Film & TV

April Netflix Picks

A new month of releases on Netflix, a new way to justify your procrastination. Netflix’s new April selection of movies boast more of the classics, which is great news to some and maybe not so much to others. I hope the viewers who are not too fond of older movies decide to give some of these a chance, because you may be missing out if you don’t. To help you wade through the long list of new releases, here are my top 10 picks of movies coming to Netflix this month.

10. Scrooged (1988) – Arrived April 1

Bill Murray. My work here is done. Go ahead and watch it. Alright, maybe the name Bill Murray is not enough to persuade you to watch a Christmas movie in April, but it should be. Scrooged is an ‘80s classic, starring Bill Murray at the top of his game. In a retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, Murray plays a bitter, greedy television producer who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve to help him change his ways. We’ve all heard the story, so why watch an old rehash? Bill Murray. That’s why.

9. Begin Again (2014) – Coming April 27

This is the most recent release on my list. The film stars Keira Knightley as an up-and-coming singer/songwriter, along with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine as her partner and Mark Ruffalo as the record executive who discovers her. It’s a quieter movie, focusing on the drama and romance of the characters. It’s a good indie movie when you’re in the mood for something relaxing to watch at the end of the day.

8. The Right Stuff (1983) –  Arrived April 1

An adaptation of a book by the same name, The Right Stuff recounts the struggles of NASA’s earlier years, mostly notably the ‘50s and ‘60s. What makes the movie compelling, however, is the family drama and character development behind the technical jargon. The combination of those elements makes it worth seeing.

7. A Clockwork Orange (1971) – Arrived April 1

Stanley Kubrick’s dark adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ novel exploring the violent and animalistic nature of humanity has been disturbing viewers for decades, all the while sparking countless discussions. It takes place in future England where we follow Alex (Malcolm McDowell), a sadistic man who enjoys bludgeoning and assaulting people on the streets at night. His behavior is examined when he is caught and subject to an experiment to see whether or not violence can be conditioned out of someone. Yes, it’s disturbing, but it’s a classic that you should see at some point. You may never want to watch again, and that’s OK.

6. Sunset Boulevard (1950) – Arrived April 1

We are going back even farther now to a true classic. Writer and director Billy Wilder’s legendary satire of Hollywood ageism is coming to Netflix. It tells the story of an ageing silent movie star, Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), who refuses to believe she is out of her prime. It’s full of drama, romance, suspense and violence. Lauded as one of the best screenplays ever written, Sunset Boulevard is not your Golden Age Hollywood fluff — it is dark, disturbing and honest. If you’re in the mood for an old black-and-white classic, Sunset Boulevard is a must-see.

5. Best in Show (2000) –  Arrived April 1

Let’s take a break from dark and disturbing. Mockumentary legend Christopher Guest, the mind behind the comedy classics This is Spinal Tap (1984) and Waiting for Guffman (1996), directs and stars in Best in Show. The movie is a hilarious account of eager contestants all around America competing in the Mayflower Dog Show, some of whom include Guests’ usual assembly of actors like Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy and Fred Willard, along with others like Jane Lynch. Told in classic Christopher Guest fashion, the humor is subtle, using the delivery of dialogue and silence to create the punch line. If you are a fan of that type of comedy, it’s one of the best.

4. Boogie Nights (1997) – Arrived April 1

This is a movie that many people will immediately say, “It’s not for me,” but I think that is largely due to a misunderstanding and assumption about the film. Boogie Nights stars Mark Wahlberg as Eddie Adams, a busboy turned adult-film star. This premise is usually the main turnoff, but hear me out. That is not what the film is about — it’s just the vehicle used to tell a universal story: the story of fame and the rise and fall of stardom. The movie deals with family, acceptance and so many themes that you would never guess by reading the synopsis. Trust me on this one.

3. The Princess Bride  (1987) – Arrived April 1

The Princess Bride is everything you could want in a fantasy adventure movie: action, comedy, romance and suspense. Everything about it just screams classic, old school fantasy, but it comes with a more modern twist. It’s a fairytale about a man (Cary Elwes) who searches for his love (Robin Wright) after a long time apart. Although I admit I feel quite a bit of nostalgia when I watch this movie, I’m confident that viewers seeing it for the first time will enjoy it regardless of their age.

2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Arrived April 1

Stanley Kubrick’s renowned space epic about technology, evolution and what it means to be human is often regarded as one of the most groundbreaking films ever made. It tells the story of astronauts on a mysterious mission and a possibly dangerous artificial intelligence system overseeing the operation, the HAL 9000. However, boiling the plot down to that is a disservice.2001: A Space Odyssey is a movie that everyone should see — not because you are guaranteed to love it, but because it challenges and forces you to think.

1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – Arrived April 1

The Shawshank Redemption has finally come to Netflix. Ranking number one on IMDb’s top 250 movies of all time and holding a 91 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, The Shawshank Redemption is universally regarded as one the best movies of all time. It tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a man sentenced to two life terms in prison for the murder of his wife and her lover. He befriends an inmate, Red (Morgan Freeman), inside Shawshank Prison. This film is about hope, redemption, friendship and so much more. The Shawshank Redemption will remind you why you love movies, and it easily takes the number one spot on my top 10 movies on Netflix this month.

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