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New TV series’ and movies to watch in April 2021 on Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video…

New TV series’ and movies to watch in April 2021 on Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video…

Binge out

Text: Emily Heng


The Serpent

Cast: Tahar Rahim, Jenna Coleman, and Billy Howle.

Premise: The brainchild of BBC One and Netflix is based upon a true story surrounding serial killer, Charles Sobhraj — notorious for drugging, robbing, and killing young backpackers traversing through Asia from 1975 — 1976.

First impression: Think a heart-pounding tale packed with twist and turns; a grim yet darkly funny piece that brings Bonnie and Clyde vibes to mind. We suspect it has largely to do with both Rahim's and Coleman's strong stage presences playing the dastardly duo behind the murders.

What the Internet is saying: Speculation is rife that it might garner an Emmy-nod in the next awards show circuit. Fingers crossed, we say.

Release date: 2 April

 

Thunder Force

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, and Ben Falcone.

Premise: Chaos ensues when a scientist accidently imbues her former best friend with superpowers. Naturally, the only solution is to use their newfound abilities for good by fighting crime within the city — except, well, ineptly. Figures.

First impression: Yes, it's yet another addition to the superhero genre — though we'll give them extra brownie points for putting two middle-aged women at the forefront of the production.

What the Internet is saying: McCarthy's and Spencer's chemistry is undeniable, despite the rather trite jokes and gags that crop up within its 120-minute duration.

Release date: 9 April

 

Them

Cast: Deborah Ayorinde, Ashley Thomas, and Alison Pill.

Premise: A limited series centered around the theme of "terror experienced in America"; the first season introduces us to a Black family — and the supernatural events that occur — upon their move into an all-white neighbourhood in Los Angeles.

First impression: We foresee hours of speculation and debate with this one, seeing how there's nothing straightforward about its messaging or plot. Brace yourself for that Reddit deep dive every time you finish an episode.

What the Internet is saying: Peak American Horror Story vibes before, it, uh, devolved into the satirical mess it is now. In short: prepare to be completely creeped out.

Release date: 9 April

 

Shadow and Bone

Cast: Jessie Mei Li, Ben Barnes, and Freddy Carter.

Premise: An ordinary mapmaker's world is upended when a terrifying incident unleashes a hidden power within. It follows her struggle between embracing — and rejecting — it, where her decision could determine the fate of her war-torn world as she knows it.

First impression: Its sprawling, diverse universe gives it the potential to be the next big fantasy (rivaling Game of Thrones, even) — provided that it isn't bogged down by bad dialogue and irregular pacing. We'll simply have to wait and see in the meantime.

What the Internet is saying: It's impossible to see past the bevy of comments thirsting after Ben Barnes. Granted, he hasn't been quite as active since his Narnia days in 2008, so we'll excuse the drooling.

Release date: 23 April

 

The Mosquito Coast

Cast: Justin Theroux, Logan Polish, and Melissa George.

Premise: For those who find its title familiar — it is, indeed, a remake of the 1986 film starring greats in the vein of Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. The Apple TV series is based upon the same themes of greed, family, and consumerism told through the eyes of Allie Fox, who gets caught up in a series of conflicts upon uprooting his family to a rural area within Latin America.

First impression: There's certainly a lot to live up to. We're not sure if the current cast can stick the landing, but we suppose a TV series allows viewers to fully grasp the complexities surrounding its story.

What the Internet is saying: Everyone's mostly fascinated by how they didn't make the Paul Theroux/Justin Theroux connection — where the author of The Mosquito Coast is actually Justin's uncle. It's small world, alright.

Release date: 30 April




March

Coming 2 America

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Shari Headley, and James Earl Jones.

Premise: The sequel to the cult-classic film, Coming to America, sees King Akeem (Murphy) hunting down his illegitimate heir in Queens, New York, so as to prepare him to ascend the throne. What follows next echoes the original's biting wit and slapstick humour.

First impression: We'd watch it on the basis of Eddie Murphy making a return to the big screen. And showing off his producing chops, to boot.

What the Internet is saying: Nostalgic factor aside, everyone is convinced that newcomer, Wesley Snipes, is bound to steal the show. Watch and see, we suppose.

Release date: 5 March.

 

Apprentice: One Championship Edition

Cast: Chatri Sityodtong, Dom Lau, and Niharika Singh.

Premise: The Apprentice is back — with a twist. 2021's rendition sees 16 handpicked candidates battling it out in a succession of both business- and physical-based challenges. Last one standing will receive a USD$250,000 job offer to work directly under ONE Chairman and CEO, Chatri Sityodtong, for a year.

First impression: A battle of both brains and brawn? It's bound to be a tough one, indeed. We'll be tuning in for the spectacular drama sure to follow.

What the Internet is saying: Excitement is mounting thanks to a cast of "arrogant egoists" paired with no-nonsense instructors. Not to get ahead of ourselves, but it seems the meme potential is strong with this one.

Release date: 18 March.

 

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Cast: Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, and Emily VanCamp.

Premise: U.S. veteran, Sam Wilson, and brooding anti-hero, Bucky Barnes, have to come together to face a new threat: anti-patriotism group, the Flag-smashers, who threaten to wreak havoc upon earth.

First impression: A buddy-cop movie, except they're the furthest thing from law enforcement — just, uh, genetically modified superheroes wielding nifty gadgets. It does, however, harbour the hallmarks of a Patented Bromance. Conflicting viewpoints! Grudging friendship and understanding! Underlying sexual tension!

What the Internet is saying: Anyone suffering from WandaVision withdrawal is sure to appreciate this buzzy new Marvel drop. Plus, Stan's and Mackie's chemistry is undeniable.

Release date: 19 March.

 

Calls

Cast: Lily Collins, Rosario Dawson, and Nick Jonas.

Premise: Cited as an "immersive television experience", Calls utilises audio and minimal abstract visuals to convey thrilling stories that vary from mysterious disappearances to supernatural encounters.

First impression: A fascinating format that — if executed well — could signify the arrival of a new genre all together.

What the Internet is saying: Everyone's floored by the star-studded cast, which includes The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal as well as Parks and Recreation's Aubrey Plaza.

Release date: 19 March.

 

DOTA: Dragon's Blood

Cast: Lara Pulver, Anson Mount, and Troy Baker.

Premise: Based upon the successful video game franchise, DOTA, the animated series revolves around familiar characters such as Dragon Knight and Princess Miriana who cross paths and find themselves embroiled in a conspiracy that could topple the precarious foundation of their world.

First impression: The animation style is reminiscent of big hits such as The Legend of Korra and Voltron; think meticulous character detail paired with fast-paced, fluid action scenes.

What the Internet is saying: As with most adaptions, people are fretting that the series won't live up to supposed "epicness" of the game. The big names attached to the project, however, does alleviate some fears.

Release date: 25 March.

 

The Irregulars

Cast: Thaddea Graham, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, and Royce Pierreson.

Premise: A motley bunch of teenagers are tasked at solving mysteries for the enigmatic Dr. Watson while Sherlock Holmes — a famed detective — gets all the credit. Things escalate when some of the crimes take a paranormal turn.

First impression: We're getting serious Misfits vibes from the trailer, except with less oddball characters and humour.

What the Internet is saying: Most people seem to be hoping that this series will tide them through until BBC's Sherlock S5 drops. Cheers to that.

Release date: 26 March.


February

Space Sweepers

Cast: Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, and Yoo Hai-jin.

Premise: A ragtag crew comes together to protect a humanlike robot from the clutches of the (spoiler alert: evil!) governing authorities. Twists, mishaps, and hijinks occur along the way, reinforcing familial bonds and new friendships alike.

First impression: Guardians of the Galaxy, except we're spared from Chris Pratt's corny one-liners and Dave Bautista's tired jokes. The flashy action scenes are further tempered by stellar performances brimming with chemistry.

What the Internet is saying: Lots of space-related puns, where it's been touted as "a blast" (ha) and "out of this world." It's a win in our books, seeing how it successfully encapsulated the spirit of zany-yet-lovable intergalactic classics such as Cowboy Bebop. Add it to your must-stream list, stat.

Release date: 5 February.


Bliss

Cast: Salma Hayek, Owen Wilson, and Nesta Cooper.

Premise: A recently-fired and -divorced Greg (Wilson) meets Isabel (Hayek), who convinces him that the world he lives in is actually a computer simulation. The conspiracy plot thickens as Greg further delves in this strange new reality.

First impression: There's nothing typical about this love story, alright. Give this one a go if conventional V-Day movie picks aren't your speed.

What the Internet is saying: Uh, is this an extended Black Mirror episode? No? Prepare to be confused and intrigued in equal measure.

Release date: 5 February.


To All The Boys: Always and Forever

Cast: Lana Condor, Noah Centino, and Janel Parrish.

Premise: Lovebirds Lara-Jean and Peter Kavinsky enter their final year of high school, bringing about a new set of challenges and obstacles they have to face as a couple.

First impression: Overwhelming in its sincerity and earnestness without resorting to trite tropes. We're erecting it into the rom-com Hall of Fame as we write this.

What the Internet is saying: A heartwarming end to a brilliant series, the final installment has been garnering praise for sticking the landing — and we couldn't agree more.

Release date: 12 February.


Vincenzo

Cast: Song Joong-ki, Jeon Yeo-been, and Kwak Dong-yeon.

Premise: A vigilante tale centring around Vincenzo Cassano; a former lawyer to the Italian mafia who decides to bring his brutal methods to Korea. His warped ideals of justice soon have him wrapped up in a world of trouble and corruption.

First impression: There is a lot going on in the trailer, but we'd be lying if we said we weren't distracted by the sight of Song Joong-ki donning some very tailored, form-fitting suits. Does the content really matter, at this point?

What the Internet is saying: It's been a hot minute since we've seen Song Joong-ki in an action flick, so everyone is (naturally) falling over themselves at the resurgence of the commanding presence he channeled in Descendants of the Sun. Never mind that he's, uh, on the wrong side of the law, this time.

Release date: 20 February.


Billie Eilish: The World's A Little Blurry

Cast: Billie Eilish, Finneas, and Trevor Smith.

Premise: An inside look of the ongoings of Billie Eilish's life as she navigates the complexities of stardom; her relationship with her fans; and more.

First impression: The trailer doesn't give much away, but we trust the singer will be bringing her raw, unfiltered sentiments to it - as she does with all of her work, really.

What the Internet is saying: Eilish has since stepped forward to talk about how re-watching the documentary brought her to tears, so we say you should get those tissues ready.

Release date: 26 February.


January
Pieces of a Woman

Cast: Vanessa Kirby, Shia LeBeouf, and Ellen Burstyn.

Premise: A couple is forced to navigate the complexities of grief and vengeance after a negligent midwife causes a mishap with their home birth. What comes next is a raw, searing portrayal of neonatal death; an in-depth study of the stigma and trauma that tends to follow.

First impression: We suspect this one will pack as much of an emotional gut punch as Sophie's Choice, so be sure to get the tissues ready.

What the Internet is saying: Critics are already lauding Kirby's skillful performance, which has been credited as "intensely physical" and told primarily through body language. There have, however, been stirrings of a boycott of the movie thanks to the controversy surrounding LeBeouf's alleged abusive behaviour.

Release date: 7 January.

 

One Night in Miami

Cast: Eli Goree, Leslie Odom Jr., and Kingsley Ben-Adir.

Premise: Regina King's directorial debut chronicles what would happen if influential Black figures: Muhammed Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Browne were to meet. Based upon a play, it centres around a night of celebration between the four after Ali wins out against heavyweight boxing champion, Sonny Lison, at the Miami Convention Hall.

First impression: While utopian in its premise, One Night in Miami proves to be a timely flick that addresses current issues in the vein of racial injustice, social upheaval, and civil rights.

What the Internet is saying: We foresee an Oscar nomination — or heck, win, seeing the rave reviews that are already rolling in.

Release date: 15 January.

 

Fate: The Winx Saga

Cast: Abigail Cowen, Danny Griffin, and Elisha Applebaum.

Premise: Yup, the Nickelodeon animated-series surrounding magic-wielding fairies is getting a live-action reboot. Our lead, Bloom, specialises in fire magic, a skill she is further taught to hone as she enrolls in Alfea, a prestigious magical boarding school.

First impression: When are we going to stop with the grimdark interpretations of beloved children's comics and cartoons? No, seriously, wasn't Riverdale enough?!

What the Internet is saying: All the fairy transformation sequences have been axed, which is causing a great deal of distress to fans. We can't say we blame 'em.

Release date: 22 January.

 

The White Tiger

Cast: Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra, and Rajkummar Rao.

Premise: A poor village boy turned chauffeur recounts his rags to riches journey, detailing how he employed his wit and cunning to outsmart the rich masters he works for.

First impression: The White Tiger has all the makings of highly-rated films such as Parasite and Get Out; a commentary on the struggles and issues we face today (see: wealth disparity, racial tension, social inequality) with a darkly humorous spin.

What the Internet is saying: This one is guaranteed to be a game-changer as long as it doesn't veer too far from the source material (i.e., the book it was based on).

Release date: 22 January.

 

Palmer

Cast: Justin Timberlake, Juno Temple, and Alisha Wainwright.

Premise: Former high school football legend, Eddie Palmer, returns home after a stint in jail to discover his mother caring for a neighbour's child. Against all odds, he begins to form an unlikely bond with the socially awkward Sam, but runs into challenges and resistance from the town who insist on holding him to his past mistakes.

First impression: We're not sure what's more surprising — JT's return to the big screen, or the fact that the makeup team managed to transform the stunning Juno Temple into a meth addict. Wonders will never cease.

What the Internet is saying: Everyone is more caught up with the fact that this was the movie that nearly caused the dissolution of Justin's and Jessica Biel's marriage. See: the public apology he issued via Instagram after he was caught getting handsy with his costar. Eep.

Release date: 29 January.