San Andreas (Blu-ray) (2015)

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Due Out for Sale 30-Sep-2015

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Audio Commentary-director Brad Peyton
Featurette-Making Of-San Andreas: The Real Fault Line (6:23)
Featurette-Making Of-Dwayne Johnson to the Rescue (9:24)
Featurette-Scoring the Quake (6:13)
Deleted Scenes-with or without commentary by director Brad Payton (4:40)
Outtakes-Gag Reel (1:22)
Featurette-Stunt Reel (2:56)
Trailer-Pan (2:30)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 114:28
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Brad Peyton
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Dwayne Johnson
Carla Gugino
Ioan Gruffudd
Alexandra Daddario
Paul Giamatti
Hugo Johnstone- Burt
Archie Panjabi
Art Parkinson
Kylie Minogue

Case ?
RPI ? Music Andrew Lockington


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Icelandic
Norwegian
Swedish
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Ray (Dwayne Johnson) is an early response helicopter pilot with the LA Fire Department. Following a family tragedy his wife Emma (Carla Gugino) has taken up with wealthy property developer Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd) and has filed for a divorce placing the couple’s daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) in a difficult position. Meanwhile academic and seismologist Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) and his team have been trying to perfect a system for predicting earthquakes in the San Andreas Fault, which threatens both San Francisco and Los Angeles. When a quake destroys the Hoover Dam in Nevada, Lawrence believes the big one is coming and enlists newswoman Serena (Archie Panjabi) to help warn people.

     Daniel takes Blake on a visit to San Francisco where she meets brothers Ben (Hugo Johnstone- Burt) and Ollie (Art Parkinson). Then the earthquakes start, initially striking LA before the fault line moves towards San Francisco with smaller events. Ray first saves Emma from a collapsing building in LA and they head to San Francisco to find Blake. On the way they discover that Blake has been trapped in a collapsing building and that Daniel has abandoned her. She is rescued by Ben and Ollie and the three head out into a San Francisco being ripped apart by earthquakes. Cue spectacular fires, collapsing buildings, freeways and bridges and a tsunami as Ray and Emma race to save their daughter.

     Something as big and CGI heavy as San Andreas was a big ask for Canadian director Brad Peyton in only his third feature although he had worked with Johnson previously in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012). In a lot of ways San Andreas is an old fashioned disaster film. Sure, the film utilises copious amounts of CGI to depict collapsing buildings and freeways, fracturing dams and the tsunami, complete with huge container ships and a disintegrating Golden Gate Bridge. However, where possible Peyton uses practical and in camera visual effects, as well as long continuous takes with a panning camera to depict people and events in the style of Children of Men rather than quick cutting. This gives the film a realistic feel, and the sequence in the LA restaurant with Carla Gugino and our own Kylie Minogue is impressive.

     San Andreas has spectacle in spades, but epic disaster films work best when we care about the characters. San Andreas has Dwayne Johnson in good form to help with this. He is a big man but he moves very well and has charisma, helped by that cheeky smile that sucks you right in. It will be contested, but I think he is the most appealing action leading man since Arnie in his heyday, and I love watching him. Since coming out of WWF Johnson has been expanding his acting range and San Andreas allows him some quiet moments with Carla Gugino where he can be vulnerable. Yet, for all that, Johnson remains the action hero, and as someone says in the extras who would not want to be saved by The Rock!! San Andreas also has strong and determined female characters as both Gugino and Daddario assay females who take a hand and are not just there to be saved. I admit I am not that familiar with the work of Gugino, although she has 88 credits listed in the IMDb generally in supporting roles such as Watchman (2009). She did have a more substantial role in Night at the Museum (2006) and indeed has worked with Johnson previously in Race to Witch Mountain (2009). Here, in San Andreas, they have a good and believable chemistry that helps ground the film in its quieter moments. Paul Giamatti is also fine, adding gravitas in a role that is required to provide all the exposition.

     In the IMDb there is an amount of criticism of San Andreas because of errors in the geography of San Francisco and the science. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story when a film is as spectacular and plain good fun as San Andreas. It is an old fashioned, entertaining disaster film and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     San Andreas is presented in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio, close to the original 2.35:1, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC codec.

     This is a fine print with strong and clear detail that leaps off the screen, especially during the exteriors. The colours are glossy but vibrant, with wonderful reds, blues and greens such as the red helicopter against the sky. Blacks and shadow detail are excellent, skin tones look a rather deep and glossy brown, but I guess this is California! Some interior scenes however come over as glary with the light source beyond the actors, which does affect contrast.

     There is some slight movement blur against mottled surfaces but the CGI is clean. Otherwise I did not notice any marks or artefacts.

     Subtitles are available in English, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Icelandic and Norwegian plus English and Italian subtitles for the hearing impaired.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The feature audio is English Dolby TrueHD 7.1. There is also an English audio description track (Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps), English commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kbps) plus Italian and Spanish dubs (Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps).

     My system is not yet set up as 7.1 but even in 5.1 San Andreas has the wow factor. Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and the surrounds and rears were used constantly for music and effects such as engines, the sounds of the earthquake, buildings, dams or bridges collapsing, the tidal wave and general mayhem. There are also pans such as helicopters engines or rotors. The sub-woofer is suitable aggressive adding rumble to the earthquakes, the collapses and the tsunami and depth to the destruction.

     The score by Andrew Lockington was as epic as one expects in a disaster movie.

    Lip synchronisation was fine.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     Except for the commentary a generally minor collection of extras.

Start-Up Trailer

     A trailer for Pan (2:30) plays on start-up. It cannot be selected from the menu.

Audio Commentary

     Director Brad Peyton admits that this is his first audio commentary and then provides an entertaining and humorous look at his film. His commentary is not technical as such but he talks non-stop about locations, CGI and visual effects, stunts done for real and in front of greenscreen, Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino, his style and intentions. He also as provides some on set anecdotes. This commentary is good fun and worth a listen.

San Andreas: The Real Fault Line (6:23)

    Short EPK style featurette with film and on-set footage plus comments by the director, various producers, the visual effects and special effects people and cast Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino and Ioan Gruffudd about making the film feel real, within reason. Pretty superficial but some interesting on set footage of the restaurant destruction, plus filming in a giant water tank.

Dwayne Johnson to the Rescue (9:24)

     Similar to the previous featurette but focussing on the stunts performed by Johnson and Gugino. Additional comments from the writer, stunt coordinator, camera operator and cast members Morgan Griffin, Matt Gerald, Kylie Minogue, Paul Giamatti and Alexandra Daddario.

Scoring the Quake (6:13)

     Composer Andrew Lockington and Peyton discuss influences on the score, including a smashed up piano and the sounds of the fault. Interesting.

Deleted Scenes (4:40)

     Eight short deleted scenes. These are available with or without commentary by director Brad Payton who indicates why they were cut, mostly for pacing reasons.

Gag Reel (1:22)

    Laughs, goofs and fun on set.

Stunt Reel (2:56)

    Fun with the stunt department

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The US Region A release of San Andreas is due on 13/10/15, the Region B UK a day earlier. All versions are identical with the same extras – our Region B features the FBI piracy warning. And we get it two weeks before the others!

Summary

     San Andreas is an exciting old fashioned disaster film with everything except a dog! It has spectacle, humour, young people in peril, last minute escapes, collapsing buildings, a tsunami and characters we care about, including The Rock is good form.

     The video is very good, the audio exceptional. The extras are not extensive but the commentary is worthwhile and the extras are the same as are available elsewhere.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Friday, October 02, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
San Andreas Is ATMOS Enabled. - Roger T. Ward (Some say he's afraid of the Dutch, and that he's stumped by clouds. All we know, this is his bio.) REPLY POSTED