Rogue One (2016) – The universe of Star Wars is now so broad in the public consciousness that we can start telling — not just for fanboys, but for the general viewing public for which a $200,000,000 budget makes sense — the ancillary stories of the people caught in the huge conflicts. In other words, we can now tell the “war stories” from that milieu, just as have for decades from the Civil War, WWII, Viet Nam, etc. (There are probably more Millennials who can tell you who won the war with the Empire than can tell you who won the Civil War, anyway.) This could easily devolve into the “continuity porn” with which fan-ficcers often occupy themselves, but here it’s a refreshing novelty: a Star Wars prequel which doesn’t contradict what has already been established.
Rage of the Yeti (2011) – For the first half-hour, I had the bizarre sensation of watching two movies at once. In one, Yancy Butler and several other people in a whited-out sound stage, all wrapped in Arctic clothing that renders them unidentifiable and indistinguishable, fight a handful of bad CG Yeti in medias res as they try to get from their camp to an abandoned Canadian base; we can’t see half the action, we’d rather not see the other part with the embarrassingly bad Yeti, and we don’t care about the whole of it. In the other, a pair of witty devil-may-care artifact thieves are in a gun-bristling standoff with a bunch of armed museum guards until a guard’s phone rings, and it’s for the thieves to abandon their mission and come to the rescue of Yancy Butler’s team. Then the two halves of the story come together, and it’s nothing but bad CGI, people acting like they know which way they’re going in a whited-out Arctic wasteland without consulting a compass, and more bad CGI.
Jackie Chan’s First Strike (1996) – The JackieMatic 9000’s computer-generated version of a Jackie Chan movie: mistaken identities, worldwide locations, humorous stunts and creative use of props and surroundings in several combat scenes, which also yield out-take footage of Jackie being injured. If you enjoy Jackie Chan movies generally, you will generally enjoy this movie. If you don’t like Jackie Chan movies, you will not enjoy this movie.