San Andreas appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The film offered a good but unexceptional transfer.
Minor issues affected sharpness. While most of the movie presented nice clarity, some wider shots looked a bit tentative, and I saw a smidgen of shimmering at times. Still, the majority of the flick appeared solid, and no signs of jaggies or edge haloes occurred. The movie also lacked print flaws.
In terms of palette, San Andreas favored a combination of teal and amber. These remained fairly restrained and appeared well-developed enough. Blacks showed reasonable depth, and shadows were good, though a few shots looked a bit murky. All of this was enough for a “B”.
I felt more consistently pleased with the excellent Dolby Atmos soundtrack of San Andreas. Because I don’t have an Atmos-equipped system, this played back as a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix, and it impressed.
With tons of destruction and mayhem on display, the soundscape offered nearly constant room for information to emanate from the various speakers, and it used those chances well. The mix delivered wall-to-wall auditory material that spread out across the speakers in a satisfying manner and that blended together nicely.
This meant a tremendously active track. The surrounds worked as nearly equal partners and kept the mix humming. The earthquake scenes fared best, but plenty of other action/disaster moments made this a consistently amazing soundfield.
Audio quality also satisfied. Speech was natural and concise, while music sounded peppy and full. Effects turned into the primary factor, and those elements appeared accurate and vivid. Bass response added real depth and rocked my subwoofer. If you own a fancy-pants home theater, you spent that money for soundtracks like this - San Andreas offered one of the best multi-channel mixes I’ve heard.
This package includes both 2D and 3D versions of San Andreas. The picture quality comments above address the 2D edition, but I also want to talk about the 3D image.
Overall, the 3D version looked pretty good. It seemed a little darker and softer than the 2D version, but not by much. For the most part, it reproduced the movie in similar fashion.
As for the 3D elements, those added good depth to the proceedings. The film lacked real “in your face” moments, and that was fine with me. The image created a nice feeling for different locations, and underwater shots seemed especially convincing. This isn’t a movie you’d use to dazzle friends with 3D shenanigans, but it does its job.
The package includes an audio commentary from director Brad Peyton. In this running, screen-specific chat, he discusses story/character domains, sets and locations, action and stunts, music, editing, cast and performances, various effects and connected topics.
At the start, Peyton notes that this is his first commentary, and he does well as a rookie. Inevitably, technical subjects dominate, but Peyton spreads the wealth and ensures he covers a good variety of issues. While not the most fascinating track, Peyton gives us a solid look at the film.
Three featurettes follow. The Real Fault Line lasts six minutes, 23 seconds and comes with notes from Peyton, producer Beau Flynn, visual effects producer Randall Starr, executive producer Rob Cowan, special effects foreman Jim Leng, stunt coordinator Allen Poppleton, co-producer Hiram Garcia, and actors Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, and Ioan Gruffudd. “Line” tells us how the filmmakers created the massive earthquake scenes. This tends toward a puffy feel, but we still get some decent notes.
Dwayne Johnson to the Rescue goes for nine minutes, 24 seconds and features Peyton, Johnson, Flynn, Garcia, Poppleton, Gugino, Cowan, Leng, writer Carey Hayes, and actors Matt Gerald, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Giamatti and Kylie Minogue. A few behind the scenes shots entertain, but this mostly acts as an ode to the greatness of Johnson.
During the six-minute, 13-second Scoring the Quake, we hear from Peyton, Flynn 2and composer Andrew Lockington. As expected, “Quake” looks at the movie’s music. This becomes a brief but satisfactory overview.
Eight Deleted Scenes fill a total of four minutes, 40 seconds. That’s an average of 35 seconds per sequence, so viewers shouldn’t expect much from the cut footage. They offer a few minor character moments and some additional exposition but nothing memorable.
We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Peyton. He tells us about the sequences as well as why he cut them. Even without much room to chat, he delivers nice insights.
Finally, we get a Gag Reel (1:22) and a Stunt Reel (2:56). The former shows goofs and giggles, while the latter depicts something similar with an orientation toward the stunt performers. Neither seems especially interesting, though at least the gag reel offers a few shots of Daddario in a bikini.
A second disc offers a DVD copy of San Andreas. It includes the commentary but lacks the other extras.
No one will mistake San Andreas for a great film, as it lacks substance and delivers painfully cheesy moments at times. Still, it packs a lot of action and excitement into its 114 minutes, so it gives us a fun, brainless disaster-based thrill ride. The Blu-ray offers mostly good picture, exceptional audio and a decent set of bonus features. San Andreas becomes a largely exciting action flick.