Jan De Bont's 1996 follow-up to 'Speed,' benefits from awesome special-effects work, actual tornado footage and eye-widening physical stunts. But 'Twister' is helped considerably by shrewd and successful casting. Stars Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton (pictured) are winning performers of the type audiences inevitably warm to, and together they give the film a level of empathy it would never have earned without them (Cinemax Tuesday at 4 p.m.; Saturday at 6 p.m.).

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