Although the polar vortex has certainly had its memorable, icy way with Chicagoans this winter, take heartthe spring thaw is only a few months hence. Film fans can expect plenty of cinematic treats to savor with the usual dose of homoerotic contentboth overt and covertamongst these highlights of upcoming titles. Unless otherwise noted, the opening date listed refers to at least a one week theatrical run.
Cinema Q IVThe fourth annual Cinema Q returns to the Chicago Cultural Center. The series, co-presented by the Queer Film Society, Reeling, the Legacy Project, and other LGBT organizations, is a free, weekly after work film series presenting the best in queer cinema. Last year's line-up included Cloudburst and a 15th-anniversary screening of Gods & Monsters. Titles TBA. March 5, 12, 19, 26
300: Rise of an EmpireA sequel to the computer generated sword and sandal hunkfest 300, this looks to up the homoerotic undercurrent about tenfold. March 7
Grace of MonacoNaomi Watts' portrayal of the late Princess Diana was a flop on all counts but perhaps Nicole Kidman, playing another princess, the Oscar-winning movie star Grace Kelly, will have better luck in this biopic that was original slated for a holiday release. March 14
Portrait of JasonDirector Shirley Clarke's 1967 classic of a real-life gay raconteur, the African American queen of the title, who delivers a non-stop monologue, is insightful and sensationally entertaining from the get go. The film, which has been remastered, gets a return engagement at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., ) on March 18.
DivergentShailene Woodley stars as a teenage "mutant" of sorts, the "divergent" of the title whose special talents are highly prized in this futuristic, sci-fi thriller, a YA variation on The Hunger Games. Hunky Theo James and Kate Winslet ( this time as a baddie ) co-star. March 21
NoahDirector Daron Aronofsky's big budget retelling of the apocalyptic Biblical epic story of Noah ( Russell Crowe ), his ark, all those animals loaded up two by two, his dysfunctional family ( Jennifer Connolly, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Anthony Hopkins among them ) and all the decadent behavior that started the whole saga. March 28
Marvel's Captain America: The Winter SoldierHunky heartthrob Chris Evans returns to his role as the comic book hero, as does Scarlett Johannson as Black Widow while Anthony Mackie is a new visitor to the Marvel universe as the Falcon. April 4
Only Lovers Left AliveLGBT faves Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddelston star as longtime vampire loves in what promises to be yet another unique film from director Jim Jarmusch. April 11
BearsNo, it's not a documentary about a group of large and hairy gay men. Rather, John C. Reilly ( who would certainly qualify in that category if he were gay in real life ) narrates a nature documentary from Disney that focuses on real bearscubs and allfighting for survival in Alaska. April 18
The Amazing Spider-Man 2Peter Parker ( as essayed by Andrew Garfield ) and his lady love Emma Stone return in this first sequel to the second reboot of this hit sci-fi franchise. May 2
X-Men: Days of Future PastOut director Bryan Singer helms yet another addition to this sci-fi mainstay which continues to feature a batch of coded queer characters among the beloved mutants. Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, and Michael Fassbinder star. May 23
Legends of Oz: Dorothy's ReturnOzmania fans will no doubt queue up for this animated musical that features Lea Michelle voicing the role of Dorothy and those of Dan Akroyd, Kelsey Grammar, Jim Belushi, Megan Hilty, Patrick Stewart, and Martin Short as her familiar Oz companions. May 9
Maleficent"Sleeping Beauty" as retold from the viewpoint of the wicked queen of the titleportrayed by Angelina Jolie in what looks to be an inspired casting choice. May 30
On the horizon
HBO's eagerly awaited adaptation of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, directed by Ryan Murphy and featuring an all-star cast, arrives in June along with The Case Against 8, Ben Cotner and Ryan White's documentary behind the scenes look at the the case to overturn Prop 8. "Queer As Folk's" Randy Harrison and Michael Urie are a gay couple in the screwball comedy Such Good People ( release date yet to be announced ).
John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are in Love Is Strange, the latest gay-themed drama from Keep the Lights On writer-director Ira Sachs; the movie was strongly reviewed at Sundance but as of WCT deadlines still hadn't announced a release date. To Be Takei, a documentary portrait of actor-turned-gay activist George Takei, was also warmly received at Sundance and is also awaiting a release dateas are nearly a dozen other LGBT-themed indies that played during the fest.