Strange Days (1995) - Trailer Included
Writer: James Cameron
“Paranoia is just reality on a finer scale.” - Philo
Volatile, visceral and visionary Strange Days, like all quality sci-fi thrillers is full of imagination and social commentary.
Picking up where David Cronenburg’s Videodrome and Douglas Trumbull’s Brainstorm left off, strap the latest tech gadget called a S.Q.U.I.D to your dial and become someone else, by living their memories.
Los Angeles December 1999: It is the end of the millennium and ex cop Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) is a street hustler dealing in the illegal trade of S.Q.U.I.D units. A clever, portable device that when placed on top of your head, allows you to see the memories of another which are stored on a mini-disc.
“This is not like "TV-only-better"... this is life.” – Lenny
Obviously this technology is being exploited and just like the internet is used mainly for pornographic sex and violence.
Ripping you into this alternate reality, the film opens with Lenny wearing a S.Q.U.I.D and through a dizzying, uninterrupted POV shot the viewer and Lenny experience first hand a brutal armed robbery that result in a snuff film style fall to the death.
Obsessed with finding the hard to get rare and just plain sick and twisted, Lenny does try to draw the line at Blackjacks (read: snuff).
Wheeling and dealing, behind the fast talking amoral exterior he is actually pining for past love that came in the form of an ex girlfriend named Faith (Juliette Lewis)
“See... I can get you what you want, I can. I can get you anything, you just have to talk to me, you have to trust me. You can trust me, 'cause I'm your priest, I'm your shrink... I am you main connection to the switchboard of he soul. I'm the magic man... Santa Claus of the subconscious. You say it, you think it, you can have it.” - Lenny
Brutal and moving at a frantic pace, soon he ends up in possession of a deadly disc that holds the key to a conspiracy within the L.A.P.D. Unhappy with the way his life turned out, but determined to stay alive and bring the guilty to justice.
Putting the puzzle together in an attempt to solve the mystery, Menace, murder and mayhem send him barrelling head long towards a monumental New Years Eve with horrific repercussions.
“You know one of the ways movies are still better than playback? The music comes up, there's credits, and you always know when it's over.” - Faith
All dressed up on New years and no where to go, I miss Mickey Knox
John Doe Says:
Tech noir, Intelligent and visually stunning, all the elements of cinema combine to give the viewer a breakneck, high tech thrill ride that will leave you exhausted but satisfied.
Setting itself firmly in the world we live now, writer/producer/editor James Cameron(Terminator, the Abyss) puts his stamp all over the screenplay and production. Penned just after the Rodney King case, the film contains all the element that have made him a behemoth. Striking set design, FX, and a dark moody atmosphere powered by thoughtful and inventive storytelling that spirals with twists.
An exception to the rule, successful female Director Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark, Point Break) stages out of control high energy action better than most with testosterone coursing through them. She has an eye and ear for fine details and this is her most accomplished film in scale and execution.
Carefully shot with hued lighting and rich in scorching imagery, the film has an erotic feel that is fuelled by fashion conscious costumes.
Edited so you feel a hairs breath behind and become fully engaged with the onscreen drama, the sound design glues it all together. As if all that wasn’t enough to keep it moving it’s all mixed with a thumping soundtrack to guide and push you around.
Another fine Ralph Fiennes (The Constant Gardener, Spider, Quiz Show) performance, he plays slimy with a cool ease and emotional tenderness making what could have been an onscreen stereotype, fascinating and worthwhile.
The always crazed Tom Sizemore (Natural Born Killers, Black Hawk Down, Bringing Out The Dead, Heat, Devil In a Blue Dress, true Romance) is so much fun to let loose and here he plays up to the image, anytime he is onscreen he makes me grin.
Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers, Way of the Gun) is her usual twisted self and actually performs some PJ Harvey tunes on camera with buckets of energy.
Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got To Do with It, The Score) plays a powerful, strong willed female to be envied, one of the unsung positive role models to sit beside Sarah Connor thanks to acrobatic fighting and pin point gun slinging.
Michael Wincott plays evil with pleasure and I must admit to being seduced by his charms, wether its in Alien 4, The Crow or Dead Man his deep, throaty drawl and snake like movements make me love to hate him.
Challenging cinema that is violent and realistic, rewarding with a complex story that addresses real world issues in a dazzling and original way.
Transfer: Anamorphic Widescreen 16:9/ Dolby Digital 5.1
Extras: making of featurette and 50 minute Directors Commentary that is taken from a college lecture series so it is not scene specific.
Click below to see the teaser trailer for the film with Lenny Nero doing a monologue.
If you were seduced by Lenny, then check out the full length trailer her to reveal more