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Strange Days - Blu-ray
on 1 October 2017
It’s been one of those films I’ve been a fan of since it first came out in 1995, and although it’s flawed, and touches on too many topics for it ever to come into focus because of the more mundane ‘conspiracy/whodunit’ plot elements that end up taking over, Kathryn Bigelow’s science fiction drama still has enough big scale (especially the finale), technical prowess and visual impact to still be worth a watch, even as some elements date it in ways that can only be found when looking back at early to mid 1990’s movies trying to visualise technology of the future can be.
Scripted in part by James Cameron, it takes place over a few days at the turn of the Millenium. Lenny (played by Ralph Fiennes) is a former cop turned hustler who works in the L.A underbelly selling people memories experienced by others and recorded onto discs which can be played directly into the brain. So, if you can afford it, you can buy and experience any fantasy you want. Inevitably though, Lenny gets drawn into a larger conspiracy involving this technology when a friend is murdered.
Unless you’re a big fan of ‘Strange Days’ I’d say there’s no real advantage to buying the Blu-Ray over the DVD that’s been out for years. The picture quality is better as you’d expect from the format, but extras are ported over from the DVD, which means a theatrical trailer, a 7minute featurette and what’s billed as a Director’s Commentary but actually isn’t. It’s a recording of a lecture given by Kathryn Bigelow discussing how the opening 5 minute sequence was created. It runs for about 50-odd minutes while the rest of the film plays as normal. It’s interesting as Bigelow gets quite technical about the processes involved but it doesn’t really allow any comment on the other two hours twenty minutes that follows.
Good film, poor extras.