April 2016 Primer: The Sports, Movies, Streaming Options & More Headed Your Way This Month

Above (Clockwise): Melissa McCarthy in The Boss, Don Cheadle in Miles Ahead, Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron in The Huntsman: Winter’s War and Neel Sethi in The Jungle Book
Above (Clockwise): Melissa McCarthy in The Boss, Don Cheadle in Miles Ahead, Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron in The Huntsman: Winter’s War and Neel Sethi in The Jungle Book

A third of the year is behind us and spring has sprung in many parts of this country.

Having lived in St. John’s, I also know that means nothing because it could snow six weeks from now, but still – it feels like we’ve escaped the winter blahs and are headed towards sunshine and awesomeness and the month ahead in entertainment options feels like a nice set-up to what is still to come.

Here’s a look at what makes the month of April something fun.

Netflix Arrivals (Various Dates)

Let’s start on the streaming platform because we all spend a piece of our month chilling (or Netflix and Chill’ing), binging shows or checking out cool stuff. This month, being added to those options are another season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Captain America: Winter Soldier and The Princess Bride, as well as the documentary Team Foxcatcher.

NCAA Men’s & Women’s Final Fours (April 2-5)

Both the men’s and the women’s college basketball seasons will wrap up in the next handful of days, with the UConn Huskies chasing a fourth straight victory on the women’s side and Villanova, Oklahoma, Syracuse and North Carolina jostling to cut down the nets and call themselves champs on the men’s side of things.

Take Me Out to The Ball Game (Beginning April 3)

The Major League Baseball season kicks off on Sunday and for the first time in a long time, Toronto Blue Jays fans have a legitimate reason to be invested from Day One. After winning the American League East last season, the Jays are World Series contenders as things jump off and should be in the thick of the chase all year long.

Speaking of Baseball (Various Dates)

If you came up in the Nintendo days as I did, chances are you played a little RBI Baseball. Now, in 2016, you can do that again as the classic game returns to current platforms as a secondary option to MLB The Show ’16. Also available this month is Star Wars Battlefront: Outer Rim and Dark Souls 3.

The Masters (April 7-10)

Even if you’re not a golf fan, The Masters is something special and this year’s tournament should be terrific. We’re done pining over Tiger Woods as guys like Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy have risen to the top as must-watch competitors and friendly rivals.

The Next Melissa McCarthy Movie (April 8)

In general, I like Melissa McCarthy – she was great on Gilmore Girls, hilarious in Bridesmaids and outstanding in The Heat – but I’m starting to worry that she’s just playing over-the-top characters too much. This month, her latest, The Boss, has her bringing an old Groundlings character to the big screen and it looks mediocre at best.

The Quest for Lord Stanley’s Mug (April 13)

The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin on April 13, but they’re going to be a little different this year as for the first time since 1970 and only the second time in NHL history, there are no Canadian teams in the playoffs. How that is going to work for Sportsnet will be interesting to watch.

On Book Shelves (Various Dates)

April is a light month in terms of fresh reading material, with just two major serialists – Nora Roberts and David Baldacci – dropping new offerings, while actress-turned-chef-slash-life guru Gwyneth Paltrow drops a new cookbook entitled It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook.

In Theatres (Various Dates)

The most appealing movie of the month lands in limited release today, April 1, as Miles Ahead, the Miles Davis biopic from written, directed and starring Don Cheadle drops. Other options include another trip to the Barbershop, Jean-Marc Vallee’s Demolition, a part-live, part-CGI adaptation of The Jungle Book and The Huntsman: Winter’s War, a prequel to Snow White & The Huntsman.

UFC 197 (April 23)

Last, but not least, this month’s UFC pay-per-view offering is must-see and not just because there are two title fights and a terrific main card. Nope, the ante got upped this week when headliner and former champ Jon Jones spent two nights in the clink for violating his probabtion in advance of his grudge match with Daniel Cormier. It should be a crazy build to the fight and the action inside the cage come fight night will be electric.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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