4dx – a new cinema experience in Cape Town

by biltong101

image“Available only at Nu Metro” informs us a poster advertising the new cinema technology 4dx that has recently come to Cape Town. As a serious movie geek I just had to go and check this thing out. Was it worth it? You’ll have to read this post to find out!

My fiancé, friends and I (it’s irrelevant to say who went with me, I know, but I like using the word fiancé) went to the cinema to watch “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice”. The film didn’t get the best reviews but it was an action flick, so it seemed like just the right opportunity to check the new technology out. 4dx seems to have a lot of potential. After all it’s supposed to be recreating the movements, smells and even wetness the viewer sees on the screen. I must admit I’m not a big fan of 3D, which usually makes me feel rather unwell but the upgrade seemed worth a try.

The first disappointment comes quite early into the experience and it is the price. One ticket costs 175 rand in the Nu Metro at the Waterfront and that’s without the 3D glasses. At a price of a good play at the theatre, the technology sets the expectations quite high and unfortunately disappoints.

The special seats move quite violently and not necessarily in agreement with what’s happening on the screen. The makers seem to think that every moment is a good one to shake you up a bit. The flashes and bright lights are supposed to make us feel more “in the movie” but in fact have a contradictory effect. When the light are switched on even temporarily it’s difficult not to realize that we’re in a cinema and not in the superhero world. The smells are the biggest let down as they remind you of being in a freshly cleaned kitchen. In short, the whole thing is just an overpriced no-no.

Even though 4dx doesn’t seem to be well developed at the moment, I can see it improving one day. The small movements of the chairs that accompanied changes of perspective were very cool, for instance. Getting more realistic and user friendly seems to be the way to go. The current shake, shake, shake approach may be effective with children but many adults will find it irritating and distracting.

I’d still say it’s an experience worth having and evaluating for oneself, but the price is definitely a big discouragement. I’d also want to say one good thing about the not-so-great movie – Wonder Woman theme song is amazing.