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.

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.

Minority Report

  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Producers: Gerald R Molen, Bonnie Curtis, Walter F Parkes, Jan de Bont
  • Writers: Screenplay, Scott Frank, Jon Cohen, Short Story, Philip K Dick, Uncredited, John August
  • Genres: Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Max von Sydow, Steve Harris, Neal McDonough

In 2054, John Anderton is a member of an experimental Washington, D.C. police force known as Precrime, which uses future visions generated by three “precogs”, mutated humans with precognition abilities, to stop murders. Though a respected member of the force, Anderton has been addicted to an illegal psychoactive drug since the disappearance of his son Sean, which also caused his wife Lara to leave him. With the Precrime concept poised to go nationwide, the system is audited by Danny Witwer, a member of the Department of Justice. During the audit, the precogs predict that Anderton will murder a man named Leo Crow in 36 hours; believing the incident to be a setup by Witwer, who is aware of Anderton’s addiction, and given his own ignorance of Leo Crow’s existence prior to this point, Anderton attempts to hide the case and quickly departs the area before Witwer begins a manhunt for him. Anderton seeks the advice of Dr. Iris Hineman, the lead researcher of the Precrime technology. She explains to Anderton that the three precogs—the children of drug addicts using experimental drugs years ago—may see different visions of the future. When this happens, the system only provides data on the two reports which agree; a “minority report”, showing the futures where the perpetrators may not have actually committed a murder, is discarded. According to Dr. Hineman, the female precog Agatha is likely the one who witnessed the minority report.

At a banquet to celebrate the success of the Precrime unit and Burgess, Anderton plays Agatha’s vision of the Lively murder for the gathered crowd, clearly showing Burgess as the murderer. As Burgess sneaks off to confront Anderton, a new precrime report is created: Anderton is the victim and Burgess is the murderer. When Burgess finds Anderton, Anderton explains the impossible situation: if Burgess kills Anderton, he proves the system works but at the cost of a life sentence, while if he does not, the system will not have worked and the Precrime division will be shut down. Burgess resolves the paradox by killing himself. The Precrime program is shut down, all those jailed as a result of Precrime are pardoned and released, and the precogs are given the chance to lead a full life. Anderton and Lara remarry and start a new family.