“San Andreas” – Just another disaster movie. Yawn.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s action flick, San Andreas, is everything you’d expect from this kind of film: a series of special effects-heavy natural disasters, death and destruction, and scenes of phony emotions, put in almost as afterthoughts.

A seismologist at California Institute of technology, Lawrence Hayes (Paul Giametti) and some of his colleagues discover a way to predict earthquakes. On the very day they prove their method works, the largest earthquakes ever measured are triggered all along the San Andreas Fault where two large tectonic plates meet right along California. The results are catastrophic, the loss of life and damage, enormous.

Amid this, Los Angeles fire and rescue service helicopter pilot, Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson), teams up with his estranged wife, Emma (Carla Gugino), to find their daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario), who is stuck in quake-ravaged San Francisco. The street-smart (or rather, disaster-smart) Blake manages to stay ahead of crashing buildings, aftershocks and a massive tsunami, all the while keeping two British brothers alive. At the same time, Hayes uses the help of a hot television journalist to try and hack networks, and warn people that they need to evacuate, as more earthquakes are coming.

There really is very little else to say about San Andreas’ plot. The film is big on effects rather than script and acting. It’s basically one big CGI showcase that shows off “The Rock’s” muscles. There’s an attempt to pump a bit of feeling into the awkward chopper ride Ray and Emma takes, when Ray reveals his guilt that he was unable to save the couple’s other daughter, who drowned when the two when rafting. It’s forced, feels false and it’s completely unnecessary in this kind of film.

It’s almost laughable when an elderly couple is shown hugging and standing still, instead of running away when a massive tsunami bears down on them (it’s just too much like the scene in Titanic where another elderly couple lie down together in their cabin instead of trying to escape).

A disaster movie would not be complete without some tacky one-liners and good ol’ American solidarity. As the reunited Gaines family surveys the damage at the end of the film, Emma asks “What now?”. Ray replies, “Now we rebuild”, as a dirty, yet miraculously intact Star-Spangled Banner unfurls from the twisted metal of what was once the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you want to see all the latest computer graphic techniques in action, this is for you. Otherwise… it’s just another disaster movie. Yawn.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Director: Brad Peyton

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Giametti

South African release date: 26 June 2015

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R&B Star NE-YO to perform at MTV Africa Music Awards in DBN

Grammy Award winning R&B icon, NE-YO, will perform at the MTV Africa Music Awards in KwaZulu-Natal next month. The event will take place at the Durban International Convention Centre on Saturday 18 July 2015.

The singer-songwriter will perform songs from his sixth studio album, Non Fiction. Since smashing onto the top spot of the Billboard Hot 200 Chart back in 2006 with his second single, So Sick, NE-YO has spent the last nine years churning out hit after hit, not only as a performer, but as a songwriter for Beyoncé, Rihanna and the late Michael Jackson.

Multiple platinum singles, four hit albums and three Grammy Awards later, the hit-maker is ready to share his latest work with the world. NE-YO has expressed his excitement about his first ever performance in SA, saying “I can’t wait for you to see what I have in store Durban! I hope you’re ready, because I am!”

Celebrating the evolution of African musicians by recognising contemporary artists and trailblazers across a range of music and lifestyle categories, the MTV Africa Music Awards KwaZulu-Natal 2015 will broadcast live across Africa on MTV Base (DStv channel 322), MTV (DStv channel 130) and BET (DStv channel 129) on Saturday 18 July at 21:00 CAT. The show will also be transmitted worldwide on partner stations and content platforms including BET International from 18 July. In addition, a special MAMA-themed edition of MTV’s acclaimed World Stage franchise will air globally on MTV channels around the world on 27 August 2015.

Tickets for the 2015 MAMA are on sale at Computicket priced R267 (standing). A percentage of proceeds from the sale of the tickets will be donated by MTV Base to deserving causes in KwaZulu-Natal.

– Press release: Total Exposure

Oscar-winning composer, James Horner, killed in plane crash

James Horner.

Oscar-wining composer, James Horner (AP Images).

James Horner, the Academy Award-winning composer who worked on the soundtracks for films like Titanic, Bravehart, and Field of Dreams, has died at the age of 61.

Horner was killed after the small aircraft he was piloting crashed near Santa Barbara yesterday.

His assistant Sylvia Patrycja has confirmed his death.

“We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart and unbelievable talent,” she wrote on Facebook. “He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road.”

Horner won the Oscar for best original dramatic score in 1997, for the best picture winner Titanic. He also won the award for original song for the hit My Heart Will Go On, performed by Celine Dion. The soundtrack for the film sold a massive 27 million copies.

Other films Horner worked on include two Star Trek movies, Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind.

Source: The Hollywood reporter.