NERVE Blu-ray Review

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Are you a PLAYER or a WATCHER?

Nerve is an online game that works like a mix of social media and truth or dare.  If you decide to play, you have to perform whatever stunt the game gives you.  If you complete the task, you make some money.  The longer you play, the more you can make but the stunts also get bigger.

Venus or Vee as her friends call her, is about to graduate high school and is struggling to come up with her college tuition.  Her best friend Sydney plays nerve and is doing whatever she can to make it into the finals.  She tells Vee that she needs to live a little because she is missing out on life.  So when Vee switches from a watcher to a player, she is dared to kiss a stranger for a short time.  As it turns out, Ian is also playing the game and the viewers like the two of them together but how far is Vee willing to go to make some cash for school?  Is she really a player or in over her head?

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NERVE is directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman, the team behind the film CATFISH.  It is based on the novel of the same name by Jeanne Ryan.  This film seems like a traditional type that has a target audience of kids in mind but was I ever wrong.  It has some elements of THE RUNNING MAN, without the gameshow element, and other movies where it shows how sick society can be.  All of the “viewers” show their morbid curiosity and it gets worse as the film goes on.  I did like that they kept the motivation for Vee to play their game simple and completely believable. The casting was also picked well for their roles.  Emma Roberts did surprise me as the timid girl when lately she has been almost type-casted as the mean, popular girl.  Her chemistry with Dave Franco was exactly where you want your lead actors to be with each other.  There was never that feeling that the relationship was forced or unnatural.

I really enjoyed the film’s way to relate to more ages than the teenage film I thought I was stepping into.  It makes sense that this kind of game would be so popular with the world using their mobile devices as an extension of themselves.

Cast
Emma Roberts as Vee/Venus
Dave Franco as Ian/Sam
Juliette Lewis as Nancy
Emily Meade as Sydney
Miles Heizer as Tommy
Kimiko Glenn as Liv
Machine Gun Kelly as Ty

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The transfer is a 1080p presentation.

This film looks superb.  The coloring pops with neon pink and bold blues.  The filmmakers made the lighting around the city feel bright and enticing.  One of the best lit scenes is in the diner when she begins to play the game and the neon brightens things up while lighting the actors features well.  The details in the images are perfect with so much captured in each scene.  There are a good amount of close ups that make the evening’s progression from the characters look realistic.  This is a very well done Blu-ray due to the director’s and cinematographer’s attention to detail.

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The audio is a a DTS:X but defaults to a DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix.

The audio is well done with perfectly picked music for the soundtrack.  It goes from simple new music to pulse-punting techno when its appropriate.  The highs are good but the LFEs really hit hard.  The sound effects are reproduced with precision and mixed in clean layers with the DTS-HD mix.  There is also excellent movement of the living city in the speakers.  You hear the transition from the main streets into the tunnel during the blind driving scene.  The voices have good fidelity and are very clear.  With so much gong on in the film at once, the sound editor did an excellent job with this audio track.

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Watcher
-The Players: has mini bio about the players of the game.

-Do you have the Nerve?: Explains the rules of the game and has a mini game

-Are you a watcher or a player? has a mini quiz to determine watcher or player.

Player
-@_IAN_: This is a featurette about Dave Franco and his character Ian.

-@Flyin_Blind: This is a clip talking with Emma Roberts and Dave Franco about the motorcycle stunt.

-@SYD_BABY_XO: This is a featurette about Emily Meade and her character Sydney.

-@WhiteKnuckles: This is about the crane stunt with Dave Franco.

-@Made_U_Look: This featurette has the actors discussing the directors of the film.

-@I?NYC: This is about shooting in NYC.

-@Vee_99: This is about Emma Roberts and her character Vee.

-@TYDontDY: This is about Machine Gun Kelly playing Ty.

-@Tha_High_Life: This is about creating the ladder stunt with Emma Roberts and Emily Meade.

-@darkweb_whiteknight: This is about Miles Heizer and is character Tommy.

-@MicDrop: This is about the singing scene in the diner with Dave Franco.

-@TimesSquareTakeover: This is about Emily Meade pulling pranks in Times Square.

-@Squadgoals: This is the directors tlalking about casting internet stars in the film.

-@Seymour_Butts: This is about the scene with Emma Roberts and Dave Franco 
running through Bergdorf’s in their underwear.

-@dropping_beats: This is about the soundtrack for the movie.

-@govball_prankin: This is people playing Nerve at the Gov Ball NYC Festival.

-@Tattewish: This is about the scene in the Tatoo parlor with Fat Jewish.

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Disc Details
1 Blu-ray Disc
Digital Copy

Running Time
96 mins

Edition Ratings
Rated PG-13

Region Coding
Region A

Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Audio Mixes
English DTS:X
English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
English DTS Headphone:X
Spanish DTS 5.1

Subtitles
English
English SDH
Spanish

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NERVE is an entertaining film that shows how disconnected being connected can make people.  There are also good characters, a good story, and excellent cinematography here that is very much on the creative side.  The Blu-ray has been perfectly crafted to bring the most out of the HD picture and sound.  I like all of the special features but they broke them up in a weird way, making it a little hard to completely remember what you have and haven’t watched.  Overall, this is a movie and Blu-ray that I can easily recommend for some good fun & entertainment.

Order your copy from Amazon

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About the author

MEDIA JOURNALIST & STAFF WRITER | Michael is a fanatic about all cinema. He collects many things from movies to Steelbooks to 1/6 Scale Collectibles and vinyl collectibles. He loves pop culture, writing, reviewing films & collectibles, and journalism. Anything that is even slightly related to these things are always on his radar and most definitely a comic book nerd. He is also, of course, a Batman junkie and will chat it up about pretty much anything.