had the grand misfortune to re-see some of the movie twister on a recent flight. it features a divorced couple chasing tornadoes. suffice to say it is gloriously bad. putrid bad. end-of-the-world bad. the only thing that kept me watching past five minutes was the faintest tinge of nostalgia, as i'll always recall it as the first employee screening i attended at the broadway cinema in eureka way back when, but even that personal connection to it could only hold my attention for so long. i had to look away.
the next day at home i was going through an old Film Quarterly (vol 53, number 1, fall 1999) and lo and behold found an entire essay devoted to the movie, but with the measured consideration appropriate to great cinema. written with a straight face. wherein a piece of writing goes:
"At least as quintessentially American as the film's heartland of America location and its central characters and plot is the way Twister's Midwestern spaces are shot. Few films have made more dramatic use of the helicopter shot...These helicopter shots express the charaters' excitement about the adventure they're on..."
Blah blah blah. This kind of thing makes me want to puke. A tortured essay with academic language whose sole purpose appears to be to justify the author's job teaching film theory at wherever university. You don't need to write an essay about a turd. After all, it's a turd. Film criticism has no real function except film criticism. it's a closed loop. it's like majoring in philosophy or something. there's no real-world application.