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