directed by Brian De Palma, 1998
In the weeks leading up to Snake Eyes’ release in August of 1998, my dad and I had gone together to see Lethal Weapon 4, There’s Something About Mary and The Negotiator. Both action titles were forgettable fare, but were a big deal upon release. (Riggs and Murtaugh vs. Jet Li! Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey conversing via walkie-talkie!) Brian De Palma‘s Snake Eyes with dad was the next order of business. The theater was packed because adults frequented the multiplexes not so long ago. You’re all of 10 years old, Nicolas Cage’s recent output – The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off — has been terrific, and something seemed off with this new one. You remember leaving the theater not disappointed, but with little to discuss with dad on the ride home. Dad passed away in 2013, long after the Gary Sinise villain era and a few years before cinephiles would comb through De Palma’s entire body of work. Most memories of dad have long faded, willfully replaced with those of an unrecognizable, horrible person — when he’s referenced in the later years, “dad” is replaced strictly by his first name — but somehow, perhaps hilariously so, our date with Snake Eyes endures.