Reviews: ‘Enola Holmes 2,’ ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’ and extra

‘Enola Holmes 2’

Superficially, the Netflix variations of Nancy Springer’s young-adult novel collection, “The Enola Holmes Mysteries,” endure from among the issues that plague the service’s different huge, household pleasant fantasy movies. The new “Enola Properties 2″ and 2020’s “Enola Holmes” — both directed by Harry Bradbeer and written by Jack Thorne — are overlong and overstuffed, with an aggressively jovial tone and a visual style that often favors pizazz over coherence. Yet the films are also incredibly charming, for two big reasons: the quality of the source material and the quality of the cast.

Specifically, it’s hard to imagine anyone better than Millie Bobby Brown to play Enola, the plucky kid sister of the brooding master-detective Sherlock Holmes (played by Henry Cavill, also spot-on). In her frequent asides to the camera, Brown is equal parts swaggering and vulnerable. Her Enola is frank and funny about the challenges of being a detective in a Victorian England that has little respect for the capabilities of women — let alone teenagers.

In “Enola Holmes 2,” the heroine helps the people who can’t afford to employ her brother, taking on a missing-persons case that opens up into a larger mystery about an ailment felling the young female workers at a match factory. With the help of her aristocratic young friend and crush-object Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), she uncovers who’s responsible for harming these girls. Along the way, she crosses paths with her brother, their mother — the radical Eudora (Helena Bonham Carter) — and a snippy police inspector (David Thewlis).

The story’s a bit convoluted, though no more than most detective plots. Ultimately, it’s a solid mystery, explained well by Enola in her fourth-wall-breaking chats with the audience. The pairing of actor and role here is just about perfect, and as much a star-making turn for Brown as her breakout performance in “Stranger Things.” Her Enola is a treat to be around, whether she’s running, fighting, flirting, puzzling over clues, or trying to make sense of the rituals and habits of people who don’t spend all their time solving crimes.

‘Enola Holmes 2.’ PG-13, for some violence and bloody images. 2 hours, 9 minutes. Available on Netflix; also paying theatrically, Bay Theatre, Pacific Palisades

Spencer Treat Clark, from left, Tommy O’Brien, Daniel Radcliffe and Rainn Wilson in the movie “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.”

(Roku)

‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

The mock-biopic “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” started life as a Humorous or Die video, spoofing trailers for heavy films like “Ray” and “The Doors” that flip actual musicians’ lives into myths. The feature-length model — directed by Eric Appel and co-written by Appel and Yankovic — doesn’t add a lot to the unique joke, which was only a riff on how ridiculous it might be to make that type of film about “Weird Al,” an affable, noncontroversial fellow who has delighted tens of millions along with his goofy tune parodies.

Daniel Radcliffe offers a advantageous efficiency as Yankovic within the movie, which does have a couple of magical moments — together with a “Boogie Nights”-like get together thrown by cult-favorite DJ Dr. Demento (Rainn Wilson), attended by seemingly each popular culture oddball of the ‘70s and ‘80s. The film works best whenever it veers away from satirizing backstage musicals and gets truly bizarre, as in a long digression where Yankovic dates Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood) and makes an enemy of drug lord Pablo Escobar (Arturo Castro). The parts that are just the faux-biography of a superstar accordion-player have more limited appeal. There are only so many times the audience can laugh at Al getting inspired when he hears somebody say “eat it” or “my bologna.”

That said, Yankovic diehards will likely enjoy this movie since — like his parody songs — it takes self-serious pieces of pop culture and changes the words to something silly. Those songs though are usually under four minutes. This picture runs 108.

‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.’ Not rated. 1 hour, 48 minutes. Obtainable on the Roku Channel

‘I’m Completely Positive’

Within the bittersweet science-fiction comedy “I’m Totally Fine,” Jillian Bell performs Vanessa, an entrepreneur mourning the sudden demise of her greatest buddy and enterprise associate Jennifer (Natalie Morales) by taking a visit they’d deliberate to have fun the launch of their artisanal soda. Then Vanessa wakes up in her luxurious rental property and finds an extraterrestrial creature who seems like Jennifer and has Jennifer’s recollections. The alien has been assigned to review the human for 48 hours; however Vanessa finds herself asking questions too, to get her late buddy’s perspective on their life collectively.

Directed by Brandon Dermer from an Alisha Ketry screenplay, “I’m Totally Fine” has a premise that might have simply skewed twee, had been it not so well-written, well-directed and well-acted. As it’s, the story (penned by Dermer and Ketry) could be very slight. Damaged right down to its essence, that is one other of these indie movies the place outdated acquaintances collect to kind by way of outdated gripes. However the leads have a beautiful chemistry, with Bell hitting the suitable notes of anger and confusion and Morales sustaining the alien’s comedian deadpan. Everybody concerned has clearly thought by way of how such a wild fantasy scenario may play out — and extra importantly, how it might really feel.

‘I’m Completely Positive.’ Not rated. 1 hour, 23 minutes. Obtainable on VOD; additionally paying theatrically, Laemmle Noho 7, North Hollywood

‘Next Exit’

Author-director Mali Elfman’s debut function “Next Exit” is about in a actuality the place a scientist (Karen Gillan) has proved the existence of an afterlife and may contact the lifeless — offered these lifeless are a part of her analysis examine. Katie Parker performs Rose, a chronically depressed younger lady who drives throughout the nation to volunteer for the mission, joined by Teddy (Rahul Kohli), whose causes to die are extra slippery. Throughout the journey, the 2 discuss what introduced them thus far they usually inevitably begin to fall for one another. Proper up till they arrive at their vacation spot, it’s unclear whether or not their bond will likely be sufficient to maintain them alive. Parker and Kohli are terrific, working with some tough materials provided that each of their characters are sometimes unpleasantly depressing. Viewers who can endure the at-times tediously dour first hour of “Next Exit” are rewarded with a tense and emotional last stretch, with so much to say about what offers life which means.

‘Next Exit.’ Not rated. 1 hour, 46 minutes. Obtainable on VOD

A young woman with a serene expression in the documentary "Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me."

Selena Gomez within the documentary “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me.”

(Apple TV+)

‘Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me’

Pop star and actress Selena Gomez has been open about her struggles with nervousness and bipolar melancholy, however her honesty about psychological well being has by no means been expressed as starkly as within the documentary “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me.” Directed by Alek Keshishian — best-known for the 1991 doc “Madonna: Truth or Dare” — the movie begins in 2016, when Gomez canceled her world tour, took a break from social media and consulted with medical professionals about one of the best ways ahead. Keshishian and Gomez then fill within the particulars of her life story whereas continuing by way of what occurred after the breakdown, as she reconnected together with her previous and rebuilt her profession, all whereas edging away from the mega-star treadmill. There’s a tear-jerking second roughly each 5 to 10 minutes on this film, as Gomez reveals her important dilemma of being somebody who loves making followers pleased and loves being inventive however lives in worry — as many individuals do — of disappointing their benefactors and family members.

‘Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me.’ R, for language. 1 hour, 35 minutes. Obtainable on Apple TV+; additionally paying theatrically, Laemmle Glendale

‘Raymond Lewis: L.A. Legend’

Ryan Polomski and Dean Prator’s documentary “Raymond Lewis: L.A. Legend” tells the riveting story of a basketball star who by no means performed a minute within the NBA, though he was extensively thought-about among the best of his era. Extensively researched — and that includes interviews with almost everybody of observe from the early Nineteen Seventies Southern California basketball scene — the movie doubles as a glance again at a wild decade for school and professional basketball, earlier than the large TV rankings and celebrity contracts of the ‘80s and ‘90s. The interview subjects are shockingly frank about how colleges recruited players back then with fancy cars and secret salaries. And when it comes to Lewis’ NBA washout, the film describes how the league’s energy construction was tilted in opposition to the gamers, and the way Lewis’ rookie calls for for extra money and extra taking part in time — completely cheap at the moment for a possible All-Star — affronted vengeful house owners and coaches. This can be a tumultuous and finally tragic story concerning the exploitation of athletes.

‘Raymond Lewis: L.A. Legend.’ Not rated. 1 hour, 24 minutes. Obtainable on VOD

Also on VOD

“God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty” is the most recent documentary from director Billy Corben, identified for films corresponding to “The U” and “Cocaine Cowboys” that deal with the confluence of standard tradition and crime in Miami. This movie follows a saga with nationwide implications — the shady relationship between right-wing firebrand Jerry Falwell Jr., his spouse and a swimming pool attendant at a luxurious resort — however offers it a Corben contact by delving into the story’s Miami roots. Obtainable on Hulu

Obtainable now on DVD and Blu-ray

“Daisies” is a basic of the Czech New Wave, made within the mid-Sixties by Vera Chytilová, who channeled her frustration with oppressive authoritarianism into an avant-garde comedy about two younger ladies who overindulge in sensual pleasures and joyously defy any makes an attempt at domestication. Beforehand out there as a part of a bare-bones field set, the film now has its personal Blu-ray version, containing intensive bonus options. Criterion