Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

There’s an inherent interest in watching a well-known director’s most unexpected, out-of-character work; what will this artist do with his skills when forced as far as possible outside of his comfort zone? And in the case of Ingmar Bergman, I think it’s more or less objectively true that the farthest he ever went afield from […]

I am quite sure that I would never have supposed that a filmmaker working in the 1960s would leap to television because of the freedoms it offered. And I have no idea if that’s what actually took place with The Rite, director Ingmar Bergman’s sixth made-for-TV movie, and the first that wasn’t a staging of […]

In 1963, Ingmar Bergman was hip deep in an attempt to translate the theatrical devices of August Strindberg’s chamber plays into a cinematic idiom, with Through a Glass Darkly and Winter Light already behind him, and The Silence right around the corner. In this middle of this unusually intense period of producing some of the […]

In the first weeks of 1960, Ingmar Bergman premiered The Storm, his fourth television film in three years, and quite an important milestone in his screen career it was. No artist in any medium was a more obvious influence on the director, nor more readily acknowledged by him as such, than the great playwright August Strindberg, […]

The phrase which most irresistibly attaches itself to Rabies, a 1958 television play that is maybe the most obscure piece of filmed media Ingmar Bergman ever directed, is “an unpleasant piece”. Bergman himself first described it that way in 1945, in the notes to his production of the play onstage at the Helsingborg City Theatre; […]

If you know Ingmar Bergman primarily as a director of motion pictures – and since you are reading this review in English rather than Swedish, that is almost certainly the case – you probably know him as the miserabilist creator of morbid, heavy character dramas, one after the other, fixated on dying marriages, death, and […]

Ingmar Bergman was best-known in most of the world as a film director and writer; in his native Sweden, he was as well-known, if not better, as a theater director. He mostly kept these worlds separate: a few of his films have a distinctly theatrical sensibility, and at least one of his theatrical productions was […]

The early part of 1951 was a dire period for Ingmar Bergman, certainly the most professionally uncertain period of his life prior to his tussle with the Swedish government over taxes in the 1970s, and the self-imposed exile from his home country that followed. And even then, he was Ingmar Bergman, International Treasure, and well […]

It only took nineteen years, but with Lake Placid: Legacy, a 2018 made-for-Syfy thriller that could be retitled and made a standalone project at the expense of absolutely nothing other than two lines of dialogue, the franchise quit beating the odds. This is every bit the piece of inane dogshit that one would expect from […]

To begin with, the title of the 2015 made-for-Syfy epic Lake Placid vs. Anaconda gets the hierarchy exactly right: this is very much a Lake Placid sequel in which an Anaconda sequel makes a substantial guest appearance, not the other way around. Given the uniform superiority of the first three Lake Placid sequels to the […]

I find myself in the ridiculous position of having approached a made-for-Syfy killer crocodile movie, that’s also the fourth film in a franchise, with sufficiently high hopes that it was capable of disappointing me. This is, to be clear, entirely a me problem, and not much at all a problem with Lake Placid: The Final […]

I can think of no reason for Lake Placid 3, a made-for-Syfy movie from 2010, to be the best Lake Placid movie up to that point; I can think even less of a reason for it to any good at all. And yet. Now, is it really three-stars good, as I have indicated on yonder […]