Saturday, March 19, 2011
Review of "Tornado Alley"
Saw the new IMAX movie, Tornado Alley, at the Kansas Cosmosphere earlier today. I really enjoyed it, it exceeded my expectations.
If you have watched Discovery's Storm Chasers series you know that one of the threads is filmmaker Sean Casey's attempt to shoot a movie and get "the perfect shot" inside a tornado. Tornado Alley is the result of those eight years of effort.
The movie, narrated by Bill Paxton (co-star of the movie Twister), introduces us to the Vortex II research program and Don Burgess. If Burgess' name seems familiar to you, it means you have probably read Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather. Don, a friend and former college roommate of mine, sets the stage by explaining the Vortex project.
Most of the rest of the movie explains the successes and frustrations of trying to conduct a field study of tornadoes. There are many great shots of tornadoes and, even better, the sounds of tornadoes. This is the first time I have heard the authentic sounds made by tornadoes. I don't want say much more because I don't want to ruin a couple of unexpected items for you.
I was with five high school and junior high aged kids and one other adult and all of us give it an enthusiastic "thumbs up."
The Kansas Cosmosphere is one of the best space museums in the world and is an excellent place to see the movie. On April 11th, the "Tornado Intercept Vehicle" will be there and they are having a contest to win a ride in it. Details here.