Monthly Archives: May 2015

San Andreas Is A Glimpse At A Coming Nightmare

San Andreas 3  San Andreas 2   San Andreas 1   San Andreas is a heavy dramatic overload. Unfortunately, it graphically plays out what could be the ultimate reality show. The story centers around Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the professional wrestler who made acting equally lucrative. Johnson’s few remaining critics will gleefully remind you that he once played the Tooth Fairy, but just when you may be inclined to laugh at him, he comes out and turns in this gripping performance and shows you the other side—a versatile, mature actor who’s not afraid to tackle any role, an accomplished thespian who handles everything in life as he does in the wrestling ring,  a reputation that earned him the name “people’s champion”

Johnson is Los Angeles Fire Department rescue helicopter pilot Ray Gaines, who is struggling through divorce with his wife Emma (Carla Gugino) The fact that a weekend in San Francisco he was planning with his daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario) is virtually washed out by the collapse of the Hoover Dam adds to his growing problem as he meets the man who’s moved in on his wife, Daniel Riddick (Ioan Gruffudd, who was the stretchy Reed Richards in Fantastic Four). Daniel has business in San Francisco, so he offers to take Blake there.

The subplot involves Paul Giamatti as Dr Lawrence Hayes, whose crew believes they have found a way to predict earthquakes. The disaster at Hoover Dam proves them right, but their theory points to an upcoming monster quake, the really “Big One” that’s currently about 100 years overdue in real life, and at this point the movie digs in and becomes involving.

Los Angeles is hit by a large quake, and there can be no more an iconic take on it than watching the Hollywood sign crumble. The Hayes team deduces that the entire San Andreas Fault is on the move, culminating with a huge quake in San Francisco. That quake turns out to be a 9.6, and the cataclysm isn’t helped by the associated tsunami that washes through the Bay Area and wipes out the Golden Gate Bridge as it kills Riddick. Gaines rescues his wife from a collapsing building in L.A., then the two of them head for San Francisco to rescue Blake.

This would seem to be a ridiculous plot twist, but ask any devoted parent and they would probably do the same thing. Blake is not alone, though. two brothers from England, Ben and Ollie, help her out of her damaged car in a parking garage and assist her in getting reunited with her parents.

All this takes a back seat to the spectacular effects that incidentally have been minutely disseminated by scientists who have given their unwitting seal of approval by stating that visually it could very well turn out like this. The last line in the movie keeps tabs on the stupidity of the human race when Johnson says “Now, we rebuild.” This cements the minute brain capacity of man, who when nature destroys all he has built, he turns around and rebuilds on that very same spot. If this film doesn’t succeed in making all inhabitants of southern California leave there and move somewhere safer, there is no hope for the human race.

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Avengers: The Age of Ultron

Ultron 1   Ultron 2  Ultron 3     Ultron 4  The Age of Ultron is like many blockbuster movies today. It’s hard for non-comic book fans to follow, but almost everyone seeing it will have a good time. This one opens up with the Avengers raiding a Hydra base in a fictional Iron Curtain country. as the raid goes down we get fed bits of information—this is a raid to recover Loki’s scepter, which can unleash great power. This is the last known Hydra base. SHIELD has been disbanded—getting all this, or were you too busy watching the guys in action to notice? The Avengers win, or do they really? Then the opening credits start to roll.

We are introduced to twin siblings, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, who are working on the side of Hydra at this time. Scarlet Witch casts a spell on Tony (Iron Man) Stark, causing him to dupe Bruce (Hulk) Banner to help him build what turns out to be Ultron, a mighty artificial intelligence bent on destroying the world with the help of Quicksilver and the Witch, the latter of who causes havoc by planting illusions in their brains. This leads to Hulk running amok until Iron Man neutralises him with his “Hulkbuster” armor. The Avengers go into hiding to regroup. This is where Nick Fury finds them and shames them into getting back in the fight. All except Thor, who has struck out on his own to seek out a man who can help him.

The group tracks down Ultron in the old Hydra base and proceed to fight all his robot army after Stark and Banner, with Thor’s help, create the red Artificial {ntelligence being The Vision using one of the power crystals that have been showing up in previous Marvel movies of late. This ultimate fight causes a cataclysmic tear in the real estate that threatens multitudes of human lives until Nick Fury shows up with one of SHIELD;s old flying bases to save the people. Meanwhile, Vision, who has been inbedded with JARVIS’ intellect, helps wipe out Ultron’s minions and confronts Ultron one on one, but the final resolution there is only hinted at.

The movie ends with the Avengers splitting up but Captain America and Black Widow remain behind at the new Avengers headquarters to help Nick Fury train a new group of recruits, showing us where the future of the Avengers is heading. Age of Ultron is a spectacular visual treat that takes time to dabble in the personal lives of the characters and features enough comedic relief from the opening bell to keep everyone involved. the highlights are definitely the three main fight scenes—the one before the opening credits, the battle between Iron Man and Hulk, and the final battle involving all the characters.

Several years ago, the critics named the original Avengers film the best superhero movie ever, but this one surpasses it and will cause many new adjectives to be created. Batman vs Superman? This is your wake-up call.

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