To honor the 85th Academy Awards, airing Sunday, Feb. 24, We asked AccuWeather.com Facebook fans to pick out their favorite weather movies. Thanks for your feedback, fans! Now check out the top five picked by AccuWeather.
1. Twister (1996)
Starring Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton and Carey Elwes, Twister is possibly the greatest movie about tornadoes (also the first pick by our Facebook fans!). This film is about divorcing tornado chasers who throw themselves into the destructive path of a twister for their research. The film has an interesting analogy; not only are the researchers chasing a tornado, but the protagonists' relationship is a twister in itself. Twister has every element a summer blockbuster requires -- fun, fast pace and fury. The visual effects may make an amateur photographer want to pack up his/her bags and head for Tornado Alley. Very few people have ever seen a tornado, since they are rare outside of the continental United States, so many can't imagine what they would do if they every encountered one. However, Twister, with its fast pace and stunning visual and audio, realistically lets you live out that fantasy and survive.
2. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
Directed by Roland Emerich, this visually breathtaking movie depicts a world where global warming triggers a catastrophic shift in the Earth's climate, creating a global superstorm that unleashes unimaginable worldwide weather disasters. In the movie, Dennis Quaid plays a climatologist who tries to figure out a way to save the world from the impending disaster. Undoubtedly, the special effects are really stunning, and like most science fiction flicks, the movie does include some scientific facts, but the likelihood of a sudden change in climate causing a near-instant worldwide disaster is extremely rare at best. So while the movie may be a bit on the cheesy side because of the extreme liberties taken with meteorology and climatology, many moviegoers loved the action and suspense.
3. The Perfect Storm (2000)
This movie is based on the 1991 Great Halloween Nor'easter, also known as "the perfect storm" to meteorologists (and many others in the popular media) because of the rare circumstances surrounding the event. The storm was a very unusual nor'easter (an extra-tropical system) that absorbed a hurricane and ultimately evolved into a monster hurricane heading out to sea. In the film, this unusually intense storm catches six fishermen off-guard as they head east for a big catch. With George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Diane Lane starring, as well as the compelling visual effects, the movie engages the audience throughout the 128 minutes, giving a sense of the true dangers of one of the world's most awe-inspiring phenomena.
4. Groundhog Day (1993)
This wildly funny movie is about a TV weatherman named Phil (Bill Murray) who finds himself living the same day over and over again. He shares his first name with Punxsutawney Phil, the world's most famous weather-forecasting groundhog. The day he finds himself repeating is Feb. 2, Groundhog Day, an annual event that he despises covering. Every year on Feb. 2, Punxsutawney Phil is awakened from his slumber to give the world a forecast for the remainder of the winter season. If he sees his shadow, there will be another six weeks of winter; if he doesn't, legend states that spring is around the corner. Since six weeks after Groundhog Day is always the official start of astronomical spring, Phil is always correct if he sees his shadow.
5. Volcano (1997)
Tired of wintry weather? This movie may warm you up! Anne Heche and Tommy Lee Jones star in this film about a volcano that erupts in downtown Los Angeles and threatens to destroy the entire city. Jones is cast as Mike Roark, the head of the Office of Emergency Management, which has the authority over an emergency or natural disaster. He is supposed to be on vacation when the volcano erupts, but an earthquake causes him to return. Soon after, lava starts to flow freely through streets of L.A. Roark guides people to block the lava's path from entering the city and direct it to flow safely to the ocean. The special effects in the film, such as the lava flow, were created by 10 different digital effects companies, and the Wilshire Boulevard set in the movie was one of the largest sets ever constructed in the United States.
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