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post #1 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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San Andreas 3D Blu-ray Review



Ralph Potts reviews this summer blockbuster that smashes its way onto Blu-ray with thrilling lossless sound that includes one of the best Dolby Atmos mixes to date



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/3D Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

94



Details:

Studio and Year: Warner - 2015
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 114 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC/MVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Ion Gruffudd, Archie Panjari, Paul Giamatti
Directed by:Brad Peyton
Music by: Andrew Lockington
Written by: Carlton Cuse
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 13, 2015


"Hold On….!"


My Take:

After the infamous San Andreas Fault gives, triggering a magnitude 9-plus earthquake in California, a search and rescue helicopter pilot (Dwayne Johnson) and his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) make their way together from Los Angeles to SanFrancisco to save their only daughter. But their treacherous journey north is only the beginning. And when they think the worst may be over…it’s just getting started.

Let's face it disaster films aren't aimed at discerning movie goers in search of deep plots and meaningful themes. Their job is simple and can be summed up in one word, destruction. The trailer for San Andreas wasn't enough to lure me out to the theater to see so I patiently awaited its arrival on Blu-ray so that I could partake of its entertaining potential in the familiar surroundings of my home theater. Like similar films in its genre the plot here is comprised of simply elements. A hero, a scientist, victims in need of rescuing and Mother Nature unleashed. The script by Carlton Cuse is formulaic, adhering to the typical narrative and character setup that segues into the events that place our hero and victims in harm's way.

I happen to like disaster movies and have been a fan going back to the 1970's Irwin Allen blockbusters. San Andreas doesn't break the mold but rather embraces its convention by eschewing attempts at mind numbing complexities and tosses you into fray. To me, that makes for the most fun and fun is exactly what you get. Riding on the strength of Dwayne Johnson's affable charisma, oodles of over the top effects and a serviceable plot, this is a gratifying, albeit somewhat campy, popcorn flick that ramps up the action and keeps it flowing. I watched it with my wife and we took it for what it is, sat back and enjoyed the ride.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense disaster action and mayhem throughout, and brief strong language.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):



3D Presentation: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Depth (Onscreen):
  • Dimension (Beyond the screen):
  • Realism:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:



Dolby Atmos Rating: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Level of immersion:
  • Soundstage integration:
  • Audio object placement:
  • Effectiveness of Atmos platform:
  • Entertainment factor:


San Andreas 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 4.6 Mbps.

San Andreas wasn't shot natively in 3D but was converted in post-production. In looking at the presentation I found that detail is well preserved as the image retains its high level of clarity as objects within the frame are delineated and sharp. Depth is appreciable as evidenced by the notable separation of objects or people layered in the foreground/background which serves to visually draw you in by creating a more discerning sense of virtual space occupied by things of various sizes and shapes. There are a variety of sequences that provide a fun reach out and touch sense of dimensionality especially during various disaster sequences where debris is raining down or rushing water comes directly at the camera. Comparing resolution, color and fleshtone reproduction to the 2D presentation I saw no discernible difference although I would give the slightest edge for all around visual pop to the 3D version.

Films like this are tailor made for lossless audio’s higher fidelity and Warner's 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD sound mix doesn’t disappoint. This reference quality soundtrack bristles with active surround sound, extended dynamic range, and punctuated, room energizing bass that makes for an involving home theater experience. Whether it’s the supple texture of small falling debris, splashes of water, or the weight of a crumbling building crashing to the ground the auditory is richly basked in sonic clarity and potent dynamic energy. Surround activity is abundant with directional cues and diffused atmospheric placement that creates an immersive sound field. Excellent balance between the front and rear soundstages enables seamless transference of sounds that pass between the speakers going in either direction. Low frequencies are rendered cleanly with tactile richness and chest punching extension. Dialogue is clear, full bodied and tonally descriptive throughout. This is a terrific lossless audio soundtrack that makes for a perfect companion to either Blu-ray presentation.

As mentioned earlier film's like this are tailor made for entertaining home theater listening. In this case those words have never been truer especially with respect to Dolby Atmos. San Andreas is the first Atmos mix that I have reviewed that contains elements that allow full advantage of the format's promise and the result is an engrossing thrill ride. The opening sequence features a helicopter rescue precipitated by a vehicle that crashed down an embankment. This segment contains a wealth of effects beginning with the visceral, rumbling tumbling falling vehicle that literally places you within the compartment. Later as the helicopter arrives there is a nice overhead flyover followed by visual perspectives and audio cues that simulate the hovering craft from down below. While that all sounds great it's just an appetizer for what is to come later beginning with the sequence that takes place at the Hoover Dam. That sequence brings together the type of room traversing sound that combines object placement from above and ear level that only gets better as the action ramps up.

The Atmos mix makes effective use of the entire platform and manages the plethora of effects, dialogue, music and low frequency content allowing all of the recording's elements to be fully realized. This track can be thoroughly engrossing and sometimes starkly realistic. There is a sequence during the third act that takes place in a crumbling building that is filling with water, as debris rains down from above and crashes to the floor. I swear that at one point I actually turned and looked over my shoulder fully expecting to see a chunk of my drywall on the floor behind my seat. It sounded so lifelike that being caught up in the sequence it sounded like a piece of concrete fell and landed in my theater room. The extended earthquake/disaster related sequences contain a host of swirling effects, explosions, nearfield pans, and ambience that rotate around the soundstage, shifting overhead, passing by at ear level and coming directly at the listening position. It all comes together in a resplendent blend of room energizing and well balanced sound that shows what this format is capable of.

Kudos to the sound designers at Warner Brothers Home Entertainment as they consistently provide thrilling soundtracks that make for some of the best home theater experiences. This is no exception and stands right alongside my other favorite Dolby Atmos sound mix (which just happens to be from Warner Brothers HE), Mad Max: Fury Road.




2D Video Quality:


Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



San Andreas comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps.

This 2.40:1 framed Blu-ray Disc presentation features a solid looking video encoding that boasts stable contrast, bright, detailed whites, and gradationally enhanced grays. This coupled along with punchy blacks and delineated shadow detail gives images both light and dark excellent depth. The video is crisp and definitively resolved as fidelity appears to be intact. Wide angle shots have appreciable dimension with clear rendering of objects within foregrounds and backgrounds. Close ups reveal lots of subtle refinement as the intricate textures within facial features, clothing, and objects is easily discernible. This isn’t an overly colorful film. Many sequences have a filtered and de-saturated appearance that seems to coincide with the director’s intention. Deep shades of blue and red stand out nicely against the muted chromatic range and look great. Skin tones are warm but all appear natural within the scope of the source material. On occasion sharpness wavers however it appears innate and isn’t distracting. Overall quality is excellent as the video has a pristine and dimensionally strong perspective that is visually pleasing and reminiscent of what I saw during the theatrical presentation.



Bonus Features:
  • Director Audio Commentary
  • (HD) San Andreas: The real fault line – 6 minute featurette
  • (HD) Dwayne Johnson to the rescue – 9 minute featurette
  • (HD) Scoring the quake – 6 minute featurette
  • (HD) Deleted scenes – 4 minutes
  • (HD) Gag reel
  • (HD) Stunt Reel
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy



Final Thoughts:

San Andreas is a formulaic disaster themed action/adventure that makes for entertaining popcorn movie fun. It comes to Blu-ray in this 3D Blu-ray Combo pack from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, room shaking lossless surround sound, a complimentary 3D rendering and a fair supplemental package. Home theater enthusiasts that are set up for Dolby Atmos are sure to be pleased with this outstanding mix that literally places you in the middle of the action. San Andreas makes for a thrilling home theater ride on Blu-ray and comes highly recommended for those that love to show off their home entertainment systems.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 09:09 AM
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All right. After the Avengers debacle(although I have yet to watch Avengers Ultron at home), it's good to see that this did not suffer the same fate. I liked it and I thought Dwayne did a good job with what he had to work with. It is a disaster film after all. I will be picking this up for sure. No Atmos for me but I am sure the TRUHD track will still sound great.
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post #3 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 09:52 AM
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simply smiling !!
Too busy to see this in the big cinema, now buying it.
Quote:
Audio: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): [img] [/img]
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post #4 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 10:12 AM
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San Andreas 3D Blu-ray Review

Watched it twice already on Blu Ralph the audio is amazing. I knew this would of got a high score in the audio department.


Frank
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post #5 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by MIkeDuke View Post
All right. After the Avengers debacle(although I have yet to watch Avengers Ultron at home), it's good to see that this did not suffer the same fate. I liked it and I thought Dwayne did a good job with what he had to work with. It is a disaster film after all. I will be picking this up for sure. No Atmos for me but I am sure the TRUHD track will still sound great.

It's awesome Mike. This track without Atmos is still reference. The mixer of AOU should take note on a how good mix should sound like.


Frank
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post #6 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Franin View Post
It's awesome Mike. This track without Atmos is still reference. The mixer of AOU should take note on a how good mix should sound like.


Frank
It comes out on the 13th over here if I am not mistaken so this will be a buy for sure. Then, even though it has mixed reviews, I hope Terminator Genisys is good sound wise. It looks like another Atmos disk.

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post #7 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 10:24 AM
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It comes out on the 13th over here if I am not mistaken so this will be a buy for sure. Then, even though it has mixed reviews, I hope Terminator Genisys is good sound wise. It looks like another Atmos disk.

If you enjoy disaster films it's worth a buy. 2012 should of been mixed like this as well.


Frank

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post #8 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 10:27 AM
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I was planning on picking this up anyway and you just cemented it Ralph with the 100 audio score. I don't have Atmos yet but I'm sure this disc will get lots of use now and when I do get Atmos.


Great review, now just waiting for Aladdin from you. It's a day one purchase anyway but would love to hear what you think.

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post #9 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 10:27 AM
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Was a fun ride, and lots of eye candy to boot!

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post #10 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 10:28 AM
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If you enjoy disaster films it's worth a buy. 2012 should of been mixed like this as well.


Frank
Yea, I a disaster flick guy. 2012, The Day after Tomorrow, The Core.. etc. 2012 was out too early I think. The only way to do it would be a remix. But let's not get off track. I will be picking this up.

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post #11 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 11:19 AM
 
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Ralph, this is great man...I'm holding on...till next week.
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post #12 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 11:29 AM
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I am really excited to see this and a 100 on the audio will be welcomed on my system!
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post #13 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 11:31 AM
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This is going on my $15/3D or $10/2D to-buy list
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post #14 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Great review, now just waiting for Aladdin from you. It's a day one purchase anyway but would love to hear what you think.
Greetings,

It's in the queue and should be up in the next day or two.


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Ok+ movie with awesome sound (Atmos) and very good picture (2D) and with some eyecandy in Alexandra Daddario makes this a must own on BD.
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post #16 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 12:16 PM
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Enjoyed this one more than I thought I would in theaters so was already going to pick up on Blu. Can't wait to hear another fantastic Blu-ray with native Atmos! Thanks for another stellar review Ralph!
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post #17 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 12:23 PM
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Just watched this movie... wow horrible movie overall in terms of plot, story, structure and so on but excellent when it comes to entertaining action... so in other words this is a no brain required type of movie... the moment your brain gets involved you just go wth and what that would never happen and so on lol...

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Reading this makes it so much harder to hold off on upgrading to Atmos. Hopefully in 2016. At least the 7.1 mix is still top notch. Between this, Mad Max, and a few other titles, I'll thankfully have some good content to put new equipment through its paces.

Thanks Ralph for the great review.
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post #19 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 01:41 PM
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Great review Ralph! Looking forward on receiving my copy next week!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Chaves View Post
Just watched this movie... wow horrible movie overall in terms of plot, story, structure and so on but excellent when it comes to entertaining action... so in other words this is a no brain required type of movie... the moment your brain gets involved you just go wth and what that would never happen and so on lol...
Daniel, it's funny you mentioned that...because I was totally expecting it. ...It's for the brainless ride, the mayhem sound all around in our rooms.

Just curious, from one to five (for just the film value itself, no technical aspects like 3D and picture and sound wise), how would you rate it?
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post #21 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 02:01 PM
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Fair to say San Andreas has the #1 Atmos mix for flyover enthusiasts?
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post #22 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 02:17 PM
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Thanks for the review, Ralph, and you can count me in based on that audio rating alone!

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post #23 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post
If you enjoy disaster films it's worth a buy. 2012 should of been mixed like this as well.

Frank
Rotten says is nicely - "San Andreas has a great cast and outstanding special effects, but amidst all the senses-shattering destruction, the movie's characters and plot prove less than structurally sound"

Living in California this movie makes about as much sense as 2012 did, just as ralph says a another entertaining popcorn fun. BTW that trailer shows a woman miraculously leaping fragmenting stones to get to the helicopter seems as farfetched as 2012 was. Then you add the fact that the San Andreas (transform fault) is not capable of the damage this movie entails similar to how 2012 was so over the top.

I'll just wait for this title to come down on price even if it offers bombastic audio , pristine video as the current BD pricing seems steep. (24.99/3D 27.99 Amazon).

BTW thanks for the review Ralph.

For fun see this 10.5 info site for San Andreas, good for facts.



vs



Yep they do kinda exaggerate whats possible, but hey thats hollywood.

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post #24 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 04:28 PM
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Thanks for the review. I liked the movie
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I've got 6 Seaton Submersives that are salivating!!
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post #26 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 04:57 PM
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I've got 6 Seaton Submersives that are salivating!!
Your own private earthquake!
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post #27 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 05:14 PM
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Great review ill be getting Blu-Ray in a week thanks for putting the time in to not only watch this movie but give us you take.
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post #28 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnAV View Post
Rotten says is nicely - "San Andreas has a great cast and outstanding special effects, but amidst all the senses-shattering destruction, the movie's characters and plot prove less than structurally sound"

Living in California this movie makes about as much sense as 2012 did, just as ralph says a another entertaining popcorn fun. BTW that trailer shows a woman miraculously leaping fragmenting stones to get to the helicopter seems as farfetched as 2012 was. Then you add the fact that the San Andreas (transform fault) is not capable of the damage this movie entails similar to how 2012 was so over the top.

I'll just wait for this title to come down on price even if it offers bombastic audio , pristine video as the current BD pricing seems steep. (24.99/3D 27.99 Amazon).

BTW thanks for the review Ralph.

For fun see this 10.5 info site for San Andreas, good for facts.



vs



Yep they do kinda exaggerate whats possible, but hey thats hollywood.

It's definitely far fetched but I don't care. It's a fun film to watch.


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post #29 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post
I've got 6 Seaton Submersives that are salivating!!
Damn, you will have the ultimate earthquake experience!!
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post #30 of 225 Old 10-05-2015, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
...It's for the brainless ride, the mayhem sound all around in our rooms.



Of course it's not bloody Schlindlers List.


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