What to Watch

What to Watch This Week: Blue Beetle, Strays, and More

This week's other recommendations include an animated film on Netflix, a popular animated comedy on Hulu, and a classic blockbuster celebrating its 15th anniversary.

by | August 18, 2023 | Comments


Are you bugging out or feeling blue? Don’t worry, we’ve got five picks that will turn your week around. Along with the latest DC hero to get his own movie, we’re bringing you an RT25 fan favorite about a different DC character — think bats instead of beetles — plus a full slate of animated options that includes a movie based on a 16th century novel, an R-rated comedy with doggone good cast, and the return of a popular Hulu show.

78% Blue Beetle (2023)

Landing in theaters is the DC superhero film Blue Beetle. This character dates back to comic book pages from 1939 and derives his powers from a scarab that gives him the ability to produce a super-strong exoskeleton around his form and create various tools and weapons based on whatever he can imagine. That classic coolness is reason No. 1 to give this a try.

Another big reason is that it marks the first solo live-action film for a Latino superhero. On top of that director Ángel Manuel Soto said that building an authentic Mexican American family around the main star with a variety of accents and experiences – similar to the comics – was a big part of making this film.

As far as a third reason to check this one out, take your pick: How about the fact that Susan Sarandon is playing a villain? Or that the Blue Beetle aka Jaime Reyes is played by Xolo Maridueña of Cobra Kai fame in his first lead film role. Then, of course, there’s the fact that Blue Beetle is Certified Fresh at 81% on the Tomatometer, so the critics are feeling it, too.

Where to Watch: In theaters

94% The Dark Knight (2008)

Another great option for this week is a brand new flick called The Dark Knight — no, wait, that’s actually one of the best movies of the past quarter century, at least according to our audience.

We asked fans to vote for their favorite movies from the last 25 years and, to no one’s surprise really, The Dark Knight came out on top, maintaining a 94% Audience Score (to match its Certified Fresh 94% on the Tomatometer) with over 500,000 audience ratings since it was released in 2008. And if you know anything about people — and movie fans especially — that’s an impressive feat.

On top of that fan love, the critics have been feeling this one for quite a while too. In fact, we surveyed a bunch of individually approved Tomatometer critics about their favorite movies from the past 25 years, and The Dark Knight made it to No. 4 after we tallied everything up.

Lastly, we should remember that The Dark Knight garnered some serious accolades, in part because of the magnetic performance of the late Heath Ledger. He posthumously won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, as part of two wins and a total of eight nominations, to go along with over $1 billion earned at the box office.

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

59% The Monkey King (2023)

Hitting Netflix this week is the computer-animated flick The Monkey King. This fantasy comedy was inspired by the epic Ming Dynasty novel, Journey to the West, which was published in the 16th century and is one of the most popular literary works in East Asia. That’s the first reason to give this one a try.

Plus, the title character is voiced by Jimmy O. Yang, who you no doubt loved on Silicon Valley, and he takes on the Dragon King voiced by Bowen Yang, who you love on SNL. That’s reason number 2 and 2.1 to enjoy The Monkey King.

The final reason is that director Anthony Stacchi has a pretty impressive background. He was a longtime effects animator at Industrial Light and Magic, working on films like Back to Future 2 and 3, Hook, The Rocketeer, and James and the Giant Peach. But really, we had you at Back to the Future, didn’t we?

Where to Watch: Netflix

53% Strays (2023)

Wandering into theaters is another animal offering in Strays. This R-rated comedy is stacked with a super impressive voice cast that includes Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Will Forte, Isla Fisher, Randall Park, and Sofia Vergara, just to name a few.

The film follows an abandoned dog who ends up joining with other strays as they help him get revenge on his former owner, which sounds like a cross between Homeward Bound and some sort of reverse John Wick. Frankly, that sounds like a blast.

Plus, Strays was produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the writer-director-producer duo who previously brought us such gems as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The LEGO Movie, and both 21 and 22 Jump Street.

Where to Watch: In theaters

100% Solar Opposites: Season 4 (2023)

And flying in from out of this world on Hulu for a fourth season is Solar Opposites.

Look no further than the Tomatometer for the first reason to tune in to this series, where the previous three seasons are all Fresh, including two of them at 100%. The critics have called it “Charming, hilarious and surprisingly sincere,” and they’re not wrong.

Another reason to check it out is that both creators have worked on other great projects previously, like Rick and Morty and Star Trek: Lower Decks — both great shows.

And lastly, don’t forget about the wonderful voice cast who are returning for season four, which includes Thomas Middleditch, Christina Hendricks, Alfred Molina, Sterling K. Brown, and Kieran Culkin.

Where to Watch: Hulu

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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