April quite possibly could be the greatest month entertainment has seen in over a decade. It’s like 1999 all over again, when the bookend of the century saw the release of game-changing films like Fight Club and The Matrix. Marvel Studio‘s Avengers: Endgame and the final season of HBO‘s Game of Thrones will most likely do the same before we hit 2020.
We’ve also got a lot of other gems, like DC’s Shazam! and Jordan Peele‘s Twilight Zone reboot. Furthermore, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a film that’s been almost 30-years in the making, will finally see the light of day. Meanwhile, a story spanning 30 years continues its story in Cobra Kai season 2. What a beautiful time to be alive.
Check out the list below, ranging from some of the must-see releases to the more under-the-radar films and TV shows to look forward to in April.
Shazam! (April 5)
Shazam! follows protagonist Billy, a young street kid who’s granted powers by an ancient wizard, turning him into an adult-sized superhero when he speaks the titular word, “Shazam.” After a bunch of high school hijinks with his newfound power, Billy’s abilities are put to the test when he squares off against the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.
Why it’s worth your time: Early reviews are saying this is a fantastic film, the current state of the DCEU notwithstanding. We’ve never seen a child actor portray a child superhero, and we’ve rarely seen a hero relish in his abilities. This film will showcase both, adding elements that can explore the genre in a new light and utilize timeless “kid becomes an adult” humor, only this time, the adult also comes with superpowers.
Pet Sematary (April 5)
Based on the seminal horror novel by Stephen King, Pet Sematary follows Dr. Louis Creed, his wife, and two children after they move to rural Maine. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near the family’s new home.
Why it’s worth your time: Look, we know these remakes of classic horror films rarely pan out, but this is the first King adaptation coming to fruition in theaters post-It and its uber success. With remarkable horror remakes like Suspiria, we hope this adaptation of Pet Sematary sets a tone for the upcoming It: Chapter Two and Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining.
High Life (April 5)
High Life sees criminals played by Robert Pattinson and André 3000 give up their lives to an experiment in order to avoid jail time. They all board a spaceship on a destination to a black hole and are forced to undergo fertility experiments along the way.
Why it’s worth your time: It’s a sci-fi horror from from A24, with profound statements on the criminal justice system and men experimenting with motherhood — enough said. The studio has been on fire lately with films like Mid90s and Hereditary, whose follow up Mid Sommar is sure to follow suit. Even if this may serve as a stepping stone until we get the former, it’ll surely be on par with A24’s output.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (April 10)
The story follows a deluded old man, played by Jonathan Pryce of Game of Thrones, who is convinced he is the titular Don Quixote. Adam Driver plays an advertising executive named Toby who gets swept up in the madness and becomes his squire, Sancho Panza. The pair embark on a bizarre journey, jumping back and forth in time between the 21st and 17th centuries.
Why it’s worth your time: This film is getting a one-time premiere date. Director Terry Gilliam has spent 19 years making The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, going through development hell under eight unsuccessful attempts towards production. Johnny Depp and Ewan McGregor were previously involved with the film before losing interest.
Its original production in 1998 even spawned a 2002 documentary film, Lost in La Mancha, covering its extensive delays. It’s an already historic film that’ll go down in the books, and to be one of the few to see it premiere should be a treat to film buffs.
Hellboy (April 12)
Stranger Things‘ David Harbour is Hellboy. The reboot will showcase the heroic demon raised to protect the world and his adopted father Trevor Bruttenholm (Ian McShane), while heading the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense to combat the supernatural. Meanwhile Nimue the Blood Queen (Milla Jovovich), a powerful sorcerer from the comics, is set to arrive and threaten the Earth.
Why it’s worth your time: It’s a hard R Hellboy movie, and although many mourn Ron Perlman’s portrayal of the character, Harbour more than looks capable of filling the role. And yes, Pearlman and director Guillermo del Toro‘s would-be sequel will be missed, but a character of this caliber shouldn’t live a PG-13 life, which is what we would’ve gotten from the pair. Let’s see how the character shapes in the new era of superhero movies, and hope the film’s rating serves as a move in the appropriate direction of a more faithful adaptation.
Penguin Highway (April 12)
Aoyama is a fourth-grade scientist who begins dreaming about penguins appearing in his sleepy suburb hundreds of miles from the sea. When he finds the source of the penguins is a woman from his dentist’s office, they team up for an unforgettable summer adventure.
Why it’s worth your time: This coming-of-age film has been out for a while internationally, but it’s finally making its way to the United States. It’s a whimsical anime with a gorgeous score that uses absurdity and phenomena as a backdrop for childhood exploration.
Avengers: Endgame (April 26)
Why it’s worth your time: This one’s for all the marbles, folks. Endgame is being billed as the conclusion to the story told by every Marvel movie so far, and the end of the Infinity Stone saga of Marvel Studios. We’re bound to see an ungodly amount of fan service and well-crafted bookends to make way for Phase 4 and the mark of a new beginning for the MCU, especially since The Fantastic Four and X-Men are poised to be introduced to the universe. If you saw Infinity War, which you did, you’re obligated to come back and watch Endgame. If there’s one last Marvel movie you ever see from here on out, let it be this one.
The Twilight Zone (Season 1) (April 1, CBS All Access)
In 1958, the iconic screenwriter, television producer, and narrator Rod Serling blessed the universe with The Twilight Zone. It was an insightful anthology series that put a spin on contemporary societal issues like war, technology, and the human condition. Now newly-minted horror icon Jordan Peele will take on Serling’s role and continue his legacy.
Why it’s worth your time: It’s Jordan Peele doing two things he does best: satire and horror. What makes this reboot exciting is that, similar to the original series, it will feature noteworthy actors of the time, such as Seth Rogen, Steven Yeun, Kumail Nanjiani, Ginnifer Goodwin and more. It’s even rumored the first episode will see Adam Scott star in “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet,” an update to the William Shatner-led “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” episode. If you don’t follow every episode, at least check back in on it once in awhile.
Ultraman (Season 1) (April 1, Netflix)
Several years have passed since the events of Ultraman (1966), and how Shin Hayata’s son Shinjiro begins to possess a strange ability. Along with his father’s revelation that he was Ultraman, this new power leads Shinjiro to battle the aliens invading the Earth like his father before him.
Why it’s worth your time: Computer-generated animation notwithstanding, this is poised to be one of Netflix’s more elevated anime series, especially since they’re handling such a huge property in Ultraman.
The Last O.G. (Season 2) (April 2, TBS)
Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish are back in The Last O.G., with Morgan’s Tray going full-force in his aspirations to become a chef. Meanwhile his ex, Shay (Haddish), sees an intriguing business opportunity of her own on the horizon.
Why it’s worth your time: By far TBS‘ best original series still airing, The Last O.G. is a hilarious show that sets a new standard for predominantly black comedy shows. Plus the show is forever a haven for vets in the culture to make guest appearances. This season will see Method Man, Rev Run, Talib Kweli, and Rakim appear.
Kevin Hart: Irresponsible (April 2, Netflix)
Everybody is so-called sick of Kevin Hart. But you can’t deny the guy is selling out shows left and right and co-starring in blockbuster films like Jumanji. In short, making bank. He can literally write his own ticket, so much so, he turned down the Oscars. Hear him talk about it all, including his hilariously public infidelity in this new special.
Why it’s worth your time: If you don’t find humor in Kevin Hart, you can at least sit back and hear him talk about all the topics surrounding him on social media over the past couple years and sip tea in judgment, which sounds like a lot of fun.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Season 2) (April 5, Netflix)
Season one was so surprisingly different from the original series, and also informed us that Sabrina is in fact a comic book character. This show delves in the macabre and occult more earnestly than any other horror series. But it also has a Riverdale-esque charm that’s irresistible. Most likely because both shows take place in the same universe.
Why it’s worth your time: Because season one was fire, and the next season invites us to come back and see how Sabrina, who chose to side with the human side of her life, will operate with the bad witches at her new Satanic school.
Game of Thrones (Season 8) (April 14, HBO)
Winter has been coming since 2011, and now at the turn of the decade, winter is finally here. We’ve still got several arcs to end, which, in true George R.R. Martin fashion, may just end in death, or a fate worse, like becoming a Wight. Are we going to see the reshaping of Westeros’ status quo? Will someone finally claim the throne? Will there even be one at the end of it all? We’ve got 8 episodes to find out, and we cannot wait.
Why it’s worth your time: It’s the end of the most game-changing show ever created. It’s because of this show that most new series have a giant Hollywood movie budget, which has subsequently raised the medium to a new level. Even though most people who still haven’t seen the series relish in the fact, they’re really doing themselves a disservice not watching these episodes as they’re being released.
Its rich in-show universe is enrapturing and joining in on the glee/dismay of other fans is half the reason the show is so fun to watch. Now that the culmination of all these arcs is coming to an end, we’re expecting a celebration of the series as the episodes roll out, unlike any other season before it. Until maybe the final episode, where Martin’s thematic writing will come back and yank the rug from under its fanbase and the outcry online pours in. That’ll be fun, too.
RAMY (Season 1) (April 19, Hulu)
The series follows Ramy Hassan (Ramy Youssef), a young man on a “spiritual journey” who consistently faces the challenges of being Muslim American and adhering to Muslim community sensibilities while living a life perceived by his religion to be a moral test.
Why it’s worth your time: Another A24 joint that looks introspective. Although it’s not horror, we mentioned earlier that the team consistently churns out elevated content, and the subject matter looks to be insightful, no matter your religion or cultural background.
Cobra Kai (Season 2) (April 24, YouTube)
The washed god Johnny Lawrence returns to train his clan of Cobra’s to be badasses and to face-off against the equally as washed Daniel LaRusso and his Miyagi-dojo disciples hot off their win at the All Valley tournament at the end of season 1.
Why it’s worth your time: Yeah, the show is purely nostalgia-driven, capitalizing off the current wave of TV and movie franchise revivals. However, there’s so much this show has to offer under the surface of all that. Lawrence is as close to Archie Bunker from All in The Family as we’re gonna get in 2019, a man of former ideals trying to maneuver in a new world.
Although a lot of his no-nonsense practices could benefit our current generation of kids, many of those same practices landed Lawrence in the miserable existence he’s living now. So although the show has a bunch of comedy and teen drama, at its heart, Cobra Kai is about a man trying to undo the errors of his past by retroactively teaching kids not to make the mistakes he did.
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