The Movie: 6.5/10
Massive disasters are fascinating to see in fiction and over the years we have had many to choose from. I can’t account for the quality of them all, but to see the ideas that some writers and directors and production designers have for giant destruction is always want keeps me coming back. I don’t judge movies based on their quality compared to all other movies. I do my calculations based on that movie, in its own neighborhood inside its own genre. As far as disaster movies with a subplot about some insignificant people we are supposed to care about, I rank San Andreas above average for sure. It’s got all the stuff I look for in a Saturday afternoon of exploring utter dismantling of stuff humans have built, like whole cities rolling over the shock wave of an earthquake like ripples in a pond, like whole buildings sinking into the ground, and like helicopters escaping impossible scenarios…well, that last one I can live without.
The cast is good, really, trust me on this. Johnson and Gugino do their roles in a way that convinced me they are a divorced couple who have had a troubled thing in their past. I like them individually and together I was impressed. They have written the leading man character as a tough trustworthy “I will save you no matter what” kind of guy and his ex-wife to be as the needy “please be the guy who will always save me” kind of woman. Both could be annoying but I like these two enough to just let it be and not over think it. The daughter is the tough female character and she comes across a very weak young man to be the one she needs to save. So, someone in those writing sessions of this movie decided there needed to be a balance and thus, we have it, sort of.
The special effects are pretty darn good too, not to big this movie up too much, but it’s a fun flick if you don’t mind the millions of people dying while earthquakes ravage the west coast. From time to time there is a moment when you need to squint to get around the CGI look of what is happening, but not much so it’s not one of those that leaves my eye rolling button on continuous throughout. I did it a couple of times, but not enough to make it boring.
I don’t want the world to be ripped apart by a natural disaster, its ugly business. I don’t mind the fictional visions of what it might be like and for this week San Andreas fits the brief and I was impressed enough to even watch it again sometime when I do a disaster marathon.
- San Andreas: The Real Fault Line (7 Minutes) – I was hoping for a scientific explanation of the real San Andreas fault here, but instead we get a standard EPK style featurette that hardly explains anything.
- Dwayne Johnson To The Rescue (10 Minutes) – A very close look at the Rock and his CGI muscles, ok they are not CGI but damn they are big. Here we look at the key action scenes and what Johnson brings to the set in terms of charisma.
- Scoring The Quake (6 Minutes) – Composer Andrew Lockington takes us on a tour of the studio as he composes the films rich score.
- Commentary By Director Brad Peyton – Brad Peyton makes it clear this is his first audio commentary, but that does not mean it’s a bad one. He enthusiastically talks you through every aspect of the movie that he is obviously proud of.
- Deleted Scenes (5 Minutes) – Eight scenes mostly with unfinished CGI. Nothing that would change the movie in any significant way though.
- Gag Reel (1 Minute) – Stars goofing around, it’s a gag reel.
- Stunt Reel (3 Minutes) – A stunt reel that almost looks like a CV for the stunt teams next job in Hollywood.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art: 5/10
Hmmmmm it’s fine, but not poster material.
Audio & Video: 10/10
San Andreas is as close to perfect as you get on Blu-ray as Warner’s 1080P/AVC transfer rocks the house in its 2.40:1 aspect ratio. For a movie that is 80 percent CGI this movie is a real spectacle to look at. Clarity is breathtaking with fine detail on faces and on the long ultra realistic scenes of San Fransisco falling apart. Black levels are perfect and flesh tones are accurate and lifelike. This is a contender for Blu-Ray of the year when it comes to picture and audio.
The audio is also stunning coming courtesy of a Dolby Atmos track that defaults to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 if your player does not support the new format. The movie is obviously about earthquakes and earthquakes you get right in the middle of your living room. LFE activity is incredible so if you want to put your subwoofer to the test this is a disc you need to drag out. Dialog is central and clear throughout and surround activity is present at all times. Regardless if you like this type of movie or not this is an excellent presentation from Warner that should not be missed.
Overall Score 7/10