Welcome to the voluptuous new world of VOD, folks — a world where hot new titles once slated for a theatrical release come straight to your semi-quarantined homes and every movie once scheduled for the summer is suddenly on your doorstep or in hibernation.
Is it ideal? No. Cinephiles everywhere are mourning the loss of the theater experience. But we movie lovers also find ourselves in an unprecedented, perpetual movie marathon situation, so it’s not all bad. Theaters will be back eventually, and in the meantime, while we’re busy not going outside, we can hunker down with some fresh fare and long-awaited post-theatrical arrivals.
April is a pretty terrific month for VOD releases. There’s plenty of junk to go around, as usual, but it’s a unique month. It’s our first full month of a primarily locked down, COVID-19-aware United States. As a result, distributors are experimenting with VOD tactics and expediting releases, which means there’s a lot to chew on. Below, you’ll find a table with all the releases, but first, a few highlights.
Celebrated Film Festival Titles
Calling on the ghosts of such festivals as Toronto, Venice, Berlin, Telluride, and the past two Sundances, April offers a stately crew of indie darlings. They include a stark, heartbreaking tale of an underage teen getting an abortion: Eliza Hittman’s Never Rarely Sometimes Always (April 3rd), which collected awards at Sundance and Berlin before a very brief limited theatrical release last month.
There’s also Malgorzata Szumowska’s stunningly gorgeous horror picture The Other Lamb (April 3rd), which premiered at Toronto last fall. Also from Toronto, we now get meaty men smacking bodies in period piece candlelight in the form of Justin Kurzel’s as yet unreleased True History of the Kelly Gang (April 24th).
Other standouts include the Sundance premiere To the Stars (April 24th) and Kitty Green’s Harvey Weinstein-inspired drama The Assistant (April 28), which had a brief but celebrated limited release at the end of January following its debut at Telluride last fall.
April is a promising month for new documentaries, too, many of which could spill over into the festival fare slot above. There’s Slay the Dragon (April 3rd), which covers the mundane yet catastrophic political process of gerrymandering. And don’t sleep on the basketball film A Kid From Coney Island (April 7th) or Roberto Minervini’s What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? (April 7th), two docs that for one reason or another offer the serious potential for an engrossing at-home screening.
Two theatrical releases, in particular, will be landing on VOD in April that were well-received for their no holds barred badassery. Underwater (April 14th) sees the likes of Kristen Stewart and Vincent Cassel gearing up in aquatic super suits — absurdly large, and bulky enough to qualify for intentionally ironic praise — to plunge into the deep unknown of the ocean where horrifying creatures dwell. And Bad Boys For Life (April 21st) is…well, have you seen the other two Bad Boys movies? Also, I need to mention True History of the Kelly Gang again because it overwhelmingly exceeds the badassery inclusion requirements.
Need I say more? (No, but really, it’s better than you think. And out on April 14th)
Without further ado, the list:
|April 1||Impractical Jokers: The Movie||Comedy|
|April 3||Almost Love||Rom-com|
|April 3||Brahms: The Boy II||Horror|
|April 3||Lazy Susan||Comedy|
|April 3||Never Rarely Sometimes Always||Drama|
|April 3||Rogue Warfare: The Hunt||Action|
|April 3||Slay the Dragon||Documentary|
|April 3||The Other Lamb||Horror|
|April 7||Dead by Dawn||Horror|
|April 10||Sea Fever||Thriller|
|April 10||Stray Dolls||Crime|
|April 10||The Lost Husband||Romance|
|April 10||Trolls World Tour||Animation|
|April 12||Mortal Combat Legends: Scorpion’s revenge||Animation|
|April 14||Butt Boy||Sci-fi|
|April 14||Green Rush||Thriller|
|April 14||Just Mercy||Drama|
|April 14||The Rhythm Section||Thriller|
|April 17||Bad Therapy||Comedy|
|April 17||Behind You||Horror|
|April 17||The Quarry||Thriller|
|April 21||Bad Boys for Life||Action|
|April 21||IP Man 4: The Finale||Action|
|April 21||Like A Boss||Comedy|
|April 21||The Last Full Measure||War|
|April 21||The Turning||Horror|
|April 21||Why Don’t You Just Die!||Comedy|
|April 24||To the Stars||Drama|
|April 24||True History of the Kelly Gang||Drama|
|April 28||Guns Akimbo||Action|
|April 28||The Assistant||Drama|