San Andreas

I went out to work, and I felt worn down afterwards. I took the buses out to the Grand Lake Theater. I was early, so I looked around for a place to eat. Kentucky Fried Chicken didn’t look very welcoming, so I ended up at The Coffee Mill. I wanted a hamburger, but I didn’t know that they closed at grill at 2:30. I ordered a roast beef sandwich and an orange smoothie. I walked back to the theatre and bought a ticket for “San Andreas.” I enjoy going there for a typical afternoon matinee because hardly anyone goes. I fell asleep for a few minutes before the previews started. The star of the movie was Dwayne Johnson. He was supposed to be the strong, capable man ready to protect his family. He was having marital problems along the lines of Bruce Willis in “Die Hard.” The movie also brought to mind such 1970s disaster movies as “Earthquake” and “The Poseidon Adventure,” only this one didn’t have a cast of stars. Johnson’s wife and daughter were set to move in with the new prospective husband, who was a wealthy architect. Johnson spent the opening of the movie saving a young woman from a car wreck, so you know he’s more of a man than some guy who designs unnecessary buildings. The architect of a San Francisco skyscraper was also a character in “The Towering Inferno.” I really hated the whole part of the story about the divorce. There was also the young love angle with the job applicant and Johnson’s daughter. I found it impossible to believe that they could have any kind of an emotional connection over the course of these events. Paul Giamatti was the scientist who found a way to predict earthquakes. I found it hard to believe in him as the academic type. It’s a good thing that this movie is not about emotional insights and marriage. It’s actually about watching destruction. We see Hoover Dam crumble to pieces, and also Los Angeles and San Francisco. I was reminded me why I hate CGI so much. I thought it was impossible for Dwayne to escape in the helicopter from all that debris flying all around. The one thing I can say about Johnson’s daughter is that she had pretty blue eyes. She was not especially distinguishable from a lot of young women in the movies these days. The only one I can remember is Shailene Woodley. The girl’s name was Alexandra Daddario, and I saw that she was 29 years old, rather old to be Johnson’s daughter. I think there is only a 14 year difference in their ages. With all the expensive special effects, they couldn’t put together a convincing photograph of the family in San Francisco, in front of Coit Tower. The images of buildings coming down got to be repetitive. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen the Golden Gate Bridge destroyed in the movies. Being an A’s fan, I had to enjoy seeing AT&T Park falling apart. One thing that I could not believe was Johnson and his wife going into that huge wave in their boat. I thought the movie was OK as far as entertainment value went. I don’t think there’s much point in picking it apart analytically. In one shot, it appeared that a BART train was still running right in the middle of an earthquake and disaster. If I was caught in the earthquake, I imagine that I would have drowned because I’m not much of a survivor. Anyone looking for surprises should avoid this movie because it is completely predictable. The treatment of the architect was rather cruel, however. I really disliked the remake of the song “California Dreamin’” on the soundtrack. As far as disaster movies go, “San Andreas” was better than most of the ones from the 1970s that I saw. I never saw the streets of San Francisco flooded before. The movie had recycled elements and a star who wasn’t a real star. A lot of people went to see it last weekend. Some of the people who died on June 2 include Lou Gehrig (1941), George S. Kaufman (1961), Stephen Boyd (1977), Jim Hutton (1979), Andres Segovia (1987), Jack Gilford (1990), Rex Harrison (1990), Imogene (2001), Bo Diddley (2008), and Richard Dawson (2010). Today is a birthday for Dana Carvey (60), Jerry Mathers (67), Stacy Keach (74), and Charlie Watts (74). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for June 2, the Lloyd Bridges movie “Rocketship X-M” was released in 1950. In 1962, the Ray Charles single “I Can’t Stop Loving You” was Number One on the charts. In 1978, “Capricorn One,” starring Elliott Gould, James Brolin, Brenda Vacarro, Sam Waterston, O.J. Simpson, Hal Holbrook, Karen Black, and Telly Savalas, was released.

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