New Line Cinema is producing "San Andreas 3-D," and when that big one comes to a theater near you a year from now, hold onto your seats.
When the film "Earthquake" lost the Academy Award for Best Picture to "The Towering Inferno" in 1974, I was crushed. I'll never forget the experience of "sense-surround," that new technology where the sound surrounded theater-goers. It became my favorite film, until "Jaws."
I'm placing my bets that no matter how good San Andreas 3-D is, movie-goers won't be rushing to Wal-Mart to stock up on earthquake supplies afterward. Though, what a success for earthquake preparedness if that were the case. Instead, disaster entertainment is just that -- entertainment. What a sight to see Los Angeles and San Francisco taken down in the same quake. And in 3-D, no less.
How "real" will it be? That depends on how much expert consultation is employed, and how much interest there is in portraying it "accurately." It will be important for theater-goers to pay attention to the commentary that follows the film, to serve as a basis for what could happen in order to become better prepared. For example, the film will likely show people running out of buildings, even though they are supposed to "drop, cover and hold on." And yet, many people will see this as confirmation that the right course of action once shaking begins, is to run out of the building.
So the preview before you even see the previews, is this: Plan to see the film as a matter of earthquake preparation, a forum for discussion with family members and friends, and get the facts straight after the film comes out. You might just make it out alive.