Yesterday evening an HE commenter named “Jimmy Porterbrought up Jan De Bont‘s Twister, and said I reminded him of “Bill ‘The Extreme’ Harding”, the Tornado whisperer played by Bill Paxton. I never took that film seriously (who did?) and I never felt that Harding was much of a character. Twister is a bad film but “fun” in pieces. It’s basically a series of FX sequences strung together by a romantic triangle story (Paxton, new flame Jami Gertz, old flame Helen Hunt).

HE to Porter: “Thanks for the Bill Paxton analogy. (I guess.) The instinct guy, feels the tornado energy in his bones, etc. I can’t even recall Cary Elwes’ antagonist character in Twister. I saw it once 24 years ago at a Westwood all-media screening. (Critically pummeled but the second highest-grossing film of ‘96 with $495 million worldwide, Twister was a career peak for headstrong director Jan De Bont, who would gradually flame out with Speed 2: Cruise Control, The Haunting and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.). I naturally recall Paxton and Helen Hunt and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. And Lois Smith’s grandma character who fed them all steak and gravy and mashed potatoes in one downtime scene.”

I’ve been ducking Twister for 24 years, and now — oddly — I’m suddenly thinking of watching it again.