Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of August 14, 2023

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of August 14, 2023

The Last Voyage of the Demeter
Rated R for bloody violence
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51%
In Theaters

The newest addition to Universal’s monster movie family is this very simple story taken from the section of the book Dracula by Bram Stoker where Dracula is transported by boat from Romania to England. At first all seems easy and the crew is convinced that they will all get a generous bonus for an early and efficient arrival. But then things go horribly wrong as first the livestock are killed in grisly ways, followed by one crew member after another. Overall, the film ain’t great, but it’s not terrible either. Its biggest fault is its lack of creativity and surprise. It’s a cookie cutter story with lots of gore but a general lack of horror and suspense. The Dracula creature is well-crafted, but unfortunately not terrifying. That being said, it turns out to be a clever enough side story that feels like a good flashback sequence in a show where we know what happens next. It could have been Alien meets Master and Commander, but it doesn’t quite get there. What it does have going for it is a decent enough cast, including Corey Hawkins (In the Heights, The Tragedy of McBeth) and Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) in roles that actually add a slight bit of unexpected nuance to the film. It also has excellent production values including cinematography by Roman Osin (Pride & Prejudice) and music by the prolific composer Bear McCreary (The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power). I do feel director André Øverdal has made much scarier fare, such as The Autopsy of Jane Doe and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, but at least he keeps the story well-paced and interesting to watch. By the end you get what you expect, but at least it’s watchable. B-

Drops of God
Rate TV MA
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
Steaming on Apple TV+

If you are into great food and wine dramas such as The Bear and The Big Night, you must sink your teeth into this terrific new show on Apple TV+ which follows a young woman living in France who discovers that her estranged father, on his death bed, has left her the world’s most valuable wine collection, as well as his estate in Tokyo. The catch is that she can only claim it if she beats his favorite wine student, a young Japanese sommelier in a three-stage wine contest. To make the situation more complicated, she has the wine skills – but she can’t drink without having severe health issues. And if she loses, the student wins everything. Not only is the show full of beautiful aesthetics that will make you incredibly thirsty and travel-hungry, but it contains some wonderful and unpredictable turns that are marvelously delivered. By the end you get a fantastic tale, deliciously told. While the narrative might be guilty of laying out its cards a bit too early, it certainly keeps delivering the goods until the very end. A