The film that kicked off the 90s disaster movie revival, Twister is a spectacle, pure and very simple, with just enough plot to propel you to the next big set piece of destruction as ex-stormchaser Bill Paxton finds himself swept up in the thrill of the chase as he tries to get Helen Hunt to sign their divorce papers. Don't look for anything profound - Cary Elwes' villainous better-funded rivals even drive black vans while, after the film goes to enormous lengths to stress how all-powerful the twisters are by throwing oil tankers and even houses at them, the heroes survive by, er, tying themselves to some pipes and holding on very tight. Yet the special effects are suitably apocalyptic while the film has a real sense of speed and motion thanks to some great helicopter and driving work, and even the presence of two of the most irritatingly mannered supporting actors in the business, Philip Seymour Hoffman (in the Jack Black role) and Jeremy Davies, doesn't dampen the dumb fun. And no doubt about it, the cow is definitely the star of the show.
Universal haven't exactly put much effort into the UK DVD. Whereas the European releases have some featurettes, the UK just gets a trailer and a decent widescreen transfer.
on 14 October 2012
'Twister' is kind of like watching an action film directed by a ten year old. It's fast, frenetic, and ambitious, but the execution is shallow as heck. Don't get me wrong - I love a good 'leave your brain at the door' action movie. I count 'Armageddon' and 'Dante's Peak' among my guilty pleasures. However they've got to manage to suspend disbelief through cunning writing or decent dialogue, and how they treat the characters can make or break a film.
Bill Paxton plays 'Bill Harding', an ex storm-chaser who rolls up to his ex 'Jo's (Helen Hunt) science experiment site in a field with his new fiancee in tow, to try to push her into signing their divorce papers. Unfortunately Jo's obsessed, with her job and Bill and fiancee get caught up in the day's events as she chases down tornadoes - twisters - to try to launch an experiment that could gain enough data to save lives.
That's it. The entire plot of Twister essentially fits on a post-it. Now, as a film, that's not essentially a bad thing, but if the rest of the film's going to be action events (and it is) to fill out the story, then the characters and the writing have to be very good indeed. Here they get very patchy.
Although we get actors as diverse as Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Carey Elwes, they're all reduced to awful 'soundbite' dialogue that sounds like it was written to help children understand science and emotions. Even when talking about relationships, they spout trite pop-psychology lines that make you cringe as often as they work.
Elwes is also reduced to a snarling, cocky charicature with no depth who acts only as competition to spur on Hunt and Paxton. As far as supporting characters go, Lois Smith is great in her maternal role, but Jami Gertz gets a very uncomfortable and bitterly inappropriate role as the fiancee who essentially gets dragged around and ignored while the leads rekindle their romance. It's glaringly out of place with the rest of the movie's 'adventure film' tone, and it adds an unnecessary sour note.
On the plus point (and there are several) the sequences are cunningly designed. The twisters themselves are extradordinarily dramatic and exciting, the damage they wreak is impressive, and they vary and escalate enough throughout the film to create a genuinely threatening and pacy finale. The chase and escape scenes are very well executed and the frequent light comedy is effective. The visuals, as you'd expect from 'Die-Hard' cinematographer and 'Speed' director Jan de Bont, are excellent. It's just a shame that his grasp of directing characters is nowhere near as deft as his grasp of directing action. Still very good fun for a daft entertaining watch.
on 4 May 2009
This movie dazzled me when it came out. There is plenty of action, the special effects sequences are incredible, and the acting is very good, Helen Hunt does a great job. It's alot of fun and action. I am from the USA and I own the Blu-ray already available here, which has a Dolby True HD soundtrack. This UK version will have DTS Master Audio, which regardless of what some say, is just a more ruch lossless format and has a higher bitrate. Dolby True HD Blu-rays are usually around 1.5-2.0 mbps, where most DTS Master discs are 4-5 mbps (megabites per second). I am going to sell my copy and order this one. As far as the movie, the Blu-ray quality is very good but the soundtrack is fantastic, the tornados swirl all around your room, whoever did the sound mix for this film did one of the best jobs I've heard yet! Highly recommend this Blu-ray!
Jan de Bont's direction of Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes, Jami Gertz and Philip Seymour Hoffman in this somewhat predictable 1996 film is generally good and the film moves along at a cracking pace. Although I may be deluding myself, I like to think I would have been a storm-chaser had I lived in the mid-west and this film certainly captures the intelligent madness involved and the risks many take to produce Discovery programmes and/or scientific data for future study.
The CGI is stunning and combined with surround-cinema sound on the big screen, will have audiences holding firmly to their armchairs. Inevitably, unless readers have invested a lot of money in a home-cinema system, much of this is lost at home.
A few hours of harmless fun in a predictable but enjoyable and visually exciting film, the ultimate stars of which are the twisters.
on 24 August 2010
if you loved this film before.... you wwill love i tmore now!!! DTSsound is fantastic and at times i had to try to pulll myself out of the film as i thought there was a storm outside.... great film anyways but the the translation to blu-ray and the DTS ausio makes it another experience better than the first.... must have in any collection!
on 19 July 2009
A great film got even better when it came out in blu-ray. We have a really good speaker system (B&W) and the sound and picture quality was so much better than the original dvd, we definitely heard some sounds that we've never noticed before on our well-watched dvd version. Well worth it.
on 21 May 2010
Well I'm sure you have all seen this film before.
This is the first time I have seen this, and I must say that on blu-ray I thought it was amazing.
The picture quality was immense and the sound was brill.
My sound system is only a 3.1 but it was amazing
Would highly recommend this blu-ray.
5 out of 5 for picture quality and for sound.
on 5 April 2013
Twister is a great film. It has a very different and interesting plot. With the main storyline mainly centred around tornadoes, I was a a little skeptical of what the film would deliver, I was a little worried that the film might be a bit far fetched and over the top, and that the main point of this film would be spoiled with pathetic and poorly convincing CGI, but I was wrong, the film remains believable and consistently good and not to far fetched throughout. So ex husband and wife Jo and Billy are working together, trying to get sensors to go into the twisters funnel, so that they can gain enough data to enhance the length of Tornado warning so that people have a fair chance to get to safety. This I feel is a good, solid plot. There are also other events going on, involving relationships and the marriage of Jo and Bill, so the film is not just completely centered around one storyline. As well as huge action packed and adventurous scenes, there are also a few moving scenes that were a nice touch to the film. The acting was also another good point about this film. I would be lying if I said that the film is not flawed. It is somewhat predictable, from quite early on the film, events were quite predictable, this made the film a little less enjoyable as you can tell what is going to happen. So it's not faultless, but it is indeed a cracking film, and an adventurous, gripping film overall.
on 7 February 2014
TV weatherman Bill Harding is trying to get his tornado-hunter wife, Jo, to sign divorce papers so he can marry his girlfriend Melissa.
But Mother Nature, in the form of a series of intense storms sweeping across Oklahoma, has other plans.
Soon the three have joined the team of storm chasers as they attempt to insert a revolutionary measuring device into the very heart of several extremely violent tornadoes....
Yes the film is utterly ridiculous, and like other De Bont movies after Speed, completely devoid of plot, but one cannot deny, that this film entertains in droves, and like many other summer blockbusters of 1996 is a lot of loud dumb silly fun.
What ever plot there is involves trying to get microchips into a tornado, so the warning time can increase, but when you have flying cows, and flawless effects, does plot matter.
If we're to come out now, it wouldn't be as successful, as films like this are ten a penny nowadays, and there are more high concept ideas.
But for the time, it's an amazing feat, deserved of it's box office and cult following. The cast are fun, and it's always funny to see Elwes in a black van with a silent entourage, after all, he's the bad guy....
on 7 September 2012
Was a bit nervous about buying such an oldish movie on blu ray, but for the price I paid I thought what the hell, the worse it could be is good quality dvd. Anyway, it arrived and we popped it into the player and cranked up the sound. About a minute in and I was grinning like a cheshire cat. The transfer is almost perfect and the audio is fantastic. It actually felt like we were storm chasing while we watched the movie !