Wednesday, May 15, 1996 - The Michigan Daily - 1
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Russia Zt tosolo onbala ik
Mass destruction abounds; this is only a sample of the tornado terror portrayed in "Ti
'Twister' spins onto the
By Nathan Huebner
For the Daily
For those of you who don't own tele-
$ions and never catch previews: No,
Amblin Entertainment's new film
"Twister" isn't about that popular party
game, although that might also make
for an interesting flick, assuming the
cast is right. "Twister" is about a natur-
al disaster, the tornado, that we seldom
see on the big screen.
In the Steven Spielberg-produced
"Twister," tornadoes don't carry us off
the magical land of Oz as we might
pect them to. They're a little more
terrifying and realistic.
Director Jan De Bont, who made his
directorial debut with the box-office hit
"Speed," was determined to make
"Twister" seem as real to the audience as
possible. To do so, he relied on the help
of Industrial Light and Magic, the com-
pany that made people legless in
"Forrest Gump," brought dinosaurs to
life in "Jurassic Park" and made cyborgs
Oorph" in "Terminator 2." Once again,
it does an outstanding job as it makes
giant tornadoes appear to rampage
across the land, lifting houses and tractor
trailers and dropping them in streets.
Jo Harding (Helen Hunt of "Mad
AboutYou" fame), along with a handful
of other adventurous scientists with
names like Dusty (Philip Hoffman) and
Rabbit (Alan Ruck, Cameron from
"ers Bueller's Day Off"), makes her
~ing by studying tomnadoes up close.
These tomnado chasers risk their lives by
searching for tornadoes and driving
toward them instead of away from them,
to discover what makes them rick. They
believe that the only way to unlock the
tornadoes' mystery is to somehow place
their new fancy gadget, affectionately
named "Dorothy" (get it?), into the path
of a tornado. Once Dorothy is inside a
tornado, she will release hundreds of
nsors that will relay valuable informa-
n back to the scientists.
However, there's a rival team of corpo-
rately sponsored scientists, led by Dr.
Jonas Miller (Carl Elwes, the cool guy
from "Princess Bride"), who is trying to
place their own version of Dorothy in a
tornado first. These, of course, are the
Who could think up such a plot?
None other than Michael Crichton,
Io co-wrote the film with his wife
But wait, there's drama as well! Bill
Harding (Bill Paxton), who was once the
guts of the team but has since moved on,
has ret rneI o, get the dli~vpr~e pvpey
f9 Directed by Jan De Bont
Wih el"n unt and Bill Paxton
from his ex-wife Jo, but decides to go on
one last tornado chase before he settles
down with his new weatherman job and
soon-to-be-wife Melissa (Jami Gertz of
"The Lost Boys"). Melissa has come
with him, and doesn't know what to
think of his wild past and the crazies he
used to hang out with. As you can imag-
ine, things get a little awkward with Bill,
Jo and Melissa all together - after all,
Jo is still in love with Bill.
With the exception of an occasional
high-schoolish line spoken by one of the
characters, the film is a lot of fun. The
viewer gets a great rush as one tornado
after another touches down in Oklahoma
during a night of freak storms. Yet,
because the characters are putting them-
selves in danger, the film is a little less
frightening than it might be if the char-
acters were actually innocent victims not
expecting the tornado to attack.
The characters are all developed well,
however, and seem to have personalities
that aren't just read off of a script. This
is due to the great job that Paxton and
Hunt do with their roles. Unfortunately,
the characters in the film often behave
like a bunch of kids, and not like pro-
fessional scientists. While this is usually
very amusing, it can become somewhat
irritating at times.
Tornadoes really do kill good guys,
in spite of what "Twister" might lead
you to believe. Almost everyone in
"Twister" seems to find a way to just
miss the tornado's wrath, like when
pilots used to jump out of their planes
just before they blew up in "G.I. Joe"
This makes parts of the movie seem a
There are also quite a few good laughs
in the film, like when we see a couple of
cows flying across the screen. In addi-
tion, several funny lines are supplied by
Dusty, who is nothing less than a nut.
While "Twister" is a bit unsatisfying
at times, it is nonetheless a pretty good
picture. It gives the viewer a two-hour
roller-coaster ride full of one tornado
-*--^-^^ ^- A
By Craig Stuntz
Daily Arts Writer
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Music Director Neeme Jirvi has
consistently brought new and differ-
ent musical material to the classical
ensemble. His upcoming perfor-
mance is certainly no exception.
This weekend's performance turns a
musical ear to Eastern Europe, fea-
turing the work of two composers
who incorporate native folk tradi-
tions in their writing: Hungarian
Zoltan Kodaily and Estonian Eduard
Kodtily's "Hary Janos" tells the
story of a Hungarian Baron
Munchausen. Tubin's "Balalaika
Concerto" features the Russian folk
instrument it's named after: a three-
stringed, long-necked lute with a tri-
angular sound box. Russian balalaika
virtuoso Gennady Zut will travel to
Detroit to play the solo part.
The shows' Eastern European
theme promises to make this week-
end's performance very special
Neeme Jiv doing what he does best.
Conductor Neeme Jdrvi
(313) 833-3700 for info
Cornt urMs Meig
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