Get Your Music on Amazon!
Get Your Music on Amazon!



Rated PG-13 - for intense depiction of very bad weather.
Director: Jan de Bont
Starring: Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jami Gertz, Alan Ruck, Lois Smith, Jeremy Davies
Running Time: 1 hour, 53 minutes
Theatrical Release Date: May 10, 1996
4K UHD Release Date: July 9, 2024 (


Plot Summary

Two storm chasers on the brink of divorce must work together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes. (from IMDB)

Film Review

Whether reboots or legacy sequels are a good thing or not, their existence usually causes a sudden rise in interest for the original project it is derived from. Whether this month's Twisters is a direct sequel or a complete remake seems to be unknown even at just a week and a half away, but with its release, the 28-year-old original film is finally being given its 4K UHD debut - and is being given its due treatment.

Older movies - like 20+ years old or so - are tricky ones when it comes to getting the 4K treatment. For some movies, you can barely tell the difference between Blu-Ray and 4K. Honestly, many Blu-Ray releases of older films aren't even the proper HD scans. Many times, studios take the original scan that was used to make the standard definition DVD and slap that onto a Blu-Ray disc. Yes, it'll undoubtedly be a step above the original DVD quality, but it's not true HD. I'm not sure what Warner Bros' process was for putting Twister on Blu-Ray, but I'd say the end result was decent, but not exactly jawdropping. I'm thrilled to report that, now with its 4K release, Twister has literally never looked better, and the 4K crispness and vibrance is quite evident.

Twister will always have a special place in my heart since it was one of the first movies I remember seeing as a teenager before starting to regularly go to the movies with friends (and not just family). I remember being nervous about the PG-13 rating, and approaching the film with caution. Truth is, the movie is a fantastic action/thriller/comedy, but my biggest gripe with it these past two-plus decades, has always been the amount of profanity in it. And not just profanity, but blasphemy as well. The hero, Bill (played by Bill Paxton), is frequently heard saying "Chr-st" in frustration, and even "J-sus" and "J-sus Chr-st." That is frustrating. And he's not the only character using the Savior's name in vain, either (Heroine Jo, played by Helen Hunt, also abuses it). Other language includes two easy-to-miss muffled uses of the "F" word, and a whole lot of uses of the "S" word and "S.O.B." It's sad, too, because Twister is one of those delightful thrill rides (which is why it used to have an attraction at Universal Studios theme park) that will make you fall in love with the characters while making your neck hairs stand on end during the tense weather-related action sequences. It does get a little silly at times - especially during the climax - but by this point in the movie, you're likely already all-in and on board and just going along for the ride. And a ride it is! One of the many highlights of the movie is the driving. While it's not quite Fast and the Furious, the vehicles play a huge part in the story, making it a road movie at the same time as everything else it is. The effects, while largely dated in more than a couple scenes, were quite ahead of their time for 1996, and while some of them haven't aged well, they still are adequate enough for the story. The only downside I found from the clearer 4K transfer is that a few of the green screen shots were noticeable to me for the first time. A little halo around the head of Helen Hunt here, a little poor blending of the weather effects with the practical footage there... it helps the movie show its age in those moments. But in other scenes - like anything involving this stellar cast or the beautiful scenery - the 4K transfer breathes a lot more life into the film than ever before. Oh, and did I mention the sound in this transfer is also pretty amazing?

Really, the characters are what make this movie so great. Paxton and Helen Hunt have a lot of chemistry here as Bill and Jo, who are on the verge of finalizing a divorce that Jo doesn't really want. Bill only shows up at the stormchasers' camp to get her to finish signing the divorce papers, and even has his new fiance Melissa in tow. Melissa, played by Jami Gertz (The "I can't spare a square" girlfriend from Seinfeld), is the complete opposite of Jo, and serves as kind of the outsider for the audience to get a peek into what life as a stormchaser is like. But while Jo and Bill do tend to bicker in a few scenes, it's often kept semi light at the same time -- and it never goes on for too long. The movie actually shows a good progression for the pair over the course of one crazy day -- from at odds with one another at the beginning to rediscovering their love for each other by the end. Philip Seymour Hoffman is in one of his first roles of his career here, and is unforgettable as Dusty, who has kind of a slacker, surfer-dude personality with a big heart. The rest of the stormchaser gang feel like a really tightknit group, and they're frequently busting on each other, joking around, making quips in the background, and hamming it up. They're a little nuts, too, which just makes them all the more fun to watch. On the flipside, Princess Bride hero, Cary Elwes, is the villain here, Jonas. He's a former colleague of Jo and Bill's who is more so a nightcrawler who stormchases for the money more than the purpose. Worse yet, he stole Bill's unique idea for an instrument to study tornadoes and gets corporate sponsors to make it a reality (something that happens more than one might think in even the entertainment industry). It's a bummer to see a childhood hero play such a slimeball, but Elwes does a great job and turns in a memorable performance. Also, an often bouncy and joyous score from composer Mark Mancina also adds to the fun of the film. And when the story calls for things to get dark and ominous - like at the now-iconic drive-in scene - he delivers in spades.

Other than the aforementioned language, there are several scenes of tornado and storm-related violence that will be intense for some viewers. There's a little blood on a character who is found alive under debris in a house that was demolished by a tornado, but it isn't graphic (and most of the blood is on their clothes). The only other notable bloody moment is during the drive-in tornado attack where the gang huddle in a garage's mechanic pit and a burst of wind sends a hubcap flying across the room. It grazes a man's forehead, leaving a bloody line, but it isn't gruesome (and we only see it briefly before Jo rushes to the man's aid and covers the cut with her hand). Speaking of the drive-in scene, we see clips from The Shining on the theater screen, but none are gross either -- however, they are creepy. They show shots of the creepy twin girls standing at the end of the motel hallway, and a little later we see Jack Nicholson's character as he is chopping down a door with an ax. The worst of the violence comes near the end of the movie where a large piece of a metal antennae tower comes out of a tornado and impales the driver side windshield of a car. We don't see any details of what is happening to the driver, but the idea of it is very intense and unsettling to consider. It's a pretty brutal way to kill a character. The car is then lifted into the air by the tornado and dropped to the ground in a ball of flames, killing any other passengers inside. Finally, the only real sexual content comes in the form of the fact that Melissa is a reproductive therapist. She takes a couple calls from patients at random times where we hear her encouraging them regarding their relationships with their spouse. It's silly, but not necessary to the story.

If I could change anything about Twister, it would be the language used in the film. It's excessive and unnecessary and hampers what is otherwise a wonderful 90's action/adventure film. Fans of the movie will not want to miss this special 4K UHD release, but those who haven't seen it or have been on the fence on whether or not to, might want to take a peek at the content before chasing this one down.

- John DiBiase (reviewed: 7/7/24)



4K UHD Special Features Review

The 4K UHD release of Twister includes the feature film in 4K and bonus features on one disc, along with a 4K MoviesAnywhere digital copy. The special features have all been released on either previous DVD or Blu-Ray releases, but there is one brand new retrospective from director Jan de Bont.

The Legacy of Twister: Taken by the Wind [NEW] (15:16) - Here, director Jan de Bont looks back on the making of Twister, specifically talking about this 4K release and the differences with it. The biggest difference is in a scene where Bill is outside a truck stop and staring up at the sky. In the original movie, the sky is a normal stormy gray, but in the 4K release, it's a brilliant green. Jan de Bont talks about how he'd always wanted to portray the sky that way, but hadn't been able to before with the technology at hand. (A quick googling reveals that this is a real phenomenon when a tornado is brewing!) He also talks about wanting a mixture of tones for the movie - horror, action, comedy, drama - and then reflects on what it was like shooting the film in the middle of nowhere. He also shares about the challenges of filming on location, and we see some great B-roll footage from the filming process. Lastly, he talks about the dedication of Bill Paxton to the film (like being actually pelted by real hail and being a real trooper about it) and the brilliance of the budding young actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman - both in remembrance of them. I would have loved to hear some new interviews from other surviving cast members, but this is still a real nice additional retrospective. (1 "Oh my G-d," 1 "h*ll" from movie scenes)

Previously released special features include:

  • Chasing the Storm: Twister Revisited
  • Anatomy of a Twister
  • The Making of Twister
  • Van Halen Music Video – Humans Being
  • Commentary by director Jan de Bont and visual effects supervisor Stefen Fangmeier

- John DiBiase, (reviewed: 717/24)



Parental Guide: Content Summary

. Sex/Nudity: Dusty sort of suggestively tells Melissa about the twister "suck zone" being the point at which a tornado "sucks you up;" Melissa, a reproductive therapist, says to a patient while on the phone, "She did not marry your penis." And in response to what the patient said that we did not hear, she adds, "Ok, ok - she didn't only marry your penis!"; Melissa is later on another call and we hear her say, "You're not gonna have this baby the old fashioned way -- even if you stand in your head." With that, Bill turns to Jo and says, "She's a... reproductive therapist"; The stormchaser gang tell a story about bill being drunk and naked. Bill insists he wasn't naked, but the guys insist he was "butt naked"; We see Jo in the shower washing her hair from the shoulders up (as she hears all the guys laughing and telling stories downstairs); A man and woman very passionately kiss for a long time at one point.
. Vulgarity/Language: 2 "F" words, 16 "S" words, 3 "J-sus," 2 "J-sus Chr-st," 4 "Chr-st," 2 "Oh Chr-st," 1 "g*dd*mn," 6 "S.O.B.", 5 "h*ll," 6 "d*mn," 11 "Oh my G-d," 3 "Oh G-d," 5 "G-d," 1 "My G-d," 1 "Mother of G-d," 1 "sucks"
. Alcohol/Drugs: None, but there's talk of a story where Bill was drunk and had tossed a bottle into a twister, telling it to have a drink.
. Blood/Gore: Bill has a couple abrasions on his face; We see blood on Meg's head and nightgown as people lift debris off of her; We see a little blood on Meg's bandaged hand and the bandage on her head; A man has a bandage on his head with a tiny bit of blood on it; We see a montage scene where various people cut aluminum cans and handle the sharp edges. Their fingers are shown in various stages of bloodiness.
. Violence: In a flashback to 1969, a storm tears through a farm. The family rushes inside a storm cellar. The door rattles and the father tries to stop it by holding onto it, but it eventually rips the door off the hinges with him still holding on. He disappears into the storm as his wife screams and holds back his daughter who wants to run after him; We see the devastation the next day of the house; A satellite sparks as Jo tries to fix it (causing her to recoil in frustration); Bill accidentally runs over some metal pipe on the side of the road and pops a tire; Bill smacks the hat off Jonas and grabs his collar. The crews of both teams break up the fight. After Jonas insults Bill, Bill goes after him again and the gang hold him back; Bill almost crashes into a farm vehicle and swerves out of the way; A twister tears up a farm house and silos; While driving in a ditch and struggling to drive out of it, Bill and Jo crash their truck into a bridge, getting it stuck under it. Bill rushes Jo under the bridge and they hold on as the tornado takes the truck. We then see the truck crash in the street, causing Melissa to narrowly miss crashing into it; Jo kicks in her crashed truck's window to get stuff out of it; While driving close to a twister, they see a cow fly by twice; Two twisters spin their truck around and then dissipate; They stormchasers' cars emerge from a cornfield and almost crash into Jonas's caravan on a road; Bill gets pelted by hail as he climbs out into the back of the truck. Jo hits the brakes and he slams into the back of the cab hitting his head; A tricycle hits the windshield and a boat is thrown over the roof of the truck; A telephone pole sparks and falls on the truck, knocking Dorothy onto the street; Jo shoves Bill during an argument. As she walks away, he kind of roughly grabs her by the arm, asking her to talk to him; We see The Shining playing at a drive-in. We briefly see a man axing a door while a woman screams on the other side of it as a tornado takes out the screen; The stormchasers hide in a garage's mechanic pit. Glass blows in and hits them in the face. The roof is torn off. A car is thrown into the building. A hose pops and a man grabs it. Window blows and a hub cap flies across the room and cuts a man's forehead. A car starts to get pushed into the pit above the huddling stormchasers. The drive-in sign crashes into the building too; A tornado hits a town offscreen. We then see glimpses of the town with lots of devastation; We see a woman trapped under debris inside a damaged house, and she gets rescued. As they try to dig her out of the rubble, the house continues to slowly collapse, with a TV even sliding down a broken floor, only stopping from hitting them when the cable chord reaches its length; A tree comes out of a twister and knocks over Dorothy and gets wedged under Jo and Bill's truck. A gas truck then comes out of the tornado and hits their truck, knocking them free. The gas truck then goes up into the air again and crashes in flames in front of them; A piece of a metal tower goes through the driver side of a man's car. The car gets pulled up into the air and blows up in a fireball when it crashes to the ground; Bill angrily throws his CB radio; Farm vehicles drop in front of them as they drive and swerve out of the way; A house rolls in front of them and they drive their truck through it; They jump from the truck and the tornado takes it up; Jo and Bill run away from the tornado's path and flee into a barn. Pieces of fence fly into and stick into the outer walls after they dash inside. While inside they see lots of blades, sickles and other sharp farming equipment hanging down from the ceiling and decide to flee from the building instead; We then see the tornado take the barn as they run away; They dodge part of the barn as it flies overhead and other debris; Jo and Bill go into a little shed and tie themselves to a pipe using a belt. The tornado takes the building and we seem them float into the air, upside down as the twister whirls around them.


Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not exclusively on content. However, if the content really affects the reviewer's opinion and experience of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's overall rating.

To find out why we don't typically review R-rated movies, click here



go to main Movie review page
go to Video and DVD review archive


Purchase Original Art Prints, Drawings, Buttons, Stickers, Bookmarks and more from JFH's own John DiBiase!

Search JFH

This Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Meeting of the Mimes Treading Water - Single (independent)

This Friday, July 12, 2024
Deep Al Brindle Are You Nervous? [Tooth & Nail]
DOE Heart of a Human [Provident]
Elevation Worship When Wind Meets Fire [Elevation]
Illustrate, Salty Beats Avid Artist (independent)
Peach Goldman Where You Are [StowTown]
We The Kingdom 33 - EP [Capitol CMG]
Darlene Zschech Testament - EP [Integrity]

3 Days Under Fruit of the Flesh - Single [Resurrection]
BRIGHT Way Maker - Single [Integrity]
FAITHFUL Send Rescue - Single [Integrity]
Grace Graber California - Single (independent)
The Kingdom Heirs Until Prayer Changes Me - Single [Sonlite]
Iveth Luna Faithful - Single [Red Street]
John Rich Revelation - Single (independent)

Next Friday, July 19, 2024
Leanna Crawford Still Waters [Provident]
Human Code Break The Silence [Girder]
Joe Christmas Burnt Ends & Crisp Remainders [Charon Collective]
Newsboys Worldwide Revival - Part One [Capitol CMG]
Planetshakers The Winning Team [Venture3Media]

Canyon Hills Worship In Control - Multi Single [DREAM]
Coquí, Jimmy Clifton, Much More My Lord Provided - Single [DREAM]
Starflyer 59 909 - Single [Velvet Blue]
Xander Sallows, GLADDEN RICOCHET! - Single [DREAM]

For all release dates, click here!

Check out Ninties Worship Night!

Listen to the new Album From Millennial Reign!

Check out depositphotos for royalty free images