As Netflix et al. add more content, it’s difficult to know what to look for amidst all of the newly added titles. So at the start of every month, I publish a list of particularly noteworthy and interesting movies and TV shows to add to your streaming queues.
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Kubo and the Two Strings (April 8)
I missed this when it was in theaters, so I appreciate the second chance to see Kubo and the Two Strings, the latest stop motion animation title from the folks who did Coraline. The film is set in a mythological version of feudal Japan, and focuses on the titular Kubo, a young musician who is in search of his father — and whose music has magical powers. It features the voices of Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew McConaughey, and George Takei.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return (April 14)
In what is arguably one of the most important “geek” moments of 2017, Netflix is bringing back the legendary Mystery Science Theater 3000 (aka, that show where the guy and his robot friends make fun of the worst movies ever made). With the backing a very successful Kickstarter campaign, original series creator Joel Hodgson is tackling a new set of horrible movies, this time with a cast featuring Patton Oswalt, Jonah Ray, and Felicia Day.
The Prestige (2006)
Christopher Nolan may be best known for the “Dark Knight” trilogy — which is arguably the definitive film version of Batman — but in 2006, he directed this entertaining little suspense thriller about the escalating rivalry between two magicians in the early 20th century. As is Nolan’s wont, The Prestige is full of clever little visuals, twists, and turns. Oh, and it features a David Bowie cameo as the legendary inventor Nikola Tesla.
Click here for a complete list of everything arriving and leaving Netflix in April 2017.
Robocop (April 1)
Forget about the remake that came out in 2014 and watch this, the original Paul Verhoeven film from 1987. Peter Weller plays a good cop who is gunned down and rebuilt as the ultimate police machine, Robocop. While you can enjoy Robocop as a straightforward (and gory) sci-fi action title, the film is also packed with plenty of anti-authoritarian, anti-corporate, and dystopic themes.
The Warriors (April 1)
In one of the great cult films of all time, the Warriors must traverse a nightmarish version of New York after being framed for murdering the leader of the city’s most powerful gang. The film is filled with memorable lines — “Can you dig it?” and “Warriors, come out to play!” are two of the most famous — and there’s something enjoyable about the film’s over-the-top absurdity (e.g., a gang of baseball bat-wielding mimes). It’s an acquired taste, but if you dig The Warriors, you really dig it.
Dimension 404 (April 4)
This is Hulu’s attempt at an anthology sci-fi show à la Netflix’s recent Black Mirror season. Not much is known about the individual episodes’ plots, but the series boasts an impressive cast (e.g., Patton Oswalt, Joel McHale, Megan Mullally, Mark Hamill).
The Babadook (April 14)
One of the most acclaimed horror films in recent history, The Babadook follows a grieving young widow who must protect her increasingly troubled child from the titular monster. Of course, like any good horror film, there are deeper themes that go beyond the scares (see this article for more info about that).
The Handmaid’s Tale (April 26)
Like Netflix, Hulu’s been putting a lot of money into original programming. In this case, it’s an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed dystopic novel. In the not-too-distant future, the U.S. has turned into a theocratic patriarchy that subjugates women capable of giving birth after an environmental disaster renders most women infertile. The Handmaid’s Tale will consist of 10 episodes, and stars Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, and Yvonne Strahovski.
Click here for a complete list of everything arriving and leaving Hulu in April 2017.
Thunderbirds Are Go! Season Three (April 21)
Thunderbirds Are Go! is a modern remake of the classic Thunderbirds TV series from the ’60s, with CGI characters taking the place of marionettes. The series is a big hit with my kids, and I admit, I thoroughly enjoy the series’ retro-futuristic look, sense of derringdo, and awesome John Barry-esque soundtrack.
Click here for a complete list of everything arriving and leaving Amazon Prime in April 2017.