Strange Days (1995)

KATHRYN BIGELOW

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  

USA, 1995.  Lightstorm Entertainment.  Story by , Screenplay by James Cameron, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by James Cameron, .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

It’s New Year’s Eve 1999, and slick underworld dealer Ralph Fiennes is just trying to survive until the new millennium. A futuristic technology that allows consumers to download little movies to their brains and physically experience what they are watching is black market material thanks to having been outlawed by authorities, but that doesn’t stop Fiennes from being its main distributor in the Los Angeles area.  When the device ends up getting a close friend into trouble with some crooked cops, he enlists the help of security guard and limo driver Angela Bassett to help keep them all safe. Kathryn Bigelow has made a gorgeously colourful, fascinating action movie that features brilliant production design and a fascinating plot, with Juliette Lewis as a rock singer and Fiennes’ ex-girlfriend doing a  terrific job with her role and singing. The film was yanked from theatres early on in its release because of a controversial sequence, but it’s actually Bigelow’s excellent direction that makes the scene in question as unfortunately effective as it is. Bassett, however, is the performance that really stands out.

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