Steamy Streaming: April

The Handmaid's Tale, Seven, 8MM, and more

BY: Zak Wojnar

Every month, the major streaming services add a slew of programming to their arsenal, from original content to timeless classics. April 2018 is no different. Read on to learn Provokr’s picks for the best new content on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

Hulu’s signature series, the Emmy-winning The Handmaid’s Tale, is returning for its second season on April 25, going further beyond the limits of Margaret Atwood original novel than ever before. Like last season, new episodes will be released weekly, rather than all at once, making for a more traditional television experience than most streaming programming. The first season of the show took home a whopping eight Emmy awards; season two is surely hoping for a similar performance come awards season.

The Thomas Crown Affair (Hulu)

The original 1968 film is a classic in its own right, but the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair is one of the sexiest movies ever made. Pierce Brosnan is at his most charismatic, right at the height of his tenure as James Bond, and golden sex goddess Rene Russo has never been hotter. The main plot revolves around Brosnan’s plan to rob a major art gallery for kicks, but that’s really just an excuse for the steamy scenes between him and Russo. To call their chemistry electric would be an understatement; it’s pure fire.

8mm (Hulu)

This 1999 gem is often overlooked due to the talent involved. This was the first film directed by Joel Schumacher after the disastrous Batman & Robin, which is universally regarded as one of the worst movies ever made. It was also a starring vehicle for Nicholas Cage, who is, fairly or unfairly, something of a laughing stock in Hollywood today. Nobody knows why Cage seems content to take on literally any role offered to him with no regards to quality or his own integrity as an actor, but it’s easy to forget that he was once an A-list movie star, one of the biggest in the world. His talent (and that of the director) shines in the underrated 8mm, a crime thriller about a private detective investigating the world of pornographic snuff films. It’s a disturbing, provocative, and well-made movie, and it’s worth a watch if you missed it the first time around.

Troy (Amazon Prime)

One of the most notable in the slew of “historical epic movies” that came about after the success of 1997’s Titanic and 2000’s Gladiator, Troy is a retelling of the classic myth of Achilles, Hector, Paris, and Helen of Troy, but with the mythological elements stripped out. Instead of literally invulnerable, Achilles is merely an extremely competent warrior… Or perhaps he simply distracts his enemies with his beautiful blonde locks, courtesy of hunky dreamboat Brad Pitt. Diane Kruger, Garret Hedlund, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Rose Byrne, and Saffron Burrows all co-star, and they’re all beautiful. Seriously, Troy might have the most beautiful cast ever assembled… Too bad a lot of them get stabbed to death. It is an R-rated war epic, after all.

Bosch (Amazon)

Amazon Prime may not have quite as many slam-dunk hits as Netflix or Hulu, but one of their most beloved shows is Bosch, starring Titus Welliver as the title character. Based on the novels by Michael Connelly, Bosch follows the exploits of the character as he investigates crimes and kicks some ass. It sounds like any other cop show, but the character is so cool and intimately defined, and Welliver is so perfectly cast in the role, that the show feels like a modern take on 1970s cop dramas like Dirty Harry and Serpico. Even going into its fourth season, the show is still as hot and fresh as ever.

Sin City (Netflix)

Robert Rodriguez refused to accept sole director’s credit for Sin City, and even dropped out of the Director’s Guild of America so that Frank Miller could receive co-credit. The film is based on the graphic novels by Miller, which Rodriguez essentially used as storyboards for his movie. The result is a visually incredible film noir masterpiece with cynical cops, over-the-top villains, buxom femme fatales aplenty, and Mickey Rourke in a game-changing role which single-handedly revived his career after years of obscurity. The real hook, though, is the relationship between Bruce Willis, as a textbook 1940s washed-up detective, and Jessica Alba as the quintessential stripper-with-a-heart-of-gold. They don’t come more hard-boiled than Sin City.

Desparately Seeking Susan (Amazon Prime)

When it comes to provocative sex symbols, nobody can hold a candle to Madonna. A sensual icon like her only comes around once in a lifetime, and this is her time. At 59 years old, Madge is still putting out new music and just signed on to direct Taking Flight, a biopic about ballerina Michaela DePrince. For a reminder on why Madonna is the best in the biz, check out Desperately Seeking Susan. Beneath the 1980s hair and clothes lies a timeless romantic comedy with a charismatic turn from the Queen of Pop.

Also, it needs to be said, Madonna still has the best thighs in show business.

Taxi Driver (Hulu)

It’s not sexy, but it’s sure-as-shit provocative. Taxi Driver is one of the greatest films ever made. Martin Scorsese‘s odyssey through 1970s New York City, the dark and twisted ruins of the American Dream, remains as relevant today as it did back in 1976. Robert De Niro‘s greatest role to date is Travis Bickle, a shy loner with crippling insomnia, probable mental imbalances, and a dangerously masculine power fantasy. To this day, film historians continue to discuss the implications of its themes and controversial ending. Simply put, Taxi Driver is one of the greats.

Lost in Space (Netflix)

The original Lost in Space was a schlocky 1960s children’s alternative to the more mature Star Trek, but the core concept, of a family stranded on the far side of the universe, slowly making their way back while searching for a new home for humanity, is ripe for a new take. Netflix’s series stars Molly Parker and Toby Stephens as the Robinson parents, who lead their family on an exciting space adventure. The tone is aiming to be less campy than the original series, but still more-or-less family friendly, even with the inclusion of the deliciously villainous Dr. Smith, played by the beautiful and talented Parker Posey.

Seven (Netflix)

We don’t want to joke about it, but when it comes to Kevin Spacey, we should have seen the signs. The man is at his best when he’s playing a total creep. Think about his filmography: The Usual Suspects, Superman Returns, American Beauty, and even his infamously-deleted role in All the Money in the World – he plays bad, bad people in all of them! Still, none compare to his breakthrough performance in Seven, the David Fincher thriller about a psycho serial killer mercilessly terrorizing the city while cops Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are always ten steps behind, dogged in their pursuit, but powerless to stop his reign of terror…

In Beyond the Sea, Kevin Spacey plays Bobby Darin, one of the greatest pop singers of all time, and a man generally regarded as a sweetheart to everyone who knew him… And the movie just didn’t work. Spacey can only play creeps, because he is a creep.