Saturday, August 9, 2014

BIG special effects, small plot in Into the Storm disaster thriller

Movie Title:  Into the Storm
PG-13, 2 hours 10 minutes

Grade:  C+

In a Nutshell:   The theater lights fade and the tornado begins swirling immediately.  Cue the jiggly camera and body count.  This disaster movie’s strengths begin and end with the special effects.  They are truly amazing.  Unfortunately, the characters are forgettable and you almost don’t care who lives and dies because the script doesn’t allow time for you to become invested in them.  If you don’t care too much about plot, then this action thriller will be right up your tornado alley.

Uplifting theme: 
  • “Live every day as if it were your last because some day it will be.”   -  Donnie (Max Deacon)
  • Always carry a knife in your pocket for emergencies!
  • Learn CPR!
  • Be prepared!
  • The high school students were asked to create a video time capsule to be watched in the future.  One student who survived the super storm says at the end of the movie “25 years?  It doesn’t matter, you know.  I’m just taking it one day at a time.”

Things I liked:
  • I liked that each character was introduced with a little caption on the bottom of the screen as they appeared in the beginning of the movie.  I thought it was funny when Donk was first introduced and the screen said “Amateur Daredevil, 302 YouTube hits.”  He provides the comic relief for the story and is a complete idiot.
  • I’m kind of obsessed with long, beautiful hair lately because I don’t have it.  The only two females featured in the film do: the intense Sarah Wayne Callies and the young Alycia Debnam-Carey.
  • The aerial views that showed the epic devastation after tornados hit certain areas were fantastic.
  • When the audience saw the inside of the “eye” of the tornado, there was an audible gasp:  aaaah!
Things I didn’t like:
  • Predictable plot and dialogue.  But you came to see the cool CGI, right?
  • The movie took itself pretty seriously.  There was some humor, but it didn’t have the nice blend of dramatic and comedic moments that were in Twister  It's hard not to make the comparison between the two movies.  While  Twister did a great job of including all the elements that make for a good disaster flick, the visual effects in Into the Storm make Twister look like the tornado in the The Wizard of Oz .
Did you notice?
  • Donk’s friend uses a Flip cam to record everything.  They're the easiest video recorder ever.  I bought mine for $99 when they first came out.  You can still get them, but they cost a lot more.  Check out this one:
  • Flip UltraHD Video Camera - White, 4 GB, 1 Hour
  • How convenient that everyone’s batteries were fully charged.  In this day of easy technology, almost every character in the film is filming something, using cell phones, professional equipment, and handheld camcorders.  You’re the audience of their productions, as well as of the movie itself.  YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and has allowed anyone with a camera to become a director.
  • The name on Donk's truck was "Twista Hunterz"
Funny lines:
  • “Me and the planet go way back.”  - Donnie
  • “Grab a broom.  It’s like a zombie apocalypse out here.”  - Reevis (Jon Reep)
  • “He’s really doing it!  I’m going to film this train wreck”, says Trey (Nathan Kress) as he watches Donnie awkwardly try to talk to the girl he’s been in love with for months.
  • Gary (Richard Armitage) is disappointed that Donnie didn’t tell him where he was going and asks Trey “Why didn’t he just tell me?”  Trey answers sarcastically “I don’t know, Dad.  You’re so easy to talk to.”
Interesting lines:
  • “It’s an instinct game.  And she ain’t got it.” – Pete (Matt Walsh)
  • “I’ve studied storms all my life.  This one is bigger than has ever been.” – Allison
Did you know?
Tips for parents:  The favorite word of choice in this film is “sh_t”…you’ll hear it a LOT.  Small children may be scared by the intense destruction and the image of people and things being sucked up by tornadoes.

If you haven't seen Twister yet, it's a winner:

Here's a survival knife I really like because it comes with a glass break feature and seat belt cutter for emergencies:
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