San Andreas review – a nasty fissure

31 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Box Office: ‘San Andreas’ Eyes Seismic $48M Debut; ‘Aloha’ Bombing.

The earthquake disaster film, which harkens back to the old Irwin Allen disaster flicks of the ’70s, will easily claim the top spot in North America this weekend and will mark Johnson’s top domestic opening outside of the Fast and Furious franchise.The new movie San Andreas, starring Dwayne Johnson (better known as The Rock), is about a California earthquake so powerful that it destroys Los Angeles and San Francisco, and people can feel it all the way over on the East Coast. The movie tells the story of Ray Gaines (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), an Afghanistan war veteran and a Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter pilot. Cameron Crowe’s romantic drama Aloha, the weekend’s other new offering, isn’t looking so lucky despite its star-studded cast (Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams).

In the film, Gaines takes the blame for the death of his daughter Mallory, something that eventually drives wife, Emma (Carla Gugino), to ask for a divorce and to go into the arms of property mogul Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd). Ray and Emma also have another daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario), whose main function is apparently to serve as eye candy, by, for example, calling her dad from Daniel’s pool while clad only in a bikini.

In San Andreas, Johnson plays a helicopter pilot called upon to execute multiple nick-of-time rescues in the PG-13 movie that will be playing in 3,777 theaters by Friday, the majority of them 3-D houses. While Blake lives the high life courtesy of mom’s richy-rich boyfriend, poor Ray is left mundane chores, such as delivering a bicycle to her new home or saving her from a tsunami-hit skyscraper later on.

The disaster film teams Johnson with director Brad Peyton, who also guided the actor through 2012’s Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and producer Beau Flynn, who produced both Journey 2 and Johnson’s 2014 Hercules. Seismologists Lawrence (Paul Giamatti) and Kim (Will Yun Lee) at the California Institute of Technology decide to test their new earthquake-detection gizmo in safe and controlled circumstances. The destruction of one of the Modern Wonders of the World serves as an introduction to what a disaster movie with an almost unlimited effects budget can offer. From Sony, the Hawaii-set Aloha stars Cooper as a military contractor who falls for an Air Force pilot played by Stone, only to encounter a past lover in the form of McAdams. The work of cinematographer Steve Yedlin, who is also attached to the next Star Wars installment, is done on a massive scale, offering a detailed and realistic depiction of the dam crumbling and the ensuing floods.

After Rick has to cancel a trip to take Blake back to her university in San Francisco due to the earthquake, she has no problems with going with Daniel on his private jet. Produced by Crowe and Scott Rudin, Aloha — which at one point was penciled in for a December 2014 release but was then moved into 2015 — cost at least $37 million after rebates.

That in-the-doorway mythology has been floating around for a really long time. [Standing in] doorways began, actually, from a Red Cross volunteer in the 1952 earthquake that saw a collapsed adobe house with the lintel still standing. It has already had to withstand critical comments from former Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal, which were exposed in emails made public as part of the Sony hack. In any modern construction, the doorway’s no stronger than anywhere else and it usually has a door and that door is gonna be flopping back and forth during the earthquake. In one particularly offensive scene, Blake, Ben and Ollie stroll through San Francisco talking about the tourism objects there right after seeing thousands of buildings collapse before their eyes. We did a big study of a south San Andreas earthquake and we came up with a total of 1,800 dead, which is the equivalent of seven years of traffic fatalities just in Los Angeles County.

This is actually why I’ve been working with the mayor’s office and the city of Los Angeles to look at how we can strengthen our older buildings — because we can’t take that financial hit of having our buildings unusable. I actually first saw it with a group of seismologists, and we were all sort of ready to go, “Oh, really?” Right, ’cause we could tell from the trailer that some of it wasn’t accurate.

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