Twister

  • Directors: Jan de Bont
  • Producers: Ian Bryce, Michael Crichton, Kathleen Kennedy
  • Writers: Michael Crichton, Anne Marie Martin
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Jami Gertz, Cary Elwes, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alan Ruck, Zach Grenier

In June 1969, a young Jo watches her father get sucked into a tornado after trying to hold a storm cellar door shut to keep his family safe. Decades later, meteorologists at the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) are discussing a building storm system over Oklahoma which could produce a record outbreak of tornadoes. Meanwhile, retired storm chaser Bill Harding (Bill Paxton) and his fiancée Dr. Melissa Reeves (Jami Gertz) are heading out to meet Bill’s former storm-chasing team to get the final divorce papers from Bill’s ex-wife, Dr. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt), who, since the day her father died, has sworn to hunt down as many tornadoes as possible, not wanting the same fate to happen to someone else. Besides Jo, the team consists of the eccentric Dusty Davis (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Robert “Rabbit” Nurick (Alan Ruck) navigator, Laurence (Jeremy Davies) photographer, Joey (Joey Slotnick), Alan Sanders (Sean Whalen) Rabbit’s driver, Tim “Beltzer” Lewis (Todd Field), Haynes (Wendle Jospeher) who rides with Beltzer, and Jason “Preacher” Rowe (Scott Thomson).

Jo, who is still in love with Bill, tries to stall because she does not want the marriage to end. Jo then tells Bill she wanted him out on the field because his idea for a tornado-analyzing device has been built. Called Dorothy, they will put it in the path of a tornado to measure it from inside. Four of the so-called “Dorothy” weather machines have been built. Haynes tells them of storm activity, and they head out. Bill’s rival team shows up, led by Dr. Jonas Miller (Cary Elwes) with his assistant Eddie (Zach Grenier). According to Bill, Jonas is in the storm-chasing business “for the money, not the science.” While Jonas’s team is passing Bill’s team on the road, one of Jonas’s team members runs Bill off the road. They head to a tire shop to get Bill’s flat tire fixed, and Bill sees Jonas giving an interview to some local reporters. Bill finds out that Jonas has stolen his idea for the Dorothy weather machine. Bill accuses him of stealing his idea, but Jonas says it was an “unrealized idea.” Everyone gets drinks at a local diner next door to the garage while Bill stays outside. Inside the diner, Melissa confronts Jo about her trying to keep together her failed marriage to Bill. Outside, Bill notices the sky is turning green, the sign of an approaching violent storm.

Haynes receives readings from Dorothy’s sensors that indicate the tornado will shift its track again. Bill and Jo, now without radios, are at first unaware, and start running towards a nearby farm as the F5 heads right at them. They first take cover in a barn, but it is filled with sharp metal tools. They run out the other side to find the tornado bearing down. It destroys the barn, and they dodge debris as they run to take cover in a small outbuilding. They find metal pipes inside this shelter, and tie themselves to the pipes with leather belts. The tornado destroys the structure, and they are pulled upside while anchored to the pipes. They manage to see the inside of the F5 tornado as it passes over them. It is filled with lighting and a smaller tornado in the core. Seconds later, the entire storm dissipates, and the family from the farm comes out of their underground storm shelter. Bill and Jo debate who will run the lab and who will analyze the new data while the rest of the team arrives.

Ferris Bueller s Day Off

  • Directors: John Hughes
  • Producers: John Hughes, Tom Jacobson
  • Writers: John Hughes
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones, Jennifer Grey, Edie McClurg

High school senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) decides to skip school on a spring day by faking an illness to his parents (Lyman Ward and Cindy Pickett), then encourages his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) and his pessimistic best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) to spend the day in Chicago as one of their last flings before they head off to different colleges. Ferris persuades Cameron to let them use his father’s restored convertible 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California to travel into the city. The rest of the school and many residents learn of Ferris’s exaggerated illness and offer donations to help “Save Ferris”. Only two people are not convinced by Ferris’s deception: his often sarcastic sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), outraged at Ferris’s ability to defy authority easily, and the school’s Dean of Students, Edward Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), who believes Ferris to be truant.

Ferris and his friends arrive downtown and leave the Ferrari with two garage attendants (Richard Edson and Larry Jenkins), who drive off in it a short while later to take a joyride. Ferris, Sloane and Cameron enjoy many sights of the city, including taking in a game at Wrigley Field, visiting the Sears Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and taking part in the Von Steuben Day Parade, with Ferris lip-syncing to “Danke Schoen” and The Beatles’ version of “Twist and Shout.” Ferris also uses his ploys to pretend he is Abe Froeman, the Sausage King of Chicago, to dine at an upscale restaurant, Chez Quis, on Rush Street (while narrowly avoiding Ferris’s father, who is on his way to lunch with business associates).

As the credits are rolling, Mr. Rooney in his disheveled state is invited by the bus driver to catch a ride back to school on a school bus as it drives students home. And in the tag at the very end of the credits, Ferris emerges from the bathroom, pleading directly with the audience, “You’re still here? It’s over! Go home! Go!” before he turns around and goes into the bathroom again.

Speed

  • Directors: Jan de Bont
  • Producers: Mark Gordon, Ian Bryce
  • Writers: Graham Yost
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, and Jeff Daniels, Alan Ruck, Glenn Plummer

Police Officer III Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) and his veteran partner Police Officer III Harry Temple (Jeff Daniels) are explosives experts in LAPD SWAT. A disgruntled Atlanta Bomb Squad retiree, Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper), is holding a group of thirteen office workers trapped in an elevator for ransom. Jack and Harry manage to rescue the hostages before Payne sends the elevator plummeting to the basement. They find Payne in a freight elevator. After a brief standoff, with Payne holding Harry hostage, Payne escapes and sets off a small explosion that knocks Jack unconscious and appears to kill Payne. Jack and Harry are then commended for their bravery by the LAPD in an official ceremony.

Later, as Jack heads to work, a city bus explodes in front of him, killing the driver. Payne calls Jack on a nearby pay phone, revealing he is alive and that he has rigged another bus to explode. The bomb will arm itself when the bus reaches 50 mph and will detonate if the bus goes below that speed. In addition, Payne will detonate the bus manually if anyone gets off the bus, or if the ransom is not delivered on time. Jack locates the bus and jumps aboard, but the bomb has already been armed.

The police plan to catch Payne picking up the ransom money, believing that he is unaware of the evacuation and destruction of the bus. However, Payne is far ahead of them. Disguised as a police officer, he kidnaps Annie off of the street, then escapes into the subway where he collects the ransom money that dropped through a cleverly concealed hole beneath the designated trash can. He boards a train, kills the operator, and wires Annie with a bomb. Jack pursues them and follows Payne onto the top of the subway car, where a fight ensues. The duel ends when Jack pushes Payne’s head into a tunnel light, decapitating him. Jack disarms Annie’s bomb but cannot stop the train, which was damaged during the fight. The train derails at the end of the line, breaking through a wall where it comes to rest on Hollywood Boulevard. Jack and Annie confess how they feel about one another and kiss as shocked pedestrians look on.