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The Shallows, Nerve, Pete’s Dragon and more: In cinemas this week

We preview this week’s cinema releases

The Shallows
Credit: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Stuck for what to watch at the weekend? Let Entertainment Focus help you with our handy guide to this week’s new releases. From the biggest blockbusters to the best in independent and world cinema, we’ve got it covered.

The Shallows

What’s it about? A nerve-shredding modern day B-movie. A lean 86 minutes of thrills and blood-spills, as medical student Nancy (Blake Lively) goes surfing on a secluded beach in Mexico, and finds herself stranded on a rock when a great white shark comes a-hunting in the shallows. A battle of wits ensues, as the injured Nancy tries desperately to survive this terrifying ordeal.

Who’s in it? Blake Lively

 

Nerve

What’s it about? From the directors of Catfish (the original film about the perils of online life, and the anonymous people we interact with) comes this fast-paced survival thriller about an online truth or dare game called Nerve. The game, which is live-streamed online has “players” and “watchers”. The watchers dare the players to do things, and the players receive financial rewards if they succeed. As the dares become more risky, the game intensifies, and the players find themselves in a life or death fight for survival. Fun and flashy, Nerve looks like a 2016 version of David Fincher’s The Game.

Who’s in it? Emma Roberts, Dave Franco

 

Pete’s Dragon

What’s it about? A live action remake of the 1977 Walt Disney film, about a forest ranger who finds a boy that has been living seemingly alone in the woods for the past six years. She soon discovers that the boy, Pete, was protected by Elliott, a giant fur-covered dragon. World’s collide. Wonder is replaced by fear. Stop me if your heard this before. Yes, the plot is predictable, but the sweet story, visual inventiveness, and adorable fuzzy dragon will overcome the very familiar tale this is telling.

Who’s in it? Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence, Robert Redford

 

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

What’s it about? The initial premise of this film does not inspire confidence. Two bros (actual brothers who are also high-fiving party bros) are ordered to find respectable dates for their sister’s upcoming wedding. Is this a Vince Vaughn film from 2003? No, it’s yet another strange step in the career of the very talented Zac Efron, who now seems content to just appear in vulgar comedies with his shirt off. The interesting twist in this film however, is that the respectable dates, are in fact two girls who are even more disgusting and reckless than the boys. They’re just faking being nice to get a trip to Hawaii for the wedding. That the female characters are given a chance to be funny, rather than the typical disapproving shrews we normally see in a film like this, is definitely interesting. That they are played by the wonderful pairing of Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza, is the main reason to go and see it.

Who’s in it? Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam Devine, Aubrey Plaza, Stephen Root

 

ALSO OUT

Wiener-Dog
The latest curio from Todd Solondz, featuring an all-star cast, including Greta Gerwig and Ellen Burstyn.

Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words
A captivating look at the life of the Swedish screen icon.

The Wave
Norwegian disaster movie directed by the wonderfully named Roar Uthaug.

Valley of Love
French drama starring Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert

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