USGS seismologist previews action flick 'San Andreas' and the resulting tweets are hilarious

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tl;dr don’t go see this movie with seismology or geology nerds

I once went to see, I believe it was The Matrix with someone involved in martial arts and someone who teaches computer animation and got a critique of the movie from the martial arts side and a “oh, they did this by…” on the special effects from the other side.

It was not enjoyable.

Old Man Summary:

In my day, we used to suspend our disbelief…


All I need to know is, better or worse than Volcano?

Or both?


Man, Hollywood will use any damn excuse to destroy that bridge. I may not have a full-fledged survival plan worked out but I know one thing: when the next alien invasion/monster attack/ape uprising/mutant civil war/CGI natural disaster strikes I’m going to flee the city by heading south. You never see Kaiju trashing Gilroy.


One of the local meteorologists was at a convention where they got together and watched the just-released “The Perfect Storm”. A couple of guffaw moments in there, too.

It’s like scientists going to a bible-themed natural history museum. Funny for all of the wrong reasons.


If the trailer is any indication I would bet on both.

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I’m always surprised that hollywood makes such bad earthquake movies. I mean, I’m not really looking for scientific accuracy, but the kind of things they go for are the sorts of thing anyone living in an earthquake prone region would know are wrong.

I’ve always kind of wondered why they don’t set the next big earthquake disaster movie in New York (which can have a relatively big earthquake, although it’s unlikely) or along the New Madrid fault line, because man, the geology apparently makes them far more destructive than they are on the west coast, and none of the buildings are built with earthquake safety in mind.


I learned that Superman can reverse earthquakes by making the earth spin in the opposite direction. See? Science!!


And if you reach Gilroy, you probably won’t be attacked by vampires either, so that’s a bonus.



If The Rock is shirtless for any portion of the movie, there is no way ‘Volcano’ could be better. Although, now that I think about it, I don’t remember who was in ‘Volcano’…?

I’m almost tempted to go see ‘San Andreas’ but REALLY stoned.


Tommy Lee Jones (and Anne Heche) - do you want to see him shirtless?


The difference being The Perfect Storm was based on actual events. Though they had to fabricate most of the details, and barely acknowledged the para-rescue jumpers who died trying to save those guys

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for sheer disaster porn, i can’t wait to see this. nobody goes to see these types of movies for reality-based, thoughtful discussion – we go to watch cities we love get totally demolished!


Him… nope. Anne Heche, yes.


Does perhap, from out of space, come a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the moon, unleashing cosmic destruction?

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@Dr. Lucy Jones…

Don’t be a dipshait and put away your farken phone during a movie.


Oh, yeah. I should have mentioned that it was the part early in the movie when they specifically mucked up the meteorological science on the storm itself.

it looks like she was invited to the premier expressly to tweet about it, but… yeah. theatres need faraday cages. or, maybe just cages.

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I got that, if anything I think its less excusable. Its not like there wasn’t reams of data on exactly how the storm progressed and developed, what sort of storm it is. If you’re going to go with something like “what if Los Angeles fell into the ocean!” you’re already basically writing fantasy. So I’d both expect and forgive playing fast and loose with the science. But mucking up the science for an actual event, and one that was closely observed and analysed? That’s just a bit lazy.

I don’t think anyone’s really pissed, surprised or disserviced when “The Rock VS Earthquakes” isn’t 100% on its science. But base lack of accuracy in science, biographical, and contextual detail for actual events? Where a bunch of real people really died? Its all a bit disrespectful (still a fun flick though).

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