What to Watch

What to Watch This Week: Ahsoka, Gran Turismo, and More

This week's recommendations also include a Certified Fresh teen comedy, one of the best TV series of all time, and a trailblazing superhero film.

by | August 24, 2023 | Comments


Joining the premiere of another new and highly anticipated Star Wars series is a movie inspired by a true story about a video game, a raunchy new teen comedy with with some rising stars, an RT25 fan pick that changed the way we look at high school chemistry teachers forever, and one of the most influential comic book movies from the year Rotten Tomatoes began.

86% Star Wars: Ahsoka: Season 1 (2023)

Pew-pewing its way onto Disney + is the new Star Wars series Ahsoka.

If you’re looking for a reason to dive into yet another series from that galaxy far, far away, it might be the show’s iconic origins. Ahsoka technically serves as a continuation of the popular animated series Star Wars Rebels, which is very Fresh on the Tomatometer and the series where Ahsoka Tano became a legendary Star Wars character.

Another reason to watch is that it’s also a spin-off series of the uber-successful Mandalorian, taking place in the same universe and timeframe after the events of Return of the Jedi. It was also developed by the same two studs — Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni — who are behind this whole Star Wars, err, empire on Disney+.

And speaking of The Mandalorian, that’s where we first met this live-action version of Ahsoka Tano, played by Rosario Dawson. And if you’re a fan of the aforementioned animated series, it’s also worth noting that Lars Mikkelsen is reprising his role from Rebels as Grand Admiral Thrawn, aka the big baddie. We’re also gonna get Hayden Christensen back as Anakin Skywalker from Obi-Wan Kenobi and the prequel trilogy and Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma from Andor and previous films.

Where to Watch: Disney+

65% Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story (2023)

Taking a sharp left turn into theaters is Gran Turismo. This film is, of course, based on the popular video game series first released in 1997 for Sony Playstation. The series is now eight games deep, spanning five different Playstation consoles, and has become their highest-selling franchise of all time, with 90 million units sold and counting.

Not only that, but the film is also inspired by a real person, namely Jann Mardenborough, whose Gran Turismo skills as a teenager ultimately earned him a job as a real-life racer with Nissan. Finally, along with Archie Madekwe, who stars as Mardenborough, the film’s strong cast also includes David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Geri Halliwell (yes, Ginger Spice!), and Djimon Hounsou.

Where to Watch: In theaters

90% Bottoms (2023)

Also looking to take the top spot in theaters is the teen sex comedy Bottoms. This one centers on two high school senior girls who set up a fight club as a way to hook up with cheerleaders.

The film stars Ayo Edebiri, one of the breakout stars of the award-winning Hulu series The Bear, alongside Rachel Sennott, who also co-wrote it with director Emma Seligman. In other words, you’ve got a lot of great young talent here. Throw in Elizabeth Banks as a producer and former NFL star Marshawn Lynch in a scene-stealing supporting role, and this has all the right ingredients to become an cult favorite.

Doubt if you must, but Bottoms is already Certified Fresh at 98% on the Tomatomter with over 60 reviews and counting, with a Critics Consensus that calls it “an instant high school classic that feels both current and nostalgic.”

Where to Watch: In theaters

96% Breaking Bad

As part of our year-long celebration of 25 years of Rotten Tomatoes, our Fan Vote Pick for the best series of the last quarter century is Breaking Bad.

This show, which also won the RT25 critics poll, made its case as one of the best dramas of all time after five straight Certified Fresh seasons and an average Tomatometer score of 96%. Critics just couldn’t get enough of creator Vince Gilligan’s propulsive storytelling and artful style.

Even now, 15 years after it debuted on AMC, its premise — charting the ups, downs, and many surprises in the life of a high school chemistry teacher-turned-meth kingpin — and lead character — Bryan Cranston’s Walter White, aka Heisenberg — are as unforgettable as ever. And don’t you forget it.

Finally, Breaking Bad was so iconic that it spawned a prequel spin-off series, the equally critically acclaimed Better Call Saul, and the Certified Fresh El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, which brings closure to the story of the show’s other big character, Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman. If you’ve never seen the series, now’s a great time to find out why everyone else loves it so much.

Where to Watch: Netflix

59% Blade (1998)

And finally, speaking of RT25, this week marks the 25th anniversary of the Marvel film Blade. The character was created for Marvel Comics in 1973 as a supporting character in the comic The Tomb of Dracula. Fast forward to the late ’90s and Wesley Snipes signed on to this movie project after he was unsuccessful in getting a Black Panther film into production. Gotta love a good backstory.

The film was a proven success, as it went on to gross over $131 million worldwide on a budget of $45 million and spawned two sequels. As a result, Blade has been credited with setting the stage for further comic book film adaptations and kickstarting Marvel’s long run of film successes.

If you still weren’t convinced to give this a shot, how about the fact that it was written by David S. Goyer, whose other credits include Dark City, The Dark Knight trilogy, and Man of Steel?  The film also boasts a strong Audience Score despite just barely being Rotten on the Tomatometer, and what better time is there to get reacquainted with the character, since a new version starring Mahershala Ali is on the way from Marvel in 2025?

Where to Watch: Prime Video, Vudu, Apple TV+

Hopefully our recommendations helped you fill up your entertainment calendar this weekend. Be sure to let us know in the comments what you watched, whether it was on this list or not!

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