This weekend I saw the new Star Trek movie, yep, I’m a Trekkie, not a recent convert, a forever Trekkie as my friend calls it as I love the TV shows as well as the recent movies. But, I left my husband in charge of buying the tickets and he somehow, selected 4DX, even though he is standing by the fact he only bought 3D tickets. Are you asking yourself what’s 4DX? Well, you are not alone, so was I.
At first glance, there’s a bigger screen, think Imax, the seats are more plush and bigger, they have that rollercoaster feel to them with a step up to get in the seat, and the sound system seems boosted to the max. But, what they don’t tell you is, this isn’t a relaxing movie-going experience, the seats vibrate, kick you even in the back, move, jerk, and generally throw you around, think whiplash. That’s all while you’re being hit with bursts of air, squirts of water, and some rather questionable smells. This is one over-the-top cinematic experience.
I’m a lover of films, the characters, the storytelling, the cinematic creation, those incredible how-do-they-do-that special effects, the soundtracks, and the emotional journey a great movie can take you on. So, I have to ask, why would we also need to be on a rollercoaster ride, while watching a film?
For me, 4DX totally distracted me, from the first jolt in motion with the starship Enterprise to the crazy fight scene where I felt like I was getting kicked in the kidneys, to the randomly placed air squirts behind my head to the water sprays.
I giggled, yelped a little, and even felt a little sick, and none of those reactions or emotions were based on the film. For me, the two didn’t work. I couldn’t stick with the momentum of a great blockbuster, or even take a sip of my drink without the fear of spilling it all down myself. One thing I’m grateful for is skipping the nachos that could have been a disaster waiting to happen.
Is it really necessary for us to be part of the film to enjoy it? When did watching a film need to be in motion, rather than through connection with the story and characters? Everyone is saying this is the future of cinema, oh my if that’s the case then I suppose I might need to create my own cinema at home and wait a little longer to see my favourite characters.
But the whole 4DX experience did make me wonder what would make a better cinema experience. I’m thinking that cinemas need to opt for luxury, bigger seats, comfortable armrests, more leg room, maybe a foot rest, and why not stagger the seats a little you so don’t have to try and see through a very tall person, which always seems to happen to me. I’d also pay more for no kid screenings, the kid next to us got up about three times and dropped his popcorn, seriously distracting. I want relaxation.
I want to feel like I’m part of the movie by being fully immersed in the scene, not because I feel a little motion sickness!!!