San Andreas (Blu-ray Review)

San AndreasIt wouldn’t be another calendar year at the movies without the obligatory disaster film, would it?  No way!  This time out we have the heavyweight Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson leading the pack.  And while the film’s initial trailers, with the exception of the slow, melodic take on “California Dreamin,” didn’t do much to whet my appetite for this one I was just hoping for at least some senseless fun.  Is that too much to ask?  I thought to myself before my first go around with this Blu-ray title theatrically that if I could leave with a few giggles had, then it would all be worth it.  Plus, I owe my girlfriend big time for dragging her out of the house against her will assuring her both Tomorrowland and Jupiter Ascending this year wouldn’t be that bad.  Both were pure dog duty.  And here we are.  San Andreas is coming out on Blu-ray October 13th!  Let’s chat about that and also all the chaos, mayhem, destruction and FX down below.

San Andreas


So as I already mentioned up above, San Andreas is an action-adventure “disaster film.”  It’s directed by Brad Peyton and written by a whopping four screenwriters as I guess you can say it probably went through a lot of rewrites to say the least.  That reminds me of the old joke of how many people does it take to screw in a lightbulb.  Haha.  I digress.  In addition to The Rock, San Andreas stars Watchmen‘s Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario (the only good thing about Texas Chainsaw 3D), Paul Giamatti, Ioan Gruffudd and even singer Kylie Minogue.

San Andreas is set in California.  Duh!  Filming took place in both Australia and San Francisco.  And so you probably also guessed that this has to do with a devastating earthquake.  If you did, good job!  You’re a winner!  Nothing gets by you!  So in our story here, The Rock is a Los Angeles Fire Department rescue-helicopter pilot (say that ten times in a row really fast).  He and his ex-wife, portrayed by one of my favorites, the lovely Carla Gugino, defy hell and high water to leave Los Angeles and make their way up to San Francisco to find and rescue their daughter (Alexandra Daddario).  I can attest that even with no traffic that drive is at least six hours.  Haha.

So where oh where do we start here?  I can go with the Harry Knowles approach and spend about 25 paragraphs or so getting my bearings together to no avail or I can just tell you the following straight up.  San Andreas was NOT the “disaster” film I thought it was going to be.  Surprisingly, it was pretty fun!  Was it 100% seismically correct?  Of course not!  However, that did not stop me from enjoying the hell out of this one like it was a delicious plate of biscuits and hot gravy, the complete opposite of how I felt sitting through that pig trough called Tomorrowland for example.

In San Andreas, my beloved Southern California is rocked by a powerful magnitude-9.1 quake followed by even stronger magnitude-9.6 in colder Northern California.  This all happened courtesy of the San Andreas fault line.  However, many residents of the state were lucky enough to heed the warnings of Paul Giamatti’s seismologist character, who just so happened to invent a technology after tragic events occurred in my other beloved state of Nevada that can predict earthquakes before they happen.  Now I hate to bust your bubble, but I researched this all and found the following two statements as it pertains to catastrophic events that happen in this film.  First, U.S. Geological Survey seismologists say earthquakes this large are near impossible because San Andreas fault is not long or deep enough.  And second, Seismologist Susan Hough said that earthquake-prediction technology hasn’t advanced as far as it is depicted in this film.  “We wish it were as simple as the movie portrays.  It isn’t.  Researchers have scoured every imaginable signal trying to find reliable precursors, but nothing has panned out,” Hough said.

So despite San Andreas‘ cookie cutter story and familiar plot lines, the chaos, destruction and somehow believable acting of The Rock and Paul Giamatti make for a fun time here.  I’ll get to the latter two in a moment, but quite frankly we have to be honest with ourselves here.  We watch these types of film to see the chaos and destruction of it all, whether it is believable or not.  There’s something about major cities getting wiped out that make us sick people smile, as long as its on the HDTV screen and not in real life of course.  So in this respect San Andreas won’t disappoint.  There are plenty of holy sh1t death defying moments harmoniously mixed with the ridiculous ones to balance this one out.  I also get a kick while watching this thinking about how certain scenes were filmed or how the effects were pulled off.  While they weren’t always 100% spectacular looking, for the most part it was technically sound.  The 3D adds a separate layer of depth to the picture, but nothing missed should you select to entertain yourself in a 2D only screening.  The 3D option is just out there to make some extra cash.  Who can blame the studios?  I can’t!

The little kid in me who wants to see things get blown up all the time kind of sidetracked me up above.  Let’s get back to talking about The Rock and the rest of the supporting cast for a moment.  Make no doubt about it, The Rock and Paul Giamatti’s charisma usually always makes for a fine product, but listen up guys.  You have some serious eye candy here with newcomer Alexandra Daddario, formerly of the Percy Jackson films, True Detective and of course I’ll say it again…the ONLY good thing about that wretched Texas Chainsaw 3D movie.  Alexandra simply sparkles on the screen, but other than her mad MacGyver tricks of the trade, her character is pretty wooden (I have a joke to insert here that I am refraining form making).  Carla Gugino, looking a little older nowadays, hangs in there as a distressed mother conflicted by the two men in her life.  It was great to see Ioan Gruffudd get some screen time in this one.  He played the one character everyone wanted to see die in the film and I loved it!

So there you have it folks.  San Andreasis the perfect cure for those post-summertime blues.  It has action, destruction and peril, damsels in distress and even a well placed F-bomb.  What more can you ask for?  I know.  I know.  You’re thinking story.  Don’t overthink this one folks.  It’s a disaster story following one family.  Go with the flow.  Fall in love with the humor and ridiculousness of it all.  And by golly, wipe that stupid grin off your face and have a good time with San Andreas.  That’s what these movies are made for.  And truth be told, I’m even more scared than ever about moving to California one day.  It’s not the economy, lack of job or the low social class I belong to that frightens me now, it’s those damn earthquakes that will rock your world out there!

San Andreas


  • Encoding: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Clarity/Detail: Clarity and detail is impeccable here in little nuances such as facial or hair stubble, fabric in the clothing and even right down to the highly detailed and chiseled backgrounds and sets.
  • Depth: The depth of field is completely mind blowing here.  From the flowing hills in the San Fernando Valley to the forever stretching streets in downtown San Francisco the onscreen characters just pop against their environment.  You gotta love that three-dimensional Blu-ray pop.  You know it!
  • Black Levels: Black levels are all deep and inky throughout.  I have zero problems here.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors are all rich, deep and vibrant throughout here.  This one razzle dazzles like a good summer blockbuster should.
  • Flesh Tones: The flesh tones are all spot on and accurate throughout.  There’s not much to nitpick here.
  • Noise/Artifacts: This one looks horrible.  It’s riddled with noise, nasty artifacts, you name it.  Say what?  I gotcha!  This one is flawless.  There’s not an out of place speck of dust to complain about here.  Shut up and enjoy the reference video you see in this one!

San Andreas


  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1 (dubbed in Quebec), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Dynamics: This is a disaster movie ladies and gents, you better believe the dynamics of this surround presentation are off-the-wall amazing.  Things blow up all around you and yet you can hear even the tiniest of whispers when necessary.  This was a great workout for my brand new Denon Atmos capable receiver.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE rocked my living room last night when I watched this.  My labrador could not even be in the same room as every time the earthquakes rumbled on the big screen, guess what it felt like on my living room floor courtesy of the subwoofer going BANG, BANG.  You get the idea, I’m sure.  The LFE in this track ensures you feel the ravage and destruction of it all.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Like the LFE channel up above, the surround channels put you in the absolute middle of all the onscreen chaos, destruction and mayhem.  Choppers circle swirl in from behind as buildings majestically crumple and fall all around you.  Sometimes I had to check myself to make sure that glass shattering from behind didn’t hit me.  I’m kidding of course.  Haha.  Again, you get the idea.  The Dolby Atmos surround presentation literally makes you live the 2-hour adventure with The Rock and team.
  • Dialogue Reproduction:  Spoken words and whispers are loud, clear and prominent throughout.  I have zero complaints with this audio presentation as a whole.

San Andreas


If you’re a fan of the film, San Andreas packs a healthy supply of extras to enjoy and partake in.  They’re nothing that will rock your world, but it’s refreshing to see there’s a director audio commentary for this one.  I can’t recall the last Blu-ray movie I reviewed that had one.  Also included in this Blu-ray Combo Pack from Warner Bros. is a DVD that houses the film in standard definition and a redeemable voucher code for the film in UltraViolet Digital HD.  So enough chitchat, let’s take a closer look at everything you’ll find here in the Extras department.

  • Commentary by Director Brad Peyton – This one is obviously a director audio commentary with Brad Peyton, who’s a hell of a lot of fun to spend time with.  The guy is very passionate here and in the other extras listed down below.  I enjoy spending time with him.
  • San Andreas: The Real Fault Line (HD, 6:23) – This one obviously addresses the reason why we are all here watching San Andreas, the earthquake.  The struggle was how to make the earthquake real while taking certain fictional liberties, not to mention that 5-mnute long earthquake scene.  It was amazing how they shot the building sinking in a large aquarium in Australia.
  • Dwayne Johnson to the Rescue (HD, 9:24) – The Rock admits that making San Andreas was a thrilling, heart-pounding ride.  The actors took great pride in making the action authentic and wanted to do all their own stunts.  The cast and crew all seem to have the utmost respect and kind words for Dwayne.  They show a lot of the stunts he did within this extra.  The Rock goes onto say there’s nothing that has wings or wheels on it that he did not operate, including a boat.
  • Scoring the Quake (HD, 6:13) – The music fan in me loves these featurettes about building the perfect score.  Andrew Lockington, the film’s composer, takes us on his journey to find the right music on a grand level and themes that are very personal.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 4:40) – There are a total of 9 deleted scenes to be found here.  The only way to skip through them is by selecting the next chapter.
  • Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Brad Peyton (HD, 4:40) – These are the same 9 scenes I just talked about above except with director commentary.
  • Gag Reel (HD, 1:22) –  This one goes by pretty fast, but seeing Ioan Gruffudd hit his nuts on a pipe is so worth it.  LOL.
  • Stunt Reel (HD, 2:56) – This one is like a slickly edited, very fast paced MTV music video of various stonework employed during the filming of San Andreas.

San Andreas


Another year, another disaster movie, but it’s a good one albeit.  Like the Rock says in one of the extras, it’s a wild, heart-pounding ride you’re taken on and Warner Bros. did a phenomenal job bringing San Andreas to the Blu-ray format with reference video and audio presentations plus some spectacular behind-the-scenes footage in the extras section.  One cannot dispute the facts, ladies and gentlemen.  Don’t waste your time renting San Andreas, pick up on release day or pre-order using the generous link provided below.  It’s a fun time!  Don’t you want to have some fun?  Yes you do!


San Andreas 

Explodes onto

Blu-ray Oct. 13th!

Pre-Order Now!



San Andreas


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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