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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Twister 4K Ultra HD + Digital Remaster: Review & Analysis


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


In Oklahoma, two storm chasers on the brink of divorce team up to deploy an advanced tool they built to measure the inside of tornadoes during an outbreak of storms across the state.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

The 1996 disaster film Twister, directed by Jan de Bont from a screen play by Michael Crichton and Anne-Marie Martin, stars Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt as a pair of soon-to-be divorced midwestern storm chasers Bill Harding and Jo Harding.

In Oklahoma, Bill Harding (Paxton) shows up with his new fiancée, psychiatrist Dr. Melissa Reeves (Jami Gertz, Less than Zero), where Jo (Hunt) and her team of storm chasers are on location preparing to launch an advanced data-gathering instrument based on a design from Bill into a tornado. Bill is trying to get Jo to sign their divorce papers, but Jo is giving him the runaround. Meanwhile, a twister is heading their way and Bill cannot help but tag along to see his brainchild, now dubbed Dorothy, deployed.

A high-stakes, thrilling, dramatized take on such NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) projects as VORTEX to learn more about tornadoes to try to develop a longer lead on warning systems, Jan de Bont keeps the action kinetic with hardly any letup in energy levels throughout, even during moments such as the meal at Aunt Meg’s (Lois Smith) where we get more background on the relationship between Bill and Jo. The visual effects were stunning for 1996 and continue to hold up even in 2024 when this review was written.

Twister is notable for being the first Hollywood feature film to be released on the DVD format and has subsequently been released on Blu-ray, the defunct HD DVD format, and now 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray as well as various digital and streaming formats.

Purchase Twister on 4K Ultra HD + Digital at Amazon.com

  • Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton in Twister (1996)
  • Helen Hunt in Twister (1996)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman ad Jami Gertz in Twister (1996)
  • Jeremy Davies, Alan Ruck, Scott Thomson, and Sean Whalen in Twister (1996)
  • Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton in Twister (1996)
  • Jami Gertz and Jeremy Davies in Twister (1996)
  • Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton in Twister (1996)
  • Twister 4K Ultra HD + Digital (Warner Bros.)
  • Twister 4K Ultra HD + Digital (Warner Bros.)

The Video

This Twister remaster was overseen by director Jan de Bont and is presented in a 2.39:1 HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) HDR10 encodement from Warner Bros. This is a beautiful transfer that has a natural layer of grain still present and looks clean as well. Some areas show some heightened grain, but this is to be expected. Black levels are deep without crush, such as when Paxton and Hunt are driving toward the massive twister, and we can see the details in the dark tornado and debris flying out of it. Then the HDR10 grading provides some dazzling highlights such as when the truck slams into the ground and explodes, and we see deep red and orange flames, and in the scene at the drive-in theater, bright neon signs, bright yellow and orange sparks and more. This is reference level with only a few places that look a bit soft and grtty, and some of the visual effects a little out of place but still holding up.

The Audio

Twister has always sounded great on home video. The Blu-ray release sounded great. Putthat aside because the lossless Atmos mix on this 4K Ultra HD disc is a booming, dynamic reference right out of the gate. The opening tornado scene will have your room rocking with thunderous low end and lots of action in the overheads. The mix maintains this sort of dynamism straight through, with the score from Mark Mancina getting a lush bit of atmosphere and some height effects, the foley effects moving around and overhead, whether it is the scene with hail falling or debris flying around in the storms.  There is an anomaly in the mix, however, around the 01:03:43 mark where Hunt and Paxton’s dialogue dips in level for several seconds and comes back up to normal. This is an oddity, but definitely noticeable. This issue is not audible on the original Blu-ray release. Thanks to my friend and colleague Ralph Potts from AVS Forum who first pointed this out and confirmed this not being on the Blu-ray as well.

The Supplements

In addition to a Movies Anywhere digital code, Twister comes with only one new featurette on disc about the legacy of the film. The rest of the bonus features (listed below) including the audio commentary with the director and visual effects supervisor have been previously released.

Bonus Features:

  • Movies Anywhere Digital Code
  • Commentary with Director Jan de Bont and Visual Effects Supervisor Stefen Fangmeier
  • The Legacy of Twister – Taken by the Wind (1080p; 00:15:44) (NEW)
  • Chasing the Storm: Twister Revisited (1080p; 00:29:00)
  • HBO First Look: The Making of Twister (1080p; 00:14:04)
  • Anatomy of a Twister (1080p; 00:08:34)
  • Van Halen “Humans Being” Music Video (1080p; 00:03:37)

The Final Assessment

This perennial home theater pleaser holds up well on this new 4K Ultra HD remaster overseen by director Jan de Bont with a stunning HDR10 transfer and nearly flawless Dolby Atmos audio mix. Warner may have to investigate this minor but noticeable volume dip issue and hopefully rectify that with a replacement program.

Twister is out on 4K Ultra HD + Digital July 9, 2024 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Purchase Twister on 4K Ultra HD + Digital at Amazon.com

  • Rating Certificate: PG-13
  • Studios & Distributors: Warner Bros. | Universal Pictures | Amblin Entertainment | Constant c Productions | Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
  • Director: Jan de Bont
  • Written By: Michael Crichton | Anne-Marie Martin
  • Run Time: 113 Mins.
  • Street Date: 9 July 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: HDR10
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 995 nits
    • MaxFALL: 693 nits
    • Max. Luminance: 1000 nits
    • Min. Luminance: 0.0001 nits
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible)
  • Secondary Audio: French DD 5.1 | Spanish DD 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English SDH | French | Spanish

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In Oklahoma, two storm chasers on the brink of divorce team up to deploy an advanced tool they built to measure the inside of tornadoes during an outbreak of storms across the state. Twister 4K Ultra HD + Digital Remaster: Review & Analysis