I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m only just getting used to 3-D and IMAX movies as my regular moviegoing experience. At a midnight screening for The Amazing Spider-Man last Monday, I literally started muttering, “OK, OK, no more” during all the dizzying special effects of Spidey swinging through New York City. You just reach a threshold after a while.
But our puny human bodies are gonna have to strengthen up, because now movie theaters are looking to incorporate 4-D movies into the mix. The L.A. Times reports that a South Korean company called the CJ Group has installed a “laboratory” near the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood — the one that hosts all the big premieres — for people to try out 4-D technology. Apparently movies of the future include nozzles spraying mist into your face when Josh Hutcherson and The Rock embark on Journey 2: The Mysterious Island; moving seats and “back ticklers” simulate the poor astronauts of Prometheus trying to avoid those deadly crashing spaceships.
These bells and whistles already exist at Universal Studios, where you can take the Twister ride (for those of you born in the 1980s) and get the same sensation of being thrown around or have stuff sprayed at you. But honestly, I’d rather not see that technology move beyond theme parks. It’s a fun experience, to be sure, but best when isolated to a place where you shell out a $50 admission fee for that utterly immersive experience. Movies don’t need to be that intense! Plenty of people see the movie theater as a place where they can actually relax from the stresses of school and work. Sure, they’re also looking to be thrilled, but that doesn’t mean that they want to meet Charlize Theron‘s fate in Prometheus.
Also, if you have a limited number of “special effects” standing in for a variety of movies, doesn’t it get old after a while? The L.A. Times article says that the little nozzles positioned in these 4-D movie theaters can shoot out scents ranging from coffee to the female protagonist’s perfume to burning rubber (blech), but when it comes to spraying the audience with anything from seaweed (like the mermaids in Pirates of the Caribbean) to alien intestines (Prometheus again), it’s just water. You have to imagine that that illusion wears thin after a while. Not to mention shelling out an extra $8 every time.
Still, I always said that I would choose “regular” movies over 3-D, and now I’ve seen everything from Fright Night to Hugo to The Avengers with my 3-D glasses on. So, I have no choice but to go like the meme and…