Sunday, May 10, 2009

Twister, Seattle, 1996

Tornado season is upon us in Oklahoma. The region will have a few months of severe weather (something I love) and interrupted TV by overzealous meteorologists who compete in their expensive radar battles (something I loathe). What better to write about in tornado season than that Oklahoma set film epic of thrills, romance and F5s--Twister.

Twister is just awful. It's a terrible movie with highly unrealistic weather depictions, absurd villains (yes, even a film about tornadoes has bad guys!), a hokey as all get out love story and the always annoying Helen Hunt. I know, that sure sounds like a recipe for disaster but despite all those negative traits, I just love this movie.

My love for Twister stems from when I saw it in the summer of 1996 at the Neptune Theatre (see September '08 archives). When I live away from Oklahoma I tend to suffer extreme bouts of homesickness. I have a love/hate relationship with Oklahoma but it's a place that gets in your blood and its hard to get rid of it even during the hating stages. This particular summer, I happened to be in the throes of a strong homesick melancholy and thought--what is more home than tornadoes? Nothing. Let's go watch Twister!

Lola, who had her own share of tornado memories having spent part of her childhood in Missouri, and I made our way to the Neptune on a Saturday afternoon. The film began and I knew this was going to be a real mess when I saw the first cow flying over a field. It's a baffling kind of science when every tornado seemed to always veer in whatever direction would make it easier on the storm chasers. Ain't that friendly of the tornado?

Regarding the cast, on the plus side is Bill Paxton (who does some serious overacting but I still love the guy) and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (he's the OU cap wearing "Dusty"). Nullifying those two is the aforementioned Hunt (whose heavily made up face never gets a fleck of mud or dirt on it without magically disappearing soon after) and the always atrocious Jamie Gertz. Gertz is so lacking in talent in every movie she has ever been in I am curious what kind of sexual favors she performed to get a role. For high profile films like Twister, she must have had bruised knees for months.

Despite all the levels of shite-ness Twister has--I sat in the Neptune that afternoon and just let its make believe sweep over me. For a couple of hours I was riding along country roads as fake CGI storms raged or found myself sitting in a dank "fraidy hole" waiting out the danger. I was home even though I've never seen a tornado in my life. Not once.

1 comment:

bb said...

There is something about this cheesy movie. Whenever it is on tv, even with the commercials, for some reason I just have to watch it. It does make you think about all of those afternoon/evenings in front of the tv watching to see if you were going to end up like Dorothy.