Year 2, Day 93 - 4/3/10 - Movie #458
BEFORE: From a hurricane to tornadoes - makes sense, right?
THE PLOT: A couple on the point of divorce keep meeting each other because both are researchers who chase tornadoes.
AFTER: Another exciting, overly stressful disaster movie -
A tornado chaser (Bill Paxton) tracks down his soon-to-be ex-wife (Helen Hunt), who has carried on with their reseach in his absence - is the tornado a metaphor for their stormy relationship? Or is a tornado sometimes just a tornado?
They've got this recording device with all these little sensor balls that are supposed to fly up into the tornado and collect data - but there's a problem with the plan, which is to get close to a twister, drop off the equipment and get away safely. It seems that if they get close enough to ensure that the device is in the tornado's path, then there's not enough time to get away safely. And if they leave before the tornado hits, then they're not able to properly set up the device. Anyway, the thing is poorly designed if it has to be unloaded from a pick-up truck by hand, right in the tornado's path.
Seems to me they should have put the device on a trailer, driven it into place behind a truck, and then they could just detach the trailer hitch, and drive away...but who listens to me?
I also felt there were a few too many characters on the research team - we never get to learn anything about them, beyond their colorful nicknames, and the fact that they're all somewhat eccentric - but did there need to be 15 of them, if we're not going to divulge any of their backstories, or each person's purpose on the team?
What has struck me this week is the HUGE difference in the quality of special effects between a film like "The Poseidon Adventure" and something made 2 decades later, like "Twister" or "The Perfect Storm". There's just no comparison, the later films are exponentially better, and that's encouraging. It gives me hope for the future of filmmaking, and makes me look forward to recent films like "2012".
Also starring Cary Elwes, Jami Gertz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Ruck, Jeremy Davies, and Joey Slotnick (jeez, is anyone NOT in this film?)
RATING: 7 out of 10 tractors