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All The Cool Stuff Coming To Hulu In April 2024

Updated: Mar 28, 2024 09:00
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Hulu’s April programming offers nods to “sex, drugs, and rock and roll.”  The sex part comes in movies which have a Catholic high school girl discovering the self-pleasuring capabilities of a cell phone or an American journalist doing sex work while stuck in a hostile country.   The drugs part comes with a reality series about a fabled pot dispensary trying to expand its footprint.  And the rock and roll part can be found in a docuseries about the 40-year history of a famed rock band from Jersey Shore or a documentary about the session musicians who helped give the singer-songwriter era its sound.  

For more star-powered goodies, there’s Greta Gerwig adapting a Louisa May Alcott classic, Gal Gadot putting a certain Amazon princess front and center for the first time, and Ryan Reynolds trying to help an underdog football team.  Finally, anime fans mourning the recent loss of Akira Toriyama might want to check out one last project from him.  

Remember kids, a step outside your comfort zone doesn’t always end with your getting figuratively run over.

The Host

April 1

The Host–Before Bong Joon-ho hit it big in America with “Snowpiercer” and the Oscar-winning “Parasite,” he made this entertaining mix of giant monster movie and anti-American imperialism.  When an American military scientist instructs his South Korean assistant to dump the contents of a bunch of “too dusty” formaldehyde bottles down the sink, thinking about the results of the disposed chemicals mixing with the waters of the Han River isn’t on his mind.  Ten years later, Seoul’s populace finds out what happened with that chemical reaction when a horribly mutated monster suddenly appears.  During a rampage, the monster kidnaps high school student Park Nam-joo.  The rest of the dysfunctional Park clan’s efforts to rescue her clashes with American military authorities’ efforts to scare the Korean populace into submission.  

Runaway Jury–In this film adaptation of the John Grisham legal thriller, Celeste Wood, the widow of one of the victims of a mass shooting at a stock brokerage film, retains attorney Wendell Rohr (Dustin Hoffman).  Wood’s suit against Vicksburg Firearms for gross negligence goes to trial.  The arms manufacturer has hired ruthless jury consultant Rankin Fitch (Gene Hackman) to use background information on the members of the jury pool to pack the jury in Vicksburg’s favor.  But a mysterious woman named Marlee (Rachel Weisz) and a particular key juror named Nick Easter (John Cusack) could very well affect the final trial verdict.

Shazam!–The ancient wizard Shazam has spent centuries searching for someone pure of heart to become a champion on whom he can bestow both his powers and name.  He finally finds him in the form of 14-year-old foster child Billy Batson.  The granting of the wizard’s powers turns Billy into an adult superhero…who still retains a kid’s personality.  But while Billy’s learning how to use his new powers, the evil Thaddeus Sivana has become the avatar of the Seven Deadly Sins, and wants the boy to surrender the wizard’s power to him.  Yes, it’s a superhero origin story, but director David F. Sandberg makes the story feel fresh.

Wonder Woman–Patty Jenkins directed this telling of the Amazon Princess’ origin, which proved so popular more than a few man-babies were publicly crying over its success.  In the Man’s World year of 1918, Princess Diana’s (Gal Gadot) life on the secluded island of Themyscira fatefully changes when allied spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) accidentally arrives.  Trevor brings news of a great war consuming Man’s World.  Diana believes the conflict is the handiwork of the ancient war god Ares, who has finally returned to finish his job of destroying humanity.  The Amazon accompanies Trevor to wartime London in hopes of ultimately stopping Ares with the God-Killer.  She soon becomes enmeshed in efforts to prevent the release of a deadly new mustard gas manufactured on the orders of General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston).  But is Diana right that foiling General Ludendorff’s plans is the key to ending the whole war?  Incidentally, if you’re not thrilled by the film’s No Man’s Land sequence, you might want to re-think your appreciation of action movies.

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X2: X-Men United–Teleporting mutant Nightcrawler’s (Alan Cumming) abortive attack on the President of the United States gives military scientist Colonel William Stryker (Brian Cox) the permission he needs to investigate Professor Xavier’s (Sir Patrick Stewart) school for mutants for their alleged involvement in the attack.  Meanwhile, Wolverine’s (Hugh Jackman) trying to discover more clues about his past while Jean Grey’s (Famke Janssen) finding her telepathic and telekinetic powers are getting harder to control.  When Stryker’s investigation leads to the capture of several mutants including field leader Cyclops and Professor Xavier, the remaining X-Men are forced to join forces with Magneto (Sir Ian McKellan) to stop a sinister plot that threatens the lives of all mutantkind.  Based in part on the classic “X-Men” tale “God Loves, Man Kills.”

April 5


Dinosaur Season 1–In this British comedy series, Nina (Ashley Storrie) is an undiagnosed autistic paleontologist in her 30s.  She loves living with her sister and best friend Evie.  But when Evie impulsively decides to get engaged to a man she’s dated for only six weeks, Nina soon finds that’s not the only big change she has to navigate in her life.  Her paleontology career has opened up with new possibilities.  Nina’s fears of feeling overwhelmed get allayed by the presence of kind-hearted Lee, who gets her to see these changes in a more positive light. 

April 10

Blood Free–This new Korean drama is set in a near future world of genetically engineered food.  When humans are no longer able to consume meat, the BF Group led by CEO Yoon Ja-Yoo offers a solution in the form of artificially cultured meat.  However, protests against the company’s mission and power struggles both internal and external threaten Ja-Yoo’s aims sufficiently that she hires former Army soldier Woo Chae-Woon as her bodyguard.  That’s because “the person who changed the world became everyone’s target.”

Curtain Call–Nakwon Group hotel chain founder Geum-soon has a tragic secret.  During the Korean War, she was separated from her husband and infant son.  Years pass, and she learns her infant son has grown up in North Korea, become a father, and has his own son named Ri Moon-sung.  But the death of Geum-soon’s son results in her losing touch with her grandson.  More years pass, and now Geum-soon has three months left to live thanks to a cancer diagnosis.  She wants to see Moon-sung before she dies.  When Geum-soon’s trusted right-hand man Jeong Sang-cheol tracks down the missing grandson, he discovers the absent relative is now a smuggler and violent criminal operating in China.  Jeong decides to keep this information from his employer.  Instead, he hires struggling actor Yoo Jae-hoon to play Moon-sung for three months.  Meanwhile, Geum-soon’s granddaughter Park Se-yeon fights her elder brother’s plans to sell the Nakwon chain.

Kusama: Infinity–Heather Lenz’ cinematic biography traces the life and art of contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.  Sexism, racism, and the stigma of mental illness prevented Kusama’s work from being internationally recognized until relatively late in her career.  Now, she’s become one of the world’s best-selling artists.

Sand Land: The Series–One of April’s highlights is this final series from the recently deceased Akira Toriyama (“Dragon Ball”).  On a future Earth where humans and demons co-exist, human environmental abuse has left the planet a permanent desert.  The evil King hoards much of the remaining water, which he sells at an insane mark-up.  This royal hoarding has resulted in humans and demons fighting each other for access to whatever few drops of unclaimed water are left.  Demon prince Beelzebub and human sheriff Tao reluctantly join forces along with demon stooge Thief to search for a legendary hidden spring that can quench the thirst of both the human town and the inhabitants of the demon’s lair.  However, accomplishing this task also means fending off the Royal Army, clobbering opportunistic bandits such as the swimmers (ruthless elderly outlaws who wear nothing but swimwear and goggles), and avoiding gargantuan sand dragons.     

Sand Land : The Series

April 11

Immediate Family–Danny Tedesco’s follow-up to “The Wrecking Crew” looks at a quartet of legendary studio musicians whose collaboration from the 1970s onward helped create a number of very well-known hits from the era of the singer-songwriter to beyond.  The members of the group, known as The Immediate Family, recall how their friendships were formed.  Some of the most famous voices in rock history offer their memories of the group as well.

April 13

Alone–This thriller will do for women on solo road trips what “Psycho” did for showers.  Recently widowed Jessica has decided to drive cross-country to escape the memory of her husband’s suicide.  Her desire for solitude leads her to ignore phone calls from her parents.  Along the way, she has repeated encounters with an unnamed and apparently ordinary Average Joe family man.  But when this Average Joe kidnaps Jessica, she soon learns his favorite pastime is abducting, assaulting, and killing lone women.  The good news is Jessica escapes her kidnapper’s cabin prison.  The bad news is her constant sense of being stalked as well as her constant need to watch out for such forest dangers as roaring rivers and exposed roots further strains her already frazzled psyche.  

April 17

See You In Another Life–In 2004, Gabriel Montoya Vidal aka Baby was a 16-year-old teenager.  Along with Emilio Trashorras, their lives would change thanks to a transportation job they undertook.  What they were transporting to Madrid were explosives used in a notorious terrorist attack on March 11, 2004.  Manuel Jabois’ later interview with Baby formed the basis of the book adapted here.

Under The Bridge–In 1997, Vancouver Island, B.C. teen Reena Virk went to join friends at a party.  However, she never returned home.  The subsequent investigation would reveal Virk had been murdered for racially motivated reasons.  What lay in the inner worlds of the murder suspects (seven teenage girls and one boy) that led them to commit this heinous crime?  A local cop (Oscar nominee Lily Gladstone) and writer Rebecca Gordon (Riley Keough) serve as guides to the investigation.

Welcome To Wrexham

April 19

Welcome To Wrexham Season 3–The soccer documentary series that captivated the world is back for a new season.  For those just coming in, the show asks “can two Hollywood stars (Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenny) turn around a storied Wales football club fallen on hard times?”  What can be said about the new series of episodes is that it will follow the events of Wrexham’s 2023-2024 season, where the team gets used to playing in League Two for the first time since 2008.  Whether Wrexham makes the League Two playoffs or not is not known as of this writing.  More impatient viewers can track down online streams of Wrexham’s games as they happen in real time.  But those streams won’t have the off-the-field character bits of team players and their fans that’s part of the series’ appeal.

April 20

High Hopes Season 1–Celebrate 4/20 with the premiere of this marijuana-themed reality show from Jimmy Kimmel’s production company.  MMD is one of Hollywood’s oldest cannabis dispensaries.  Run by Belarus-born brothers Slava and Mishka, the MMD crew “work hard and smoke harder.”  This series follows the MMD gang’s efforts to expand nationwide and release the store’s own top-shelf cannabis brand.  Can everything come together before the store’s biggest day of the year, April 20?

April 22

Hip Hop And The White House–Andscape launches “&360,” a documentary anthology series examining Black culture’s influence on American society.   This documentary film examines the interconnections between hip hop culture and the world’s most powerful position (as of this writing).  From the oppressive sociopolitical conditions created by 1970s and 1980s presidential policies to acknowledging a music genre embraced by American youth, this film shows White House occupants’ attitudes shifting from antagonism to cultivating support.  Narrated by Jeezy, whose single “My President” came out several months before Barack Obama’s election to the White House.  

Hip Hop And The White House

Little Women–Greta Gerwig wrote and directed this adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott post-Civil War classic, which draws from both the titular novel and some of Alcott’s other writings.  It still follows the lives and loves of the four March sisters: Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen).  Their close-knit relationship, their acts of selfishness and generosity…all these come through.  But Gerwig decides to tell the March sisters’ story non-sequentially, jumping back and forth in time between the events recounted in the book and Jo’s efforts to get a man named Dashwood to actually publish what will become “Little Women.”

Secrets Of The Octopus–James Cameron helms this docuseries about the common undersea creature which might be called an alien on Earth.  That’s not a crazy claim if you consider that octopi have three hearts, can squeeze through a space the size of their eyeball, and can change their bodies to mimic the forms of other animals.  Paul Rudd handles offscreen narration chores.

Yes, God, Yes–This sex comedy set in the fall of 2000 takes place at a co-ed Midwestern Catholic high school.  Sexually inexperienced junior Alice’s attempts to understand her burgeoning sexual feelings are not helped by either Father Murphy’s shaming of such feelings or the school rumor that she “tossed the salad” with fellow student Wade.  To return to the path of righteousness, the confused teen decides to join the school’s spiritual retreat.  However, the retreat doesn’t tamp down thoughts of sex from Alice’s mind.  Her burgeoning relationship with hunky retreat leader Chris and her discovery of the masturbation potential of a vibrating cell phone are a couple of the factors which won’t help the teen refocus on regaining spiritual purity.

April 26 

Thank You Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story–This docuseries follows the 40-year-history of Bon Jovi from its Jersey Shore beginnings to the biggest stages on the planet.  It will feature early unreleased demos, original lyrics and even a look at Jon Bon Jovi’s current health problems.  The hope is to create a warts-and-all portrait, which means mentioning such subjects as manager Doc Mcghee’s drug arrest, the headaches over “7800 Degrees Fahrenheit,” and Jon Bon Jovi’s recent throat surgery.

April 27

The Veil

American Woman–In a Pennsylvania town, single mother Debra (Sienna Miller) barely manages to get by with the help of her teenage daughter Bridget.  But when Bridget mysteriously disappears without a trace, Debra struggles to grow as a person while raising Bridget’s son Jesse.  That years-long struggle will include enduring a relationship with a physically abusive boyfriend and getting the skills needed to score a good job.  Providing what support they can to the beleaguered woman are Debra’s loving but disapproving sister Katherine (Christina Hendricks) and her husband Terry.

The New York Times Presents: Broken Horses–Horse racing’s 2023 Triple Crown series had an unexpected entrant: Death.  Why did a dozen horses in supposedly peak physical condition die on and off the Kentucky Derby track?  Why did horses also die on the track during the Preakness and Belmont derbies?  This investigative documentary shows this rash of horse deaths is symptomatic of systemic problems in what used to be called the Sport Of Kings.  These problems include reckless breeding and doping, compromised veterinarians and trainers, and resistance to implementing changes which could decrease horse deaths.

April 28

Stars At Noon–Claire Denis directs this Cannes Grand Prix winning adaptation of Denis Johnson’s novel “The Stars At Noon.”  American journalist Trish Johnson (Margaret Qualley) is stranded in Nicaragua during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Were a sympathetic cabinet minister not providing a refuge, she’d probably be executed for her news stories about extrajudicial killings in Nicaragua.  While Trish tries to find a way out of the country, she engages in sex work with government officials and rich foreigners.  An encounter with supposed British petrochemical consultant Daniel DeHaven (Joe Alwyn) leads to trouble when the latter is targeted by a Costa Rican police officer.  Will Trish be forced to sell out Daniel to reach safety?

April 30

The Veil–Steven Knight (“Peaky Blinders”) scripts this hotly anticipated international thriller mini-series.  Veteran MI6 agent Imogen Salter’s (Elisabeth Moss) new mission involves escorting the supposedly vulnerable and desperate Adilah El Idrissi (Yumna Marwan) on a trip from Istanbul to London.  But this is no ordinary babysitting job.  One of these women has a secret.  The other woman is on a mission to reveal it before thousands of lives are disastrously lost.  But it’s not clear who is who.  What is clear is that Salter can kick butt, which she will repeatedly demonstrate over the course of the story.    

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Peter Wong

Peter Wong

I've been reviewing films for quite a few years now, principally for the online publication Beyond Chron. My search for unique cinematic experiences and genre dips have taken me everywhere from old S.F. Chinatown movie theaters showing first-run Jackie Chan movies to the chilly slopes of Park City. Movies having cat pron instantly ping my radar.