Nerve (15)

Lionsgate, £9.99

With their well-received 2010 documentary Catfish and its MTV reality show spin-off, American directing team Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost have made a career exploring the way social media and the internet offer a cloak of anonymity within which users can be or become anyone they want.

A busy 2016 has already seen the straight-to-video release of Viral, a post-apocalyptic horror, but for their second release of the year they return to social media and the internet for a near-future thriller involving a mysterious online game called Nerve (“Like Truth of Dare. Only without the Truth” is the slogan).

In Nerve you're either a watcher (for which you pay) or a player (for which you are paid), with apparently crowd-sourced dares bringing the financial rewards. These start simply enough with commands such as “kiss a stranger for five seconds” - which is how studious newbie Vee (Emma Roberts) meets leather-clad biker boy Ian (Dave Franco) - and then progress to the hard stuff. Like riding blindfold through Manhattan at 60 miles an hour on a motorbike. Or killing someone. As the romance between Vee and Ian grows, they're pitted against each other in the final face-off. You can probably guess the rest, though there are some twists you won't.

Nerve is based on a young adult novel by Jeanne Ryan, so there's a pat moral outcome where a dystopian one might have been more appropriate. Another problem is the casting: you long for a young, edgy Christian Slater to be teamed with Dakota Fanning, say, but instead we're given Roberts and Franco, younger brother of James. With his cropped hair and toothy Tom Cruise grin, he's passable. But Roberts is a weak link. Thankfully Juliette Lewis is also on board as Vee's mother Nancy, though she's given little to do beyond stare at her mobile and act surprised that her bank balance is increasingly steadily as watchers pump money into the joint account she (inexplicably) shares with her daughter.

Three Wishes For Cinderella (PG)

Second Run, £12.99

Fairy tales are so popular in Czech cinema they have their own genre, and the classics among them are still some of the most widely-watched films in the country. This spirited 1973 take on the story of Cinderella, directed by Vaclav Vorlicek, is one of the best-loved.

It's probably stretching things a bit to call it a feminist re-working. But its adherence to the traditional Czech version of the story gives it a spunky heroine called Popelka who first encounters her prince when she throws a snowball at him and then - dressed as a boy now - bests him in an archery competition. Her animal sidekicks are a white charger, a Harry Potter-style owl and clusters of white doves that appear every now and again to help with the housework, and the necessary magic intercedes through three hazelnuts she's given by one of the put-upon servants she works beside in her stepmother's fortified country pile. In fact the Czech title of the film is more commonly translated as Three Nuts For Cinderella. On top of that, there's only one ugly sister and no fairy godmother.

Pavel Trávní?ek plays the Prince and Carola Braunbock does a fine comic turn as the grasping and uncaring Stepmother, but it's Libuše Šafránková as the gamin heroine who really anchors the film, whether dressed in her kitchen drab, her tight-fitting pageboy outfit - it's hard to see how the Prince was ever fooled - or the silver-embroidered finery she wears to the ball. Extras include an appreciation by Eastern European cinema specialist Michael Brooke.

The Lovers And The Despot (PG)

Soda Pictures, £15.99

Directed by Britons Ross Adams and Robert Cannan, this film tells the story of South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee and her husband, director Shin Sang-ok, who were kidnapped by agents of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Hong Kong in 1978. He was a film fan and, despairing of his own country's attempt to carve out a cinematic niche on the world stage, decided to borrow from a near neighbour two of its biggest stars.

On paper it sounds both laughable and barely credible, but for eight years - between their abduction and their eventual escape in 1986 - Choi and Shin were his captives. For the first five years, they were kept apart until eventually being allowed to meet and make films together with an almost unlimited budget, something Shin had never enjoyed in South Korea. Though always accompanied by North Korean agents, they were given the freedom to visit foreign film festivals and it was while in Vienna that they finally shook off their minders and were able to seek asylum in the US embassy. Some in South Korea never quite believed the tale, however.

Shin died in 2006 so it's Choi who does most of the talking. Among the other interviewees are her children, an amiable South Korean intelligence office and the film critic Derek Malcolm. But the star turn goes to Kim Jong-il himself - or rather to his voice, captured on tape by Choi in secret recordings she made. Taken at face value, it's a fascinating story which Adams and Cannan make a decent enough job of telling.