Monday, April 3, 2017

DVD Outlook: April 2017

April's variety of new DVD and Streaming options isn't as expansive as last month's top-heavy crop, but it does offer 2016's Best Film (March's suggestions). Outside of April's most notable release, there are a few other noteworthy titles that are assured to satisfy your movie-watching cravings. Here's what this month has in store:

La La Land - 4 stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)

Damien Chazelle's magical film La La Land went into the Oscar ceremony as the overwhelming favorite to nab the Best Picture honor. While the evening's gaff won't be forgotten any time soon, Moonlight may have actually won the crown, but Chazelle's original musical is truly the more accomplished piece of filmmaking. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star as a struggling actress and jazz pianist who fall in love in Los Angeles while trying to capture their dreams. La La Land has it all, phenomenal performances, a creative script, a stand-out score and nostalgic choreography. There's a reason everyone raved about La La Land and you should experience this instant classic for yourself later this month. (April 25th)

The Founder - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

David Fincher's 2010 biographical drama, The Social Network, went on to win 3 Oscars and set the blueprint for John Lee Hancock's similarly themed biopic, The Founder. When milkshake machine salesman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) stumbles across a California-based burger joint unlike anything else in the world, he needs to be a part of the action. And after weaseling his way into the McDonald brothers' partnership, Kroc stops at nothing to elevate the brand when his vision differs from the original owners. Business is cutthroat and The Founder tackles that notion with great depth as Michael Keaton delivers another fantastic turn. (April 18th)

Hidden Figures - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

Closing out my top 3 suggestions is Theodore Melfi's sophomore feature, Hidden Figures. This historical drama follows a trio of African American women who overcame great odds and societal prejudices to help NASA put John Glenn into orbit and thrust the United States into the forefront of the race to space. Janelle Monae gives the film's most impressive turn, despite co-star Octavia Spencer's Oscar recognition, as the effort satisfies with its science-centric theme. As a civil rights drama it fails to break any new ground, but Hidden Figures reminds us all just how important math and science are in the real world. (April 11th)

Honorable Mention: Best Picture Nominee Lion (4/11) and Best Foreign Film Nominee Toni Erdmann (4/11) add a bit of clout to April's new releases as well. Box office smash Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (4/4) and M. Night Shyamalan's latest, Split (4/18), also stand as solid films available this month. Seasonal comedy Office Christmas Party (4/4) and indie darling Paterson (4/4) fill out the crop of titles throughout April.

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