“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” throbs to the beat of the ’70s while giving Kurt Russell a digital face-lift. And Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner get their whine on in a new season of “Difficult People.”
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 (2017) on iTunes and Amazon. Marvel’s motley crew of galactic heroes blasts back to the future with a ’70s soundtrack and an origin story for its leader, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), a.k.a. Star-Lord. This time he’s grappling with daddy issues after Ego (Kurt Russell), the godlike ruler of a nearby planet, claims to be his real father. Meanwhile, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the team’s mean, green killing machine, has a new enemy: her sister, Nebula (Karen Gillan), who has vowed to fight Gamora to her death. “‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ has all the digital bells and whistles as well as much of the likable, self-aware waggery of the first,” Manohla Dargis wrote in The New York Times. But, occasionally, the director James Gunn’s ambitions backfire. “Like some of the canned music (Fleetwood Mac, the Electric Light Orchestra), the movie’s visual design gestures toward the past but mostly comes across as a generational yearning for such memories,” Ms. Dargis wrote, adding, “While the first ‘Guardians’ earned that love as if by accident, this one begs for it.”
DIFFICULT PEOPLE on Hulu. Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner return to playing themselves, only worse: She’s a television recapper with a negligible performing career; he’s an actor and waiter hoping for callbacks that almost never come. As Season 3 begins, Julie is facing a Passover Seder armed with only a Danny Aiello meditation app; Billy has landed a warm-up gig for Larry Wilmore’s new late-night show; and together they’ve been sentenced to community service as clowns. Scary ones.
LE WEEK-END (2014) on Fandor. Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan are Nick and Meg, an aging British couple who visit Paris for the first time since their honeymoon to revive their marriage. “You can’t not love and hate the same person,” he tells her. But “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower this is not. “Underneath Nick and Meg’s banter is a half-buried spring of rage and regret,,” A. O. Scott wrote in The Times. The film is part of “HAHAHA!,” a streaming collection of 18 films intended to amuse, even if the comedy is black.
CREEPY (2016) on Mubi. After the interrogation of a serial killer turns deadly, Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a former detective, and his wife move with their dog into a new house. Then his former colleagues come knocking with questions about their deeply strange neighbor (Teruyuki Kagawa), who may be connected to a family that has vanished without a trace. Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s spine-tingler is “thoroughly and utterly creepy, partly because Mr. Kurosawa knows how to slither under your skin,” Manohla Dargis wrote in The Times, calling this director “a master of unease and a virtuoso of the slow buildup.”
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