Film Blather

Film Blather is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Eugene Novikov
Rating Title/Year Author
B Nebraska (2013) Eugene Novikov One of Payne's better films. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2013
B- Gravity (2013) Eugene Novikov 'Gravity' tries so hard to add emotional heft to its simple survival story, but its attempts are labored, unconvincing, and frankly downright dumb. This gorgeous, exciting film didn't need them. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2013
B 12 Years a Slave (2013) Eugene Novikov A more conventional effort than 'Hunger' or 'Shame,' but it's every bit as searing and tough-minded, and hardly less challenging. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2013
B+ All Is Lost (2013) Eugene Novikov All the drama we need is in the moment, and that's where the movie stays. EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2013
A- Under the Skin (2013) Eugene Novikov What we used to call a 'visionary achievement' -- mesmerizing nightmare fuel in the vein of vintage Cronenberg, with the same sleek, disorienting gloss that Glazer put on his extraordinary 'Birth.' EDIT
Posted Aug 31, 2013
B- Starred Up (2013) Eugene Novikov This isn't Mackenzie's most interesting work, but you could do much worse for an issue movie. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2013
C+ Labor Day (2013) Eugene Novikov Reitman feels the need to amp up the drama, and unloads a honking dump of backstory that's contrived and maudlin in a mode that I had thought was the exclusive province of Nicholas Sparks. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2013
B 2 Guns (2013) Eugene Novikov In a summer of lumbering, unwieldy blockbusters sanitized and sucked free of nuance for consumption in China, it's a lively, quirky, lived-in delight. EDIT
Posted Aug 2, 2013
B+ At Any Price (2012) Eugene Novikov Though Bahrani may be moving toward the mainstream here, he remains an empathetic, nuanced chronicler of the American working class. EDIT
Posted Jul 24, 2013
C+ Pacific Rim (2013) Eugene Novikov Why did this consummate labor of love have to be so dumb - so clunky and hollow and poorly-acted? Why does it feel so incomplete? EDIT
Posted Jul 12, 2013
B- Man of Steel (2013) Eugene Novikov Look, this is an often-stunning event film. It's big and bold, with a scope and scale that's virtually unparalleled in the genre. But so much of that work is squandered on stuff that doesn't matter. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2013
B- The Kings of Summer (2013) Eugene Novikov Knows how to be funny, but it can also be a bit too studiedly random, e.g. in generating Biaggio's vaguely creepy non sequiturs and in indulging long digressions about giant wontons and avocado meat. EDIT
Posted Jun 1, 2013
B What Maisie Knew (2012) Eugene Novikov An almost uncomfortably plausible depiction of the effects of bad parenting on a fragile psyche. EDIT
Posted May 25, 2013
C Fast & Furious 6 (2013) Eugene Novikov The set-up here is so sparse it almost plays as a joke, a sneer at the notion that a film with this many car crashes could need something so snobbish as a story. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2013
D Pain & Gain (2013) Eugene Novikov The film is so inept and hateful that asking what it thinks about anything seems like dividing by zero. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2013
C Oblivion (2013) Eugene Novikov If Kosinski wants to keep making these elaborate techno-dystopias, I'm down. But he needs to find a better framework for his visual ideas. EDIT
Posted Apr 19, 2013
C+ 42 (2013) Eugene Novikov '42' won't teach you a thing, but for a film that couldn't have been very good, it's not bad. EDIT
Posted Apr 12, 2013
D The Host (2013) Eugene Novikov An alien invasion movie that consists of Saoirse Ronan and Disembodied Voice of Saoirse Ronan arguing with each other over whether and when and with whom the body of Saoirse Ronan should get it on. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2013
B+ The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) Eugene Novikov Try to imagine 'Crash' as written and directed by James Gray and you might come close to conceptualizing this beguiling film. EDIT
Posted Mar 29, 2013
C+ The Lords of Salem (2012) Eugene Novikov One alluring thing about Zombie is that it's hard to know how much of all this is a put-on. I spent a lot of time squinting at it, which is more fun than being bored. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2013
A Mud (2013) Eugene Novikov So good - so incredibly good; a classic in the making - that I promise you won't miss the metaphor and abstraction of 'Take Shelter'. EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2013
B Haunter (2013) Eugene Novikov The biggest pleasures here come from how thought-through and rigorous this weird little universe is; how Natali and King commit fully to their story and follow it through to a satisfying conclusion. EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2013
B Prince Avalanche (2013) Eugene Novikov David Gordon Green seems to have found a happy medium between the laid-back sincerity of his earlier work and the puerile stoner comedy he's favored since 'Pineapple Express'. EDIT
Posted Mar 10, 2013
B Cheap Thrills (2013) Eugene Novikov There's no big twist here, but the film's sustained thoughtfulness is as surprising as any plot development. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2013
B- Evil Dead (2013) Eugene Novikov It's a tremendous technical achievement. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2013
C+ The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013) Eugene Novikov Even when this lovably half-baked effort really started to whiff, I couldn't bring myself to be too annoyed. EDIT
Posted Mar 9, 2013
C Snitch (2013) Eugene Novikov The bulk of 'Snitch' is a lumbering drag, a sanitized PG-13 rendition of a season of 'The Wire' that feels rushed even as it refuses to end. EDIT
Posted Feb 21, 2013
B- Beautiful Creatures (2013) Eugene Novikov It's 'Twilight' with the sexes reversed, yes, but if 'Beautiful Creatures' becomes a four-sequel, screaming-tween-assault phenomenon I'll at least be able to understand it, if not quite buy in. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2013
A- 2-Headed Shark Attack (2012) Eugene Novikov Quote not available. EDIT
Posted Jan 22, 2013
C Mama (2013) Eugene Novikov Muschietti doesn't have the chops to sustain tension once he ditches the parts of his story that are conceptually intriguing. Once the film becomes a conventional horror show, it deflates fast. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2013
C On the Road (2012) Eugene Novikov The protagonists' aimless drug- and sex-fuelled adventures have neither a seductive pull nor the weight of tragedy. They're just grimy and a little boring. EDIT
Posted Jan 12, 2013
B The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) Eugene Novikov One possibility is that the main thing to recommend the film is nostalgia. But so be it. EDIT
Posted Dec 13, 2012
C Hyde Park on Hudson (2012) Eugene Novikov An aimless, mind-numbing prestige picture with uneasy undertones it seems desperate to deny. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2012
D+ Rise of the Guardians (2012) Eugene Novikov A dumb, blandly sloganeering love letter to blind faith and willful denial. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2012
C Life of Pi (2012) Eugene Novikov Built around a revelation and thematic punchline that is such specious nonsense that nothing else it says or does or shows us really matters. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2012
B+ Lincoln (2012) Eugene Novikov A studied and stunningly wonky meditation on compromise. EDIT
Posted Nov 8, 2012
C The Sessions (2012) Eugene Novikov The movie methodically punts each time it comes across anything interesting. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2012
B- Sinister (2012) Eugene Novikov A well-engineered scare machine, as the people sitting next to me at the screening can attest; at a certain level, one is hard-pressed to argue with soiled underpants. EDIT
Posted Oct 12, 2012
A Looper (2012) Eugene Novikov The most robust pure sci-fi in years - tighter and more fun than even 'Inception', if not as dizzyingly ambitious in its engineering. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2012
D+ Trouble With the Curve (2012) Eugene Novikov Schematic and beyond stupid, mindlessly lionizing the geezers that 'Moneyball' spent two hours justly laughing at. It's an embarrassment. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2012
B The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) Eugene Novikov Feels warm and genuinely affectionate in a way that's impossible to manufacture. You've seen this story before, but maybe not populated with personalities this fully realized and alive. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2012
C+ Dredd (2012) Eugene Novikov What 'Dredd' feints at, before retreating to action flick convention, is the first real successor to Alex Proyas' 'Dark City'. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2012
B Rust and Bone (2012) Eugene Novikov So enthrallingly bizarre that despite a penchant for aggressively taking notes on festival films I managed to jot down almost nothing over its 2+ hour running time. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2012
C- The Iceman (2012) Eugene Novikov A drab, remedial gangster film. EDIT
Posted Sep 2, 2012
B- A Royal Affair (2012) Eugene Novikov Features Mads Mikkelsen in the most straightforwardly positive role I've ever seen him in, and he turns out to have an expressive impassiveness to rival Ryan Gosling's. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2012
B No (2012) Eugene Novikov A fascinating exercise in historical fill-in-the-blanks. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2012
B Argo (2012) Eugene Novikov An intelligent, expertly-made thriller with glimmers of the extraordinary. EDIT
Posted Sep 1, 2012
B- Premium Rush (2012) Eugene Novikov May be my favorite New York movie since Raimi's 'Spider-Man'. EDIT
Posted Aug 23, 2012
B The Bourne Legacy (2012) Eugene Novikov If the overarching story is silly, on the ground Gilroy's approach is the opposite: brainy and logistics-obsessed. EDIT
Posted Aug 9, 2012
B+ Chonmage purin (A Boy and His Samurai) (2010) Eugene Novikov But while the American version of this story might have involved Kevin James and a lot of farting, this justly acclaimed Japanese family film is magical and totally unexpected. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2012