Strange Days (1995)

Los Angeles at the end of the century, as envisioned by director 
Kathryn Bigelow and writer/ex-husband James Cameron.  The streets are 
littered with burning vehicles.  The LAPD patrols in tanks and armored 
cars.  It ain't a pretty sight.  Pop entertainment has been replaced 
by pure sensation.  The rage in 1999 is a black-market device that 
allows the wearer of a special headset to experience a "piece of 
somebody's life."  Think VR from the soul.  The man who deals is Lenny 
Nero (Ralph Finnes), a well-known underground character whose free 
wheeling-and-dealing lands him in the middle of a murder mystery with 
explosive political overtones. 

STRANGE DAYS works on more levels that can be effectively computed at 
the time of viewing.  Especially if you're watching in an ear-jarring, 
eye-filling, THX-equipped theater.  Images of rape, murder, and racial 
violence may leave you feeling as "fried" as some of the characters in 
the story.  Yet, the messages couldn't be more timely.  The daring use 
of the "race card" is the easiest to criticize.  [ Insert your own 
O.J. comment here. ]  A more important angle is the story's struggle 
with exploitation-as-entertainment.  Forget the prediction of city-
wide race riots, the scariest thing presented here is an era where 
playback replaces real living.

Grade: B+

Copyright 1995 by Michael J. Legeros 

Originally posted to triangle.movies

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