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Strange Days

Strange Days (1995)

October. 13,1995
| Drama Thriller Crime Science Fiction

Former policeman Lenny Nero has moved into a more lucrative trade: the illegal sale of virtual reality-like recordings that allow users to experience the emotions and past experiences of others. While they typically contain tawdry incidents, Nero is shocked when he receives one showing a murder.


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Movie Review: "Strange Days" (1995)An ultra-priced 42 Million-Dollar independent productions by James Cameron's renowned production company Lightstorm Entertainment, founded in 1990 for the production purposes of "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, comes "True Lies" succeeding "Strange Days" directed into Cameron-favors by close-companion Kathryn Bigelow, who utilizes a multi-layered script primarly-conceived by James Cameron out of pain, gain, loss and hardship on the human condition, roaming out of society-tumbling Los Angeles, California of the mid-1990s due to an emerging visions of virtually-immersive experience of rebounding cerebral-cortex-initiated memories of the extreme, patched, saved and copied on mini-laser-discs to make the currency for another down-on-his-luck, but street-wisdom-striking main character of Lenny Nero, portrayed by kind of "tour-de-france" running actor Ralph Fiennes, staying even in close-to-near-future realities of a "war-zone" inhabited by the pushed, the drunk and the homeless, to come out clever-enough to keep gene-covering strings to supporting characters as uplifting limousine-driving black-star-indulging characters of motion picture reminiscence Lornette "Mace" Mason, performed by owning the ease Angela Bassett."Strange Days" becomes rigtht from the start a gut-mingling action-thriller fior the mature with ingredients of the science-fiction, which evolved cinematically to reality-losing leading characters of "Fight Club" directed by David Fincher as clean-cut between realities-intercepting "The Matrix" (1999) directed by The Wachowski Siblings over "Inception" (2010) directed by Christopher Nolan with subjective visions to make dreamscapes turn the tide of decision-making events to the now more closing-in "Ready Player One" (2018) directed by Steven Spielberg, where the immediate cross-cutting in already-released trailer takes place, when today's world has the "Avatar" at their fingertips.The editorial by Howard E. Smith in 140 minutes of pumping adrealin to a neglecting domestic as international audiences in season 1995/1996, making full use of stellar dark cinematography by Matthew F. Leonetti to highly-recommended rediscovering proportions not only due to a just seemingly extraordinary hopelessly-suspension directions by Kathryn Bigelow, especially with post-releases of recalling "The Crow" (1994) with ensemble cast surrounding Juliette Lewis, Michael Wincott and Tom Sizemore feasting on dark matter hyper-stylish cinematic gears. © 2018 Felix Alexander Dausend (Cinemajesty Entertainments LLC)


Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) is an ex-cop who gets off on selling his 'virtual reality' products on the black market (effectively allowing the buyer to do or see what they choose). However, when Lenny learns that his product has been caught up in a giant conspiracy he takes it upon himself to get to the bottom of said conspiracy...Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron (or Mr and Mrs Cameron as they are/were otherwise known) have collaborated together to concoct this film and I'm sorry but I personally felt slightly disappointed by what I saw here...The film does get big points for style; the trippy nature of the narrative and the occasional explosive moments do give the film some momentum and tension, but these moments are dotted here and there and sadly do not do enough to pad out the rather generous 140 minute run time.It's beyond the hour mark before we get any semblance of a story and this may prove to be the breaking point for most viewers as the first hour is pretty boring (Cameron & Bigalow do little to move the story forward in the first half making the film feel a little self-indulgent and cumbersome at times).Things do pick up in the second half - it does at least become exciting and we do finally understand the significance of Nero's Virtual Reality world that he has created and one can see that he practically becomes a victim of his own success. The only part of the film that I actually felt invested in was Nero's love for Faith (Juliette Lewis) his determination to protect her was quite touching and even with the ridiculous plot turns at the end I did kind of care for them as people which kept me semi-involved with the story.The acting is what really sells this film and there is not one weak player in the main cast; they bring the film to life and despite the rather weak screenplay the talented cast do try their best to make it work, but sadly for me, overall it just falls short of the mark


I just got done watching the 1995 sci-fi film "Strange Days," which IS science fiction, per se, but in some ways it really isn't. It's really more of a film-noir thriller with a strong cyberpunk ambiance that happens to be set in the then-future 1999."Strange Days" in a lot of ways is a time capsule of sorts. Reportedly inspired by the Lorena Bobbitt case (which happened to occur in my home town) and the 1992 Los Angeles riots that followed the Rodney King verdict, "Strange Days" takes the social unrest and unease that surely pervaded the psyche of most people living in L.A. at that time - and combined it with elements of the emerging sci-fi cyberpunk sub-culture and speculations on the future of virtual reality technologies.This all makes for an emotionally exhausting head-trip for those that aren't ready for it. While its screenplay was ultimately credited to filmmaker James Cameron and Jay Cocks (based on a story by Cameron that was conceived sometime around 1986), the real show of force here is director Kathryn Bigelow, Cameron's then-wife who at the time was best-known for the vampire film "Near Dark" (1987), and the action films "Blue Steel" (1990) and "Point Break" (1991). That Bigelow, a woman, was able to direct some of the more notable, male-lead action films of the early 1990s, says something about her strengths as a filmmaker and her ability to make adrenaline-fueled thrillers that are as good as her male counterparts.I have a personal history with "Strange Days" that goes back to not long after the film was first released on home video. I was just 10 when this film was released in 1995, and remember seeing it late at night sometimes out of my parents' strict supervision. Although I didn't understand the film at all, there was something very tantalizing about the so-called "forbidden fruit" of a film laden with so much sex, violence, profanity, racial tension and anxiety, and even some well-timed black humor. I would see the film again years later, post-2000 and Y2K, as a teenager and young adult and now that I'm in my early 30s, I feel that I finally have a grasp of it and everything that it was saying about the direction we as a society were taking circa-1995.The film by itself is simply a technical wonder, especially with its first-person action sequences (which I'm surprised is something that hasn't been attempted more often, especially now in 2017, with such significant advances in camera technology over the years). "Strange Days" is worth the admission price alone just for its exhilarating first-person opening sequence, which was planned and executed with daring precision.Set over the last two days of 1999 in Los Angeles, the city is like a war zone with the military and police fighting the roving gangs 24/7 to try to maintain the peace and order. Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) is a former L.A. police officer-turned-black marketer who deals illegally in virtual experiences. He deals in SQUID technology, which is a headset that records events directly from the wearer's cerebral cortex and those memories are then played back through a MiniDisc player-like device, which allows the user to experience the recorder's memories and physical sensations. When he's not dealing SQUIDs, he's lost in the recorded memories of his failed relationship with Faith (sultry Juliette Lewis), an aspiring rock singer, and drinking with his private-eye friend Max (Tom Sizemore).Lenny eventually comes across a particularly volatile SQUID recording - which he calls a "blackjack" and is basically a snuff film - that throws him into a vast conspiracy, and which several factions are willing to kill to get back. He brings Max and another friend, limousine driver and bodyguard Mace (Angela Bassett), to help him uncover the truth behind the SQUID recording and save Faith, whom he also realizes is in danger by those seeking to get it back."Strange Days," like "Blade Runner" (1982) before it - and with whom this film shares some common ground in influencing science fiction and cyberpunk - initially polarized audiences and critics when it was first released in 1995. But also like "Blade Runner," "Strange Days" became a widely popular cult film in its own right. Perhaps one reason is because "Strange Days," with its talk of virtual experiences and "jacking in" lingo (derived from cyberpunk authors as distinguished as William Gibson, of "Neuromancer" fame) would go on to influence "The Matrix" (1999). "The Matrix" pulled a lot from cyberpunk and science fiction films released in the '90s - "Strange Days" obviously being one of them, even if it isn't so obvious. And "The Matrix" was a culmination of these ideas and the techno-paranoia that suffused much of science fiction in the 1990s.Seeing this film 22 years after its release - which doesn't seem like that long ago and yet it is - "Strange Days" is quite a powerful experience (and I mean that in more ways than one). The performances are top-notch, especially Ralph Fiennes as the slick yet high-strung anti-hero Lenny, Angela Bassett as the tough and beautiful Mace, and Juliette Lewis as the endangered Faith (who actually sings in her music sequences and prefigures her career with her future punk band Juliette and the Licks). James Cameron is my favorite director of all time ("The Terminator" is my favorite work of his and is my favorite science fiction film), and this film's screenplay bears many of his usual trademarks, but again this is Kathryn Bigelow's film all the way. It's always been great to see someone like her do things as good, if not better, than the boys do.But still, these are some Strange Days that we're living in...9/10


I am usually not a big fan of millennium movies, or Sci-Fi movies in general. I was required to watch this movie for a class, so, to be honest, I was not looking forward to the assignment. However, I was greatly surprised when I found myself enjoying the film! "Strange Days" has a complex, interesting plot that definitely differs from a lot of other films I have seen. Although the storyline was confusing at first, I was able to follow along easier by the middle of the movie. If you're into movies that make you think, this is definitely one that should be on the list. "Strange Days" included a lot of exciting themes and nuances that left me thinking long after the movie finished. The ending was also definitely a surprise, so that was entertaining!