movie poster

Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 reviews

Independence Day (1996)

See if your favorite person,
TV series or motion picture is
available: video/DVD/books

In sharp contrast to Twister, Independence Day was a bloated, star-gorged production with a lousy script that relied on special effects and sinful advertising budgets. So not really "in sharp contrast" at all. When I said that, I was angry. I was lashing out and I'm sorry.chasing ufo the story of aliens invading Earth. It differs from the hundreds of movies from the '50s, '60s, and '70s that featured aliens invading Earth in that it was made in the '90s...The dependably unappealing Bill Paxton, fresh from his towering performance in Casper the Friendly Ghost, stars as the President...He enlists the help of a drunk, unshaven Randy Quaid (of Martians Go Home) to take on the omnipotent beings. Jeff Goldblum plays Jeff Goldblum...a quirky scientist who knows the secret of the aliens. The secret he harbors? The aliens plan to invade Earth! He unfortunately learns this only after the aliens have invaded Earth, so not even his offensive, stereotypical father, played by Judd Hirsch, can convince anyone to listen...

None of this dissuades fighter pilot Will Smith from his brilliant plan of having a girlfriend with large breasts. This he carries out unswervingly.

I can't tell you the end, but I will say that it involves aliens failing to invade Earth.


Twister is the story of an actor named Bill Paxton and how he's not very good. Supporting this story are Jami Gertz, Helen Hunt, Cary Elwes, and the guy who played Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

It all takes place in a country that must be blighted by God because it experiences 3,700 tornadoes in a 14-hour period. Some of them... are F4s!!! I learned from Twister that F5s are really bad twisters. Really bad twisters. If so, Twister is an F5. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Twister cost, as I understand it, 570 bajillion dollars. Well, I can report it's all up there on the screen. From that one tornado, to that other tornado, to that one other tornado, every penny is up there. The performance of Cary Elwes alone must have cost $35 billion dollars. The only thing they scrimped on was the script, but luckily that's only a tiny part of the Twister experience. Some sample dialogue from Michael Crichton's script:
"Come on, run. Get down. Come on, get in. Run. Come on. We might have a chance. Hold on. Come on. Hang on."

Much of Twister's footage was done in the digital domain, with 1s representing incompetence and 0s representing crap.

Overall, I feel that Twister delivered on its promise that it was a movie that had tornadoes in it.

Twister (1996)

Cow .... another cow ....

"Joe Bob's Drive-In" newspaper column, 6/30/96

By Joe Bob Briggs
Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas

I have a question about "Twister."
twister You know those little plastic thingies with whirlybirds on em that they throw up inside the tornado funnel at the end? The things that look they're prizes out of a gumball machine?

We're all supposed to feel great, right, because Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt hoist those babies up in there? Then they lose their truck, run through a cornfield, and barely avoid gettin sucked into a giant meat-grinder that sucks their clothes off and deposits em on a pig farm three counties away. And all this computer data comes in, and the Nerd Team rejoices. "We have readings!"
Okay, here's my question:
What about the NEXT tornado?

Do we have to go through this whole danged movie every time there's a tornado, with brain-damaged weather weenies racing down farm-to-market roads in four-wheel-drive vehicles, so that somebody can stick a barrel full of gumball prizes in the middle of the road?
I mean, we have readings on this one tornado. We know how this one tornado behaves. Anybody who's ever lived in West Texas for five minutes knows that there have never been two tornados alike. So is this supposed to be some kind of sacrifice-to-the-weather-gods thing, where employees of the National Weather Service volunteer to fling themselves into each new tornado so that we can have TEN EXTRA MINUTES OF WARNING TIME? (Do you realize that's what the whole movie was about? Instead of five minutes warning, we now have FIFTEEN minutes warning, thanks to Bill and Helen and the creepy aunt who sat up on her stretcher and said "Go and get that tornado!")

I know that 180 jillion people have seen the movie, so why can't a SINGLE person explain this to me?

"And speaking of legendary American movie traditions, Marc "Beefcake Meister" Singer is back in theaters right now for the third time, flexing those deltoids and travelling the world with his psychic pets, in "Beastmaster III." Remember in the first one, when they had a cast of millions and the Beastmaster traversed the globe with Gordie the weatherman on "The Mary Tyler Show"? Well, he's still traversing the globe, but the globe looks a lot like San Diego, and he never fights more than three warriors at a time. And he's no longer travelling with Gordie. This time it's the Candyman! The guy from the Clive Barker horror flicks.
The "Eye of Braxus" is one of those cheesy costume jewelry amulets that gets stolen by the evil Lord Agon, played by Time After Time's David Warner."
Joe Bob's reviews of all three Beastmaster movies
To discuss the meaning of life with Joe Bob, write Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, TX 75221, or Fax him at 213-462-5982, or e-mail him at

© 1996 Joe Bob Briggs All Rights Reserved

For more of Joe Bob's pre-TNT reviews in Grapevine, Texas, go to his Drive-In Reviews Archive over yonder at www.Joe Bob

Books by Michael Nelson available from include Movie Megacheese. Mike's episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are available from on video and on DVD, and he co-wrote the MST3000 book

Megacheesy movies air from time to time on the SciFi Channel and USA Network

© 2000 Michael J. Nelson. All rights reserved, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles & reviews. Mike Nelson currently lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two kids, where there haven't been any F5s lately but your ears could fall off if you play outside without earmuffs in winter. And wear a you hear me young man?

"Twister" is available on video and on DVD

"Independence Day" is available on video and on DVD

Michael Medved checks in with
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Dennis Quaid plays a lonely prophet in the global warming thriller The Day After Tomorrow.
In its tsunami of overacting, the clumsy cast tries to compete with special effects tornados, hailstorms, floods, and frozen wastes as the new ice age begins in a matter of hours.
There’s no saving this schlock buster from its own soporific solemnity. If it had embraced its own inherent idiocy it could’ve been the laugh riot of the summer. As it is, The Day After Tomorrow produces only titters and impatience.
Rated PG-13 for intense situations of peril. 2 STARS, as an old-fashion disaster film The Day After Tomorrow feels like “The Decade Before Yesterday”.

For more of Michael's movie reviews, goto:

See if your favorite person, TV series or
motion picture is available on video:
In Association with

Back to Monstervision, or MST 3000 page or TV Listings at

Elvis has left the building, and he took Joe Bob with him.