What to stream: ‘The Tick’ is back and as cheerfully dim as ever on Amazon and more ‘Guardians’ on VOD

Peter Serafinowicz is "The Tick" in the superhero comedy series.

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, FilmStruck, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …

Peter Serafinowicz plays the big blue insect of justice, most cheerfully, sweetly oblivious hero to squeeze into tights, in the Amazon original series The Tick, the third version of the superhero spoof based on the comic book by Ben Edlund. This one straddles the line between whimsy and satire as it drops his absurd partnership with neurotic accountant Arthur (Griffin Newman) in a dark and dangerous world.

“The new Tick, based on six of its 10 episodes, is bigger in just about every way than the old [2001 series],” writes Mike Hale for The New York Times. “It has more back story, more exposition, more special effects, more (and more graphic) violence. It’s more knowing, more layered, more self-conscious.”

Valorie Curry plays Arthur’s protect sister and Jackie Earle Haley is The Terror, the villain who killed Arthur’s father (collateral damage in a superhero battle) and sent Arthur spiraling down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories and into a stint in a mental health facility. As I said, is straddles a fine line.

Ten episodes on Amazon Prime Video.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PG-13) sends Marvel’s intergalactic team of misfit heroes on a colorful odyssey to the center of the universe with video game battles and hyperspace jumps to learn the meaning of family. With Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, guest star Kurt Russell, Baby Groot, and a jukebox collection of 1970s pop tunes. Also on DVD and Blu-ray and at Redbox.

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is the thriller Bushwick (not rated) with Dave Bautista and Brittany Snow teaming up to survive a new Civil War, and the animated family film Deep (PG).

Netflix

Alice Englert is one of the magical-wielding Beautiful Creatures (2013, PG-13) in the southern gothic supernatural romance co-starring Alden Ehrenreich.

More new movies: American indie Camera Store (2016, not rated) with John Larroquette, Netflix original horror film Death Note (2017, not rated) based on the Japanese horror manga and TV and movie spin-offs, and thriller Hide and Seek from China (2016, not rated, with subtitles).

Kristen Bell is a terrible person who dies and, due to a mistake, finds herself in The Good Place: Season 1, a screwball comedy of afterlife and redemption.

In the new Netflix original comedy series Disjointed: Season 1, Kathy Bates stars as a cannabis activist who lives her dream of owning her own dispensary.

More streaming TV: Stephen King adaptation The Mist: Season 1 from Spike TV, fairy tale epic Once Upon a Time: Season 6 from ABC, and Gomorrah: Season 2 from Italy.

True stories: Bad Rap (2016) profiles four Korean-American rap artists (not rated).

Kid stuff: more fun with flying lizards in Dragons: Race to the Edge: Season 5.

Stand-up: Lynne Koplitz: Hormonal Beast.

Amazon Prime

City of Vice: Season 1 (2008) dramatizes the story of the first London police force formed in 1749 as a period crime thriller. (Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.) On a lighter note, Rowan Atkinson stars in the family friendly comedy Mr. Bean: Season 1 (1995)

The Hong Kong martial arts adventure Come Drink With Me (1966, not rated, with subtitles) redefined the wuxia pian (“martial chivalry” genre) and inspired Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Reviewed on Stream On Demand here.

True stories: Obit. (2016, not rated) profiles the staff obituary writers of The New York Times and the increasingly rare artform they keep alive (so to speak) on a daily basis. Art & Copy (2009, not rated) looks at the history and evolution of American advertising as both creative endeavor and cultural artifact. No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo and Vilmos (2012, not rated) looks at the legacy of the legendary cinematographers and best friends who helped define the look and texture of 1970s cinema.

Also new: PBS looks at women who made a difference in the documentary series Makers (2013-2014) and the specials American Masters: Billie Jean King (2013) and American Experience: Rachel Carson (2017). Paul Williams: Still Alive (2012, PG-13) profiles the singer-songwriter and American: The Bill Hicks Story (2015, not rated) and Sam Kinison: Why Did We Laugh? (2006, not rated) celebrate the groundbreaking comedians.

Kid stuff: The Gumby Movie (1995) features the bendy green star of TV in his only film (G).

Amazon Prime / Hulu

Elizabeth Olsen is Thérèse Raquin in In Secret (2013), an adaptation of the Emile Zola novel co-starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Lange (R). (Amazon Prime and Hulu)

Hulu

From National Geographic Channel comes the TV shows The Boonies: Season 1 and Doomsday Preppers: Seasons 3 and 4.

HBO Now

Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star in the dark thriller Nocturnal Animals (2016), which earned an Oscar nomination for co-star Michael Shannon (R).

Arriving Saturday night is Jackie (2016) starring Natalie Portman in an Oscar-nominated performance as the widow of JFK in the days after his assassination (R).

Sunday night brings the Game of Thrones: Season 7 finale: the last episode of the show until sometime in 2018.

Showtime Anytime

The documentary Whitney: Can I Be Me (2017) profiles the struggles of the pop superstar (not rated).

FilmStruck / Criterion Channel

FilmStruck adds the Coen Bros.’s debut feature Blood Simple (1984, R), with a collection of bonus interviews and featurettes from the Criterion disc release, the award-winning animated science fiction feature Fantastic Planet (France, 1973, not rated, with subtitles), and a collection of restored silent classics from the great F.W. Murnau, including Faust (1926, not rated) and Sunrise (1927, not rated).

Acorn TV

The Good Karma Hospital, a British drama set in a rural hospital in South India, stars Amrita Acharia as a young doctor and co-stars British TV vets Amanda Redman, Philip Jackson, Neil Morrissey, and Phyllis Logan. Two episodes now available, new episodes each Monday.

Google Play

Rememory, a science fiction mystery starring Peter Dinklage and Julia Ormond, plays free for a limited time before opening in theaters in September (not rated).

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About Sean Axmaker

Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears in Vulture, Turner Classic Movies online, Keyframe, and Parallax View.

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