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Snake Eyes (1998)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Snake Eyes (1998) Finally caught up with this Brian De Palma movie starring Nicolas Cage from yesteryear. It didn't look that interesting when it first came out, and...well, it really wasn't. I see why I avoided it for decades but, it's on the streaming buffet as a choice, and sometimes, having something just being there and clicking PLAY is all it takes! I got past the BUFFERING errors and we're off! All the DePalma trademarks from his horror classics are here- endless long takes, split screens, beautiful steadi-cam work, and a plot that at first seems interesting but ultimately, is not at all. Cage plays a bad, crooked cop (chewing up the scenery TOO much- the the point of ANNOYANCE) that is simply taking in a boxing match with his best friend, Gary Sinise, who is a body guard for the Secretary of Defense, who is also watching the boxing match. But there's a murder, in round one of the boxing match at the stadium, shots ring out and Sinise ends up chasing a hawt chick that looks like Nancy Allen (but isn't!). At first it looks like the whole point was to kill one of the boxers, but it's the Secretary of Defense that is also killed, so the murder investigation begins as 14,000 fans are kept in the stadium/casino and Cage and Sinise try to unravel the mystery. Not even knowing the spoiler as to WHO DUN IT and WHY, I figured it out about 5 minutes after everything happened, right to the "t"! Pretty sad that it's telegraphed that easily, so there's no surprise when revelations are revealed and the movie just plods along with Cage chewing up scenery and Sinise under-acting to the max...It's an odd pair of actors to put together and they have no chemistry. Sad to see DePalma, a master in the day, kind of slumming it in more of a "political, espionage" thriller than a real horror movie or a powerhouse crime drama like his unbeatable SCARFACE, but I guess every dog has his day, and this was DePalma's last epic movie where he used the tools that served him well from the 70's on. Seems directors like John Carpenter, Brian DePalma, David Cronenberg, George Romero, and on and on the list goes had a brief ten to fifteen year period where what they were doing was so cool, visionary, and stylistic, but at a certain point, it couldn't be pushed anymore, and what they were doing, the way they were telling stories, no longer worked for them or the audiences and all was thrown out the window in favor of more current styles of moviemaking. Still, these guys were the best in their heydays, their classic movies still hold up for this viewer, but it's terrible to see how their careers kind of fell along with the quality of their movies, not sure why all this happens, just pondering how every dirty dawg seems to have his day and it's so short-lived looking back. If you want pure DePalma, stick with CARRIE, BODY DOUBLE, DRESSED TO KILL, and SCARFACE-those are the best. SNAKE EYES is DePalma light, almost like he was copying his own imitations...unsuccessfully.

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