Monday, January 18, 2016

Snake Eyes

Movie Name: Snake Eyes
Year of Release: 1998
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise, Carla Gugino, John Heard, Stan Shaw, Kevin Dunn, Michael Rispoli, Joel Fabiani, Luis Guzman, David Anthony Higgins
Genre: Action, Crime
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis & Review:
Still riding the resounding success of "Mission: Impossible", director Brian De Palma returned in 1998 with another interesting film, featuring the always compelling Nicolas Cage (also riding the wave of his recent Oscar win for Mike Figgis' "Leaving Las Vegas").
The film focuses on Ricky Santoro, a corrupt Atlantic City cop. One night, during a heavyweight boxing championship, he becomes tangled in the assassination of the Secretary of Defense, something that also involves his best friend (who was also at the venue). As Rick becomes the head investigation officer on the case, he slowly starts untangling the conspiracy behind the whole murder, and the identity of the person behind its orchestration.
Brian De Palma is of course one of the most talented directors from the movie brat group, and even though he has not yet won an Oscar (unlike his colleagues and friends, Steven Spielberg, Francis Coppola and Martin Scorsese), he has directed his fair share of iconic films, namely "Carrie", "Blow Out", "Body Double" and "The Untouchables". His track record during the 90s was a bit more uneven, particularly after the disastrous (and well publicized) "The Bonfire of the Vanities". "Mission: Impossible" redeemed him, and allowed him to make "Snake Eyes", a stylistic and arresting film that looks back on his more suspenseful films (such as "Dressed to Kill" for instance), and allows for Nicolas Cage to create a greasy character much to his liking. The film showcases as usual, De Palma's virtuosity in staging long steady shots (without cuts), with Stephen H. Burum's camera following Nicolas Cage everywhere. It's an entertaining film, one that allows for the audience to bask in the true pleasure that Brian De Palma always has to tell a story that is part of his cannon. He is a movie buff, and his films are homages to other works, while retaining his own sense of style and identity. The film features an inspired performance from Nicolas Cage and a great soundtrack from Ryuichi Sakamoto. This is a film that has lost some traction, but deserves to be seen.