Letter From The Editor - Issue 69 - June 2019

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At The Picture Show
May 2015

San Andreas

The fault in our blockbusters

We'll let the 'San Andreas' screenplay speak for itself

San Andreas
Warner Bros.
Director: Brad Peyton
Screenplay: Carlton Cuse
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Carla Gugino, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Paul Giamatti, Ioan Gruffudd, Art Parkinson, Archie Panjabi and Will Yun Lee
Rated PG-13 / 1 hour, 54 minutes
May 29, 2015
(out of four)

If it pleases the court, I will now attempt to recite the entire San Andreas screenplay, from memory. Pretty sure I'm gonna nail it. (Spoilers. Kinda.)

A teenage girl is texting and driving on a winding mountain road. The earth shakes. It's a rockslide! A big rock - no, not the actor The Rock (because surely a Rock-slide would kill anyone), but a naturally formed composite of the Earth's minerals in a large solid mass of considerable size - hits her car, knocking it over a cliff before it gets stuck on the side of the hill on the inside of a treacherous crevasse.

CUT TO: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson flying a helicopter around like a boss.

Archie Panjabi: Hello The Rock, I am Reporter, and I would like you to tell me how come you and your helicopter rescue team are so heroic and awesome.

Dwayne Johnson: Well ma'am, we were in one of the armed forces.

Panjabi: Which one?

Johnson: I don't remember. Definitely one of the big ones.

Anonymous Rescue Guy: Hey, it's rescue time!

The rescue team flies the helicopter into the crevasse. Anonymous Rescue Guy rappels down to save the teenage girl but gets stuck underneath the truck before The Rock miraculously saves them both.

Johnson: Thanks for making that clutch save, Guy. Goodbye for the entire rest of the movie!

CUT TO: CalTech. Earthquake Department.

Paul Giamatti (to class): Earthquakes are very dangerous.

Dr. Kim Park: Dr. Earthquake! There is some very strange seismic activity going on in Nevada.

Giamatti: Thanks for the heads-up, Friendly Sidekick.

Dr. Kim Park: Let's go out there and check it out! I'm definitely not going to die in the next five minutes of this movie.

They go to the Hoover Dam in Nevada. A massive earthquake happens. The dam bursts. Everyone runs. Dr. Kim Park is just about to make it over the bridge to safety when - oh no! - he notices a little girl randomly stuck on the bridge and he saves her, sacrificing himself.

CUT TO: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is heading to his soon-to-be ex-wife's house to pick up his """""""teenage""""""" daughter and drive her back to college for her next semester.

Alexandra Daddario: Hi Dad!

Johnson: Well look who it is, my favorite daughter! I mean, favorite by default, since my other one died in a drowning accident. But still!

Carla Gugino: Hi, ex-husband! Hey, guess what? This is Daniel and he is very rich and we are moving in together and he is better than you.

Ioan Gruffudd: Hi, I'm Daniel. I am very rich and I am moving in with your ex-wife and I am better than you.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson gets a phone call. Earthquakes are breaking out all over the place!

Johnson: Grr, there's been an earthquake emergency and now I can't drive Blake up to school like I promised!

Daddario: It's OK, I'm cheerful and I don't mind! Also I am a very beautiful person.

Gruffudd: Don't worry, I'll take her to school in my very own private plane! I have my very own private plane.

CUT TO: Daniel's very own private plane.

Daddario: Hey, why didn't you ever have any kids of your own?

Grufffuddd: I did .... These were my children [points to pictures of skyscrapers he built]. Haha.

Daddario: That was a funny joke, New Stepdad.

Gruffffudddd: Hey listen, I just want you to know, I'm not trying to replace your father. I'm just a Good Guy who loves your mom and has lots of money and skyscrapers. Plus, those skyscrapers are definitely not compensating for anything.

CUT TO: CalTech. Earthquake Department.

Panjabi: Hello, it's me again, Reporter. Professor Earthquake, can you go on camera and tell us what's happening?

Giamatti (to camera): Earthquakes are very dangerous.

CUT TO: Daniel's very own office building. Blake, the teenage daughter, waits in the lobby, sitting across from a nervous-looking twentysomething man and his younger brother.

Ben: Bloody hell, I've spilled me coffee. As you can tell from my first line of dialogue being "bloody hell," I'm adorably British. My name is Ben.

Daddario: Hi, Ben! My name is Blake.

Ben: Hi, Boobs. Very nice to meet you. This is my younger brother Ollie. He's precocious.

Ollie: Please gives us your phone number, we wants it.

Daddario: Awww, so cute! Well it's time for me to go, but here's my phone number, you two. I am a very beautiful person.

CUT TO: Carla Gugino at a restaurant talking to Kylie Minogue. The whole building starts shaking. EARTHQUAKE!!!

Now Gugino is on the phone with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Johnson: Go to the roof, I'll come and get you!

Gugino: Here I am on the roof!

Carla Gugino is rescued and the two fly away to safety.

CUT TO: Mom's new boyfriend Daniel racing, with Blake in tow, to his chauffeured car in the executive garage. The building starts collapsing. The driver dies. Daniel gets out and runs away, leaving Blake trapped inside.

Somehow Ben and Ollie hear Blake screaming in the middle of an earthquake and save her.

Daddario: Oh no, our cell phones aren't working! Hold on, there's a Radio Shack over there, let's go.

She explains to Ben what a land line is as they try to get a working line to call Dad for help.

Ben: Blimey! How do you know this will actually work?

Daddario: Look, my dad's a firefighter, so I know a lot about how telephones work.

Ben: ...wait, what?

Daddario: There's no time to argue! Just trust me. I am a very beautiful person. I mean, have you looked at my eyes? Shit is ridiculous.

Ben: Is it kissy time yet?

Daddario: Later!

Blake uses a land line to contact her dad, and they agree on a safe meeting place.

CUT TO: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Carla Gugino together in the helicopter.

Gugino: Remember a long time ago when we went on vacation to that one place? And now we're going back to that same place right now. It is very ironic.

Johnson: No. That is not ironic. That's not how irony works.

Just then, the helicopter's engine fails. The Rock has to crash-land this baby in a shopping center parking lot. But don't worry, he steals some guy's truck.

Johnson: I am stealing your truck.

Other Guy: OK.

Gugino: Look, now that we're alone together in a crisis situation, it's time to talk about that time our other daughter drowned.

Johnson: You know I never talk about my emotions, woman.

Gugino: But you never talk about your emotions!

Johnson: Rock sad.

Gugino: Please, for once, just talk to me about your emotions!

Johnson: ROCK. SAD.

Just then, they see an older couple warning them of danger up ahead. Rock SLAMS on his breaks just in front of a huge opening along the San Andreas Fault. They drive back to find the nice couple.

Johnson: Hey old man, I notice you're wearing a cap that has the logo of an air field on it. By any unfathomably random chance, does that air field happen to be right around the corner and have a free plane available that we can borrow?

Old Man: Why, as a matter of fact, yes!

Johnson: Far out!

Rock and Rock's ex-wife fly away in search of their daughter.

CUT TO: Blake, Ben and Ollie.

Daddario: Oh no! That place we were going to meet has been [SPOILER]! It's on to plan B.

Ben: Is kissy time part of plan B?

Daddario: Maybe! But first we have to [SPOILER] through [SPOILER] in order to [SPOILER].

Ollie: Precocious one-liner.

Daddario and Ben: Hahaha.

Daddario: I just hope when we get to [SPOILER], this laser pointer that has somehow avoided any water damage will be able to [SPOILER]. Otherwise, we're effed.

CUT TO: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Carla Gugino are on the plane. And then they're on a boat for some reason. I don't care.

CUT TO: Blake, Ben and Ollie.

Daddario: Hey look, there's [SPOILER]!

CUT TO: Dwayne and Carla on a boat.

Johnson: Hey look, there's [SPOILER]!

CUT TO: Blake, Ben and Ollie, somewhere else.

[SPOILER] gets injured. [SPOILER] almost dies. [SPOILER] saves [SPOILER]. It's kind of like that episode of LOST when [SPOILER] says [SPOILER] on the [SPOILER] before [SPOILER]. Then, [SPOILER] cleverly decides to [SPOILER] the [SPOILER] through [SPOILER] so that [SPOILER].

[SPOILER] makes a dramatic speech.

Ben: Kissy time!

Kissy time happens.

The end.

Read more by Chris Bellamy

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