Douglas Davidson

Douglas Davidson
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
It's of little surprise that Douglas found himself drawn to studying film in undergrad and graduate school after growing up in a household that loved watching movies. Though his professional vocations took him in a myriad of directions, including even all the way to Johns Hopkins University to earn an M.A. in Communications, he?s always found a way to work his love of cinema into his life. Douglas eventually created Elements of Madness (EoM) as a means of keeping busy, but it now serves as a vessel to pour every ounce of geekdom into through reviews of upcoming releases and a monthly Coming Soon series. In addition to running EoM, he?s co-host of The Cine-Men podcast on the Poprika Podcast Network, a Senior Contributor Film Critic for Charlotte-based arts and culture blog CLTure, a freelance critic for the Mountain Xpress, a contributing Film Critic for entertainment website Pretty Vacant One, and a contributing Film Review Member for online film community FilmFed.

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
5/5 62% Malcolm & Marie (2020) Beautiful, painful, hilarious, and uncomfortable, Malcolm & Marie is a declarative statement, one which heralds the talent of the cast and crew via the ingenuity, care, and obvious craft that is presented in the undertaking. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2021
4.5/5 100% In & Of Itself (2020) ... a transformative interactive experience wherein DelGaudio turns himself inside out in a quest to find out who he is, all the while helping the audience to the same for themselves. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2021
4.5/5 90% PG: Psycho Goreman (2021) ... [director Steven] Kostanski does more than create the story of his childhood fantasies, he presents a ride of galactic proportions that'll have you giggle-screaming from beginning to end. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2021
3.5/5 57% Max Cloud (2019) ... you'll feel like you've literally been dropped into your favorite side-scroller in [co-writer/director Martin] Owen and co-writer Sally Collett's (Killers Anonymous) Tron-meets-Jumanji sci-fi comedy romp. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 15, 2021
4.5/5 58% The Mauritanian (2021) ... via a nice balance of the script and performances that never veer into the expected big or "high laurel" delivery of such material ... the film reveals itself to be more ... about how one country lost its soul in the process [of seeking justice]. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 12, 2021
3.5/5 95% Lupin III: The First (2020) Though Monkey Punch passed away in 2019, unable to see the final version of Lupin III: The First, he'd no doubt be proud of the finished product as it hits all the hallmarks of a Lupin III escapade while being accessible for an entirely new audience. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2020
3.5/5 39% Honest Thief (2020) With reality being what it is these days, sometimes it's nice to just pull up something comforting ... That's what Honest Thief offers, a respite from the world in the form of stupid, bone-crunching fun. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 26, 2020
4/5 60% Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) With Jenkins at the helm once more and a reduced portion of her original cast, 1984 is less an explosive superhero outing and more a viewing glass of an alternative past with direct ties to our realized present. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 24, 2020
3.5/5 100% Fare (2016) Torrey, Katherine Drew, J.R. Adduci, and Pat Dortch pull off what must have been an exhaustive dramatic exercise. As interesting as the story ultimately becomes, it would be nothing without their phenomenal performances. - CLTure EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2020
2.5/5 50% The Midnight Sky (2020) As luminous and exploratory as this sounds, by failing to execute a cohesive narrative (that's also riddled with predictability), the human connection required to maintain tension is altogether absent. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2020
3/5 60% All Roads to Pearla (Sleeping in Plastic) (2019) Despite the nagging frustration of a film more interested in the mystery rather than the answer, Dittavong's feature film debut is a hell of a calling card. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2020
4/5 70% Tenet (2020) ... Tenet is not the best film Nolan's created, but it may be his most ambitious and there's much to be lauded in that. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2020
4/5 73% Archenemy (2020) Mortimer carries this and more into his latest feature, Archenemy, a deconstructed superhero tale that asks its audience which is more dangerous: believing that a superhero will save you or a superhero actually coming to the rescue. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 7, 2020
61% Popeye (1980) Some delight in its comic revelry (me), while most look back on it with distain (just about everyone else). ... in the 40th anniversary of Popeye, bursting with nearly 30 minutes of bonus material and a display that looks like it ate its spinach. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 4, 2020
4.5/5 93% Possessor: Uncut (2020) ... writer/director Brandon Cronenberg's second film Possessor, a film whose concepts, performances, and special effects are so disarming and disturbing that you'll want to explore it again and again ... - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2020
4/5 92% Dear Santa (2020) Director Dana Nachman juggles the insights of children, the feeling of the season, and the aspirations of people seeking to do good works in several locations across the country in the three weeks of activity ahead of Christmas. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 1, 2020
4/5 53% Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (2020) ... Peninsula doesn't follow any individuals from Busan which frees up the narrative to explore any number of themes or motivations. This may frustrate Busan fans who loved the small nature of the film, but will delight general audiences ... - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 24, 2020
3/5 81% Porno (2020) You may not get off on something so dirty sounding, but don't worry: the title gives off an X-rated vibe when the film is actually a hard R. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 23, 2020
2/5 35% The New Mutants (2020) ... it's difficult to applaud the positive elements in line with the writers' intent when their utilization of built-in narrative elements are so weak and their newly created elements so uninspired. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2020
4.5/5 76% The Last Starfighter (1984) Nearly four decades later, Arrow Video releases a 4k restoration that not only offers an impressive audio/visual presentation but is jam-packed with bonus features any fan of the cult classic will be unable to resist. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2020
3.5/5 100% Ashens and the Polybius Heist (2020) Polybius Heist is as much a straight heist flick as it is a farce of the subgenre in a way that feels directly in line with the ridiculousness of a Zucker Bros. comedy mashed up with a Monty Python sketch. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 19, 2020
3/5 28% Vanguard (2020) The good news is that the film is pure, unadulterated escapism that plays with genre to some delight. The bad news is that it's definitely not worth a theater ticket. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 18, 2020
3.5/5 31% 2067 (2020) The end result is a film which, at first, seems like a rehash of time travel stories, but, with patience, reveals itself to be much more intelligent. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 17, 2020
2.5/5 73% All Joking Aside (2020) What prevents All Joking Aside from being successful aren't the jokes (many of which land nicely) or the performances (a few being a little too stiff), but the rush to get to the good stuff instead of putting the time in to earn it. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 13, 2020
4.5/5 83% Ghost Dog - The Way of the Samurai (2000) The film is a rare oddity in that is very much of its period, yet is absolutely timeless. It's not just that the poetry Jarmusch pulls from Hagakure ... it's that the film constantly creates a simultaneous sense of something ending and beginning. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 11, 2020
4.5/5 94% It's a Wonderful Life (1946) ... It's a Wonderful Life is a story about how being the best version of yourself, the one who looks out for others, is what it means to be a citizen in any town in any state in our country. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2020
3.5/5 81% Koko-di Koko-da (2020) For all of its dreadful aspects involving torture, murder, and degradation, [writer/director Johannes] Nyholm's nightmarish Koko-di Koko-da never terrifies so much as instills wave after wave of endless discomfort. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2020
4/5 73% V for Vendetta (2006) Release date frustration aside, V for Vendetta remains just as thought-provoking as ever and stands out as a highlight to the Wachowski's ability to write scenes that delight, thrill, and frighten almost all at once. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2020
4/5 No Score Yet Take Out Girl (2019) Take Out Girl is able to explore notions of greed versus desperation, of the reward from hard work versus the faults of short cuts, and of the soul-shattering damage that the awareness of our choices brings. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 30, 2020
2.5/5 65% The Owners (2020) .. if you're in the mood for some light-weight unpleasantness, some down-and-dirty box knife-wielding type of misery, then maybe The Owners is exactly what you need. Be forewarned: in a tale like this one, the God of Death gets exactly what it wants. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 20, 2020
4/5 81% Synchronic (2020) ... Synchronic utilizes a theory which states that time is not how humans perceive it ... which do generate some delightful horror in its depiction, but the anchor of the tale, the true purpose, is an exploration of family, love, and loss. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 19, 2020
3.5/5 70% Cut Throat City (2020) ... this tale of four friends trying to survive in a broken system has enough meat from the thematic elements to make the slightly complex narrative worth sticking it out for. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2020
4/5 87% The Hit (1984) ... it's absolutely the film itself which captures the imagination as the crime thriller subgenre is given a philosopher's tongue amid a road movie structure. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 17, 2020
4/5 92% Love and Monsters (2020) The resulting peculiar apocalypse tale is strangely hopeful and aspirational, leaving audiences in better spirits than when they began the film. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 14, 2020
3.5/5 82% The Opening Act (2020) Even as a fairly low-stakes comedy, Opening isn't comfortable in the sense of "easy," so much as it feels like a warm hug from someone who knows you well, even if they're going to spend all their waking hours screwing with you. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2020
2.5/5 40% Broil (2020) ... Broil contains some impressive ideas which are unfortunately brought down by an inconsistent focus. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2020
3.5/5 27% The Secret: Dare to Dream (2020) ... Dare to Dream is less of a strict adaptation and more of an interpretative one, weaving the principles of The Secret within a romantic drama buttress as a means of empowering the audience to look at life a little differently. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2020
2/5 No Score Yet The Invincible Dragon (2019) Even when Invincible Dragon just lets loose, going absolutely full-tilt insane, the execution of the narrative is so rushed and haphazardly edited together that very little satisfies even if it's entirely memorable. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 6, 2020
3.5/5 49% The Pale Door (2020) The Pale Door is one of those films that becomes infinitely more interesting the more you learn about its origins, the process of creation, and the ideas which run through the film. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2020
4/5 100% The Paper Tigers (2020) ... a modern martial arts dramedy exploring how the tenets of the martial arts don't disappear even when we stop practicing. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2020
4/5 78% The Cat and the Moon (2019) ... Wolff mines his own experiences of anger, frustration, and loneliness to create a stirring slice-of-life drama that never stoops to condescension or exaggeration while capturing a formative moment in teenage years. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 1, 2020
4.5/5 100% Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020) Via a combination of staged sequences, home footage, raw footage, and endless cinematic trickery, audiences are invited to get to know Dick Johnson as he is before he leaves his loved ones for good. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 29, 2020
2.5/5 45% LX 2048 (2020) Ultimately, LX 2048 reveals itself to be a film that is much like Adam, so desperate to mean something that it'll destroy everything it cares for despite the cost. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 25, 2020
5/5 90% The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Make no mistake, just because it is heightened for dramatic effect, it is no less evocative as the manipulation of our justice system to favor those who wield and wish to maintain that power continues to this day. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2020
4.5/5 98% Spontaneous (2020) ... perfectly balances the metaphysical terror of shifting to adulthood with the terror of literal spontaneous combustion. To call it one of the bigger surprises of 2020 would not be an understatement. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2020
3.5/5 86% Misbehaviour (2020) Smartly balanced, the script from co-writers Rebecca Frayn (The Lady) and Gaby Chiappe (Their Finest), based on a story by Frayn, explores how unconnected events in 1970 collided to create an almost unbelievable true story. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 24, 2020
2.5/5 57% Secret Society of Second-Born Royals (2020) Written by Alex Litvak and Andrew Green from a story co-developed with Austin Winsberg, Secret Society is a bubble gum-covered punk song, sweet enough to appeal to everyone yet lacking a distinctive rule-breaking charm. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 21, 2020
4.5/5 100% All In: The Fight for Democracy (2020) Whether they bring smaller stories out of the shadows or present a different perspective on events frequently taught in history classes, [co-directors] Cortés and Garbus generate a documentary that is hard to watch yet impossible to ignore. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2020
4.5/5 81% Last Call (2020) ... Last Call will pull you in with its creativity and then absolutely knock you on your ass with its climax. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2020
3.5/5 93% Pretending I'm a Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story (2020) Ludvig Gür explores the cultural impact of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series ... making it clear that this single game, the first installment in the series, single-handedly changed the course of pop culture forever. - Elements of Madness EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 8, 2020