Bring on the April showers! I wrote about 10 Stylish Items That’ll Keep You Dry in a Downpour for USA Today 10Best. Bet you’ll especially love the cute boots and the heart-shaped umbrella!Read All Entries
“san andreas” movie review
As I sat on the edge of my seat, biting my nails and shaking my head, at a screening of San Andreas in San Diego the other night, one thought kept going round and round in my head:
Why the hell did we ever move to California?
San Andreas is poised to be the big summer blockbuster but, although I do love a good disaster movie — remember The Poseidon Adventure? The Towering Inferno? — this one struck a little too close to home.
In San Andreas, Los Angeles and San Francisco — my coastal neighbors! — are pretty much decimated by a 9.6 earthquake. The devastation and carnage are so horrifying, I can’t imagine why the filmmakers felt they needed to add 3-D to the mix. To me, those glasses put an extra layer between the audience and the screen, making it feel like they were going for the big effect rather than making it personal and really zeroing in on the humanity of this tragedy.
That point was made even more obvious by the fact that the whole story revolves around Ray (Dwayne Johnson) and his wife (Carla Gugino), who’ve recently split (get it?!) and need to find their daughter (Alexandra Daddario) in order to repair their broken (get it?!) marriage. I mean, people are dying by the thousands but they’re barely even acknowledged here. They’re simply background to Ray who takes off in a helicopter to save his own family.
Oh, did I mention that RAY IS A FIRST RESPONDER?
Yet the only ones he responds to during this catastrophe are his family members. That doesn’t feel very heroic.
It’s devastating to watch people simply disappear as the Earth cracks, the Golden Gate Bridge falls into the sea, skyscrapers tumble to the ground. Bodies are thrown around as carelessly as specks of dirt, buildings come crashing down like Legos. It’s especially sobering to watch all of this in light of the tragedy in Nepal.
I think part of me wanted to see this movie in order to learn what to do if an earthquake hits — because the prevailing theory is that, as the Cal Tech seismologist (Paul Giamatti) says in the movie, “It’s not a matter of ‘if;’ it’s a matter of ‘when.'”
In fact, the whole idea is so disturbing that, after just watching the trailer, Michael headed straight to Amazon and ordered disaster emergency kits for us and for my parents.
In the movie, people are told to “Drop, cover and hold on” indoors, and crouch down and brace themselves against a wall outdoors. This is solid advice, and you can find more of it on the Prepare and Help link on the movie website.
I’ll be curious to see what others think, and whether the consensus is different depending on where you live. Will Californians take it in stride or start packing? Will East Coasters laugh and say the West Coast is finally getting what it deserves? (Having lived on both coasts, I can tell you that’s just jealousy talking.)
As a New Yorker turned Southern Californian, San Andreas freaked me out. So, although I find Sia’s soundtrack cover of California Dreamin’ beautiful and totally haunting, I’m staying positive and believing, like Maureen McGovern sang in another disaster movie, “There’s got to be a morning after …”