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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Twister - An Adventure in Windy Living
Twister - An Adventure in Windy Living
Artisan // PG-13 // November 18, 2003
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted January 20, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
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The Movie:

Twister, subtitled An Adventure in Windy Living on the DVD but not in the film's credits, has an impressive cast of talented actors how never quite reached star status.  But talented actors are only one link in the chain that makes a good movie, and if the other links are not solid, the whole thing falls apart, as it did with this movie.

Twister is the story of one weird family.  Maureen (Suzy Amis who also appreared in Usual Suspects) is a 24 year old single mother who is trying to raise her spoiled daughter Violet (Lindsay Christman in her only movie role.)  Maureen's brother, Howdy (Crispin Glover) is a very weird free spirit.  Also in the household is the maid Lola (Charlayne Woodard,) and patriarch Eugene Cleveland (Harry Dean Stanton.)  The Clevelands are rich.  They live on a palatial estate, and do whatever they feel like.  Dad hits golf balls off the roof,  Maureen spends most of the time drunk, and Howdy is trying to track down his mother, who left the family fifteen years earlier.  When he's not doing that, he plays strange music very loudly on his electric guitar.

One day Violet's father Chris (Dylan McDermott,) shows up, and announces that he wants Maureen and his daughter back in his life.  That same day, Eugene brings home his new girl friend Virginia (Lois Chiles,) who hosts a religious children's show.  At dinner, Howdy announces that he is engaged to a girl he's just met that day.

That's about the extent of the story.   There isn't really a lot of plot, just some events that happen to this quirky family.  It has a good premise: lets see what some strange rich people will do.  Heck, that's what the Addams Family was.   The problem is that there is no forward momentum.  There isn't any reason to wonder what is going to happen next.  The plots that start off the movie are mostly resolved half way through, and nothing takes their place.  Even the twister of the title occurs about a 1/3 of the way through, and everyone ignores it.

I could overlook such a glaring defect if the movie was funny, but it isn't.  There is an amazing lack of jokes.  It's as if the writer and director thought that the odd characters would carry the film.  They didn't.

Crispin Glover, always quirky and wild, is very wooden in this film.  Maybe he played it that way intentionally, but he comes across poorly.  The rest of the cast seem like they are trying to find their character throughout the movie.  Since the script doesn't provide any motivation for most of their actions, they probably are.
 
 

The DVD:


Audio:

There is a stereo mix on this DVD, though it sounded like two channel mono to me.  I could detect no use of the front soundstage.  The audio quality is average.  There are a few irregularities, but not many.   There is not a large dynamic range in the sound, even during the brief twister.

Video:

The video presentation left a lot to be desired.  First of all it is a pan and scan disc.  I have no idea why Artisan chose to release this movie mangled like that, but they did.  The print that they used was very dark, with little contrast.  Many details are lost, and in the few exterior scenes shot at night, it is hard to see anything.  The print looks old, and the colors are faded and dull.  A very disappointing DVD.

The Extras:

There are no extras on this disc.  Not even subtitles.

Final Thoughts:

While the concept had the potential to be funny, the lack of a good script and mediocre direction doomed this movie to ignominy.  It isn't funny, the acting is not very good, and I never found myself caring about any of the characters.   On top of that the quality of the DVD is poor.  Skip It.

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