Every once in a while, I need a cinematic cleansing. You know, lots of shiny, pretty, loud stuff. So on went this. And it was.....ok. Usual disaster tropes abound - intro rescue to show how manly the heroes are (just doing my job, ma'am-type stuff), dysfunctional family and BOOM! Poop happens as they say.
So this didn't really engage with me for the first hour at all. Initial quake has lots of money shots one after the other, but just left me cold. I mean I like the characters (The Rock? Man crush ahoy. Gugino and Daddario? Oh my what I'd give to be the meat in that sandwich.....) and I like lots of CG people dying hideously/hilariously. But this just didn't engage me one bit - I mean if you have the Rock, have him do superhuman things, that's why you have the Rock!!! And to be honest he didn't do much at all. Just fly his chopper around and avoiding falling buildings (how immune to these CG money shots am I?????).
BUT when they headed to another city to get a family member, suddenly it all clicked with me. I think its because that the second half did what all good disaster flicks do - make it personal. Virtually the whole second half of the film is all about this one family's journey - no grandstanding, save the world type stuff. Hell Paul Giamatti's scientist dude is almost off screen for the entire duration of the second half! So yes, we still have mega-budgeted set pieces, but they're all surrounding this one family and impacting this one family and basically the second half was really good.
Yes there's still some shoddy CG in here (well maybe shoddy's too harsh but with so many money shots, it all starts to look a little cartoony) and the Rock still doesn't do enough Rock-type stuff for me, but it passed the time pleasantly. And those leading ladies....my oh my oh my oh my (sorry for taking this to a dark place but blimey o riley, those two are just staggering........!!!!!).
Typical blockbuster transfer - picture quality (in 2D) was pretty good to great (so much CG on screen it never had that totally pin sharp quality that the best of the best have - though that's not the fault of the transfer). The Atmos track was goofy grin inducing - again, not huge amounts of spot effects, but you are just aware of being wholly surrounded by sound and it sounds wonderful - LFE all over the show, you name it, its here). Great stuff. Extras? Again typical - a few puff pieces but I watched 2 of the 6-8 min featurettes and there were nuggets of interesting stuff in here - for the restaurant scene with Gugino they went old school Trek - instead of shaking the building/set, they shook everything in the set and the cameras! THATS how you do old school FX!!
Summary - its big, its loud, its dumb but not without its charms. A great cast and the second half is where the film starts to engage, with a lovely shiny LOUD transfer guaranteed to leave you smiling at your investment in all this expensive home cinema malarkey. A firm, solid NOT BAD.
San Andreas User Review
Its Faulty.....but still Rock-solid fun.......Review of San Andreas blu-ray by Coz22998, May 18, 2016.This item was purchased for £19.99 from HMV in 2015. The reviewer still owns this product.
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