Review: 4DX movie theater
Writer: Naseem Randhawa
4DX movie theater at Major Cineplex, Cambodia.
With the timely arrival of 4DX in Cambodia via Major Cineplex, the fairly new cinematic technolgy delivers an exprience every moviegoer should at least try once in their lifetime. If you haven't yet heard of 4DX, that is until today, you're not the only one as U.S.' first 4DX movie theater had opened only recently in June this year at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 in Los Angeles with "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", and it seems that exhibitors in U.S. have now discovered a new way to boost their earnings as the 4DX theater has reportedly been selling out every weekend since it's opening. Which brings us to...
What is 4DX?
4DX movie ticket at Major Cineplex, Cambodia.
i. A motion picture technology for cinemas that allows a movie to be accompanied by environmental effects like motion, wind, smells, mist that corresponds with the movie playing on screen. Moviegoers will have to put on 3D glasses too.
ii. As how each movie has its own audio and video track, 4DX has its individual track too, that's synched to match the audio and video track data.
iii. The 4DX track is developed in South Korea and has to first meet the approval and specifications of the film's movie studio.
iv. Developed for cinema by South Korean company CJ 4DPlex, owned by the CJ Group that currently provides the technology for 112 theaters worldwide [as of Sep 2014].
v. First launched in Seoul by CJ Group's cinema chain, CJ CGV with "Journey to the Center of the Earth" in 2009.
vi. CGV's first cinema in Malaysia will arrive at Empire City, Damansara Perdana by 2015. The 4DX technology is expected to be introduced in Malaysia then.
Mist effect. (Photo: Beyondthemarquee.com)
We tried the 4DX experience with "Guardians of the Galaxy" at the fairly new Major Cineplex in Cambodia, but before we get into what 4DX is really like, let us ask you this - Have you tried the Shrek 4D movie experience at Universal Studios (Singapore, U.S., Japan)? If yes, then that's exactly what 4DX is! To say watching a movie in 4DX is akin to being in a theme park ride is not far from the truth. Afterall, the technology was designed to bring moviegoers to the next level of total movie immersion, relying heavily on teasing the senses way beyond than what just what the visuals can offer.
With a 2-hour long "Guardians Of The Galaxy", the invasion towards your senses may be a little much for one to take and the novelty of it will wear out once you realise that all the turns, smells, mist and smoke actually does hinder one from giving their full attention towards the movie. But while there was some unnecessary jiggling and smoke embelishing the more 'quieter' scenes, there were some pretty great effects too. Example; Star Lord's Milano takes off the ground, we experienced our seats tilting backward and in a slight circular motion as a gust of smoke and wind with some strobe lights accompanied that effect, and during that big moment where the gang confronted Ronan when Quill grabbed on the Infinity Stone; we felt the vibration of our seat get stronger and stronger as Gamora, Drax and Rocket held on to each other to contain the power of the Stone until that climatic conclusion where our seat finally jerked forward in relief!
As far the 3D visual effects are concerned, there is hardly any difference than your usual 3D movie and serves only to bump up your 2D viewing experience to a more 'real' looking one instead.
The 4DX seats may look just like any other seat (Photo: Rappler.com)
Like we mentioned before, a 2-hour movie stretch with 4DX can be quite a lot to take in, but if you're the type that's in it for the ride, then you may not feel discomfort at being tugged this way and that. The seats themselves are quite roomy and comfy and they feel just like the usual cinema seats, but definitely do not go into this sleepy or extremely bloated with your lunch/dinner.
What kind of movies should I watch in 4DX?
The big action-packed blockbuster films where the effects are more of a concern for you than paying attention to the storyline, like; Michael Bay 'Bayhem' movies and Roland Emmerich style disaster films and of course, most superhero movies.
Value for money?
In a theme park, the price of an entry ticket is good enough for you to sit through the 15 minute 4D presentation (if any) over and over. But with an actual hour and a half to two hour long movie with the 4DX effects approved by the movie studio, it's still a worthy experience. In U.S. 4DX tickets go for approx. USD26 and in Cambodia it's priced at USD12.
Cinema Online, 03 October 2014