New on Netflix
Though its catalogue of “actual” blockbusters is fairly small, Netflix has nevertheless been picking up the theatrical slack when it comes to “mid-budget” (whatever the fuck that means in this day and age) action movies. One of its big titles in that realm is Extraction, a mercenary action movie set in India starring Chris Hemsworth and directed by Avengers stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave. While the film is fairly short on original narrative ideas, it does deliver a lot of insane stunts and action direction. (See the full review here.) It drops on Friday, April 24 alongside season 7 of Brooklyn Nine Nine, the newest season of Ricky Gervais’s After Life and a new special from comedian Kanan Gill.
On April 26, season 4 of the British historical series The Last Kingdom drops. Though I have never watched it and cannot imagine a world where I make space to watch it considering I have yet to see a single second of Game of Thrones, it is rather beloved by people who can’t get enough of this kind of thing. Mindy Kaling co-created Never Have I Ever, a new comedy series about a teenage girl of Indian descent that is, we assume, somewhat autobiographical for Kaling.
On April 29, Netflix releases a couple of intriguing documentaries. A Secret Love tells the story of Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel, a lesbian couple who kept their love story a secret for seven decades. (Donahue was one of the inspirations for A League of Their Own.) Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story explores the story of Brown, a 16-year-old who was incarcerated for killing a middle-aged man who solicited her for sex. That same day sees the release of Korean series Extracurricular and cooking show Nadiya’s Time to Eat, hosted by British chef Nadiya Hussain. On April 30, the impossibly generic-looking thriller Dangerous Lies starring Camila Mendes (Riverdale) and Jessie T. Usher (Independence Day: Resurgence) drops alongside Forest of Love: Deep Cut, a new series from gonzo auteur Sion Sono.
New on Amazon Prime
Very, very small week over at Amazon (presumably to prep for May 1, as the streaming service tends to front-load its months). The only real new title in terms of films is Deon Taylor’s Black and Blue from last year. The action-thriller stars Naomi Harris as a police officer who becomes the target of some corrupt cops after she witnesses said cops committing murder. Besides that, there’s a couple of specials from Australian comedian duo Lano & Woodley and another one from mime-improviser (!) Tom Walker.
New on Crave
Over at Crave, those who subscribe to the HBO + Movies package will have access to both It: Chapter Two and Pedro Almodóvar’s acclaimed Pain and Glory as of today. On April 25 you can catch Cory Finley’s satire Bad Education, which stars Hugh Jackman as the corrupt superintendent of a Long Island school board. HBO picked up the film on the strength of its TIFF reception last year; Allison Janney and Ray Romano co-star. Penny Dreadful starts up again on April 26, followed by a mini-series adaptation of Wally Lamb’s novel I Know This Much Is True from Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance, starring Mark Ruffalo, Melissa Leo and Rosie O’Donnell.
New on Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus has the smallest line-up of any of the majors, but this week they’re serving up Beastie Boys Story. The so-called “live documentary” is based in part on live shows that the two surviving Beasties put on in New York last year and in part on their book (imaginatively titled Beastie Boys Book) which came out in 2018.
New on Criterion Channel
As usual, Criterion offers up a few retrospectives. This week, it’s Jean Arthur who is celebrated with 16 films made between 1934 and 1944. Haifaa al-Mansour’s debut, Wadja, was the first film to be entirely shot in Saudi Arabia and the first film to be made by a Saudi woman — it drops on April 29. Three films from Jafar Panahi (This Is Not A Film, Taxi and 3 Faces) also find their way to Criterion Channel on April 30. ■
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See what’s new on Netflix Canada here.
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