Streaming in April: Your guide for what to watch

Evan Hayes and Evan Hayes

April is the first full month of spring, and as such, is a month full of television premieres, with networks releasing new shows for the upcoming summer months. Cable television is seeing some interesting premieres over the next month, such as the return of the BBC hit “Killing Eve,” the premiere of PBS’s six-part miniseries of “Les Miserables” and the final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.

But streaming services are still pumping out content, and April will be no exception. The month will see more movie arrivals than show premieres, with Netflix releasing six original films over the next month, including Brie Larson’s directorial debut, “Unicorn Store.” Those celebrating the worldwide stoner holiday, April 20, will be happy to see the arrival of stoner comedies “Pineapple Express” and “Up in Smoke,” two seminal classics of the genre. For more on what to watch this month, check out the Pulse’s streaming guide.


‘A Quiet Place’ (Hulu and Amazon Prime)


Release Date: April 2

Genre: Post-apocalyptic horror

Length: 91 minutes

Summary: The first in the growing genre of sensory deprivation horror movies, “A Quiet Place” was one of the top movies of 2018. The film, directed by John Krasinski and starring both him and his wife Emily Blunt, is about a family trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by extraterrestrial creatures with superpowered hearing. With minimal dialogue and masterful use of sound, the movie is a gripping thrill ride that takes the breath out of a viewer’s lungs. The absence of sound in the movie requires an absence of sound with each viewing, keeping you on the edge of your seat until the bitter end.


‘Pineapple Express’ (Netflix)


Release Date: April 1

Genre: Stoner action/comedy

Length: 104 minutes

Summary: The buddy comedy genre is full of classics, but perhaps none is more unique than Seth Rogen’s stoner hit, “Pineapple Express.” The film follows the adventures of Dale Denton (Rogen), a process server and stoner, and Saul Silver (James Franco), his weed dealer, as they fall into the schemes of a drug cartel. The two go on the run from henchmen, and zaniness ensues. “Pineapple Express” features all the best tropes of the stoner genre, highlighted by tons of smoking, and the second half of the movie is packed with gunfights and explosions, captivating red eyes everywhere. The riffing between Rogen and Franco is superbly funny, and the writing will leave you laughing in spite of yourself. If anything, give the trailer a watch to appreciate M.I.A.’s hit song “Paper Planes.”


‘All the President’s Men’ (Netflix)


Release Date: April 1

Genre: Political thriller

Length: 138 minutes

Summary: Based on the nonfiction book of the same title, “All the President’s Men” is about the Watergate scandal of the Nixon Presidency. Following reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, played by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman respectively, as they cover Watergate for The Washington Post, the film was the first of its kind to follow journalists on the big screen in such an observant way, paving the way for movies like 2015’s “Spotlight.” The movie also popularized the term “follow the money,” which has become a culturally significant phrase used by politicians and media alike. In the age of the Mueller Report and Trump’s presidency, this movie seems more relevant to our society’s collective consciousness.


‘Unicorn Store’ (Netflix)


Release Date: April 5

Genre: Comedy

Length: 92 minutes

Summary: Brie Larson has been at the forefront of the movie industry lately thanks to her starring role in Marvel’s “Captain Marvel.” But many people forget Larson is an incredibly accomplished actress and professional who has been working since the age of 8, winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in 2015’s “Room” and being named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in 2016. “Unicorn Store” is her directorial debut, and arrives at Netflix after premiering in 2017 at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film follows Kit, played by Larson, who moves back in with her parents after a failed career as an artist. One day, she receives a letter from a mysterious salesman offering to sell her childhood dream to her: a unicorn.


‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Part 2 (Netflix)


Release Date: April 5

Seasons: 1

Episodes: 20

Length: 49-63 minutes

Summary: Part 1 of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” hit Netflix back in October, and fans instantly fell in love with the spooky cousin of the CW’s “Riverdale,” loving the combination of teenage soap drama and supernatural horror. Kiernan Shipka’s Sabrina has evolved into a confident feminine protagonist, something lacking on a lot of television shows these days. After dropping a Christmas special in December, Part 2 of the first season arrives this month. With a second season already confirmed by Netflix, fans of Sabrina can rest easy knowing their heroine will be captivating viewers with her spellbinding magic for the foreseeable future.


‘One Punch Man’ Season 2 (Hulu)


Release Date: April 9

Seasons: 1

Episodes: 12

Length: 24 minutes

Summary: Having been in development since 2016, the second season of the hit anime “One Punch Man” is finally completed and being released. The new season will premiere exclusively on Hulu in the U.S., an intriguing development since the show has long been considered one of the best animes on Netflix. The story follows Saitama, a superhero so powerful that he can end any fight and defeat any creature with just one punch. His constant boredom with his foes and irritation with their quick deaths is a constant source of hilarity, and the animation style is endlessly creative. The story never seems to lag either despite Saitama’s unflinching invulnerability, making it one of the best animes being made today.


‘Bosch’ Season 5 (Amazon Prime)


Release Date: April 19

Seasons: 4

Episodes: 40

Length: 50 minutes

Summary: “Bosch” is based on detective novels written by Michael Connelly, and plays out on screen like a crime fiction page turner. The show follows Titus Welliver’s Harry Bosch, an LAPD detective, as he solves the city’s gruesome crimes. The show succeeds largely because of its pacing, playing out more like a book envisioned in a reader’s mind, mixing the modern-day police procedure television show with the gritty, LA-Noire vibe of the 1950s.


‘Up in Smoke’ (Hulu and Amazon Prime)


Release Date: April 1

Genre: Stoner comedy

Length: 86 minutes

Summary: The arrival of April coincides with the arrival of “Up in Smoke,” the original stoner comedy and the vehicle for the fame of comedy legends, Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin, known as the duo of Cheech and Chong. Negatively reviewed upon its release, the movie has since become a classic and is credited with establishing the stoner comedy film genre. Filled with slapstick comedy, the film creates characters that are almost cartoonish in Cheech’s Pedro and Chong’s Man, two hapless stoners just looking for a joint to light. The forerunner of films like “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” and “Pineapple Express,” the film set the stage for the buddy stoner comedy widely loved today.


‘Beetlejuice’ (Amazon Prime)


Release Date: April 1

Genre: Fantasy comedy

Length: 92 minutes

Summary: After becoming a recognized feature film director with the success of “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” in 1985, Tim Burton turned his slightly disturbed attention to the script for “Beetlejuice,” a fantasy comedy about a recently deceased married couple who hire a demon “bio-exorcist,” played by Michael Keaton, to scare away the new family that is now inhabiting their house. It’s a bizarre depiction of life after death, but Keaton melts into his titular role, bringing one of Burton’s most maniacal works to life.


‘Mid90s’ (Amazon Prime)


Release Date: March 1

Genre: Coming-of-age comedy-drama

Length: 85 minutes

Summary: The 90s are a source of nostalgia for many, and actor Jonah Hill is no exception. His directorial debut, “Mid90s,” is a coming-of-age tale that follows a young 13 year old, Stevie, growing up in Los Angeles and the angst he feels because of his living situation, highlighted by his fitness-obsessed brother Ian (Lucas Hedges) and single mother Dabney (Katherine Waterston). He finds an escape from his life in the form of four friends who skateboard, drink and do drugs, and slowly comes to realize his life isn’t as bad as he thought it was. With powerful visuals and an emotionally compelling storyline, “Mid90s” highlights the turbulence many of us feel as we enter our teenage years.