Emily Liu / Daily Nexus

Despite the current chaos of COVID-19, Artsweek’s April Film Calendar is finally here and ready to lift up spirits during this time of social distancing and self-isolation. So, instead of rewatching the same shows like “The Office” or “That ‘70s Show” for the 10th time, here are some diverse and carefully curated film recommendations, all available on the common streaming platforms of Netflix, Hulu and Prime Video. 

 

April 1: “The Florida Project”

Available on: Prime Video

“The Florida Project” follows Moonee, a 6-year-old girl who lives with her mother in a low-scale motel near the famous amusement park, Disney World. However, what makes this film unique is its vibrant color palette and childlike perspective on darker issues like poverty and access to basic necessities, such as food and housing. 

Watch trailer here.

 

April 2: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

Available on: Netflix

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is an ‘80s classic, following Bueller and his crew having a fun day out in Chicago while ditching school. Like many of director and screenwriter John Hughes’s projects, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is the definition of a feel-good movie without feeling cheesy or inauthentic. While Ferris is the carefree guy we all sometimes wish to be, Cameron stands as the polar opposite, reminding us it’s possible to still have fun even if you’re a less-than-optimistic person.

Watch trailer here.

 

April 3: “Hereditary”

Available on: Prime Video

“Hereditary” is almost too difficult to describe in a sentence or two, so I’d recommend just checking it out for yourself. Beware of gore, sadness and decapitation. 

Watch trailer here

 

April 4: “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle”

Available on: Netflix

Whether you like White Castle or not, “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” is a classic in the genre of stoner flicks, as it documents the journey of two best friends traveling to this specific fast food joint to conquer their weed-induced munchies. 

Watch trailer here.

 

April 5: “Bones Brigade: An Autobiography”

Available on: Prime Video

Ever wondered how Tony Hawk got to be so famous? Interested in the aesthetic of ‘70s and ‘80s skateboarding? Well, regardless of your answers to those questions, skater and director Stacy Peralta has crafted together a masterpiece of footage detailing the rise to fame as well as the struggles many skateboarding athletes had faced during the initial creation of the Bones Brigade skating group, comprised of members Tony Hawk, Lance Mountain, Rodney Mullen, Steve Caballero and many more. 

Watch trailer here.

 

April 6: “Pretty in Pink”

Available on: Prime Video

Starring the queen of the ‘80s, Molly Ringwald, “Pretty in Pink” is the story of a shy high school girl falling in love with a preppy rich boy who, of course, has extremely mean and shallow friends who disapprove of their relationship. Filled with an amazing soundtrack, outrageous fashion choices and ‘80s aesthetic, “Pretty in Pink” is a perfect movie choice for almost anybody.

Watch trailer here

 

April 7: “The Disaster Artist”

Available on: Prime Video 

“The Disaster Artist” is based on the making of real-life cult film “The Room” and stars several beloved actors: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Alison Brie, Dave Franco and even Josh Hutcherson, who recently visited the UC Santa Barbara campus in support of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

Watch trailer here

 

April 8: “Her”

Available on: Netflix

Perhaps one of the most visually pleasing films I’ve ever seen, “Her” shows the strained relationship between a man (Joaquin Phoenix) and the artificial intelligence software on his phone called Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), similar to that of iPhone’s “Siri.”

Watch trailer here.

 

April 9: “I, Tonya”

Available on: Hulu

Based on the true events of Tonya Harding’s life as a professional figure skater, Margot Robbie delivers an excellent performance (my favorite performance of hers to date) and shows viewers the inside life of one of the sport’s most infamous athletes.

Watch trailer here.

 

April 10: “Kill Bill Vol. 1”

Available on: Hulu

“Kill Bill Vol. 1” (and “Kill Bill Vol. 2”) has been regarded as one of Quentin Tarantino’s best works, and for good reason. Although the film is a blend of several overused film tropes, Tarantino manages to compile them in such a unique, intense and violent way that it almost feels like he created his own genre altogether with this film.

Watch trailer here

 

April 11: “The Dark Knight”

Available on: “The Dark Knight” has recently been removed from Netflix catalog since the initial time of this article being written. Apologies for any inconvenience.

With all this talk of director Todd Phillips’ portrayal of “Joker,” let’s take a trip down memory lane and remember the talent of Heath Ledger in one of his most iconic roles that’s still fun to marvel at today: “The Dark Knight.”

 

April 12: “Ingrid Goes West”

Available on: Hulu

Starring Aubrey Plaza as Ingrid, “Ingrid Goes West” is a comedic comment on our usage of social media apps like Instagram. As Ingrid becomes obsessed with one particular Instagram influencer, she becomes a full-on stalker and eventually finds herself in this influencer’s close circle … but of course, nothing gold can stay.

Watch trailer here

 

April 13: “Final Destination”

Available on: Netflix

Is “Final Destination” or any other films of this franchise a life-changing piece of cinema? Well, no, but it is fun to watch all the creative ways in which people can die. While that sounds quite dark, “Final Destination” seems to kill its characters in more comical ways as the franchise grows, lending its viewers to a movie-watching experience that is more of an activity than a learning moment or a source of cinematic inspiration.

Watch trailer here

 

April 14: “The Witch”

Available on: Netflix

My only recommendation: Watch this movie with subtitles and don’t give up on it. “The Witch” has somewhat of a slow burn and a cold, gray aesthetic. However, the ending is not at all what I was predicting it to be.

Watch trailer here

 

April 15: “Mid90s”

Available on: Prime Video

Mid90s” is Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, in which Stevie (Sunny Suljic) befriends a group of boys who are older than him and only care about skateboarding. These boys provide Stevie with a sense of belonging despite his abusive home life and encourage him to be more confident in himself.

Watch trailer here

 

April 16: “The Farewell”

Available on: Prime Video

Starring comedian Awkwafina, “The Farewell” documents the tale of a woman inviting her family from China to attend a wedding. However, the real reason she has asked them all to gather is much more tragic.

Watch trailer here

 

April 17: “Scary Movie”

Available on: Netflix

Although one might think “Scary Movie” and its subsequent sequels might be a little outdated and not as funny as we’d like to remember, it still holds up (somewhat) to 2020 standards in terms of comedy. Personally, I was a little afraid to rewatch these movies at my age, given how much I adored them as a kid, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that “Scary Movie” is still a delightful comedy to watch with friends.

Watch trailer here.

 

April 18: “Inglourious Basterds”

Available on: Netflix

Another classic Tarantino film, “Inglourious Basterds” stands apart from other films about World War II, as it effectively rewrites history in a brutal yet glorious (pun intended) ending.

Watch trailer here.

 

April 19: “Honey Boy”

Available on: Prime Video

Starring and based on the real-life events of Shia LaBeouf’s childhood, “Honey Boy” delivers a heartbreaking tale in which a young boy must navigate his abusive relationship with his father.

Watch trailer here

 

April 20: “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery”

Available on: Netflix

Although “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” has been out for quite some time and isn’t weed-themed to go along with this specific date, it’s a piece of comedy gold that is particularly effective if watched during whichever “activities” you do to celebrate 4/20. Mike Myers’s performance of Austin Powers as a parody of classic characters in spy films, like in the “James Bond” franchise, stands the test of time, still bringing laughs despite its initial release in 1997.

Watch trailer here

 

April 21: “Ex Machina”

Available on: Netflix

Overall, “Ex Machina” is a beautiful film to watch, with vibrant scenery, modern architecture and the blend of the robot and human aesthetic in the creation of Ava. “Ex Machina” tests the ethics of artificial intelligence and makes the viewer question their morals when it comes to technological advances such as the production of machines like Ava.

Watch trailer here

 

April 22: “Purple Rain”

Available on: Netflix

For any music-loving people out there, “Purple Rain” is an extremely fun way to get more engaged with the amazing career of Prince. Perhaps acting isn’t his best talent, but as a Prince fan myself, “Purple Rain” encases the classic ‘80s aesthetic and allows Prince’s fanbase to see a different side of him on the big screen.

Watch trailer here.

 

April 23: “The Shawshank Redemption”

Available on: Netflix

If you’re ever hoping to escape out of prison, you need to watch “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Watch trailer here

 

April 24: “Midsommar”

Available on: Prime Video

“Midsommar” is about a cult in which human sacrifices are made every 90 years, in which the subjects to be sacrificed don’t know their purpose for being there until it’s too late. Although “Midsommar” contains some of the most gory and disturbing images I’ve ever seen in film, it also has incredible moments of beautiful imagery, as it takes place in a secluded meadow in Sweden, filled with bright flowers, tall mountains and white, embroidered uniform clothing.

Watch trailer here

 

April 25: “Hot Rod”

Available on: Prime Video, Netflix

Starring comedians Andy Samberg, Bill Hader and Danny McBride, “Hot Rod” follows Rod as he attempts to earn money for his stepfather’s heart surgery by doing ridiculous stunts around town. “Hot Rod” doesn’t sound like much at first glance, but the performance of each actor in this film makes the whole thing work and provides the viewer with another funny, feel-good movie to watch during this stressful time.

Watch trailer here

 

April 26: “Super 8”

Available on: Prime Video, Hulu

“Super 8” is essentially “Stranger Things” before “Stranger Things” was “Stranger Things.” As a group of kids are trying to make their own movie about zombies, they unexpectedly become witnesses to a violent train crash, and from there, all hell breaks loose.

Watch trailer here.

 

April 27: “Step Brothers”

Available on: Netflix

“DID WE JUST BECOME BEST FRIENDS?!” “YUP!”

Watch trailer here

 

April 28: “Heathers”

Available on: Hulu, Prime Video

Starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, “Heathers” is a more twisted take of the classic ‘80s rom-com, in which two high school lovers quickly turn into murderers.

Watch trailer here.

 

April 29: “The Warriors”

Available on: Prime Video

“The Warriors,” another cult classic, follows a fictitious gang in New York City trying to navigate the city on their way home after being framed for killing an esteemed member of the gangster community. This 1979 flick is entirely unrealistic with its theatrics and costumes. However, it’s entirely unique, action-packed and manages to creatively show the landscape of New York and all its different subsections in a not-so-stereotypical way.

Watch trailer here.

 

April 30: “Marriage Story”

Available on: Netflix

Ah yes, “Marriage Story,” where all the Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson fighting memes stemmed from. “Marriage Story” is a love story told through the lens of a budding divorce, inviting many people like myself to relive their childhood of hearing constant arguments between their parents.

Watch trailer here.

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