HBO Max has quickly made a name for itself as a major game streaming player. Thanks in part to the controversial partnership with Warner Bros., the service has seen multiple exclusive 30-day release windows for some of 2021’s biggest movies. Additionally, HBO has a massive rotating library of classic movies thanks to a partnership with Turner. Classic Movies.
No other streaming service offers a full range of entertainment, TV, and movies for every taste. April sees HBO adding a bunch of original content to its site/app, bringing back a load of critically acclaimed series and a few classics for good measure.
8 Tokyo Vice – Series (Available Now)
Based on the non-fiction novel of the same name by Jake Adelstein, HBO Max’s Deputy Tokyo is a tale about an American’s descent into the world of the Japanese Yakuza. Ansel Elgort plays Adelstein, a young reporter who joins the team of a Japanese newspaper. As the first foreign staff member, he’s shown the ropes by a veteran vice squad detective, played by the ever-good Ken Watanabe.
Adelstein faces scrutiny and prejudice wherever he goes, and the deeper he goes into the underworld, the more dangerous things become for him. The show is produced by Michael Mann, who also directed the Vice of Tokyo’first episode.
The Flight Attendant – Season 2 Premiere (April 21)
The stewardess is an oddity that defies easy categorization. At first glance, it’s the story of a partying flight attendant named Cassie (played by Kaley Cuoco) who wakes up in Bangkok to find a corpse next to her. Not knowing how the events unfolded to come to this, she undertakes to cover up the crime.
All the while, she suffers from hallucinations, and viewers are treated to flashbacks re-enacting the events. Season 2 picks up after Cassie puts the events of the first season behind her, taking a vow of sobriety and possibly becoming an “asset” for the CIA.
Barry – Season 3 Premiere (April 24)
HBO barry is one of those shows that is so meticulously plotted and well thought out that no stone seems left unturned. Season 1 portrays Barry (Bill Hader, who also created the series) as a jaded hitman who found solace in a small theater troupe. Barry meets a young woman with her own issues and a charismatic acting coach. As Barry juggles his two very different interests, he ends up sparking a gang war.
In season 2, Barry narrowly avoided capture and set off a chain of events that all but confirmed that there was no way a hitman was trying to attempt a normal life. With Barry’s total embrace of darkness, it will be surprising to see where the series can go.
7 We Own This City – Miniseries Premiere (April 25)
It’s always good news when David Simon returns to Baltimore. co-production and co-writing Simon brings We own this town, a six-episode limited series based on the book by Baltimore Sun journalist Justin Fenton, to HBO Max. The show deals with the intricacies of the Baltimore Gun Trail Task Force, a failed attempt that led to countless arrests and very little real change.
As usual, Simon examines the web of corruption and various moral dilemmas that plague those at the heart of law enforcement. Novelist George Pelecanos, who also doubles as producer and writer, is on board.
6 The Survivor – Movie (April 27)
Barry Levinson directs The survivor, a Holocaust drama that seems like a stunning and transformative turning point for the usually brilliant Ben Foster. Foster plays Harry Haft, an Auschwitz survivor who, beyond the horrific ordeal of internment, was also forced into life-and-death combat at the behest of Nazi officers.
Later, after the war, Taft sought to make a name for himself as a promising boxer, challenging Rocky Marciano to a fight. Vicky Krieps stars as the woman from Taft’s past who he will stop at nothing to be reunited with. Peter Sarsgaard, Danny DeVito and John Leguizamo complete the superb cast.
5 Made For Love – Season 2 Premiere (April 28)
made for love is an extremely dark and extremely funny little gem from HBO that deserves to be seen. Based on the novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting, the series retains the author’s twisted sense of humor and social acumen. In short, a woman is equipped with a tracking device that lets her tech billionaire ex know where she is.
The series follows Cristin Milioti’s Hazel as she navigates a bizarre not-quite-unknown world in search of herself and perhaps love. The sharp satirical lens of the series is well complemented by genuine pathos. Who would have imagined that a father’s relationship with a sex doll could be exploited for true pathos?
4 The Baby – Miniseries Premiere (April 24)
Not everyone is a baby. Not everyone is cut out to be a parent, and not everyone even wants or imagines this kind of life for themselves. Such is the central conceit of HBO Max’s new horror-comedy, The baby. When a baby literally falls into her arms, Natasha, 38, finds herself stuck with the child.
The principle seems quite simple, with all that it implies: trying to regain your independence, learning to take care of something. But something is wrong, and the baby brings with it a lot of problems beyond normal parental woes. It’s almost as if the baby chose Natasha.
3 The Invisible Pilot – Docu-Series (Available Now)
In 1977, Gary Betzner jumped off a bridge to his death. No body was ever found. Of course, truth is stranger than fiction, and Gary’s story is much more than meets the eye. So begins the real story behind HBO’s new 3-part documentary, The Invisible Pilot. It’s a spoiler for too much to say about Gary Betzner’s actions and what he was involved in, but suffice to say there’s an intriguing story behind the man.
The Invisible Pilot asks: What could drive a crop spreader in Arkansas to commit such a shocking act? And the truth behind the legend is far more bizarre and shocking than anyone can imagine.
2 The Raid: Redemption – Movie (available now)
The Raid: Redemption should be higher in the ranking of the best action movies of all time. The 2011 kinetic actor follows a team of police who are sent deep into a project tower to arrest an incredibly powerful drug addict/sumlord. They don’t know they’re being framed, and when the crime boss announces free drugs for anyone who can bring him the heads of the invading officers, all hell breaks loose.
Fortunately, the police have Rama and Jaka on their side, played by Iko Uwais and Joe Taslim respectively. Few films have such well-choreographed action as Loweringand it’s baffling that the film didn’t kill any stuntmen during its production.
1 Tootsie – Movie (available now)
Tootsie is one of the great movies, period. It tells the story of a depressed actor, Michael (played by Dustin Hoffman), who experiences a crisis of faith — not even considered for small roles — and subsequently decides to rebrand as a woman. As Dorothy, Michael can slip into rooms with an unassuming quality that disarms most people around him. Miraculously, no one can see through the trick, and he ends up landing a role on a soap opera.
The film isn’t interested in saying much more complicated things about gender identity, and some of its basic conceit is undoubtedly dated, but Tootsie is a well-written and thoughtful examination of relationships and the pursuit of success.
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