I remember seing this in the cinema 20 years ago, and
i also well remember the Power this film had on me, i was totally
nailed to my chair. Visually run over by a Tank or something like that.
The cinematographic visual masters Bigelow and
Cameron never let their grip loosen on you and they totally hijack you
into ther dark and scary dystopian world of the
slightly future Los Angeles of december 1999. You're sucked into the
story and the pace of the film is just wondrous.
Amazing sensational stuff from the great pair of Kathryn Bigelow and
James Cameron, and in my eyes this is even better
than the mighty T1 regarding the latters filmography.
As i remember i saw this in an almost empty cinema here in Stockholm,
Sweden, and after that i had a VHS copy, to be
replaced by a swedish edition DVD (see pic below) and now to be substituted
in my collection by this Blu-ray
Swedish DVD edition - aaah, notice the the idiotic text on the front
sleeve ... "From the man behind Terminator 2 and Point Break".
Cretins! However great James Cameron undoubtly is,
it's shameful disregarding the directing and visual genius of Kathryn
Bigelow, You stupid misogynist film company idiots.
Easily one of the best dystopian thrillers AND sci-fi
films ever made, and it's a great mystery that this epic film noir classic
bombed at the office. I mean .... James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow
in a heavenly coupling, a cinematographic coupling
that is (but they were a couple once also privately) so how could it
go wrong? The James Cameron and the great Bigelow.
This film seems to be very underrated, unseen and unloved to be such
an accomplished piece of work. Why, how is it even
possible? A possible answer could be that this film where Too Dark,
Too Intense and Too Unusual to fit in with the main-
stream crowd, and unwisely the film was promoted by an awful trailer
teaser that made a gold nugget look like a turd.
For me, Strange Days is at the top of my Sci-Fi thriller/action Favourite
list along with another underrated gem, Dredd,
and then there are classics like Robocop, Terminator 1-2, Starship Troopers,
Bladerunner and Total Recall naturally.
Ooops, sorry, almost forgot Cronenbergs weird favourites as Videodrome
and Scanners here, and Carpenters They Live
Angela Bassett is absolutely outstanding as the Limousine
driver Mace, a friend to and tough Guardian Angel of, Nero.
She really impresses as the only "normal" person in the film,
a lone mother working for her living in a non-sleazy way
as a driver - and she gives the film some emotional warmth in the darkness,
being in love with Lenny Nero and this makes
way to the GREAT beatiful romantic ending with one of the best kisses
on film - EVER ..... aaah, i love that ending, Lenny
Nero - You Lucky, Lucky Guy. Lornette "Mace" Mason, you better
clean up your act and treat her well Lenny.
The Story: - Warning for SPOILERS below .... Beware
Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) is an ex-cop thrown out of
the force and he's a somewhat sleazy, if likeable and good looking,
character that makes a living selling black market clips, squid clips.
Peddling sleaze says Mace, but Lenny sees himself as
some sort of do-gooder, providing people a wide array of experiences
to enjoy .... as someone other having sex, a teenage
girl stroking herself, a guy jogging happily on the beach or robbers
fleeing over a roof. To do this you've to use forbidden
equipment though, a Squid that you put on your head to record or play
back the happenings (other peoples memories).
Sometimes Lenny encounters the nasty stuff, Snuff Clips, where the recorder
has died, goods that Lenny refuses to sell.
Lenny is a bit shabby but still has got some style and really is a good
guy (the reason Mace loves him ... without Lenny
noticing though, until the end .... finally Man, are you blind or ...?).
He himself enjoys these Wire Trips, but then only his memories of his
ex-girlfriend rocksinger Faith (Juliette Lewis).
The film takes place in LA 1999 December 30-31, a dark
chaotic place on the brink of total anarchy. There's violence on
the streets and one day a woman gives him a clip, an explosive one as
it depicts the racial hate murder of a famous and
politically influential afro-american rapper, Jeriko One, committed
by 2 white cops (played enjoyably nasty by Vincent
D'Onofrio and William Fichtner). The cops know that the surviving girl
had a squid on and that the killing was recorded
and soon the tracks leads to poor Lenny, and the hunt is on.
Besides being hunted by murderers Lenny also has some problems with
the violence proned underlings of manager/producer
Philo Gant (played charismatically by Michael Wincott), the new grumpy
boyfriend of Faith and also an addicted wirehead.
Could Lenny's old ex-cop friend Max (Tom Sizemore) and Mace help him
survive this mess?
The Great Kathryn Bigelow from the extras
Genius Duo at Work - James and Kathryn from
the extras in the DVD
This German Blu-ray 20th Anniversary edition of Strange
Days is in anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1, with english audio
DTS HD-Master 5.1 with english subtitles (and naturally with german
audioand subtitles too) and a trailer as extra
But there's also an extra DVD with Extras:
A Commentary in english from Kathryn Bigelow to the
groundbreaking 9 POV scenes in the film ... BUT, beware, this
to a german dubbed film in the commentary and sometimes a german voice
over too .... yuck! Well, anyway, Kathryn as
well as James Cameron are true technical perfectionists, just as the
master Stanley Kubrick once was, and if there's no
type of camera that suits the filming, the cameras has to be constructed,
so Kathryn made a new camera to film the POV
scenes and she speaks about a lot of technical stuff. Not really a commentary
but comments to some of the scenes.
Yes, Kubrick once invented a new camera to film with natural lighting
in Barry Lyndon and Cameron had to construct a
new 3 D camera (i think) to make Avatar look as groundbreaking as it
Visual effects, 10 min in english (made in 2007), The
Making of Strange Days (23 min) with german voice over,
Interviews (20 min) in english with cast and crew,
Deleted scenes (5 min) in english, Music Video:
Selling Jesus by
british group Skunk Anansie (very 1990's), Teaser and TV spot
The old swedish dvd edition had a 5.1 english audio
with english or swedish subs, the comments from Bigelow about the
POV shot scenes, a mini documentary, a trailer and a text leaflet