Twister ★★★★

When I was in the third grade, my mom knew I was really interested in meteorology and, specifically, tornados. So she took me to see Twister when it came out and it blew me away (no pun intended). I wanted so badly to be a storm chaser and (because of the drive-in sequence) anytime I was on a long car ride at night, I tried to scare myself by imagining a tornado lurking in the night next to the road. (I was like 10, give me a break.)

I've watched it several times in my life, but I think it's interesting that this was the first time I remember noticing that Spielberg was a producer. I was also surprised to find that Michael Crichton and his wife wrote the script together. I can definitely see that in the movie now.

It plays to that Amblin/Spielberg brand of adventure movie well but it also carries a respect for the science depicted. Twister came out a few years after Jurassic Park and it really feels like the two movies are way distant cousins. If you replace dinosaurs with mother nature, drop the kids angle and replace it with a dead parent, and squint really hard, you may see some resemblance.

But even if Twister was a way to capitalize on a science-heavy monster movie craze launched by Jurassic Park, it still holds its own as a vehicle for cool special effects that hold up well enough today. It's also populated with an ensemble of great memorable characters including Philip Seymour Hoffman being an absolute delight.

Most of all, it's Paxton and Hunt's movie and they are great in it as an estranged couple going through a divorce. That plot thread feels like the most Spielberg-y part of the movie for me and I ate it up.

Nostalgia aside, I still love this movie very much.