What to Watch

What to Watch This Week: The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Air, and More

This week's recommendations include a highly anticipated video game adaptation, an acclaimed true story, a dark comedy about road rage, and more.

by | April 6, 2023 | Comments


We’re rolling out the green and red shells with plenty of viewing options to knock around this week, and there isn’t a single banana peel in sight. On top of Mario and his kart full of nostalgia overload, we’ve got a few recommendations that couldn’t be any more different — from basketball to road rage to painting — plus a groundbreaking RT25 celebratory pick.

Breaking some bricks on its way into theaters is The Super Mario Bros. Movie. This is the first attempt to adapt the famous video game franchise since the ill-fated first attempt back in 1993, which was a live-action offering that fell flat with critics and audiences alike. This time around, it’s an animated film, and judging from its impressively high Audience Score, fans are eating it up like a red mushroom.

Of course, big-time animated movies mean big-time voice casts nowadays, and this one is no different. Chris Pratt stars as Mario and Charlie Day is Luigi, alongside Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Jack Black as Bowser and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong. And to ensure this beloved franchise was adapted with respect for the source material, Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto served as a producer and leaned on the fine folks at Illumination — the studio behind the Despicable Me films — to handle the movie-making part of it. If it turns out to be a hit, you can be certain it won’t be long before you see all your favorite Nintendo properties on the big screen in one big shared universe.

Where to Watch: In theaters

And now, onto another mega-pop culture staple served up in movie form: Air, which tells the incredible true origin story of the world’s most famous shoe line of all-time, the “Air Jordan.”

Already Certified Fresh, this one has been impressing critics on several fronts, including director Ben Affleck and star Matt Damon, who were last seen together in Ridley Scott’s 2021 film The Last Duel. This is, however, the first time that Affleck has ever directed Damon in a film, and both critics and audiences are on board with it.

And if you’re a little worried about offending the guy behind your coolest pair of shoes, you’ll be glad to know that Michael Jordan himself did meet with Affleck prior to filming and gave him his blessing.

Where to Watch: In theaters

Another title worth a slab of your watch time this week is the new Netflix comedy series, Beef. It stars Ali Wong and Steven Yeun, who play two strangers involved in a road rage incident that slowly consumes their lives.

The series was created by Lee Sung-jin, who was actually just hired to pen Marvel Studios’ Thunderbolts, and it was produced by indie darling studio A24. The good news for them is that Beef is already Certified Fresh with high Tomatometer and Audience Scores.

Where to Watch: Netflix

If you’re looking to go to a special place, why not try a theater screening the Owen Wilson comedy Paint.

First off, to answer the obvious question, no, this is not a biopic about Bob Ross. Rather, this is a comedy whose main character, played by Owen Wilson, was inspired by Ross. Wilson plays Carl Nargle, who owns an awesome van to go along with his amazing perm and is Vermont’s No. 1 public TV painter until someone challenges his throne. Paint was written and directed by Brit McAdams, whose past work on Tosh.0 seemingly makes him a great fit to bring some big laughs in this PG-13 setting.

Where to Watch: In theaters

Promo image for Cowboy Bebop (1998)

(Photo by ©Sunrise)

Lastly, because we’re always looking for a reason to party around here, this final rec comes courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes’ 25th Anniversary: the Japanese anime series Cowboy Bebop. It’s also celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and is considered one of the greatest animated series of all time.

The story, which incorporates flavors of Western, noir, science fiction and more, is set in 2071 and follows a bounty hunting crew aboard a spaceship called the Bebop. Its one and only season is Certified Fresh at 100% on the Tomatometer with an Audience Score at 95%.

Particularly for westerners, it’s considered to be the gateway series into the anime genre as a whole, which is what happened back in 2001 when it became the first anime ever to appear on Cartoon Network’s late night broadcast block called Adult Swim. Now, you can stream all 26 episodes in a variety of places.

Where to Watch: Vudu, Crunchyroll, Funimation

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!

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.