“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.