was a mega-million-dollar blockbuster--helmed by a director (Dutchman Jan de Bont) hot off another scorcher hit (Speed
)--that flaunted state-of-the-art digital effects and featured a popular leading actress (Helen Hunt) who would win an Academy Award for her next film (As Good As It Gets
). But ask anybody who's seen it and they'll tell you who the real star of Twister
is: the cow. Not to give anything away, but the cow is one of those inspired little touches (like, say, Bronson Pinchot's career-making cameo in Beverly Hills Cop
) that adds a touch of personality to a gigantic Hollywood production. The story is blown out the window after an impressive prologue in which Hunt's character, as a little girl, witnesses her daddy being sucked into a tornado. Basically, Hunt and Bill Paxton are thrill-seeking meteorologists chasing twisters in order to study them (and help warn people of them, of course) with a new technology they've developed. If you thought the Kansas tornado in The Wizard of Oz
was every bit as scary as the Wicked Witch of the West, then this may be the movie for you. --Jim Emerson
Bill and Jo Harding, advanced storm chasers on the brink of divorce, must join together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.