collette as a woman who discovers creepy and arcane secrets about her ancestors after her mother dies that could plague the entire family.

‘Incredibles 2’

Pixar’s thrilling, funny, and heartfelt animated hit about a family of superheroes gets a second chapter with writer-director Brad Bird again at the helm, and returning voice actors Holly Hunter and Craig T. Nelson as parents Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl, plus Sam Jackson as their colleague Frozone.

‘Boundaries’

A prickly but droll family dramedy, showcasing Vera Farmiga as a grown daughter and Christopher Plummer as her unconventional, elderly, estranged father on a road trip together with Farmiga’s quirky, pubescent son.

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’

Lead actors Chris Pratt and Bryce Howard are back for the second installment in the trilogy set three decades after the first Jurassic Park movie — all inspired by Michael Crichton’s novel about dinosaurs reborn, via genetic super-science, as theme park attractions.

JULY

‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’

After Marvel Studios’ decade of interlocked, comic-book-inspired movies, the company offers a follow-up to its rollicking 2015 adventure Ant-Man, reuniting Paul Rudd as the size-changing, ant-riding superhero, Evangeline Lilly as his newly winged partner, and Michael Douglas as their mentor.

‘Sorry to Bother You’

A sci-fi comedy set in Oakland, this debut feature from writer-director Boots Riley addresses race in a tale of a black telemarketer who starts using a “white” voice and finds unexpected success and a perverse twist in his fate; with Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Danny Glover, and Armie Hammer.

‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot’

Joaquin Phoenix stars in this docu-dramedy about cartoonist John Callahan who learns how art can heal a broken spirit after his life is almost destroyed by a terrible accident; co-starring Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, and Jack Black.

‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’

The world may not have needed a sequel to the movie version of the marriage-themed Abba jukebox musical Mamma Mia!, but it’s got one (with flashbacks) and returning cast members Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Christine Baranski, Amanda Seyfried, and others (including Cher).

‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’

Tom Cruise is on board again as super-spy Ethan Hunt for the latest chapter in the Mission: Impossible franchise. This time, Hunt faces off against evildoers planning global catastrophe, as well as his own people when his loyalty is questioned by his CIA handlers.

AUGUST

‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’

Although set in 1993, this drama about a teenage girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is compelled by her guardians to undergo gay conversion therapy is as timely and controversial a topic as it was back then.

‘BlacKkKlansman’

Director/co-screenwriter Spike Lee adapts the outrageous true story of an African-American cop (played by John David Washington) who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado and becomes the leader of a local chapter. Adam Driver and Topher Grace co-star.

‘Crazy Rich Asians’

A collection of terrific actors, including Michelle Yeoh, Constance Wu, Ken Jeong, Gemma Chan, and Jimmy O. Yang, come together for the rom-com odyssey of a couple who travel from New York City to Singapore for a ridiculously lavish wedding.

‘Juliet, Naked’

The latest movie adaptation of a novel by Nick Hornby centers on a woman who gets romantically involved with a singer-songwriter on the downside of his career, despite her boyfriend being one of the musician’s biggest fans. With Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, and Chris O’Dowd.

Updated 6-11-18: Supporting cast for Hotel Artemis was corrected.

 

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Michael Snyder is a print and broadcast journalist who covers pop culture on "Michael Snyder's Culture Blast," via GABnet.net, Roku, and YouTube, and on KPFK/Pacifica Radio’s “David Feldman Show.” You can follow Michael on Twitter: @cultureblaster

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