There are a lot of movies and shows that go up whenever Netflix does its monthly refresh. But out of the ones that get thrown into the mix, there are those vaunted few that the folks at home will get to say hello to when that moment comes. April brings yet another opportunity for subscribers to get some new thrills from the comfort of their own home. The cream of the crop is what we're focusing on here, so get your pencils ready, as the following movies should be on your to do list.
Bonnie and Clyde
Now here's a pick that's the best example of perfect timing. Just as the Netflix original The Highwaymen is about to tell the story of the law enforcement agents that chased down the outlaws Bonnie and Clyde, the classic 1967 film version of the criminal side of the equation will be available just a couple short days after. An iconic, if not entirely accurate romp, it's one of the films that made Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty household names. So find a partner in crime, and make it a double feature to remember!
While Burt Reynolds was mostly known for being one of the most laid back comedy talents this side of the Mississippi, he was known to be quite the dramatist when he got the right material. You can bet on Deliverance being the right material, as he not only got to kick some revengeful ass with his friends in the Everglades, he even did one of the most dangerous stunts of his career and got a nice trip to the hospital because of it. Burt Reynolds didn't have to go that hard so early in his career. But then again, if he didn't, would this tale of backwoods savagery and retribution be the legend it eventually became?
I Am Legend
It's an oft overlooked film in the Will Smith canon, but I Am Legend showcases some of the actor's best work for a solid majority of the film. Playing a doctor who's lone goal is to survive the byproducts of a viral apocalypse, seeing Smith playing off of some mannequins and a dog for two thirds of a major blockbuster is a pretty impressive feat. Based on Richard Matheson's legendary novella of the same name, the film definitely took liberties with the source material. But what it lacks in direct adaptation, it gains in a modern context that sees Will Smith play more of a remorseful hero, rather than his usual comedic self.
Going into any discussion of Valkyrie, it's going to bring up the fact that there are some problematic people that made this film about the real life attempt on Adolf Hitler's life. But special context aside, the film stands as a fantastic historical drama that focuses on the intricacies that went into Operation Valkyrie, and the lengths that Col. Klaus Von Stauffenberg and his conspirators would go through. Valkyrie also boasts one hell of an ensemble, as Tom Cruise is joined by the likes of Eddie Izzard, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, and Kenneth Branagh to tell this important story.
It's probably just a coincidence that Pineapple Express happens to be coming to Netflix in the month of April, right? Surely there isn't an unofficial holiday then that would require a film with an extremely pro marijuana message for celebration. But, even if there were, or even if you aren't the type to partake in such a ritual, this Seth Rogen / James Franco comedy is still enough of a gutbuster to have a good, sober time. No pressure, but there are multiple options with this one.
The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is set to debut this summer, bringing the director's self imposed ten movie limit ever so closer. But this is the same conversation we were having when The Hateful Eight was first announced and eventually released to a public eager for smart dialogue and liberal blood splatter. The big difference between those two films is, you can actually watch The Hateful Eight on Netflix next month. And what makes this occasion even more special is the fact that the version hitting the streaming world is the extended, roadshow version shown in theaters.
Burning is a film that wasn't a widely released blockbuster, but earned a lot of recognition as a potential candidate for Best Foreign Film at last year's Oscars. While those hopes sadly were never realized, the film is about what starts as a reunion of childhood friends, but turns into something more dangerous, and possibly deadly. With The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun in its cast, this film was bound to turn some heads; but the air of mystery surrounding the picture makes it all the more tantalizing to dig in ourselves and enjoy.
Everybody likes to fall back on Lock, Stock, and Two Smokin' Barrels when it comes to picking a Guy Richie film. While that's not a bad choice, it is one of the reasons why those who've seen Snatch, Richie's second film, tend to bind together in mutual admiration. A funny, frenetic, and weird film about fixed boxing matches, angry gangsters from both sides of the pond, and a man who actually has teeth made out of the bullets that were used in his attempted murder, so you can kind of see where this is going. But if you're going to see Snatch for one reason, and one reason alone, it has to be Brad Pitt's inspired performance as a boxer with one hell of an accent.
Freddy vs. Jason
Is Freddy vs. Jason the scariest of either the Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street franchises? Not in the slightest. Is it the culmination of one of the most anticipated slasher movie match ups of all time? Oh yes, it is! Let's face it: this movie was going to happen some day, and in the wrong hands, it would have been dismal. But what we got instead was one gigantic showdown between the dream master himself, and the goalie from Hell. It's just a shame we can't get a sequel, but at least there's this one, special film to hold onto for all dear death.
The Fifth Element
Sometimes, when you make a film inspired by a property that you're itching to get the rights to, the new version plays better than the source material. It's what happened to Luc Besson, as The Fifth Element was what happened when his wishes to make Valerian: The City of a Thousand Planets was thwarted in the 1990s. So, instead of whomever the '90s equivalent of Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne were tearing up the big screen, we got Bruce Wills and then newcomer Mila Jovovich as the mismatched pair trying to prevent the end of the galaxy as we know it. And you know something? We're probably all the better for it.
If you're ready for more Netflix action in the month of April, you can find it by looking through the total lineup of April's incoming content. We'll see you again next month, when a new crop of excellent films will be brought to everyone's attention.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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