HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: San Andreas 3D
HTS Overall Score:92
I wouldn’t go into “San Andreas” expecting something new and revelationary. In fact I wouldn’t even go into the film expecting a good movie. It’s basically a spiritual successor to “2012”. It’s a disaster movie where you are there just to see everything get obliterated on an epic scale. With that being said, “San Andreas” manages to be a ridiculously FUN movie, not in spite of, but because of the sheer ludicrousness of the plot. I honestly was listening to the dialog laughing myself silly because I know that the script writers wrote a framework of the story and had huge spots that basically said “fill in with sciencey words and theories, even if they make no logical sense”. It reminds me of most Sci-fi movies with pseudo-science mumbo jumbo thrown in just to sound smart. In this case we have pseudo-science mumbo jumbo to explain an earthquake. You may think at this point that I didn’t like the movie, but the fact is the opposite is true. This is the epitome of a “check your brain at the door” popcorn movie where you cheer on the heroes, despite their idiotic blunders and have fun with audio and video while things fall to pieces around you (and in the case of the Atmos track, that just might include your living room).
Ok, let’s get through this “plot” thing as fast as possible, since there’s really only a few things you need to know. Cal Tech professor Lawrence Hayes (Paul Giamatti) have finally figured out a way to predict earthquakes down to the minute. The only problem is that they’ve just perfected this science JUST as the world’s biggest earthquake is about to hit. Sending out a few hours’ notice that San Francisco is about to be leveled, thanks to the San Andreas Fault line, the team hunkers down for what’s about to happen.
Simultaneously, Ray (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and his estranged wife, Emma (Carla Gugino) are fighting about a recent divorce stint. She’s moved on and moved in with her new boyfriend, Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd), and has just served Ray with the papers. Ray is a rescue pilot and basically runs around risking life and limb to save people in need. This is going to come in VERY handy today, because San Francisco is about to be turned into rubble. As predicted by Dr. Hayes, the earthquake comes and devastation is left in its wake. As the first shockwaves hit, Emma’s boyfriend, Daniel, ends up being the movies jerk as he leaves their Ray and Emma’s daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario) in a car to die. Rescued by a young British gentleman named Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) and the two of them, along with Ben’s younger brother have to try and make it out of the city. Ray now has to use his rescue skills to trek all the way down to San Francisco, and save not only his ex-wife, but his daughter as well.
I’m sure you know that disaster movies aren’t exactly target at critical film watchers. They’re meant to be sheer, dumb popcorn fun. They usually sacrifice more than enough plot and brain cells to frustrate some, but somehow “San Andreas” manages to be a lot of fun. Especially due to the fact that we have “The Rock” hulk smashing his way through just about everything in sight. Walls, glass windows, stadiums, water, you name it. If he can smash it in the movie, he does. I think the real joy of “San Andreas” is the balance of the destruction, the stupid dialog, and the characters. I wouldn’t expect fascinating subplots and well thought out characters, the casting director got enough good actors and passable actors that the stupidity seems less stupid. “The Rock” can make anything fun, as he’s got the Charisma and body that Arnold had back in the day, and is only getting more popular. Alexandria and Carla are just there for eye candy and move the plot along, which isn’t a bad thing. Alexandria in particular is just there to make every red blooded male in the audience stare at the screen in amazement as every other shot is over bouncing bouncing along as she runs.
Even though some of the CGI is a bit lackluster for such a large budgeted film, I was still heavily impressed with all of the mayhem and destruction. As I mentioned earlier, you really only go to these films for one reason, to see things destroyed. In that aspect “San Andreas” exceeds by a ridiculously large margin. Things go RAAAAAWR, BOOOM, CRASH, CRUSH!!! Then rinse and repeat for about 2 hours. I will say this. You will HATE Ioan Gruffudd’s character in this film so very much, but his comeuppance is so sweet that the entire audience was cheering when I saw this as well as my buddies when we watched it on home video. It was just that sweet.
Rated PG-13 for intense disaster action and mayhem throughout, and brief strong language
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=55578[/img]Wow, if anything, “San Andreas” will be the next demo disc in your lineup, that’s for sure. Shot digitally it looks simply magnificent in HD. Colors are bright and vibrant, with fine detail that would make even movies like “Transformers” jealous. Color palette is very natural, with fantastic skin tones and well balanced contrast levels. Never looking overly glossy and “digital”, the image manages to just stun at every curve. Debris and mayhem are falling everywhere and you can distinctly make out each piece of jetsam in the water, as well as individual stands of hair falling across the main characters faces. Close ups reveal every bit of texture and eek out every last drop of fine detail from everything the camera touches. Even the long shots look incredible, with no signs of softness or smearing as is kind of normal for a longer shot. The only real complain I had wasn’t the transfer itself, but that some of the CGI looked a bit too fake for a movie with a budget as big as this one did. It’s not bad, but is ever so slightly noticeable. Blacks stay deep and inky and artifacting on screen is pretty much nonexistent. A+ transfer across the board.
“San Andreas” was not originally filmed with 3D cameras. Like a lot of films these days, it was post convert, but unlike most post conversions it actually looks really good. Brightness stays constant throughout the whole film, and doesn’t fluctuate like many do. Depth and layering all look solid, with some nice pop out effects as well. I didn’t really notice any major ghosting or other 3D related artifacts, but it did seem to be a tad bit on the softer side with the glasses in place. It’s nothing wild, and unless you directly compare the 2 editions back to back like I did, you’d never notice the difference.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=55586[/img]Holy…cow. That’s all I can say. I love these Dolby Atmos tracks due to the sheer effort that the sound designers put into the track, but WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW! The ferocity and power that is unleashed in “San Andreas” is something for the history books. Dialog and dimensionality are all perfectly fine, with great localization of voices and some nice panning effects all around the sound stage. The Surrounds are literally buzzing with activity for 99.999999% of the movie. I honestly don’t think I can remember a time where I WASN’T looking over my shoulder at some noise coming from the surrounds. LFE is just punishing, with a nonstop assault that just doesn’t let up at all. The movie pretty much forgoes much backstory and within 5 minutes of the movie we’re already getting the leg flapping low bass that just gets a bass head all giggly. From then on out it just keeps on getting better as the whole world is pretty much vibrating form the earthquake, not to mention tidal waves, buildings crumbling and car parking garages falling into things. Yeah, this one is EASILY my favorite Atmos track released to date. I really think my neighbors are NOT happy with me right now.
• Audio Commentary
• San Andreas: The Real Fault Line
• Dwayne Johnson to the Rescue
• Scoring the Quake
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Stunt Reel
“San Andreas” is a big, goofy, thrill ride that doesn’t even try and BOTHER with having a plot. The actors, the directors, the writers ,they all know that the only reason you’re watching the film is to watch everything blow up and crash on screen, and in that respect it delivers 100% of the goods. Things blow up, things fall down, tidal waves crash into San Francisco and the Rock does superhero like stunts that should demolish any other man. I can’t in good conscious recommend this movie as a GOOD movie, but it certainly was a FUN movie. Definitely worth watching if you enjoy carnage, mayhem, world destruction and pretty pictures and sound.
Starring: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario
Director: Brad Peyton
Written By: Carlton Cuse, Andre Fabrizio
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core), French, Portuguese, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 114 Minutes
Own “San Andreas” on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, or DVD on October 13 or Own It Now on Digital HD!
Buy San Andreas 3D Combo Pack Blu-ray on Amazon
Buy San Andreas 2D Combo Pack Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Worth Checking Out
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