First up: Swallows And Amazons. A family of kids go on holiday in the Lake District, camp out on an Island, and meet some pirates. I loved the books as a kid, but the stories grow up with the protagonists and the first book is a decidedly young story so for this adaption the writers tried to add a bit of spice. Specifically they decided to make Uncle Jim a spy and the people who rob his houseboat Russians who are after him for the whole film. In the book he's a writer and the theives steal his manuscript. This could have worked, but it doesn't really gel with the childhood summer adventure, like they have genres they tried to mash up and it didn't quite work. The performances are average and overall the film is nothing special, but it's visually lovely and a nice, nostalgic slice of childhood - I always wanted an Enid Blyton adventure as a kid, but Arthur Ransome adventures felt more attainable, even if I didn't know the first thing about sailing.
On the other hand I saw a little girl watching it with her mum who gave me the widest grin when we were leaving that I couldn't help beaming back at her. So maybe for the intended age range it's much more magical.
Next up: Nerve. Based on a YA novel - that I haven't read, unusual for me! - so I can't tell you how it compares to the book. The story revolves around an online game where people complete dares, as voted on by their watches, for money and the ones with the most watchers and who complete the hardest dares end up in a final. Our protagonist is a teen who isn't a risk-taker and ends up partnered with a stranger.
It's a good, well-paced story, the dares escalate in a way I found believable, all of the characters are three-dimensional and shades of grey which kept any of them from being boring, it made me laugh at times, and there were some nerve-wracking moments. The ending felt...somewhat obvious in some ways, but it also had a twist that I didn't see coming. It'd be interesting to see how the book ends - my cinema buddy @TricksyLieSmith is on that. Overall I enjoyed this one, more than I thought I would.