Ten Films and TV Shows You Need to Stream This April
Cancel your plans tonight to get stuck into a documentary about Serial's Adnan Syed, a TV spinoff of 'What We Do in the Shadows' and an existential comedy with Steve Buscemi as God.
April 08, 2019
The weather is cooling down, a heap of public holidays are just around the corner and getting cosy on your couch seems like the best way to spend a day (or several). Yes, April is here. With autumn well underway and Easter giving everyone a few days off, it couldn't be a better time for one specific activity: feasting your eyes on a whole heap of movies and television shows.
Flick on your TV, fire up your chosen streaming platform and prepare to watch everything from sitcoms based on excellent movies to perhaps the best action film triple bill there is — plus dazzling nature documentaries, revived sci-fi anthologies and the most anticipated returning show of the year (you know the one). And, prepare to do so without spending much too long scrolling through a seemingly endless array of viewing options. From the latest and greatest to old favourites, here are our picks for your streaming queue for April.
NEW STUFF TO WATCH NOW
WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
A bunch of vampires. One share house. Ample undead hijinks. It worked well in 2005 short film What We Do In the Shadows. It worked hilariously in 2014 mockumentary movie What We Do In the Shadows. And it's working mighty fine in new TV spinoff that's also called What We Do In the Shadows, too. Adapted for television by original creators and stars Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (with the first episode written by the former and directed by the latter), this Staten Island-set version focuses on a new set of vamps and new supernatural problems, and the laughs keep coming. Unsurprisingly, Matt Berry's English bloodsucker Laszlo is a highlight, but this is a great ensemble effort, complete with ace turns from Kayvan Novak as Ottoman Empire-era soldier Nandor the Relentless, Natasia Demetriou as Romani vamp Nadja, Mark Proksch as 'energy vampire' Colin Robinson and Lady Bird's Beanie Feldstein as a live-action role-play fan who falls in with the undead crowd.
What We Do In the Shadows is available to stream weekly on Foxtel Now.
THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED
It has been five years since much of the world first heard the name Adnan Syed, delving into his case in the first season of Serial. And just like the hugely popular true crime podcast, Syed's is a tale that just keeps fascinating audiences. Murder and the possible miscarriage of justice will do that, as will the grim circumstances surrounding the death of Baltimore high school student Hae Min Lee in 1999. Enter The Case Against Adnan Syed, the four-part documentary TV series that has been in production since 2015 and promises to answer — and pose — more questions. Yes, it delivers. As well as boasting a compelling subject, the series also has an impressive pedigree, with filmmaker Amy Berg adding another top effort to her resume after Oscar-nominated 2006 doco Deliver Us from Evil, 2012's West of Memphis and 2014's An Open Secret.
The first episode of The Case Against Adnan Syed is available to stream now on SBS On Demand, with subsequent episodes available weekly on Sundays.
THIS TIME WITH ALAN PARTRIDGE
Last month, it was Get Krack!n. This month, ABC iView is skewering breakfast TV with This Time with Alan Partridge. Credit where credit is due, of course — without Steve Coogan's iconic alter ego, who's been hitting the airwaves since 1991, there'd be no Get Krack!n or many other supremely awkward TV industry spoofs either. This time, the fictional inept broadcaster has been tapped to co-host a morning magazine and chat show — and the world's collective stomach muscles instantly feel the strain of oh-so-much cringing. If you've laughed and grimaced along to Knowing Me, Knowing You, I'm Alan Partridge and movie Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, then you'll do so again. If you're new to the character, who was co-created by Coogan with The Thick of It and Veep's Armando Iannucci back in the 90s, prepare for quite the introduction.
This Time with Alan Partridge is available to stream now on ABC iView.
Just last month, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson shared the screen in Captain Marvel, which happens to be this year's biggest grossing film so far. As you might recall, they also co-starred in 2017's Kong: Skull Island. And, in-between the two, they made a third movie: Unicorn Store. Directed by Larson in her filmmaking debut, this indie fantasy couldn't be more different from the duo's big-budget pairings. It follows a young art student who has always loved unicorns, doesn't fit in anywhere, and is offered the chance to own her very own one-horned animal (by a pink suit-wearing Jackson, no less) just when her life is at its lowest point. It's all as twee, quirky and offbeat as it sounds — and as filled with rainbows and glitter — but Larson's take on arrested development from a rare female perspective isn't without its charms.
Unicorn Store is available to stream now on Netflix.
Existential comedy is having a moment — and add Miracle Workers to the already great pile that includes The Good Place and Russian Doll. Based on the novel What in God's Name and adapted for TV by the book's author Simon Rich, the series asks a very important question: what if God was a slacker played by Steve Buscemi? The amusing questions keep coming. What if heaven was a huge company charged with making Earth run smoothly? What if two employees were responsible for all of the world's miracles? What if said miracle workers made a bet with God, and he's planning to blow up the planet if they lose? It all makes for ace viewing, complete with a stellar cast, including Daniel Radcliffe and Australian actress Geraldine Viswanathan (Emo the Musical, Blockers) as the duo trying to save humanity by performing one heavenly feat: making a shy couple fall in love.
The first season of Miracle Workers is available to stream now on Stan.
Prepare your ears for one of the best sounds in the world: the sound of David Attenborough narrating a nature documentary. He has a whole heap to his name, including The Living Planet, State of the Planet, The Blue Planet, Frozen Planet and Planet Earth, and now he has Our Planet as well. The eight-part Netflix series explores Earth's remaining wilderness areas and their animal inhabitants, and delivers an array of simply astonishing natural sights in the process (given it has been made in conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund, that's hardly surprising). Wildebeests in the Serengeti, penguins in their icy climes, elephants trekking across continents and the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef — they're just some of the wonders in store.
Our Planet is available to stream now on Netflix.
ONES TO WATCH OUT FOR LATER IN THE MONTH
GAME OF THRONES
Finally. After an almost two-year wait, the time has come for Game of Thrones to unleash its final season. And, naturally, to unleash more battles, bloodshed, bickering, living and icy dragons, undead hordes, revenge-seeking Stark children, scheming Lannisters, Daenerys looking fierce and Jon Snow knowing nothing as well. Just where the enormously successful hit series will end is anyone's guess, especially since its narrative has long overtaken the tale told in George RR Martin's books, although we all know that the fight for the Iron Throne will continue until the show's very last moments. Get ready to start saying your goodbyes — to your favourite characters (not all of whom will survive, we're guessing) and to the show as a whole. Also worth remembering: this farewell is going to be quick, because the season only runs for six episodes.
Game of Thrones will available to stream weekly on Foxtel Now from Monday, April 15.
THE TWILIGHT ZONE
The Twilight Zone is back, and it's in the best possible hands. After wowing horror movie lovers with Get Out and Us, Jordan Peele takes on the task of presenting, narrating and redeveloping the legendary sci-fi anthology show for the 21st century. Picking up where Rod Serling's original five-season 50s and 60s show left off (and short-lived revivals in 1985 and 2002, too), the eight-episode first series blends the old with the new — both remaking previous episodes and coming up with fresh, thrilling stories. It's as entertaining as you'd rightfully expect, and it comes with a huge cast, including Adam Scott, Kumail Nanjiani, Tracy Morgan, Steven Yeun, Zazie Beetz, Taissa Farmiga, Greg Kinnear, John Cho, Rhea Seehorn, Jessica Williams, Jacob Tremblay, Allison Tolman, Betty Gabriel, Ginnifer Goodwin, Chris O'Dowd and Seth Rogan. Put simply, it's must-see viewing.
The Twilight Zone will be available to stream weekly on 10 All Access, with the first four episodes available on Friday, April 19.
CULT CLASSICS TO REVISIT AND REDISCOVER
NICOLAS CAGE FILMS
Back in 1995, Nicolas Cage won an Oscar for alcoholic drama Leaving Las Vegas. For many actors, that'd be the pinnacle of their career. But Nicolas Cage isn't any old star, so he followed it up with three consecutive action movies — all of which prove supremely entertaining by themselves, but make for one hell of a triple-feature. We're talking about The Rock, Con Air and Face/Off. All three released one after each other in 1996 and 1997, and movie fans everywhere are still thanking Nicolas Cage for them. All three are also now streaming on Stan, and you just know you want to watch them back-to-back-to-back as soon as possible. A number of other Nicolas Cage flicks are also available, including the terrible Aussie-shot Knowing and the twisty recent black comedy Mom and Dad, should you need more Nicolas Cage fun.
The Rock, Con Air and Face/Off are available to stream on Stan.
JACKIE CHAN COLLECTION
Perhaps you're a Jackie Chan fan from way back, and will take any excuse to revel in his martial arts and action-comedy mastery. Perhaps you've always wanted to delve into his filmography — further than Rush Hour, at least — and just didn't know where to start. In both situations, SBS On Demand has you sorted with a ten-movie lineup of the Hong Kong star's finest. Head back to 1980 with The Young Master, which he also directed. Catch the first two films in the stunt-filled Police Story franchise, or see him jump back to the 19th century in Project A. The list goes on, and promises plenty of fast-flying fists, cheesy gags and exceptional work from a movie master.
Ten Jackie Chan movies are available to stream now on SBS On Demand.
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