February 24, 2016

Twister

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As we should all know by now, every summer brings out the biggest, most expensively-made dumbass movies to ever grace the silver screen. Some would argue that Star Wars started the "Summer Blockbuster Boom", and that seems reasonable. But in the summer of 1996, the level of dumbassery hit new heights with the movie the guys watched this week.

First, it should be noted that Jake was not able to make it to the recording because he is currently down for the count with a nasty flu bug that's been going around. That's why this week's movie isn't the one that was promised at the end of the last episode. But the point is, get better, Jake, and we hope to see you next weekend!

But enough of that! This week's movie was the huge hit of that summer, Twister, starring Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Carey Elwes, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Cameron from Ferris Beuller's Day Off, the wimpy Corporal Upham from Saving Private Ryan, and what appears to be a post-op Harry Potter.

This wizard chose not to have a wand...
So what does one do with a phenomenal cast like this? Well, we don't know about you, but director Jan de Bont chose to eschew meaningful dialog, choosing instead to make these people run around screaming "Come ON! GO! Let's go! Look out!" a lot. But first, let's crack open the plot--such as it is--and get out hands into its guts.

Please tell us that's just a metaphor...
Bill (Paxton) and Joe (Helen Hunt) are separated, and about to be divorced, as soon as Bill can find Joe and her team of tornado chasers out in an empty field, where they are keeping an eye on the weather and listening to Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler songs.

When Bill does find the team, he immediately dumps his fiancee, Melissa (Jamie Gertz), on one of the creepiest people there, who begins talking about what he does in the most obscene-sounding way possible.

SHOW US YOUR SUCK ZONE!
Joe seems kind of disinterested in letting Bill off the hook too easily, and manages to suck Bill and Melissa (she's a reproductive therapist who spends a good portion of her screen time talking to patients about penises and fertility) into the team again when she tells them that the team has built Bill's dream machine: an instrument pack designed to be put into a tornado that will give them incredible amounts of data, thus allowing them to improve early warning systems and, hopefully, save more lives. This is very noble of them, and, in case the viewer is not aware just how noble it is, the film craps out a villain named Jonas (Elwes) who, as best as the guys can tell, is only evil because he enjoys being paid to chase tornados.

And for that, naturally, he must be destroyed.
Melissa is quickly shoved to the wayside, being used more for comedy relief than anything else. Bill and Joe begin acting as though neither of them had gone through what initially appeared to be a pretty ugly separation, and everybody else on the team appears either too high or too stupid to care who ends up with whom.

But, hey...Them CGI tornadoes is pretty bitchen, ain't they? And, of course, there's the trailer bait that everybody remembers, even if they cannot recall a single other frame from this movie:

The best acting in the movie.
Homes are destroyed, people are killed, others are saved, shit goes flying everywhere, and we, the viewers, are left feeling that we missed something and can't figure out what it was. And then we put in a Batman movie and forget all about it.

Derek is deeply upset at how poorly Jamie Gertz is treated in this film. She's a talented actor, and was relegated to comic relief and ignored fiancee. Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton had all the dialog, really, and she was left to mug at the camera and be scared and goofy.

Where's the quiet dignity of her performance as a 15-year-old hooker in Crossroads?
Larry is also bothered by the fact that, with such a great cast, more wasn't done with them. WHY?! Also, the opening flashback scene irritates him due to its incredibly inaccurate references to things that didn't even exist at the time. It's delightfully nerdy rage and shows some insight into who he is.

Jake was still not there, so he has nothing to contribute to this right now. Next week, however, he will be made to read a scene from the film as Jesse Ventura, while Derek performs as Hulk Hogan, and Larry as Randy "Macho Man" Savage. Stay tuned for it!

There's also a much too long discussion about why Derek believes Rabbit actually is Cameron from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a few news stories in The Lobby, some new flicks Coming Soon, a very surprising Larry's List, a vaguely disgusting few moments of Jake-ing Off, and an Inside My Head segment that starts out as one thing, but turns into something entirely different.

So take cover! Come on! Move! Let's go! And listen to this week's F5 of an episode!