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San Andreas - Blu-ray Review

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San Andreas - Movie Review

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2 stars

Okay, okay, okay. We all can agree that the star-powered disaster movie is in serious need of a vitamin shot. Hell, it’s in need of a shot of Jack Daniels (or at least the audience is) if it’s to even be taken somewhat seriously anymore. Even classics in the genre – like The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake and The Towering Inferno – have their limitations. Yet, compared to the disaster flicks flooding out of Hollywood now, those three films are certifiable high-water marks. We, apparently, cannot do any better.

So, we surrender, just give us a reason to keep watching. Anything to make it a bit more enjoyable, right? Well, thank the Maker for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in San Andreas because he singlehandedly saves this picture from being a GIGANTIC waste of time. Why? Because, in spite of all the illogical, science-defying hysterics happening on the screen, he is the only actor focused enough to know EXACTLY what this empty-headed summer popcorn flick needs: ham-fisted charisma; something that the man, after a rough beginning in Hollywood, has in excess.

As you are already aware from all the towering buildings toppling down to the shaking ground from the trailers, San Andreas concerns itself with the epic CGI destruction of the West Coast. California Dreaming, indeed. You’ll concern yourself more with the epic destruction of your stomach as you keep munching away at the buttery popcorn in the bucket on your lap while hoping the film gets better. It won’t, though, and you won’t think anything more about the tragedy in the picture as you walk back to your car after it ends. Unless you are laughing about it. There is more guilt than there is pleasure in this $100 million “blockbuster” Warner Bros is distributing this weekend.

The film, especially when Paul Giamatti (a paycheck for him) as the grouchy scientist the world should have listened to arrives, wants to believe the nonsensical science it spouts and attempts to fire “evidence” all across the screen, yet also invites us to cheer when Johnson rides then jumps the tip of a tsunami wave in a speedboat through flooded city blocks. Completely mindless with only a hint of unintentional hilarity. If that’s what you want, by all means, go see San Andreas. Just keep your expectations low and be ready to laugh at the reckless folly.

Directed by Brad Peyton, this is unsexy disaster-porn for the masses. The logic tumbles. Things rumble. Then crap – like the “screenplay” by Carlton Cuse – crumbles to the ground. Johnson, playing a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, takes to the air and searches rooftops looking for his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) and then – by air, land, and sea – the dynamic duo travel from one disaster to the next in order to save their daughter (Alexandra Daddario) in San Francisco from the fallout from this biblical-type catastrophe. It’s Die Hard with a Bible. Yeah, you get where this one is headed: straight to Hell.

While I feel pretty good about praising the special effects, this praise simply does not extend to anyone involved in this muck but The Rock. He brings the thunder in this cinematic storm.  Everyone else is FAR TOO SERIOUS. And if he weren’t in it to save audiences this weekend and rescue the picture from itself, then I would tell you that the film and its 9.6 magnitude earthquakes are better left unseen and that you, dear reader, should simply stay home. Nothing about the disaster flick – including its giant quake-caused tsunami – convinces me that you need to see this.

Co-starring Archie Panjabi, Ioan Gruffudd, and featuring (as a favor?) Kylie Minogue (I kid you not), San Andreas is the long cliché of diaster flicks, complete with the obligatory undressing of a woman to save an injured boy’s life and the partial destruction of a San Francisco landmark. Hollow. Soulless. The events in this fissure-centered disaster flick are entirely too silly and never match the tone it’s setting up.

San Andreas is one big line of fault.

San Andreas - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense disaster action and mayhem throughout, and brief strong language.
Runtime:
114 mins
Director
: Brad Peyton
Writer:
Carlton Cuse
Cast:
Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario
Genre
: Action | Adventure
Tagline:
A rescue pilot survived an earthquake, this is what happens next.
Memorable Movie Quote: "It's been a long time since I got you to second base!"
Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site: http://www.sanandreasmovie.com/
Release Date:
May 29, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 13, 2015
Synopsis: In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his estranged daughter.

San Andreas - Movie Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - October 13, 2015
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio:
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps); Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: A

Okay, so Warner Brothers' 1080p, 2.40:1 image is pretty damn intense. This puppy is rippled with fine textures and strong details. Everything – whether it be clothes, skin, buildings, or the sky itself – is articulated with stunning complexity. Colors are bold and never deviate from the warm palette established by the natural world that has become the enemy. The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless soundtrack is a feast for the ears as your living room walls will shake as the on-screen earth rumbles. Good stuff.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Director Brad Peyton takes the helm solo and discusses the making of a disasterporn flick. He’s loose and manages to make the technical side of things interesting. For fans of the movie, this track should prove to be a good one.

Special Features:

Full of cast and crew interviews, the supplemental items on the disc does not disappoint. First up is a discussion about the on-screen destruction and the making of some of the more important scenes. Next is a look at Johnson’s most dangerous scenes. There is a brief look at scoring the movie and eight deleted scenes, as well as a brief montage of gags and stunts.

  • San Andreas: The Real Fault Line (6 min)
  • Dwayne Johnson to the Rescue (10 min)
  • Scoring the Quake (6 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (5 min)
  • Gag Reel (1 min)
  • Stunt Reel (3 min)

 

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