Strange Days

Strange Days (1995)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott
Extras: Teaser, Trailer, Deleted scenes, Commentary track

“Strange Days” from Fox Home Video contains a stunning transfer of the film. Devoid of any noticeable film defects, the transfer is meticulously clean and boasts a good level of detail, despite the fact that it is not 16×9 enhanced. The image is sharp and has a good shadow delineation, without looking over-enhanced. Noise is at a minimum, giving this transfer a solid and balanced look. Dwelling in strong, artificially lighted sets, with colored sources, the presentation reproduces colors strongly with subtle readings in its hues. Fleshtones are generally faithfully rendered and with its deep shadows and good highlights, this release is highly commendable.

The film’s soundtrack is presented in an aggressive 5.1 channel Dolby Digital presentation, as well as Dolby Surround tracks in English and French. Unfortunately the 5.1 track is not activated by default and has to be turned on from the disc’s menu. I really hope Fox will be changing that approach to their disc’s some time.

“Strange Days” is an interesting film with an apocalyptic, futuristic note, directed by the highly talented Kathryn Bigelow.
Unfortunately it is not quite as good as some of her other works, but “Strange Days” still fares good as a fine and inventive film. Personally, I feel there is too much going on in many of the film’s image compositions however, leaving the viewer unfocused. While I am sure it was intentional, the story could have been told just as efficiently, if not more so, in a less frantic environment.