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AV Club Review
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Tuesday, January 7, 2020
'I'M RICKY!' - TRAILER FOR NICOLAS CAGE STAND-IN DOC
CAGE-A-RAMA CONTINUES WITH 'UNCAGED' SCREENING THURSDAY IN LONDON

As a quick follow-up to its Cage-a-rama 2020 fest in Glasgow this past weekend, Matchbox Cineclub will screen Uncaged - A Stand-In Story this Thursday night at Genesis Cinema in London. The film is about Marco Kyris, who was Nicolas Cage's official stand-in from 1994-2005. Kyris will be at the screening to participate in a Q&A. The evening will open with a screening of Con Air.

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, January 8, 2020 12:11 AM CST
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Wednesday, December 11, 2019
'SNAKE EYES' TO OPEN CAGE-A-RAMA JAN 3RD IN GLASGOW
3RD ANNUAL FILM FEST HOPES TO BRING CAGE HIMSELF TO SCOTLAND THIS YEAR
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/cagearama2020a.jpgYesterday, Matchbox Cineclub in Glasgow, Scotland, revealed in a Twitter post that "Brian De Palma's Snake Eyes is our Cage-a-rama 2020 opening film 😵" Snake Eyes will play on the fest's opening night, Friday January 3rd. Special guests for the fest, which runs Friday-Sunday (January 3-5), are still to be announced, and Matchbox Cineclub is "doing our very best" to bring Nicolas Cage himself to attend Cage-a-rama 2020.

Films that Cage made with Francis Ford Coppola (Peggy Sue Got Married) and Martin Scorsese (Bringing Out The Dead, which had a screenplay by Paul Schrader) will also be part of the lineup this year, as will Mike Figgis' Leaving Las Vegas.

Posted by Geoff at 12:52 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, December 11, 2019 12:53 AM CST
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Tuesday, August 7, 2018
'SNAKE EYES' TURNS 20
DE PALMA & KOEPP'S 3RD STRAIGHT COLLAB OPENED ON THIS DAY IN 1998
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/snakeeyespanel1.jpg

http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/snakeeyespanel2.jpg

http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/snakeeyespanel3.jpg

http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/snakeeyespanel4.jpg


Joe Reid, Decider
‘Snake Eyes’ Is the Forgotten “Nicolas Cage Is a Lunatic” Film

Posted by Geoff at 10:32 PM CDT
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Sunday, July 23, 2017
JOHN HEARD HAS DIED
CAREER INTV w/ILLEANA DOUGLAS PODCAST LAST TUE, BACK SURGERY WED, PASSED AWAY FRIDAY


John Heard, who portrayed a Trump-like Atlantic City casino/arena owner in Brian De Palma's Snake Eyes, was found dead on Friday in a hotel room in Palo Alto. He was 71. According to Martha Ross at The Mercury News, "His family said he was staying at the undisclosed hotel while recovering from the [back] surgery, which was described as 'minor.'" Just four days earlier, on Tuesday, July 18th, Heard had been the guest on Illeana Douglas' podcast I Blame Dennis Hopper, in which Douglas asked him questions about his entire career (she ran out of time before she'd had a chance to ask him about working on Snake Eyes, which she called a great film and urged everyone to seek out, along with Martin Scorsese's After Hours). But Heard had told Douglas he was having back surgery the next day. Ross' article quotes a post Douglas made to her Facebook page after learning of his death on Friday: "He was filled with optimism and hope that he would get this back surgery and begin to start working again. That’s where he was happiest. Like any actor, he just wanted a job. He just wanted to work."

Heard was a theater actor (he originated the role who, by his own admission, never really took his work in film seriously. He is best known for the Home Alone movies, but his early film career was made up of lead roles in independent films such as John Byrum's Heart Beat (an Edward R. Pressman production in which Heard portrayed Jack Kerouac and co-starred with Sissy Spacek and Nick Nolte, with production design by Jack Fisk), Ivan Passer's Cutter's Way, Joan Micklin Silver's Head Over Heels and Between The Lines, and Paul Schrader's Cat People. He also had a significant role in Penny Marshall's Big.

An obituary by The Guardian's Ryan Gilbey includes this bit about Heard's theater days:

At the Long Wharf theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1976 he originated the role of Billy, the gay soldier, in the first staging of David Rabe’s controversial play Streamers, and was disappointed not to have been retained for Mike Nichols’s subsequent New York production. He won an Obie award in 1977 for his performance in G.R. Point, in which he played a man processing dead soldiers from Vietnam before burial, and won another three years later for his combined work in Othello and Split.

Heard was married to Margo Kidder for six days in 1979. He had supporting roles in many films and TV series in the late part of his career. Ross article quotes some more from Douglas' Facebook post:
In her Facebook post, Douglas said she was devastated to hear about Heard’s death. She described him as a “great, great actor” who inspired her in her career. She said she had been trying to line him up for an interview for a long time; he was hesitant, thinking no one was that interested in him. “I convinced him that there was real interest in him. That people loved him, and wanted to hear from him,” she wrote.

This past March, Richard Luck posted a review of Snake Eyes at Right Casino, noting the similarities between Heard's role in the film and Donald Trump:
Of particular interest is the flamboyant Gilbert Powell. Played by John Heard of Cat People and Home Alone fame, Powell is very clearly the film’s equivalent of Donald Trump; The Donald being among the biggest names operating in Atlantic City around the time the movie was shot and set. Indeed, as the future president’s Historic Atlantic City Convention Center had played host to WrestleManias IV and V, so the man with the hypnotic hair had brought many a major box-office to the East Coast. Trump would also be instrumental in bringing MMA to Atlantic City, a bold move that led to UFC hefe Dana White being among the more unlikely speakers at the 2016 Republican Convention.


Posted by Geoff at 1:35 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, July 23, 2017 11:32 PM CDT
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017
RICHARD LUCK ON TRUMP FIGURE IN 'SNAKE EYES'
"AS A SNAPSHOT OF ATLANTIC CITY IN THE LATE 1990s, THEN, SNAKE EYES SIMPLY CAN'T BE BEATEN


Richard Luck posted about Brian De Palma's Snake Eyes yesterday at Right Casino:
“Having done a lot of reading about Howard Hughes for another project, I found myself wondering what it would be like if a murder took place during a prize fight at a casino,” an unusually loquacious De Palma told [Charlie] Rose ahead of Snake Eyes’ release. “Hughes was always inviting bigwigs to the fights in Las Vegas and talking business. And as I'd grown up in Philadelphia and had seen how the casinos had come to effect Atlantic City, I thought that environment was the perfect place to stage a murder.”

Borrowing liberally from Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo [Editor's note: I think he really means Kurosawa's Rashomon] – in which a crime is viewed from a variety of different perspectives – and pretty much any Hitchcock movie you care to think of, De Palma fashioned a film that’s as big on style as it is small on substance. If the film is ultimately rather frivolous, it’s sure to fascinate anyone who’s either visited Atlantic City or harbours dreams of taking in the wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Of particular interest is the flamboyant Gilbert Powell. Played by John Heard of Cat People and Home Alone fame, Powell is very clearly the film’s equivalent of Donald Trump; The Donald being among the biggest names operating in Atlantic City around the time the movie was shot and set. Indeed, as the future president’s Historic Atlantic City Convention Center had played host to WrestleManias IV and V, so the man with the hypnotic hair had brought many a major box-office to the East Coast. Trump would also be instrumental in bringing MMA to Atlantic City, a bold move that led to UFC hefe Dana White being among the more unlikely speakers at the 2016 Republican Convention.

As a snapshot of Atlantic City in the late 1990s, then, Snake Eyes simply can’t be beaten. It’s just a shame that budgetary restraints prevented director De Palma from closing out the movie on his own apocalyptic terms. “I wanted to finish the movie with a tidal wave,” the filmmaker explains in the must-see documentary De Palma. “I thought that given the nature of Atlantic City and what goes on there, it might be interesting just to wipe the whole place off the map. So we shot that ending but then found that the effects budget wouldn't stretch to a tsunami. Because of that, we had to settle for the more conventional ending. Pity - I would've liked to see Atlantic City in ruins.”


Posted by Geoff at 7:08 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 7:15 PM CDT
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Thursday, November 3, 2016
NICOLAS CAGE ON 'SNAKE EYES' ENDING, DE PALMA
HAS TRIED TO GET TO WORK WITH DE PALMA SEVERAL TIMES SINCE 'SNAKE EYES'

Nicolas Cage, who stars in Paul Schrader's new film, Dog Eat Dog, spoke on the phone recently with Moviefone's Drew Taylor, who couldn't help but ask Cage about Snake Eyes...
One of the other things that came out this year was in the "De Palma" documentary; the original ending for "Snake Eyes" was finally seen. Was that validating?

I didn't get to see it. I would love to see the "De Palma" documentary. I'm a huge fan of Brian's and I tried to get to work with him several times since we did "Snake Eyes." But I didn't get to see the documentary or the alternate ending. Could you explain it to me?

Oh sure, it was when the big wave comes over Atlantic City and you're trapped in a tunnel, drowning.

Yes, that's fascinating. I remember him talking about it but I didn't know that he shot the wave. That's fantastic.

Similarly, there was a documentary out last year about your "Superman" movie with Tim Burton. Was it nice to see that stuff finally get out there?

Yeah, it was nice that the filmmakers gave folks a chance to look at what it was really looking like, instead of that goofy picture that came out, which was a Polaroid that didn't have any real lighting. It wasn't even a real costume. It was somebody trying to start a story and created a shakedown on the Internet, but it was entirely false. You can see the way it was genuinely going with a little bit of care and understanding put upon it.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, November 4, 2016 12:14 AM CDT
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Friday, May 13, 2016
TWEETS - RECALLING THE SET OF 'SNAKE EYES'

Posted by Geoff at 2:46 AM CDT
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015
'SNAKE EYES' - A NICOLAS CAGE ACTIVITY BOOK
NOVELTY FROM EAST LONDON PUBLISHER COMES TO AMERICA MARCH 6
Snake Eyes: A Nicolas Cage Activity Book, from Haunt Me Studio, was published in the U.K. in December, and will make its way to the U.S. on March 6th. The description of the 32-page book at Amazon goes like this:

"Nicolas Cage? What a guy. Whether he's kidnapping children, boosting jazzy cars or fighting brutal criminals on a plane, up in the skies - He does it in a unique style which is so, well, Cage-ian. Snake Eyes is our illustrated homage, an activity book full of puzzles, games, colouring in pages, amazing illustrations and the best of times."

The original Haunt Me Studio description goes a little further:

"Nicolas Cage, what a guy. He truly is one the weirdest characters of Hollywood cinema. Whether he's boosting cars, fighting criminals in the skies or generally just kickin' ass - he's our guy! Snake Eyes is our dedication to Nic. You get the chance to Uncage him from mazes and draw him a new face if [his] has been stolen off. Oh, don't forget to dress him up real slick or let him chat girls up at a seedy bar."

(Thanks to Matthew!)


Posted by Geoff at 2:34 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 2:35 AM CST
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015
KOEPP ON 'SNAKE EYES' ENDING
"IT DIDN'T END UP THAT MUCH DIFFERENT" - ALSO, 'MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE'
David Koepp has a new movie in theaters, reteaming with Johnny Depp for the action/comedy Mortdecai (if this project seems wildly different from Koepp's previous directorial outings, it may be because it is not a project instigated nor written by Koepp himself). Koepp talked with Den Of Geek's Wil Jones, who asked him about the altered ending for Brian De Palma's Snake Eyes. "It had a different ending, yep," Koepp tells Jones. "And I’m trying to remember what the original ending was… [Gary Sinise’s character] didn’t die, Nic Cage’s character saved him at the end. It’s not uncommon to change things. It didn’t end up that much different, it’s just that they wanted the bad guy to get his comeuppance. So he did."

Interesting... in the past, all the talk about the ending has seemed to center on the idea of the big wave at the end, wiping things away like the fury of God. The fact that Koepp was the screenwriter, and they asked him to change it up, and that he remembers the big focus being on the bad guy getting his comeuppance, suggests that perhaps to test audiences, they wanted to see the bad guy get it better than he did with the wave.

In 2002, four years after Snake Eyes played in theaters, I was in attendance as De Palma told an audience at his retrospective at the Pompidou in Paris that the original idea was that a divine hand of judgement was delivering its wrath down on "Sin City." De Palma told the French audience, "They don't believe in that in America," referring to all the flack he got from test screenings and studio heads that the ending "just didn't work." De Palma finally decided to change Snake Eyes' ending of his own accord (he reportedly did not want the alternate ending included on the DVD because he did not want people to think that he was forced to change it), and he has claimed that he likes the new ending better. The tidal wave still exists in the final film, but does not play as big a part in the climactic happenings as De Palma had originally planned.

Click here to read Carla Gugino's recollections of the original ending, as well as a report from someone who has actually seen a version of the original ending, but with no sound effects or music soundtrack.

Back to the new Koepp interview-- Jones follows up his question by asking Koepp how he reacts to having to make changes such as that to his scripts. "When I write for someone else…," replies Koepp, "I think the [script] reaches it’s best state around the third draft. And I think after the third draft you kind of need to say goodbye, because it’s going to become something else. You can fight for things you believe in, but the number of fights screenwriters have won over everyone else can be counted on one hand. I always try to look at it like a writing experience; I get the script to the state where I’m really happy with it. And then I say bye, and it’s going to go off and make the presence it makes in life like a child! It’ll make mistakes and it’ll be a different thing, it won’t be yours."

Earlier in the interview, Jones asks Koepp about making Jim Phelps a traitor in De Palma's Mission: Impossible, as well as creating the character Ethan Hunt for Tom Cruise to play. "Tom was involved first," Koepp tells Jones. "He was interested in doing it, and he was producing it. And then Brian [De Palma] called me and said why don’t you take a crack at it. You have to consider who’s in it, and then make it work.

"The essential problem was Tom Cruise was the biggest star on the planet, and [the original TV show] was an ensemble that tilts towards no-one. I’d never viewed the TV show as sacrosanct. We had to acknowledge who our cast was. So I can’t remember whose idea it was, either De Palma or Steve Zaillian said let’s start by killing the team, lets just get rid of them. Because you had to work out how you get this ensemble piece into a star vehicle. So we killed everybody, and we were feeling very cheeky, and decided we’re going to do want we want, we’ll kill people, we’ll make the good guy the bad guy, and added in the new recruits. And I think it worked out well."


Posted by Geoff at 11:04 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 11:05 PM CST
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014
SPEAKING OF NICOLAS CAGE...
NBC'S 'COMMUNITY' CLASS SIGNS UP FOR "NICOLAS CAGE: GOOD OR BAD?"
Last month, NBC's Community returned to the network for its fifth season, and with creator Dan Harmon thankfully back in control of the series. In episode 2, titled "Intro To Teaching", several of the main characters sign up for a class called "Nicolas Cage: Good or Bad?" The instructor, ensuring the class on day one that "there is no answer," gives them the task of watching five Nicolas Cage films, "no marathons-- space out your viewings." Abed, of course, goes on a marathon, and drives himself crazy trying to work out the answer that clearly does not exist. At one point, he has run wires in his apartment with the names of Cage's films clipped onto them in a seemingly endless flow of titles. Crazed, he tells his concerned friends, "If you watch closely at the seven-minute mark in Snake Eyes, you'll notice the moment where an alien arm could have come up and..."

[Annie interrupts] "Abed, it's not worth it! Maybe Nicolas Cage is just... crazy."

Abed responds, "All actors are crazy, Annie. Some crazy actors are good, some are bad, but none of them are neither. There's no such thing as both. Which one is Nicolas Cage, huh? Huh, oh--" [Abed ends in a Nicolas Cage-type spasm].

A year ago, after Harmon was ousted from the show (he missed all of season four), he had lamented at CommuniCon that he never got to do the Nicolas Cage episode he'd wanted to do.

Vulture quoted Harmon discussing the idea: "The thing about Nicolas Cage movies is … unless you’re a total cynical dick, you have to embrace the fact that Nicolas Cage is a pretty good actor. He's done a lot of weird, dumb movies, but that was supposed to be the point of the episode — that Nicolas Cage is a metaphor for God, or for society, or for the self, or something. It’s like — what is Nicolas Cage?"

Perhaps taking an obsessive cue from Abed, I captured the frame at the seven-minute mark of Snake Eyes... as well as every seven minutes after that. You can see the frames below:


Posted by Geoff at 11:02 PM CST
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