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The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy 3, and every new movie to watch at home this weekend

Wahoo! Mario’s latest cinematic adventure warp-pipes onto Peacock this week

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Mario and the cast of the Mario Bros. Movie in their Mario Kart vehicles as they speed down Rainbow Road. Image: Nintendo, Illumination/Universal Pictures

Happy Friday, Polygon readers!

Each week, we round up the most notable releases new to streaming and VOD, highlighting the biggest and best new movies for you to watch at home. This week he have some highly anticipated releases on Netflix, as well as one of the best superhero films of the year arriving on VOD.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie finally makes its long-awaited streaming premiere on Peacock following its video on demand release back in May, while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the latest (and presumably last) MCU entry from director James Gunn, is now available to stream on Disney Plus. There’s lots more new releases to choose from, especially when it comes to what’s new to rent, including Insidious: The Red Door starring director-actor Patrick Wilson and the Japanese action thriller Bad City.

Here’s the low-down on everything to watch this weekend!

New on Netflix

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

Eiji Akaso as Akira riding a bicycle away from a horde of zombies in Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead. Photo: Masako Iwasaki/Netflix

Genre: Horror comedy
Run time: 2h 9m
Director: Yusuke Ishida
Cast: Eiji Akaso, Mai Shiraishi, Shuntaro Yanagi

This live-action adaptation of the anime of the same name centers on the story of Akira (Eiji Akaso), a disgruntled office worker dispirited by his abusive job. When Tokyo is inexplicably besieged by a zombie apocalypse, Akira takes it as a sign to live his life to the fullest and do everything he’s ever wanted to do on his bucket list.

The River Wild

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

(L-R) Adam Brody, Courtney chen, and Matt Devere in The River Wild. Image: Universal 1440 Entertainment

Genre: Adventure thriller
Run time: 1h 51m
Director: Ben Ketai
Cast: Leighton Meester, Adam Brody, Taran Killam

Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) and Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave) star in this thriller as Joey and Gray, two siblings with a tense relationship who nonetheless agree to embark on a white-water rafting trip. Things take a turn when Gray’s childhood friend (Adam Brody) tags along and begins to act strangely, forcing everyone involved to question their own safety.

Jesus Revolution

Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix

A bearded man (Jonathan Roumie) in a vest with his hands outstretched in Jesus Revolution. Image: Lionsgate

Genre: Christian drama
Run time: 2h 1m
Directors: Jon Erwin, Brent McCorkle
Cast: Joel Courtney, Jonathan Roumie, Kimberly Williams-Paisley

This Christian drama tells the true story of Lonnie Frisbee (Jonathan Roumie), a Christian hippie whose ministry in Southern California left a profound and lasting impact on American Christianity in the early 1970s.

New on Disney Plus

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Where to watch: Available to stream on Disney Plus

Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), and Nebula (Karen Gillan) walk through a ship hallway in uniform in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Photo: Jessica Miglio/Marvel Studios

Genre: Superhero action
Run time: 2h 29m
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista

The third and final installment of James Gunn’s MCU trilogy is one of the better-received superhero movies of the year, and it is finally available to watch at home. This adventure sees Star Lord (Chris Pratt) and company embarking on a mission to save the life of their comrade Rocket after they’re attacked by Adam Warlock on behalf of Rocket’s megalomaniacal creator: The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji).

From our review:

This is a movie with a planet-sized laboratory made of flesh and held together by bone, where data is stored in capsules covered in pus, and a private security force led by Nathan Fillion wears hideous Power Rangers-esque body armor that looks like hard musculature. It’s a movie where a Russian cosmonaut golden retriever has telekinesis, and a family of humanoid vampire bats serve the heroes blue soda in an otherwise picturesque Norman Rockwell-ass home. In other words, it’s a film filled with genuine imagination, with real and odd sets and costumes and makeup, with gross-out visual humor and more than a little horror.

New on Peacock

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Where to watch: Available to stream on Peacock

Mario and Luigi carrying plumber tools and smiling with their fists raised in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Image: Nintendo, Illumination/Universal Pictures

Genre: Adventure fantasy
Run time: 1h 32m
Directors: Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic
Cast: Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day

Based on Nintendo’s massively popular video game characters, The Super Mario Bros. Movie follows Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day), two Italian American brothers and plumbers who are transported to the Mushroom Kingdom. With Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy), Mario must save Luigi and the kingdom from the nefarious Bowser (Jack Black). And if you’re looking for some other films to tide you over while waiting for the inevitable sequel, try the original Super Mario Bros. movie starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo or Wreck-It Ralph if you’re looking for a more ambitious original story that leans heavily into the legacy of video games, which The Super Mario Bros. Movie surprisingly leaves untouched.

From our review:

It’s a breezy plot that’s mostly meant to take viewers on a scenic tour of Mario locales, with some slapstick along the way. Illumination’s rendering of Nintendo’s worlds and characters, as imagined by legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, is overwhelmingly gorgeous and painstakingly faithful, packing every corner of the screen with something interesting to look at. Everything else about the movie is serviceable, with frustratingly brief moments of idiosyncrasy that would arguably make The Super Mario Bros. Movie a more memorable film.

New on Hulu


Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu

A young boy sits in a dim, blue hallway with his back to the camera, facing a series of open doorways, in a typically grainy, fuzzy shot from the horror movie Skinamarink Image: Shudder

Genre: Experimental horror
Run time: 1h 40m
Director: Kyle Edward Ball
Cast: Lucas Paul, Dali Rose Tetreault, Ross Paul

Director Kyle Edward Ball’s debut experimental horror feature follows two young siblings who wake up in the middle of the night to find their parents missing and all the windows and doors to their house having disappeared. That’s not all, though: Something else is inside the house… and it wants them to come upstairs.

From our review:

The ambiguity of the film’s terror, which depends much more on sensation than explicitly scary figures or monsters, grabbed some viewers by the throats. Fans say it’s innovative in the way Ball creates a sense of dread from minimalist elements. Non-fans say it’s slow, trudging, and lacking in scares. All of which brings back The Blair Witch Project, which was similarly criticized as “boring” and “not scary” by viewers who bought into the advance hype around the film, then found it wasn’t what they expected from a horror movie.

New on Paramount Plus

The Whale

Where to watch: Available to stream on Paramount Plus with Showtime

a close-up of Brendan Fraser in his fat suit staring blankly off screen in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale Image: A24

Genre: Drama
Run time: 1h 57m
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Ty Simpkins

Brendan Fraser delivers an Oscar-winning performance in Darren Aronofsky’s latest psychological drama about a morbidly obese English teacher who struggles to rekindle his relationship with his estranged daughter (Sadie Sink).

From our review:

In The Whale, Aronofsky posits his sadism as an intellectual experiment, challenging viewers to find the humanity buried under Charlie’s thick layers of fat. That’s not as benevolent of a premise as he seems to think it is. It proceeds from the assumption that a 600-pound man is inherently unlovable. It’s like walking up to a stranger on the street and saying, “You’re an abomination, but I love you anyway,” in keeping with the strong strain of self-satisfied Christianity that the film purports to critique. Audience members get to walk away proud of themselves that they shed a few tears for this disgusting whale, while gaining no new insight into what it’s actually like to be that whale. That’s not empathy. That’s pity, buried under a thick, smothering layer of contempt.

New on AMC Plus


Where to watch: Available to stream on AMC Plus

Owen Wilson as Carl Nargle, a parody of painter Bob Ross, in Paint. Image: IFC Films

Genre: Comedy
Run time: 1h 36m
Director: Brit McAdams
Cast: Owen Wilson, Michaela Watkins, Ciara Renée

Owen Wilson stars in this dark comedy as Carl Nargle, an afro-haired pipe-smoking artist whose popular public-access TV show devoted to painting is threatened by the arrival of a new artist (Michaela Watkins) who becomes the channel’s newest star. It’s basically Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, but instead of focusing on a character modeled after real-life anchorman Mort Crim, it’s a character modeled after Bob Ross.

New on Criterion Channel

Turn Every Page – The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb

Where to watch: Available to stream on Criterion Channel

An archival photo of Robert Gottlieb speaking on two corded telephones simultaneously featured in the documentary Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb Image: Sony Pictures Classics

Genre: Documentary
Run time: 1h 52m
Director: Lizzie Gottlieb
Cast: Robert Caro, Robert Gottlieb, Bill Clinton

This documentary follows the story of acclaimed journalist and biographer Robert Caro, author of 1974’s The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, and his longtime editor, Robert Gottlieb. The film focuses on both Caro’s and Gottlieb’s lives, the impact of their work together, and the former’s goal to complete his biography of Lyndon B. Johnson while he still has time.

New to rent

Insidious: The Red Door

Where to watch: Available to rent for $19.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Josh (Patrick Wilson) stands in a neon-lit, mostly red room and looks shocked at something offscreen in Insidious: The Red Door Photo: Nicole Rivelli/Sony Pictures Entertainment

Genre: Supernatural horror
Run time: 1h 47m
Director: Patrick Wilson
Cast: Ty Simpkins, Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne

The fifth movie in the Insidious franchise is the directorial debut for star Patrick Wilson. It’s also a sequel to Insidious: Chapter 2, as the last two movies in the franchise were prequels.

From our review:

As a director, Wilson isn’t as effortless a horror ringmaster as Wan or Whannell: He favors more actor-centric scares than wild imagery. But he makes great use of expressive close-ups (often of himself) and shallow focus, with a few creepy It Follows-like shots of blurry figures approaching from the distance, and a terrifically claustrophobic scene inside an MRI machine. Dalton’s college story, meanwhile, occasionally borders on campus-prank zaniness: It includes what can only be described as a puke ghost, and there’s one amusing use of the horror movie cliche about the haunted little kid who makes terrifying drawings of the ghouls only he can see. (Naturally, that kid grows up to become a star pupil in an insufferable freshman art class.)

Bad City

Where to watch: Available to rent for $4.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

(L-R) Masanori Mimoto, Hitoshi Ozawa, and Akane Sakanoue in Bad City. Image: Well Go USA Entertainment

Genre: Action thriller
Run time: 1h 58m
Director: Kensuke Sonomura
Cast: Hitoshi Ozawa, Akane Sakanoue, Katsuya

This ode to direct-to-video Japanese V-Cinema stars industry legend Hitoshi Ozawa and comes from director Kensuke Sonomura, one of the brightest action choreographers working today and someone who has a deep history in both the movie and video game industries. It’s a movie about gang warfare, corrupt cops, and lots of visceral action.

A Compassionate Spy

Where to watch: Available to rent for $6.99 on Amazon, Apple, and Vudu

Stylized graphic of Theodore Alvin Hall nametag in “A Compassionate Spy.” Image: Magnolia Pictures

Genre: Documentary
Run time: 1h 41m
Director: Steve James
Cast: Tom Goodwin, Mickey O’Sullivan

Legendary documentarian Steve James (Hoop Dreams) turns his camera toward the story of Theodore Hall, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project and gave information to the Soviets about the development of The Bomb. The documentary uses interview footage with Hall and his wife, as well as reenactments and archival footage.

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