Nerve (Blu-ray) (2016)

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer-Masterminds (2:18) : 1080p, 1.78:1
Theatrical Trailer-Barbershop : The Next Cut (2:06) : 1080p, 2.35:1
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-The Fat Jewish Gets Tattewish (2:47), 1080p.
Featurette-The Governor's Ball Takeover (2:43), 1080p.
Game- "Do You Have The Nerve?" (3:26), 1080p.
Quiz-"Are You a Watcher or a Player?" (6:13), 1080p.
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2016
Running Time 96:14
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ariel Schulman
Henry Joost

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Emma Roberts
Dave Franco
Machine Gun Kelly
Juliette Lewis
Emily Meade
Miles Heizer
Kimiko Glenn
Samiro Wiley
Ed Squires
Brian Marc
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI Rental Music Rob Simonsen

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, title only at approx 3 mins.

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Referring to a film as "a sleeper" seems to have gone out of style. In my youth it referred to a relatively unknown film, made with a lower budget, and for which the viewer had low expectations, only to find that the little "sleeper" was considerably better than many big-budget, eagerly anticipated "blockbusters". And that's a term that has been rendered totally meaningless. Originally a film earned the description "|blockbuster", by having the queues for tickets do a complete circuit of the block housing the cinema, the end of the queue meeting the head of the queue. Today a film is called a "blockbuster" before it has even been released. However, let's get back to "sleeper". I approached Roadshow's recent release of Nerve on Blu-ray with no expectations. I knew that Dave Franco was in it, and that James's little brother was getting better with each film, but apart from that I knew nothing. What a pleasant surprise it was, then, to find that Nerve is one of the best teen oriented films I have seen.

     Co-directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Catfish) have created their film from the screenplay by Jessica Sharzer (American Horror Story), which is based on Jeanne Ryan's 2012 novel of the same name. We are introduced to the conservative, well-grounded Venus, or "Vee" (Emma Roberts), still in high school and living with her protective mother (Juliette Lewis). The mother and daughter are still feeling the impact of the recent death of Vee's brother. It is a time of teenaged angst for the girl, as she has to decide whether she wants to leave her mother and move across country to attend her college of choice. To make things worse, Vee has a crush on a jock in her class, a guy she has never even spoken to. Vee takes the plunge and approaches the young man, but she is rebuffed. Feeling that she has never taken a chance on anything in her young life, Vee is urged by friend Sydney (Emily Meade) to join her in the new craze, "Nerve". This is an online game, at which Sydney is having great success. First comes the choice of participating as a Player or a Watcher. As a Player the participant is required to accept challenges so he or she can win money. The challenges begin as silly and innocuous, but become increasingly dangerous and risky. The executed dares are documented on cell phones, as the player builds an audience and climbs up the ranking ladder. Vee decides to spice up her image via some "Nerve" time. Her first dare involves kissing a total stranger for five seconds. This turns out to be Ian (Dave Franco), who reveals that he is also a Player. The two pair up and run around the city on dares, which become increasingly dangerous. They motorcycle into Manhattan, living on the edge with their pranks as their bank accounts grow. During the proceedings we learn that there is a reason behind Ian's participation in the game.

     This film depicts a number of aspects of modern, youth dominated society. Depicts, but does not explore or examine. Maybe that was the intention, to stick to the superficial. Remember the recent Pokemon Go craze? The movie shows today's youth consumed by modern technology, living lives through social media. There is an absence of privacy in this online world and we often see these characters doing downright stupid things. I don't know what a young audience would take away from this film, but I found it engrossing and entertaining, while it reinforced my attitudes towards this modern world and its obsession with social media. Performances are fine, with Emma Roberts showing she has inherited her family's talent - Dad Eric and Aunt Julia. Dave Franco shows that he is developing his own charismatic screen persona, coming from under the shadow of his brother's fame. The younger Franco is a standout in Now You See Me 2.

     Don't miss the brilliant end credits.

     This was one of my happiest surprises of the last twelve months viewing. A youthful, vibrant and exciting movie that portrays modern society without preaching - and manages to entertain along the way.

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Transfer Quality


     This relatively minor film is given a brilliant Blu-ray presentation. Shot digitally by cinematographer Michael Simmonds, (White Girl), we have a strong, often dazzling, visual presentation that is sharp and dynamic.

     The palette is highly stylized, with brilliant neon colours dominated by teal and orange with bursts of purple and red. Blacks are inky and deep, and this enhances the night depiction of a city. This busy city backdrop looks terrific, with skyscrapers of New York and the bright lights of that city quite dazzling. Excellent use is made of the full widescreen frame, that ratio being maintained for the numerous "computer screen" shots which occur throughout the screenplay. The final shot, with the bridge, the carousel, muted greys and blues and the popping red on Emma Roberts'wardrobe - this must be the best movie image of the year. Gorgeous.

     I would choose this disc over many "blockbuster" epics to show off a system.

     The English for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired subtitles were sampled and were excellent, presented in white and centred at the foot of the image.


Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     There are two audio tracks: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 encoded at 48K, and the English Audio Description Narration for the Vision Impaired track, Dolby Digital Stereo encoded at 48K. This narration was sampled and was very good indeed, delivered by a female with an American accent, which was very appropriate for this film.

     Firstly, the music dominates in much of the film, both original score - from Rob Simonsen (The Way, Way Back) and catalogue songs. The music is often highly involved in the action, competing strongly at times with the dialogue. However I never found this distracting, and found the dialogue to be clear and precise. Dialogue is front and centred, and the surrounds are basically used for the music and environmental noises of the city. There are two sequences, however, that do stand out for their use of the surrounds. These are the motorcycle ride/dare and the scene on the subway tracks. These are dynamic and truly enveloping. The subwoofer kicks in where appropriate, which is mainly for the music - thumping powerfully, particularly in "Lucky I Get What I Want" late in the film.

     Terrific sound complementing an excellent image.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     The extras here are numerous, but all very short and really not adding up to much at all.


The menu screen is comprised of three computer screen images,the centre one complete with the left and right screens only about 50%. There is live action, animation and music from the film.

Start-Up Trailers:

     Masterminds (2:18): Presented 1080p and 1.78:1, Barbershop: The Next Cut (2:06): Presented 1080p and 2.35:1.

Featurettes: Creating Nerve

     These making-of featurettes are presented by directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, producer Allison Shearmur, stunt co-ordinator Stephen Pope and actors Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Miles Heizer and Emily Meade. All are very short and the result is that there is little substance. All are high definition, with interview footage presented 1.78:1 and excerpts from the film at 2.35:1. Attractive but not very satisfying. There is a play-all function or individual segments may be selected. These are:

Featurette: The Fat Jewish Gets Tattewish (2:47)

     Outtakes which concentrate on a scene with comedian Josh "The Fat Jew" Ostrovsky. Not funny.

Featurette : The Governor's Ball Takeover (2:43)

     In this a group of people play "Nerve" in public. The dares are silly and pointless, and certainly not daring.

Game: Do You Have The Nerve? (3:26)

     This is a little better, being an interactive game. The dares are all rather tame, and the result is mildly amusing but silly.

Quiz: Are You a Watcher Or a Player? (6:13)

     The results of the quiz will determine whether you are a "watcher" or a "player".


    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The local release misses out on bios of six of the movie's characters. The US release also has an option within the menu where the viewer can choose to be a "player" or a "watcher".



     Nerve had a target teen audience and fared quite well at the box office, despite its low budget of $20 million. Surprisingly the movie actually has wider appeal, presenting the lives of the young participants without judging or preaching. The film is beautifully shot, well-acted and looks and sounds a treat. Give this a try and you might be surprised. Highly recommended.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Review Equipment
DVDOPPO BDP-103AU, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 60UF850T 4K. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

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