Showbiz / Get Reel Digital: April Must-Watch List

Get Reel Digital: April Must-Watch List

Showbiz Mar 25, 2015


April’s Top DVDs Include A Bone-Chilling Australian Horror Flick, A Psychedelic Detective Yarn And Two Unparalleled American Epics!

A Most Violent Year (April 7, Universal Home Video) 


Image Courtesy of Universal/trbimg.com 

 
Director J.C. Chandor’s (Margin Call, All Is Lost) third directorial effort was pegged by many as a lock for some Oscar recognition. Alas, the film was overshadowed by other projects by the time Academy voting rolled around. But that doesn’t make his work any less an instant classic. A Most Violent Year is the gritty tale of upstanding immigrant Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac), who struggles to keep his New York business afloat amid constant harassment from the mafia during the year of 1981, which was, statistically, among the city’s bloodiest times.
 
In particular, many feel that Jessica Chastain was unjustly denied a Best Actress nod for her electric turn as Abel's ruthless wife, Anna.
 

Big Eyes (April 14, Alliance Films) 


Image Courtesy of Alliance/theexportedfilm.files.wordpress.com 

 
Tim Burton reunites with his Ed Wood writers for another loopy period piece, this one based on the true story of Margaret Keane (Amy Adams), who crafted a wildly popular series of wide-eyed portraits in the 1950s … which would be great, were it not for the fact that all of the money and acclaim went to her charismatic husband, Walter (Christoph Waltz), who tricked the world into believing all the paintings were his.
 
The fraud wasn’t revealed until the ’80s, when Margaret sued Walter and, to prove her talent, produced an original “Big Eye” portrait in just 40 minutes before an equally wide-eyed jury — while Walter declined to take up the challenge.
 

The Immigrant (April 14, Alliance Films) 


Image Courtesy of Alliance/theoscarbuzz.blogspot.com 

 

Director James Gray delivers what may be the definitive dramatization of the double-edged sword that is the American Dream. We open on Ellis Island in 1921, where Polish immigrant Ewa (Marion Cotillard) arrives with her sister Magda, eager for a fresh start. Unfortunately, things turn rotten quickly, as Magda is quarantined and Ewa left to fend for herself on the streets.
 
Falling in with a shady local theatre troupe owner named Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix), Ewa is forced into prostitution by her two-faced benefactor before meeting a charming magician (Jeremy Renner) who may be her ticket to a better life — or just another cruel illusion.
 

The Babadook (April 14, Seville Pictures) 


Image Courtesy of Seville/thedissolve.com 

One of the sleeper hits of 2014, this nuanced shocker from Australia tells the tale of widowed single mother Amelia (Essie Davis), who is struggling mightily to contain her rambunctious young son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), while also dealing with the lingering pain of her husband’s death. Then, one day, a mysterious children’s book arrives on her doorstep detailing the nefarious exploits of a nightmare creature known as Mr. Babadook.
 
Samuel is instantly fascinated, and as the mysterious happenings pile up, Amelia can’t help but admit that someone (or something) is preying upon her fractured family.

 

Inherent Vice (April 28, Warner Home Video) 


Image Courtesy of Warner/huffingtonpost.com 

American auteur Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood) adapts the titular Thomas Pynchon novel into a singularly quirky crime caper that dredges the lowest depths of late-’60s Los Angeles.
 
With a twisted, morally murky plot and colourful gumshoe language that would be more at home in a ’50s hardboiled detective novel, Anderson trains his camera on a perpetually shoeless hippie P.I. (Joaquin Phoenix) looking into the abduction of his ex-girlfriend’s (Katherine Waterston) new sugar daddy. In the process, he stumbles upon a much larger conspiracy involving a junkie-in-hiding (Owen Wilson), a debauched dentist (Martin Short) and a cop named Bigfoot (Josh Brolin) who dreams of being a movie star.
 
It’s a singularly stylish, albeit largely incoherent, romp.

Main Image Courtesy of Alliance/theexportedfilm.files.wordpress.com

Matthew Currie

Matthew Currie

Author

A long-standing entertainment journalist, Currie is a graduate of the Professional Writing program at Toronto’s York University. He has spent the past number of years working as a freelancer for ANOKHI and for diverse publications such as Sharp, TV Week, CAA’s Westworld and BC Business. Currie ...

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