Alright this is the review that you and I have been waiting for! I do apologize in advance for the excess Franco spam, but after this review I will take a well needed break- that is until the next Franco film comes out. Due to the long wait, book material, built up hype, and last week’s encounter, I had high expectations and intended to be a bit more critical in the report card portion of the review.
Luckily, I was impressed with Nerve. It was not perfect, but it kept me on the edge of my seat, and I was happy when I left the theater. The movie teaches a great lesson about social media and its dangers. Nowadays, people are so obsessed with followers and likes, that they fail to see what’s really important, and people are able to hide behind a screen, making themselves invincible to backlash and negative consequences. Everyday, you see some sort of news story dealing with the negatives of social media.
I remember seeing an article about someone playing Pokemon Go in the front row during a Beyonce concert! How disgusting! I see photos of events and places all the time, and it bugs me. People do these things for the photos. You can’t go to a landmark, museum, or anything without running into a crowd of people with their devices. It’s not even about the experience anymore. When I was at Torrey Pines, I tried to climb the rocks and enjoy the view of the ocean, but a bunch of people with phones were in the way.
I feel it’s so hard to be authentic anymore. Most of my personal relationships have fizzled away and only consist of a like on my Facebook status or a comment here and there. I have to post about my life. I need to show people I am doing well. I need to rant when something bad happens in this world. I need to post a carefully selected photo to feel attractive. It’s like keeping up with the Joneses and I am tired. I have so many accounts to keep up with, and it’s exhausting. It’s mean, but I realize that a lot of people do not care about what I post, and I do not care about what they post. Why do I follow them? Why do I put my life out there for others to see?
When I saw Dave in person last week, I thought how ironic it was that as soon as he, Emma, Henry, and Ariel entered the stage, every phone was raised, not really paying attention to what was going on exactly. I was partially guilty myself, and felt slightly weird pointing my camera at someone I didn’t know. I wanted a picture with Dave, but I think I wanted it more for show than anything. An autograph is cool, but a photo? I can show off to all my friends and show them how fabulous I am. Many others wanted Dave’s photo too, as they screamed Dave’s name and held up their phone towards him and turned their backs to him. I guess they were going to post the encounter on their Instagrams and Twitters. I look at my Instagram and realize how unreal it is. It’s nothing but artsy photos of landscapes, perfect selfies, my books, and anything else. It’s all been carefully curated to give an illusion. I’ve tried to give up social media so many times, but it’s hard. You feel as if you’ll miss something, or people will worry about you. But as we all know, life goes on.
Sorry about my introspection, without further adieu, here is my Nerve review:
Starring: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Emily Meade, Juliette Lewis
Directors: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Jeanne Ryan. The book is pretty amazing and definitely lent itself to a movie. The material is more original than a lot of the other mainstream releases coming out right now, so that’s what the film has going for it. Due to all the Pokemon Go craze, Taylor Swift scandal, and many other social media events, Nerve couldn’t be more relevant and packs a powerful message about the dangers of the internet.
The story follows a shy but ambitious high school senior named Vee (Emma Roberts) who is tired of living in the shadows of her outgoing, popular best friend Sydney (Emily Meade). Provoked by being rejected by her crush, Vee signs up for Nerve, a sketchy internet game that allows gamers to choose to either be a Watcher or a Player. Players complete a series of dares- from downright harmless to life-threatening. Watchers pay to observe the Players. The game extracts all of Vee’s personal information, and tailors the dares to her. At the beginning of the game, Vee becomes partners with the handsome and enigmatic Ian (Dave Franco), who takes her along on a wild ride til the end of the game.
Due to the target demographic of this film, I wasn’t surprised that the ending was Disney-fied. The book is a bit more pessimistic, but that didn’t take away from the film for me.
I really ADORED the clever shooting of this film. Due to the social media aspect of this film, many of the scenes were shot with cell phone and GoPro-like effects. The POV shots will give you anxiety. The directors of the film really wanted you to have an EXPERIENCE- which I appreciate. You’ll be at the top of a crane, under a train, or on top of a ladder hundreds of feet above the ground. Amazing. Also, I love the neon light scheme throughout the film, and the beautiful night shots of familiar landmarks in New York City. God I love NYC. It’s so beautiful. Nerve almost made we want to leave California. Also, sorry to sound like a crazed stan, but Dave Franco was filmed beautifully. The lighting, the angles, his expressions. I think that was done on purpose to build trust with the audience and make it fall in love with him. That singing scene! Dave can’t sing for shit, but he was a rock star.
Ear Porn: A+++
The soundtrack and score really make this film and helps out with the fast paced atmosphere. Throughout the film you’ll hear some Wu Tang Clan, Icona Pop, Machine Gun Kelly (Who also has a significant role in the film as Ty), Roy Orbison, and so much more! You can find the #PlayerorWatcher playlist on Spotify.
In all honesty the main points go for featuring two of my other favorites, Kimiko Glenn (Liv) and Samira Wiley (Hacker Kween), otherwise known and Brooke Soso and Poussey Washington from OITNB. I felt they had good roles, but they definitely could have been utilized better, especially Samira in her role as a hacker. Other good additions to the cast are Marc John Jeffries (Wes) and Brian Marc (J.P.). I do applaud the filmmakers on portraying a more diverse NYC than I have seen in awhile on film. I mean with over 17 million people, there ought to be some POC’s somewhere, right?
Girl Power: B-
I relate to Vee on a spiritual level almost. Though not as attractive, I was that quiet, artsy girl in school with the more outgoing, daring friend. She appeals to girls like me who want an escape and to be the object of some mysterious hunk’s eyes. It was great to see Vee evolve in a short 24 hour time span. She overcomes her fears and lives her life. She stands up to her overbearing friend, and wins at life though she doesn’t win the game. She doesn’t get rescued by Ian, but she plans a brilliant scheme along with her friends to destroy Nerve. Also, I loved seeing a female hacker. Awesomeness.
Box Office: B+
Nerve earned over a million dollars in it’s Tuesday night run and is on track to earn about 10 million is it’s first three days. The social media buzz is pretty strong, and reviews have been largely positive, so it may fare better.
Adriana, The Cinema Soloist