The Deep Blue Sea (2011)

This is one of three film reviews that I wrote for an online magazine that never launched so I’ve decided to publish here instead.

The Deep Blue Sea movie review

Deep-Blue-Sea-movie-reviewWritten & Directed by Terence Davies / Based on the play by Terence Rattigan / Starring Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Simon Russell Beale / Cinematography by Florian Hoffmeister / Production by Film4, Artificial Eye, UK Film Council

A flood of emotion pours from Terence Davies’ bold, earnest, idiosyncratic return to feature film drama, providing a showcase for the full extent of Rachel Weisz’ dramatic presence.  Read More

Metro Manila (2013)

Metro-Manila movie review

Metro Manila movie reviewDirected by Sean Ellis / Written by Sean Ellis & Frank E. Flowers / Starring Jake Macapagal, John Arcilla, Althea Vega / Cinematography by Sean Ellis / Music by Robin Foster / Production by Chocolate Frog Films

Despite accolades from the likes of Sundance and BIFA, Sean Ellis’ second feature is a rather turgid affair, trudging slowly and with little incident through life in the slums of Metro Manila.  Read More

Stoker (2013)

Stoker movie review

stoker movie reviewDirected by Park Chan-wook / Written by Wentworth Miller / Starring Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman / Cinematography by Chung Chung-hoon / Music by Clint Mansell / Production by Scott Free Productions, Indian Paintbrush

Park Chan-wook tickles and tantalises his fans and admirers with a leftfield, and quintessentially Park-ian, take on the American gothic sub-genre. Come for names on the poster, stay for the art direction…  Read More

Rush (2013)

Rush movie review

Rush movie review

Ron Howard delivers a uniquely dualistic take on the scrappy underdog story that pits this reviewer’s affection for Chris Hemsworth’s splendid hair against this reviewer’s awe at Daniel Brühl’s confident dominance of all who surround him.

Directed by Ron Howard / Written by Peter Morgan / Starring Daniel Brühl, Chris Hemsworth, Alexandra Maria Lara, Olivia Wilde / Cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle / Music by Hans Zimmer / Production by Working Title, Revolution Films

Read More

Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

Berberian Sound Studio movie review

Berberian Sound Studio movie reviewWritten & Directed by Peter Strickland / Starring Toby Jones, Fatma Mohamed, Cosimo Fusco, Antonio Mancino / Cinematography by Nicolas D. Knowland / Music by Broadcast / Production by Film4, Warp X, UK Film Council

Peter Strickland’s second feature follows the ill-fated process of a nebbish, damaged sound engineer as he goes down the rabbit hole in a Giallo-style exploration of horror the horror of making horror movies.
Read More

Grading films with the Medal System

12 grades for movies...

Grades should never be obligatory when reviewing films but they can be helpful, especially since UK cinemas now see upwards of 600 cinematic releases every year – a fact that should be considered when arguing the positive and negative influences of critics’ tendencies towards Best Of The Year lists. Given my own fondness for lists as a way of recommending movies and organising my own thoughts about the cinematic year or decade, grades are a comfortable and provocative tool.

For my reviews I’ve created a system based more on how much I would recommend the film in question to anyone and how much I would wish to celebrate its artistic achievements. This somehow seems more representative of my taste and less definitive than more impersonal A-F grades or stars or marks out of ten. And so I’ll briefly explain the system below: Read More



In 2012 Chinese censorship made WordPress inaccessible to those without a VPN, which led me to find a new home for FOEC on Tumblr. But, after a long period of inactivity, I’ve decided to return to posting FOEC reviews and articles to WordPress, where I intend to be writing and publishing again on a regular basis.

As this is essentially a re-start for FOEC, I’ll be reposting several reviews that I initially published to Tumblr and continuing to fill-up the blog with reviews of what I’ve been watching and some specific articles, including new entries in the 13 Treasures column that I started back in 2011. One significant change from my previous posts will be the creation of a grading system, something I rejected in the past but have since found to be an increasingly useful tool for organising my thoughts on the hundreds of films and TV shows clamouring for space inside my tangled synapses.

As before, FOEC is primarily dedicated to analysing and celebrating contemporary films of the 21st Century but I will be making the occasional forays into cinema’s past with scattered reviews and broader articles.

As always, please share and comment on what you read. Half the fun of blogging anything is in engaging with the responses of equally passionate people and if you’re reading this then you’re likely to be just as passionate a film nerd as I am.