andy7 | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Crispin Glover fans will be in hog heaven when they see this neglected classic. He chews up the scenery, spits it out, and chews it up all over again. He wears leather jackboots, cracks a whip, and plays echoplex guitar-drenched love songs that don't seem to go anywhere. He also sings a great song called "Daddy Was So Mean". His delivery is so delicate that every line spoken trembles with sensitivity.
Watch out for the million-dollar cameo from Bull Lee, author of "Junky"."
As great as you want it to be....
Douglas M. May | 06/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is an interesting snapshot of some gifted actors in the late 1980's. Tim Robbins, who appears briefly in a cameo, obviously went on to have a major career. Crispin Glover found a unique niche of his own as an on- and off-screen eccentric. Suzy Amis appeared in a succession of minor roles and disappeared from movie screens. But more than that, Twisted in its entirety represents one of the signal artistic successes of that largely reactionary decade.
This is a film that can be watched as pure entertainment, and indeed it is hugely entertaining watching the Clevelands lurch from one catastrophe to another. But beyond that, it is filled with an unforgettable sequence of cinematic images: the opening shot of Violet dragging a vacuum cleaner across an empty field; the scene where Dylan McDermott deflates a large inflatable dinosaur with a smoldering cigarette butt; the plastic lizard that keeps migrating from one body of water to another; the voyeuristic helicopter; the golf shot from the widow's walk of the mansion; a lawn table floating in a swimming pool, a giant mascot lying in the wreckage spawned by a tornado. These images are precisely and beautifully composed but they are never presented as obvious symbols or filmic metaphors. Instead, they just exist alongside the capricious whims and behaviors of the Cleveland kids.
And that's not all. This is one of the few movies I can remember in which there is frequently no distinction between diagetic and non-diagetic musics. During the early interior scenes, the attentive listener will note that Milt Jackson has been tied up in the Cleveland's basement and administered a large dose of psilocybin--or so it sounds. Clearly, no Muzak could possibly sound like this, and so the question is: where is it coming from, what is it, and what does it mean?
The film of course does have a theme. It's the familiar old tale of materialism gone awry. The Clevelands, by virtue of their wealth, have been insulated from both the effects of nature and the consequences of their actions. A tornado destroys a nearby town while the Cleveland's revival mansion is spared. Howdy and Mo vacillate between morose withdrawal and sudden violent outbursts, with no concern for those around them, and yet survive in the bowels of their bloated affluence. And in the end, Lola--the moral center of a movie without a moral center--goes off with the rich and dissembling patriarch rather than remaining with the monstrous children as their surrogate mother. Can't say I blame her there.
This movie would be a leaden failure if it were as depressing as I'm making it sound. Actually it's exhilarating, funny, brilliantly acted--and allows William S. Burroughs his 15 minutes of screen fame (the target practice came a little late for old Bill's wife). Add it all up and you have a film that allows cineastes to uncover subtleties while never veering into pomposity or arthouse cliches. A terrific film from Michael Almereyda.
Crispin Glover fans beware
andy7 | 02/10/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I wanted to like this movie, being a Crispin Glover fan. Would "Back to the Future" have been the same without him? Heck, no. And he was absolutely perfect for "Willard." He also does standout work in a number of other movies, such as "River's Edge." But his reputation as a major weirdo is not reason alone to cast him in a movie like "Twister," a film ostensibly about a really weird family which I guess is supposed to be funny and quirky, but winds up being a frustratingly dry bore. And this family isn't particularly weird at all. They're just white trash. I'm sure the director cast Glover because he's the goofiest actor most people can think of, but instead of making the family wacky by his mere presence, he's just stuck in what is essentially a very boring movie.
The plot, such as it is, mostly concerns a man named Chris attempting to reconcile with Maureen, the mother of his daughter, Violet. Why he wants Maureen back in his life is perplexing, to say the least, since within the first fifteen minutes of the movie we have seen that she is a horrible mother and a lazy drunk to boot. Glover plays her brother, a moron named "Howdy". He doesn't have much to do except act like a nutcase. Meanwhile, Maureen and Howdy's father (Harry Dean Stanton), a soda pop/miniature golf tycoon, is busy romancing a young televangelist. Not much else happens. Howdy runs around being irritating. There's also a tornado that arrives halfway through the movie and has absolutely no effect on either the characters or the plot. Tim Robbins, a stellar actor who has no business being within ten miles of this dull mess of a movie, has a cameo; he plays a guy who does what we as viewers have been longing to do, which is punch Howdy in the face.
How did this movie get made? Why did a reputable company like Artisan agree to distribute it? How can anyone watching this movie be anything but disappointed? (Although, I must admit I should have known I was in trouble when I saw that Stanton got top billing in the credits.) It's not that the movie is awful or stupid, it's just plain... well, boring. The acting is fine (with the exception of the miscast Glover; as discussed above, there is the type of movie in which his bizarreness works wonders, and there is also the type of movie in which he is simply grating), but there is no sympathy to be had for any of the characters. The plot is fairly cohesive, but devoid of any interesting conflict. The pace is plodding.
Some poeple enjoy a movie that meanders. Some people like certain movies in which "nothing happens." I can be one of those people. But "Twister" simply fell flat, in my opinion. I can't quite put my finger on why. Oh, well. I'm going to sell my copy to the used book store. Maybe they'll give me a dollar for it. Then I can buy an ice cream cone, which I'm sure will be a much more rewarding experience."
All it's Cracked Up to be
W. R. Isaacs | San Francisco | 12/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Twister" is one of Jim Jarmusch's favorite films. It's definitely an art movie, and if you like Tarkowski, Jarmusch, Waters, Bunuel, Ozu, Hartley, Hellman, Kusturica, or Fellini, then you have probably already seen it. "Twister" makes fun of how we become deranged by the constant spinning junk-storm of ordinary existence. Worthless myths masquerade as idealistic dreams. The characters are screwed up (i.e. twisted), but decent, and plenty intelligent. Messed up, not dumb. Family, romance, suburban consumerism, television, the selling of absurd myths, crank their minds into bozo balloons. The smily-face story lady on TV is Mom, and Dad is Lash LaRue (a whip wielding actor in '50s westerns.) Watch and sympathize as the son (Glover) tries to convince Dad that he should like gazpacho. It's a cold, funny, pathetic, compassionate, and tough scene.
By most standards, five stars would be fair. However, I actually dread inflating the category of films like "Red Beard", "City Lights", and "Dawns Here are Quiet", forgetting such transcendence is possible. Four stars, or, very very good, will have to suffice."
Crispin Glover fans be happy
andy7 | 09/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Real excited about this DVD. If we could just get "The Dark Backward," and "Rubin and Ed" to be released on DVD, we could view these strange oddities all the time. "Twister" is a very strange movie with a nice cast. Everyone is pretty damn nuts, it's nice to see all these actors out of their minds. This is Crispin's strangest role to date, and that is a BOLD statement. Be sure to buy this if you like a dose of insanity once and a while."