April 2023’s Best Streaming Titles: The Big Lebowski, Coraline, Doctor Who, Psycho
The Dude, Neil Gaiman-inspired stop-motion, our favorite Time Lord, Norman Bates, and more.
As Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, et al. add more content, it can be difficult to know what to look for amidst all of the new titles. I’ve compiled a list of particularly noteworthy and interesting movies and TV shows to add to your streaming queues in the coming month.
Amazon Prime Video
The Big Lebowski (Apr 1)
Make yourself a White Russian and get ready to spend some time with the Dude… I’ll admit, the first time I watched The Big Lebowski, I kind of hated it. It seemed so directionless and pointless. But then I realized that it’s more about the characters and their interactions then any standard plot (though one does exist). The movie boasts a number of classic scenes, from the discussion about the importance of rugs to a discussion about nihilism. Oh, and the trippiest bowling dream sequence in cinema history.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Apr 1)
Ang Lee’s martial arts epic was a huge success when it appeared in 2000, winning numerous awards (including four Oscars) and becoming the most successful foreign film in American box office history. With its dramatic storyline, sweeping cinematography, evocative score, and graceful combat, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon proved that martial arts films could be more than cheesy action comedies, and ushered in a wave of artsy martial arts films including Hero, House of Flying Daggers, and The Promise.
Fearless (Apr 1)
When Fearless was released, it was touted as Jet Li’s final wushu (i.e., traditional martial arts) film. A loose re-telling of the life of Huo Yuanjia, a real-life martial arts master who helped defend China’s national honor in the early 20th century, Fearless easily ranks as one of Li’s best films (read my review). While it boasts some impressive combat sequences (choreographed by the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping), the film’s ultimate message of piece and forgiveness makes it more than just another martial arts epic.
Ong Bak (Apr 1)
Ong Bak thrilled and delighted martial arts fans when it was released back in 2003. Starring Tony Jaa as a young man from the country who travels to the big city of Bangkok in search of his village’s sacred Buddha statue, Ong Bak is filled with mind-blowing action scenes. Jaa dispatches the bad guys with a flurry of feet, fists, knees, and elbows — sometimes even while on fire — and his acrobatic stunts recall classic Jackie Chan (read my review).
Citadel, Season One (Apr 28)
Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jonas star in this Amazon Prime original about a pair of spies whose memories were wiped after a mission went horribly wrong. But when they’re contacted by an old comrade, their memories start to return and they find themselves caught between two rival spy agencies with the fate of the world in the balance. Citadel is an ambitious undertaking for Amazon, with multiple spin-off titles planned for different regions of the world, and all of them tying back together to form one mega-franchise.