Tag Archives: Jan de Bont

The Set of 400: #63 – My Favorite Tiny Pension and a Cheap Gold Watch

Today! Because poor people are crazy, Jack. I’m eccentric –

Speed (1994)

Directed by Jan de Bont (x2)

Starring Keanu Reeves (x3), Sandra Bullock (x2), Dennis Hopper, Jeff Daniels (x2), Joe Morton (x2), Alan Ruck (x3), Richard Lineback, Glenn Plummer, Beth Grant, Hawthorne James, Carlos Carrasco (x2), Patrick Fischler, Richard Schiff, Veronica Cartwright

Our second and final Jan de Bont directorial effort (sorry, Tomb Raider 2 fans!), Speed is the greatest pure adrenaline film of the ’90s, putting it squarely in the conversation for Best Action Film of All Time. I’ve got one actioner from the decade still to come, but I’d probably give Speed the nod in terms of quality, and it definitely holds the edge in evaluating its sheer awesomeness. What’s more awesome than Speed, I ask you? Not much! None of its three big sequences – elevator, bus, subway – disappoint, you’ve got Dennis Hopper’s career villain highlight (okay, except Blue Velvet), you’ve got vintage Keanu Reeves not required to do a ton of talking, and you’ve got that goofy, illogical jump across the stretch of missing highway that should’ve broken the reality of the film into pieces right then and there, and yet somehow it’s the most exciting thing ever.

I mean, come on!

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The Set of 400: #84 – My Favorite Oklahoma Sing-a-Long

Today! Because Billy is the Extreme –

Twister (1996)

Directed by Jan de Bont

Starring Bill Paxton (x5), Helen Hunt (x2), Philip Seymour Hoffman (x7), Cary Elwes (x6), Alan Ruck, Lois Smith, Jami Gertz, Sean Whalen, Joey Slotnick (x2), Scott Thomson, Todd Field, Zach Grenier (x4), Jeremy Davies, Wendle Josepher, Anthony Rapp (x2)

Oh what, are you too good to admit how much you enjoy the rip-roaring popcorn spectacle that is Twister? Not this guy! I know this movie is chock full of utter ridiculousness, from the hyper campy dialogue – “The finger of God”, “The cone is silent”, “The suck zone” – to the flying cows to the most peculiarly reinforced house in human history, that is able to roll into the roadway for their truck to drive straight through. I know! There’s tons of goofy nonsense in this movie! But here is a list of reasons why this movie works:

“I think that was the same one”

1) The flying cows – It was a great gag in the trailer and it’s a great gag in the movie. It is indicative of the overall tone – despite it being a full-on disaster movie, with many lives at peril and some deaths, it knows how silly it is, and embraces it. Continue reading

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