Twister - 4K Blu-ray Review

Michael Scott

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Twister


front.jpg
Movie: :4stars:
4K Video: :4stars:
Video:
Audio: :5stars:
Extras: :3stars:
Final Score: :4stars:




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1.jpg
Movie

A few months ago when I saw the initial press release for the 4K UHD disc I got super excited, but also wondered why Warner was putting the film out now, as it seemed WAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY overdue. Then not two days later I was watching youtube and up popped a trailer for a remake of Twister with a much younger cast, and all of the Point Break remake vibes pulsating from it, and suddenly it all made sense. No better time to dust off an old classic than when a new remake is coming out to tag team with. Either way, I don’t really care, as I’ve been dying for Twister to get a visual/auditory spruce up after the “meh” Blu-ray we’ve had to live with since the beginning of the format war.

Twister (based off a Michael Crichton story) is not some revolutionary movie in terms of plot. In fact, it’s actually pure blockbuster cheese, using the “disaster movie” craze to push out a mega blockbuster that is high on disbelief, and low on any real science. But for some reason it became a massive success back in 1996. It ushered in a new wave of disaster movies, with special effects that had never been seen before (it used CGI quite well in conjunction with practical effects...sans the horrible satellite shot near the beginning, and the tree branch being thrown by the tornado in the third act), and featured an all star cast of classic 90s actors who really are the heart and soul of the movie.

2.png
The film starts out with a montage from the past, showcasing Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) as a child forced to watch a category 5 (F5) tornado rip through her parent’s farm and take her father up into it. Years later she has become a tornado hunter, who along with her husband Bill (the amazing Bill Paxton, RIP) chase tornadoes in hopes of better understanding them and providing technology to better predict their behavior, thus hopefully preventing what happened to her as a child to anyone else. Unfortunately life has got in the way, as she and Bill have broken up, and Bill is about to get married to Dr. Melissa Reeves (Jami Gertz). However, fate stops for no man, as a gigantic category 5 tornado is about to set down, and Jo has finished Bill’s ingenious tornado tracking device that he spent his whole life on, and it’s about time to test it out.

As I said above, Twister is NOT an in depth and introspective film. It’s not even a great film in general. But my goodness is it FUN. The film is basically a toned down and more finely tuned version of Michael Bay meets Roland Emmerich, fused with an all star cast that makes up for the cheesiness of the movie itself. The late Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt are on fire as the “on again, off again, nearly divorced” couple of scientists, but they’re not the only ones pulling their weight. Philip Seymour Hoffman (another may he RIP actor) hams it up to level 11 with his “slightly off his rocker” assistant, and we have everyone from Alan Ruck, to The Dread Pirate Robert (eerrrrr, Cary Elwes) along for the ride.




Rating:

Rated PG-13 by the MPAA




4K Video: :4stars: Video:
3.jpg
Here’s where things get interesting. Twister has sported the same transfer ever since the DVD and Blu-ray days, and the 2008 Blu-ray was middle at best, even back in 2008 when we had lower expectations for the new format. It had a compressed VC-1 transfer on a BD-25 (to accommodate HD-DVD’s 30 gig maximum file size since Warner was releasing on both formats back then) and suffered from waxy faces, DNR, and a decent amount of softness. This new transfer is night and day better, although I have to say, with some caveats. The new 4K remaster looks great for the most part, especially when you compare it against the aging Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs. Fine details are incredible, replicating that slightly white pushed 1990s film stock that was so common back then (seriously, every decade has a distinctive feel to it, and Twister embodies all of that 1990s aesthetics that was utilized in that era). Blacks are deep and inky, and the tons of artifacts from the compressed Blu-ray are long gone.

However, there is some negatives to this new image. Or should I say, some controversial items. The first is that Twister still looks a bit soft, with that 1990s white push that makes facial and skin tones look a bit white sometimes. Fine details are good, but that softness keeps it from looking as sharp as the 35mm film stock SHOULD look in my opinion. But the big thing here is that there has been some revisionism to the color grading. Sure, the HDR application dims things a bit over the Blu-ray as usual, but there is a noticeable green tint to the film, similar to the application used on The Lord of the Rings trilogy Blu-rays. It’s not AS bad, but still, I had to pop in my old Blu-ray just to A/B the discs to make sure I wasn’t going crazy when I noticed it. I’m sure most people can live with it and are just fine with the tweaks, but purists will notice that this look different than any other presentation of the film so far on home video. That being said, this is head and shoulders better than the old Blu-ray, and a treat to view.








Audio: :5stars:
4.jpg
Twister is absolutely legendary in the home theater community for having a demo worthy audio mix. The old cardboard flapper cased DVD with the 5.1 mix was used as a demo disc for YEARS, proving to people that paying all of that money for a Dolby Digital 5.1 receiver, and all of that dough for dual 10 inch or 12 inch subwoofers was TOTALLY worth it. The Blu-ray was killer back in the day, with great surround presence and some awesome bass extension, but now we finally have a new mix to end it all with Warner’s Atmos track on the new 4K UHD disc. While I’m not always for audio revisionism (2.0 to 5.1 mixes, 5.1 to Atmos etc), but this is a KILLER Atmos track. The immersion levels are simply off the charts, with sounds of debris raining overhead and all around the listening position. Dialog is crisp and clean as expected, but those surrounds are unreal. Not to mention the bass. That opening tornado scene with Jo as a little girl was shaking my entire couch and causing my whippet to dive under the bed trembling. It doesn’t let up from there either. This film is just rife with auditory delights, as Jo and Bill track down bigger and bigger tornadoes, that all lends itself towards a nonstop barrage of surround effects. Is it perfect? Probably not, but it’s so close that I have to give it a 5/5 rating.







Extras: :3stars:
5.jpg
NEW The Legacy of Twister: Taken by the Wind - Jan de Bont discusses the groundbreaking film
Audio commentary by Jan de Bont and Visual Effects Supervisor Stefen Fangmeier
Featurettes:
-- Chasing the Storm: Twister Revisited
-- Anatomy of a Twister
--HBO First Look: The Making of Twister
Van Halen "Humans Being" Music Video












Final Score: :4stars:


Twister is simply a fun popcorn flick with a killer audio track. It’s not super special on the surface, but the entire ensemble cast elevates the film from cheesy disaster flick into a summer blockbuster. Everyone involved is having a blast, and except for the sheer lunacy of Bill and Jo surviving a category 5 tornado simply by running, is a solid movie all the way around. Warner Brothers delivers the goods with killer audio, a brand new remaster on the video (thank goodness) but the extras are mostly the same except for a single retrospective addition. Personally I would have loved for Warner to release this as a combo pack, with the Blu-ray being remastered as well as the 2008 disc is simply WAY outdated and needs a refresh as well that only a new remaster and re-encode can do. Highly recommended as a fun popcorn film.


Technical Specifications:

Starring: Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt, The Dread Pirate Roberts, Jami Gertz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Ruck
Directed by: Jan de Bont
Written by: Anne-Marie Martin, Michael Crichton (Story)
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), French, Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Studio: Warner Brothers
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 113 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: July 9th, 2024
image.png





Recommendation: Fun Watch

 
Last edited:

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I miss films like this... this is total 1990s butter-me-up popcorn.

It's equally great for a full sit-down watch... or a nap on a Saturday afternoon. ;-)
 

Michael Scott

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I miss films like this... this is total 1990s butter-me-up popcorn.

It's equally great for a full sit-down watch... or a nap on a Saturday afternoon. ;-)

100% agree. The '80s and '90s were a golden age for action cinema
 
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Somehow I don't remember this: :)

Rated R for graphic crude and sexual humor, violent images and strong language - all involving puppets
 

Michael Scott

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VJM

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Thanks @Michael Scott I can't wait for this one, you're right, such a fun movie, just check your brain at the door and enjoy!
 

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Audio: :5stars:
View attachment 71980
Twister is absolutely legendary in the home theater community for having a demo worthy audio mix. The old cardboard flapper cased DVD with the 5.1 mix was used as a demo disc for YEARS, proving to people that paying all of that money for a Dolby Digital 5.1 receiver, and all of that dough for dual 10 inch or 12 inch subwoofers was TOTALLY worth it. The Blu-ray was still killer back in the day, even though it had a 640 kpbs lossy Dolby Digital mix over a lossless mix that we REALLY wanted. Now we finally have a new mix to end it all with Warner’s Atmos track on the new 4K UHD disc. While I’m not always for audio revisionism (2.0 to 5.1 mixes, 5.1 to Atmos etc), but this is a KILLER Atmos track. The immersion levels are simply off the charts, with sounds of debris raining overhead and all around the listening position. Dialog is crisp and clean as expected, but those surrounds are unreal. Not to mention the bass. That opening tornado scene with Jo as a little girl was shaking my entire couch and causing my whippet to dive under the bed trembling. It doesn’t let up from there either. This film is just rife with auditory delights, as Jo and Bill track down bigger and bigger tornadoes, that all lends itself towards a nonstop barrage of surround effects. Is it perfect? Probably not, but it’s so close that I have to give it a 5/5 rating.
The blu-ray disc released in 2008 had indeed a lossless track (Dolby True HD 5.1) and was not limited to a lossy DD 640kb/sec track as stated in this article. The track was tremendous and really gave subwoofers a rattle.at that time so i guess the Atmos one of the freshly released UHD disc should be even more engulfing :)
 

Michael Scott

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The blu-ray disc released in 2008 had indeed a lossless track (Dolby True HD 5.1) and was not limited to a lossy DD 640kb/sec track as stated in this article. The track was tremendous and really gave subwoofers a rattle.at that time so i guess the Atmos one of the freshly released UHD disc should be even more engulfing :)

you're right. I made a slight goof because of Warner's early layout. back then they put the 5.1 lossy track as the default track and the TrueHD had to be manually selected. I missed that when I was A/Bing the discs the other night... just had to double check to make sure I wasn't go crazy lol

and yes, it is definitely more engulfing as you stated. ovheards during the storms go CRAZY
 
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Twister


View attachment 71975
Movie: :4stars:
4K Video: :4stars:
Video:
Audio: :5stars:
Extras: :3stars:
Final Score: :4stars:




AV NIRVANA is member and reader-supported. When you purchase an item using our links, we might earn an affiliate commission.


View attachment 71977 Movie
A few months ago when I saw the initial press release for the 4K UHD disc I got super excited, but also wondered why Warner was putting the film out now, as it seemed WAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY overdue. Then not two days later I was watching youtube and up popped a trailer for a remake of Twister with a much younger cast, and all of the Point Break remake vibes pulsating from it, and suddenly it all made sense. No better time to dust off an old classic than when a new remake is coming out to tag team with. Either way, I don’t really care, as I’ve been dying for Twister to get a visual/auditory spruce up after the “meh” Blu-ray we’ve had to live with since the beginning of the format war.

Twister (based off a Michael Crichton story) is not some revolutionary movie in terms of plot. In fact, it’s actually pure blockbuster cheese, using the “disaster movie” craze to push out a mega blockbuster that is high on disbelief, and low on any real science. But for some reason it became a massive success back in 1996. It ushered in a new wave of disaster movies, with special effects that had never been seen before (it used CGI quite well in conjunction with practical effects...sans the horrible satellite shot near the beginning, and the tree branch being thrown by the tornado in the third act), and featured an all star cast of classic 90s actors who really are the heart and soul of the movie.

View attachment 71978 The film starts out with a montage from the past, showcasing Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) as a child forced to watch a category 5 (F5) tornado rip through her parent’s farm and take her father up into it. Years later she has become a tornado hunter, who along with her husband Bill (the amazing Bill Paxton, RIP) chase tornadoes in hopes of better understanding them and providing technology to better predict their behavior, thus hopefully preventing what happened to her as a child to anyone else. Unfortunately life has got in the way, as she and Bill have broken up, and Bill is about to get married to Dr. Melissa Reeves (Jami Gertz). However, fate stops for no man, as a gigantic category 5 tornado is about to set down, and Jo has finished Bill’s ingenious tornado tracking device that he spent his whole life on, and it’s about time to test it out.

As I said above, Twister is NOT an in depth and introspective film. It’s not even a great film in general. But my goodness is it FUN. The film is basically a toned down and more finely tuned version of Michael Bay meets Roland Emmerich, fused with an all star cast that makes up for the cheesiness of the movie itself. The late Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt are on fire as the “on again, off again, nearly divorced” couple of scientists, but they’re not the only ones pulling their weight. Philip Seymour Hoffman (another may he RIP actor) hams it up to level 11 with his “slightly off his rocker” assistant, and we have everyone from Alan Ruck, to The Dread Pirate Robert (eerrrrr, Cary Elwes) along for the ride.




Rating:

Rated PG-13 by the MPAA




4K Video: :4stars: Video:
View attachment 71979
Here’s where things get interesting. Twister has sported the same transfer ever since the DVD and Blu-ray days, and the 2008 Blu-ray was middle at best, even back in 2008 when we had lower expectations for the new format. It had a compressed VC-1 transfer on a BD-25 (to accommodate HD-DVD’s 30 gig maximum file size since Warner was releasing on both formats back then) and suffered from waxy faces, DNR, and a decent amount of softness. This new transfer is night and day better, although I have to say, with some caveats. The new 4K remaster looks great for the most part, especially when you compare it against the aging Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs. Fine details are incredible, replicating that slightly white pushed 1990s film stock that was so common back then (seriously, every decade has a distinctive feel to it, and Twister embodies all of that 1990s aesthetics that was utilized in that era). Blacks are deep and inky, and the tons of artifacts from the compressed Blu-ray are long gone.

However, there is some negatives to this new image. Or should I say, some controversial items. The first is that Twister still looks a bit soft, with that 1990s white push that makes facial and skin tones look a bit white sometimes. Fine details are good, but that softness keeps it from looking as sharp as the 35mm film stock SHOULD look in my opinion. But the big thing here is that there has been some revisionism to the color grading. Sure, the HDR application dims things a bit over the Blu-ray as usual, but there is a noticeable green tint to the film, similar to the application used on The Lord of the Rings trilogy Blu-rays. It’s not AS bad, but still, I had to pop in my old Blu-ray just to A/B the discs to make sure I wasn’t going crazy when I noticed it. I’m sure most people can live with it and are just fine with the tweaks, but purists will notice that this look different than any other presentation of the film so far on home video. That being said, this is head and shoulders better than the old Blu-ray, and a treat to view.








Audio: :5stars:
View attachment 71980
Twister is absolutely legendary in the home theater community for having a demo worthy audio mix. The old cardboard flapper cased DVD with the 5.1 mix was used as a demo disc for YEARS, proving to people that paying all of that money for a Dolby Digital 5.1 receiver, and all of that dough for dual 10 inch or 12 inch subwoofers was TOTALLY worth it. The Blu-ray was killer back in the day, with great surround presence and some awesome bass extension, but now we finally have a new mix to end it all with Warner’s Atmos track on the new 4K UHD disc. While I’m not always for audio revisionism (2.0 to 5.1 mixes, 5.1 to Atmos etc), but this is a KILLER Atmos track. The immersion levels are simply off the charts, with sounds of debris raining overhead and all around the listening position. Dialog is crisp and clean as expected, but those surrounds are unreal. Not to mention the bass. That opening tornado scene with Jo as a little girl was shaking my entire couch and causing my whippet to dive under the bed trembling. It doesn’t let up from there either. This film is just rife with auditory delights, as Jo and Bill track down bigger and bigger tornadoes, that all lends itself towards a nonstop barrage of surround effects. Is it perfect? Probably not, but it’s so close that I have to give it a 5/5 rating.







Extras: :3stars:
View attachment 71981
NEW The Legacy of Twister: Taken by the Wind - Jan de Bont discusses the groundbreaking film
Audio commentary by Jan de Bont and Visual Effects Supervisor Stefen Fangmeier
Featurettes:
-- Chasing the Storm: Twister Revisited
-- Anatomy of a Twister
--HBO First Look: The Making of Twister
Van Halen "Humans Being" Music Video












Final Score: :4stars:


Twister is simply a fun popcorn flick with a killer audio track. It’s not super special on the surface, but the entire ensemble cast elevates the film from cheesy disaster flick into a summer blockbuster. Everyone involved is having a blast, and except for the sheer lunacy of Bill and Jo surviving a category 5 tornado simply by running, is a solid movie all the way around. Warner Brothers delivers the goods with killer audio, a brand new remaster on the video (thank goodness) but the extras are mostly the same except for a single retrospective addition. Personally I would have loved for Warner to release this as a combo pack, with the Blu-ray being remastered as well as the 2008 disc is simply WAY outdated and needs a refresh as well that only a new remaster and re-encode can do. Highly recommended as a fun popcorn film.


Technical Specifications:

Starring: Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt, The Dread Pirate Roberts, Jami Gertz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Ruck
Directed by: Jan de Bont
Written by: Anne-Marie Martin, Michael Crichton (Story)
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), French, Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Studio: Warner Brothers
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 113 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: July 2nd, 2024
View attachment 71976





Recommendation: Fun Watch

I can't wait to pick this up. Great review as always.
 
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I just bought the 4k HDR Dolby Atmos upgrade on Kaleidescape!
 

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I have mine now, going to watch tonight!
 
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