Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Review of SAN ANDREAS in 3D-4DX: Relentless Roller-Coaster!

May 27, 2015




Because watching at the 4DX Theater at the Bonifacio High Street is twice the price of the usual movie, we need to decide well which films will be best seen in such an all-involving manner beyond sight and sound. The first film decided to watch there was "Into the Storm" (2014), which was about the violent effects of a monster tornado in the American Midwest. Today, for my second time to watch there, it is yet another disaster movie, this time about a massive earthquake. I guess in my book, a disaster movie would be one genre of film that would work very well in 4DX, and certainly this time I was not wrong.

At the risk of betraying my age, I recall in my childhood that there was a famous film entitled "Earthquake" (1974) which was a big deal back then because it was shown in theaters with a special soundtrack effect called "Sensurround." My vague recollections of that movie experience was that very loud and heavy bass sound effects made audiences feel like they were shaking along with the action on the screen. Of course, with one disaster film released after another over the years, audiences would expect the new one to supersede the previous one in terms of special effects of mass destructiveness. "San Andreas" definitely does not disappoint in that aspect.

Professor Lawrence Hayes (Paul Giamatti) and his team at CalTech had perfected a method of predicting earthquakes. Just when they were testing their system at the Hoover Dam, a very strong earthquake strikes. However, their equipment shows that that that Nevada earthquake was just the precursor of a bigger, more destructive as their indicators light up the whole San Andreas fault line from Los Angeles all the way to San Francisco!

Meanwhile, we meet Fire and Rescue chief Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) had to rescue his estranged wife Emma (Carla Gugino) trapped somewhere in LA, and then rush off by all (and I mean all -- land, sea and air) means of transportation possible to rescue their daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) trapped somewhere in San Francisco with her two new British friends who helped her, the charming architect Ben (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) and his smart-alecky younger brother Ollie (Art Parkinson). Will Ray reach Blake in time to rescue her, or will he be reliving the ghosts of a past tragedy from which he had never really moved on? 

We all know that story is not really the big selling point of a film like this. We can all somehow predict how the family drama would go in the end, don't we? We know that Ray Gaines, being the "Rock" that he is, would be a super-dad who just happened to know how to do EVERYTHING. It was so good that Dwayne Johnson nailed both action and dramatic scenes with aplomb and sincerity. He provides both muscle and heart to this film. We know we will be seeing lucky characters, narrow escapes, coincidental encounters, close calls,  last-minute saves, and yes, these incredible scenes are there aplenty. Cheesy romantic scenes? It has those too. No, we do not really watch films like this for the story.

People who watch this film are there to watch the best special effects used to recreate the most realistic disasters. "San Andreas" spared nothing in its span and scale of disaster. You may have seen the Golden Gate Bridge destroyed in other films, but I bet you've never seen it destroyed this way before. Watching this in 3D+4DX is worth the extra ticket price because this really brings us more into the midst of the massive earthquake. Our seats are shaking with the quake, as well as the motors of the cars, planes, copters or boats we see on screen, with the wind blowing around us. It is literally breathtaking as we are taken on a relentless roller-coaster ride, with adrenaline on a constant high. 

While this film fully captures the terrifying power and fearsome wrath of a widespread magnitude 9.6 earthquake, with our hero Ray and his family to root for, this film also becomes quite entertaining to watch as well. Director Brad Peyton was able to strike that perfect balance to keep us at the edge of our seats with the sense of imminent (and potentially real) danger, and yet still have an exhilarating fun time. You may also pick up some vital quake survival tips along the way. 7/10. With the 3D+4DX, 8/10.


20 comments:

  1. Never watch 4D fiolms pa but I know that Sensurround thing, where lahat ng natutulog nagigising. Haha.ha... . Seems this a good film and because I really wanted to experience watching 4D film then this is a must one for me.

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  2. I haven't experienced watching in the 4DX theater at BGC yet, but I'd take your suggestion and see this movie there. :) I love good disaster movies that can keep viewers at the edge of their seats, so will definitely book to watch San Andreas, hopefully this weekend.

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  3. Oh I love The Rock! Sounds like the kind of film I would enjoy - especially in 4D wow! I cannot even recall the last time I went to watch a 3D film! Great review as always!

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  4. Happy for you in experiencing the new technology in movie watching. I read the premiere in US and the actors too. For sure, I like this movie.

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  5. There's a 4DX theatre at the BCG? I haven't even experienced 3D yet and now this haha, I just can't keep up! I have a theory about this film being shown now when we have a lot of earthquakes coming, but that's just me haha. Will definitely watch this with the husband.

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  6. No, we do not really watch films like this for the story.-- Ah! Thanks for the tip! I love the rock and now I'm curious how the "dad" character pans out in the scenes. :)

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  7. I haven't tried nor heard of a 4DX. Frankly, I haven't even tried IMAX! Haha. It would be a great experience for me to try it out soon.

    Anyway, my friend has been bugging me to watch this with him. I guess it is worth a shot. I just thought that (based on the poster), it was another Lone Survivor kind. But its good to know it's not what I thought it is and it has a good blend of drama, action and kilig parts.

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  8. I want to try 4DX movie! I hope I get to try this in June. I think the movie is relatable especially now that PhiVolcs released the map of the west valley fault system.

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  9. I was so worried you will say it's not good! I was quite bend on watching this film!

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  10. ive never heard of 4dx! love dwayne! not heard of this film but need to watch it

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  11. wow 4dx! i don't think we have it in our local cinemas (yet). i can't imagine how it would feel like if we watch shows like fast and furious in 4dx?

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  12. Lovely 4DX must be a wonderful experience so looking forward to see it. I was bit skeptical about this movie but your reviews are good.

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  13. I've never experienced watching a movie in a 4DX theater. This sounds like a great movie. and I'm looking forward to seeing it.

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  14. This reminds me a lot of the 1991 Earthquake. This can also be hyped up by the recent reports on the fault line. Dwayne Johnson does make great film so looking forward to this one.

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  15. I've been seeing this movie's trailer everywhere!! It looks super cool and I bet watching in 4D must be an awesome experience! :D

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  16. The Rooooock! Yep. I'm gonna watch this one. And yes, we don't usually watch films like this for the story. Mostly for the effects. :D

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  17. Heard good review about San Andreas, I am going to watch it this weekend. Hopefully I can get a good seats.

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  18. another scifi movie to watch out for.. we can learn the lesson from this film in case a great earthquake hit us.

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  19. I went and saw it opening weekend. This movie was pretty awesome

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