The story of Jesus is referred to as the greatest story ever told, but the story of “Jesus” is pretty interesting, too. It’s a mediocre biopic that primarily relies on the Gospel of Luke, a story you already know or can look up without me explaining it to you. What’s interesting is that it was produced by evangelists and released by Warner Bros. in 1979 and was originally a box office flop. But it keeps being re-edited and re-released by different evangelical groups. I saw a shortened, “9-11 Remembrance Edition,” featuring an intro by New York City firefighters. Go figure.

A Chinese film partially bankrolled by Russians in which oppressed people are saved by the power of love. Sorry about the spoiler, but the plot of “Iron Mask” (2020) isn’t very important. Nor is the title (There’s a guy in a mask, but he’s not even the main character. The original title, which has something to do with a dragon, apparently didn’t translate well from Russian to English.). Anyway, this is an Olden Times action/adventure film bursting with choreographed fight scenes worthy of Jackie Chan, who is a producer and co-stars. Arnold Schwarzenegger – bless him – plays an English prison warden.

Many years after “National Lampoon’s Animal House” first came out, a friend of mine re-watched it and said it seemed “slower” than he remembered it. Unlike the gag-on-gag-til-you-gag comedies of more recent generations, this film has a plot, and plot exposition, and relationshippy subplots, and there are several physical comedy scenes featuring John Belushi with almost no dialogue. And the shocking-for-1978 nudity and language is common now. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t aged well. Despite some non-PC asides, the big punchlines are still brilliant examples of comedic craftsmanship. Worthless and weak? This film changed comedy and, in some ways, college.