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DVD Review: Twister

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The story begins with a common problem, especially in certain parts of the U.S. Tornadoes are unpredictable. Scientists have not been able to develop a warning system of more than 15 minutes in advance of a tornado hitting an area. Enter our heroes, Bill and Jo Harding, played wonderfully by Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt. Unfortunately, our heroes are in the middle of finalizing a divorce between the two of them. It's a small bump in the road.

The goal is to develop a system that can study the inside of an actual tornado to see how it works. Bill had an idea, Jo and their team made it a reality. Dr. Jonas Miller (Cary Elwes) broke off from the team, got corporate sponsors, and also constructed Bill's idea into reality. Of course, to Jonas, he didn't steal the idea from Bill or so he says. Now, the two teams race to be the first to release "sensors" into the heart of a tornado in order to get data on how it works.

Special effects take over many scenes becoming a star, a character. Twisters are personified, domineering, and destructive. They make brooding noises that strike fear into the audience, even before they appear on screen. Lightning flashes across the sky like a red carpet being rolled out for the talent. Wind is invisible, but it effects everything it touches at such high speeds. No matter how advanced human technology becomes, there is nothing in place to stop nature in its tracks.

The entire cast is a delight, even the characters you don't root for. However, this is an opportunity to highlight Dustin Davis, a fun-loving member of Bill's team played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. "Dusty" spoke his mind un-apologetically, wearing his emotions on his sleeve. His passion and enthusiasm rubbed off on the rest of the team. His professionalism showed when it counted most. Mr. Hoffman will be remembered for the great work he has done in the film industry, including this role.

Let us keep his family in our prayers and show that we care in any appropriate way that we can.