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San Andreas/Poltergeist Review

So, Steve and I had decided on yet another double bill. Now, originally, the plan was to see San Andreas and Tomorrowland, and all was well with the world. However, the multiplex had slashed the Tomorrowland screenings right down to the bone and unfortunately there was no way we’d be able to see it with any other viable film. So we had to seek an alternative, and found ourselves just where we didn’t really want to be – we were exactly where we should be, watching the Poltergeist remake . Whoa…..what?

But, as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself.

San Andreas



"This is not a normal day!" - Ray

What’s NOT to like?

It is the epitome of the big, loud, dumb summer blockbuster. It has a likeable star in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and visual effects that will literally have your jaw hanging open. Storywise, there are no surprises. The biggest earthquake ever hits the San Andreas fault. The Rock is a rescue helicopter pilot who goes to rescue his daughter and estranged wife. That’s practically the whole script right there.

But, back in the seventies, we didn’t go and see the likes of The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno and…well, Earthquake come to that, for an educational, mind sharpening experience, we went in for the sheer spectacle. The story is just a means to link extensive special effects sequences that are the real star of the show (with apologies to The Rock).

I wrote in my Age of Ultron review that 3D really did nothing to enhance the movie watching experience on that occasion – and I stand by that. However, with eye rolling world weariness, my son and I went for 3D this time AND with the following Poltergeist and with my hand on my heart, they were BOTH well worth seeing in 3D.

It’s truthful to say that for all its clichés, and who can deny that the final shot of Dwayne standing heroically gazing at the rubble where San Francisco used to be, with Old Glory flying proudly while he delivers his “We will rebuild” speech is a cliché the film delivers in every way we expected. Explosions, buildings toppling into each other like dominoes, floods oh, and a tidal wave (– you guys know how I love a great movie tidal wave – right?)

It’s all CGI, but at no point are you sitting in your seat, going “pffft, CGI again”. I was planted firmly in my seat, swept away by the scope, the noise and the awesome 3D. (Though how a rescue helicopter pilot gets to take a chopper to save his OWN family in a national emergency, I'll never know.) 

Poltergeist




(Seriously - LOOK at that poster. Who in their right minds would buy a child a toy that looked like THAT?)

"They're here..." - Madison Bowen

Poltergeist wasn’t my first choice of film to see this time. Not even my second, if I’m honest. It kind of filled in the gap to allow me to enjoy a half day from the day job and hang out at the multiplex watching movies with Junior.

Unsurprisingly, we were the ONLY people in the screening. Nobody else showed.

Surprisingly, the Poltergeist remake was actually good. (And that, my friends, is a sentence I never thought I’d be writing.) Again, the story is simple. Ordinary family move into a haunted house. But the twist here is that it’s not a slavish remake of the 1982 classic. It’s not the Frelings, dad isn’t a real estate salesman who is selling houses on top of an old burial ground. It’s actually bold enough to be different enough from the original as not to offend its fans. Yes the youngest daughter gets sucked in to another dimension, but there’s a far bigger role for the son. As well as several evil clown dolls. (Man, I hate those things, especially when they creep up….)

 And again, excellent use of 3D to draw the viewer in, not only the fantastically effective other dimension sequence, but also the establishing shots of the house itself.

People, don’t dismiss this one out of hand. It’s worth your time and money

 Copyright © 2010 - 2015 Robin Pierce. All Rights reserved.

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