As the last week of April speeds by, the movie slate is becoming more packed, which is a good thing. However, it doesn’t mean the movies themselves are good. But we’re firmly into blockbuster territory so you can expect a lot of crowd pleasing, wide array films (just like this week’s new and noteworthy).
If you missed it, check out some recommendations from last weekend’s Oscar winners. Otherwise, enjoy your weekend. Happy sreaming!
New and noteworthy…
This doesn’t actually release until tomorrow (4/30), but who can resist Michael B. Jordan? Playing author Tom Clancy’s second most famous character John Clark (Jordan) as an elite Seal member seeking a Russian mob who killed his family. Of course, the action thriller threatens a larger geopolitical plotline that sees the US and Russia on the brink of war. Perfect Dad-move fare. Trailer. 110 mins. Watch on Amazon Prime (Beginning April 30).
What if a mission to Mars had a stowaway and run by private business? That’s what Netflix’s newest sci-fi space drama posits. There’s some interesting things here: private business skimping on space travel budgets, life or death choices, etc. Don’t expect a high wire thriller in the vein of Gravity or The Martian, the film is much more contained and cerebral. It’s a pretty nice visual feast and the performances are all very strong and varied (especially from Anna Kendrick), and it’s not overlong! Trailer. 116 mins. Stream it on Netflix now.
25 years later, the remake of a campy video game movie classic, Mortal Kombat enters the big screen bloodier and more fan service-y than ever. The film eschews plot and writing for gore and IP franchise building, leaving viewers on a cliffhanger. But if you’re into martial arts action, a lot of blood, or are a fan of the franchise itself, you might want to give this a look. Trailer. 110 mins. Find it on in theaters or on HBO Max for the next month.
The long awaited return to the Blade Runner universe was widely heralded and critically acclaimed, although seemed to have left the zeitgeist pretty quickly. What better way to take advantage of that 65” than watch director Denis Villeneuve and legendary DP Roger Deakins return to the futuristic Los Angeles. Ryan Gosling leads a-then breakout role from Ana De Armas (and probably the best Dave Bautista role to date). Trailer. 164 mins. Watch it on HBO Max.
A slick procedural with a dark, dark edge from writer-director Taylor Sheridan, Wind River is thrill ride from start to finish. Elizabeth Olsen is an FBI agent investigating a murder on a Native American reservation who enlists the help of hunter Jeremy Renner. They follow the leads down the rabbit hole of human depravity where the danger is never far. Not quite Hell or High Water or Sicario level, but a solid entry in the Sheridan-filmography. Trailer. 111 mins. Watch on Amazon Prime with ads (via IMDb tv) or Pluto TV with ads.
Also known as Nighthawk, the Brazilian export Bacurau is one of the weirdest genre-bending films in recent memory. Rural villagers must band together to fight off a group of mercenaries who are hunting them. One part western, one part sci-fi, one part slasher, Bacurau and it’s synth score never bores. Kind of a drag it didn’t get nominated for a Foreign Feature Oscar this year, but nonetheless, Bacurau rules. Trailer. 132 mins. Rent on Amazon Prime ($3.99).
A little dark comedy to get you through Q2.
Cristin Milioti shines in this modern tech dark comedy. She escapes her marriaged to to tech genius billionaire Byron Gogol, who wants to implant her with a chip in her brain dubbed Made For Love. There are a lot of tech tropes, with touches of Upload, but ultimately the show presents a darkly comedic prism of human empathy, desire, and control. And a masterful supporting role from Ray Romano. At a speedy 25-minutes, the show is easily consumed and enjoyed. Trailer. Eight episodes. Stream the HBO Max original.
Shoutout Letterboxd for helping the film community keep track!
For last week’s recommendations, check it out here.