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Strange Days (1995)

Strange Days (1995)


Ralph Fiennes
Angela Bassett
Juliette Lewis
Tom Sizemore

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

Here is an overlooked classic, an underrated gem that any Sci-Fi lover should see. Strange Days is one of those films that the writing is done just the way I like. They ignored the present way things are done remove the limitation there is and created technology that only existed in the movie’s timeline. Someone who is a master at doing this is the same person behind the screenplay and the production of this movie, James Cameron.

The movie is directed by one of the best directors out there Kathryn Bigelow.
She overdid herself in this movie, with the use of handheld camera and her directing style. She paced the movie on cruise control allowing the story to unravel gently and merging like four different story arcs to a very succinct ending. Plus she took this movie down something unconventional creating something so ahead of its time that even the critics and audience back then and could not even grasp.

The movie is well received now and seen as a missed experience those back in the 90s. Regardless of what the critics and audience thought, even though the movie was a box office bomb (costing 42 million and making only 8 million domesntically), her work was recognized. She became the first woman to win the Saturn Award for Best Director in 1995 for Strange Days.

The movie’s pace is done dramatically so that the viewer is not just dropped into the action, we get to see the lead and everyone involved get by.

The plot takes place two days before Jan 1st 2000. This movie is about POV (point-of-view) recordings which are gotten using a technology which is like wearing a hairnet on your head.
The device is called SQUID it is an illegal tech which records memories and physical sensations directly from the wearer's cerebral cortex. These recordings and feelings are stored on a disc which can then be played back.
Lenny (Ralph Fiennes) was a former LAPD officer and his best friends are Mace (Angela Basset) and Max (Tom Sizemore). Mace does not like what Lenny does to make a living, which is illegal SQUID sales and made her dislike very clear to Lenny.

The whole movie plot revolves around Lenny’s dealing in illegal SQUID recordings. One of Lenny’s friend Iris, drops a disc into Lenny’s car which has some illegal activity being done.
Lenny did not get to see this disc at first as his car was towed away for lack of payments. Iris was busy trying to tell Lenny that she is in trouble, something you get to witness when you are watching this movie as we see her being chased by two police officers.

Another disc was left for Lenny with a friend of his, the disc also has another illegal act being done. When Lenny gets to see the other disc’s content left for him in his car by Iris he and Mace are now dragged into linking the two crimes and solving it.
The movie then gives us a surprise turn ending that there is no way you would have seen it coming.

Angela Basset was also recognized for her role in this movie winning best actress at the Saturn Awards that year.

Kathryn Bigelow's style of movie making has made her a master in the business. This was not the last time she set the pace as the first female director to win an award in a male dominated arena. In 2008 her movie The Hurt Locker won Best Picture at the Academy Film Awards. It also got her the first female to win Best Director at the Academy Awards.
Here is a movie that paces itself and delivers the magic punch at the right moment, go see it.


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