Last Friday, I went to see the new Independence Day movie. It started out pretty good but it became an image of dread in my mind once I left the theater. However, the same cannot be said for the experience. On that same day, it was my first time ever watching a movie in MX4D, in Layman’s terms, it can be described as a movie experience where the entire theater essentially simulates everything going on in the movie. This is complete with moving seats, effects, scents, ticklers, etc.
When it comes to the seats, here are the specs. The chair consists of a neck tickler, a back poker, which kind of makes me worry for my posture. A leg tickler, which can be useful during an action scene where there’s lots of flying tentacles involved. A seat popper, a rumbler, which I’ll be honest, is not the first place I’ve seen something like this. Other effect features includes methods for simulating the blasting of air, rain, wind/strobes, scent, water, rain/bubbles, and snow/fog. Outside of the seats, I barely noticed any difference in sound quality, projection, and screen size. Although there is a neat feature with the lights in the auditorium, specifically the fact that they flash at certain times. If you have seizures, I’d probably recommend you stay away from a place like this. The lights flash whenever something such as a gun or laser fires, or whenever someone takes a photo. A question I bet many of you are probably going to ask at some point about this is “Is this worth it?”
It’s a known fact that a lot of people don’t go to the movie theater as much as they used to. There are multiple reasons. They may be more interested in watching them on their own TV, streaming services such as Netflix, VOD, and Amazon Video have come into play, some people in the theater are loud or disruptive of the experience, and they often collect discs or tapes. Another reason besides these have to do with ticket price. Around where I go, the morning prices are usually around $6, which isn’t too bad. The matinee is around the $10 mark, which in some theaters, is the early bird price as well. The price for a night showing is $13 at the most. Keep in mind, these prices are for standard 2D showings. The place I went to see this MX4D movie was Showcase Cinemas de Lux in Revere, MA. An adult matinee showing in 2D is $10.50. The price for an adult matinee in MX4D however, is an obnoxious $20.50. I went with someone else that qualified for an adult ticket, and the total came out to $41. I knew about this before showing the ticket price to the person I was going with, but when I told it to him, he freaked out, but dealt with it. For the record, I originally wanted to see the film I was planning to see in 2D as it would be much cheaper in the long run, but the guy who was coming along with me had something to accomplish at the time the show started, so I had to suck it up. How was the theatre itself?
When I was a kid, I never came to the Cinema de Lux in Revere. This was mainly due to how my parents didn’t usually prefer going along Route 1 (mainly my mom), otherwise known as one of the worst highways ever. Although having been there and noticing they have some of the largest screens in the area, along with some of the best sound quality as well, I wanted to go more often. When I walked in the theater, the screen was noticeably in an aspect ratio between 2.39:1 and 2.4:1, which if you’re aspect ratio illiterate it means that it is one of the typical formats for a movie. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s an image below of how they would look on a widescreen TV.
2.4:1 (left), 2.39:1 (right)
The movie was in the aspect ratio of the screen as I first saw it. I somewhat find it hilarious because I usually first find a movie theater screen in a 16:9 ratio because of all the advertising. This theater still did ads, but the screen was not in the format I was used to seeing. The walls were also different, and I mean that in both a sense among the auditoriums the theater already has, along with what I’ve seen in movie theaters overall. I can only think of one other theater with a wall like this, and I never set foot in it. The walls had a beach on it, which I kind of found interesting, but had not much to do with the experience as a whole. I knew the walls were going to appear the way they were though as I did some research on MX4D prior to going to this particular showing, although I couldn’t say the same for the screen in terms of prior knowledge. Speaking of prior knowledge, I knew a bit about the seats. Although I didn’t know I had to place my feet down on a foot rest. Why? That was near the leg tickler. The person I came along with said he likes these seats in terms of comfort, little did he know he was in for a ride. Sure, he knew this was a motion enhanced experience, but he didn’t know how immersed he’d feel in the end.
When the show was about to begin, the Showcase intro played on the screen, signifying the movie was about to start. However, once that finished, the movie didn’t start. There was one more title before the movie began. There was an intro for MX4D, and it was meant to show off the effects of MX4D in every way possible. When I saw this intro, my heart almost stopped. I don’t get seizures, and I never have problems with flashing lights, but I saw the lights flashing above on the ceiling, it was something I wasn’t prepared for. I got used to it throughout the film and it added to the experience, but it made me kind of surprised once I first witnessed it. Despite that, once the intro finished, I felt just as prepared for the movie as I am whenever I see the IMAX countdown. I doubt every MX4D experience will start in a way similar to this, but this gave me plenty of chills. As far as the introduction goes, it’s a great way to show off what the company can do to the audience and give them a shock.
What’s the best part of the experience? I’ve got to say the seat movements. The seats move back, forth, left, and right whenever something in the movie or the camera moves. I saw the opening titles of the film, I felt like I was getting a tour guide of outer space. D-Box does this too, but I’ve yet to see a film in D-Box so I can’t judge it upfront.
If there are any improvements that I would like to witness out of this experience, it’s the ticket price. It is way too much for one person to handle. Sure you get a lot out of the experience, but there are some people who can get seizures or motion sickness from something like this, also who wants to pay $20 for a movie ticket?! If you’re Donald Trump you might as well come here any time you want, however if you’re a regular Joe than I recommend you come in moderation. Although everything else is superb.
MX4D is a revolutionary experience. In my opinion, it’s no IMAX though. IMAX has a bigger screen, better sound, more seats, etc. Despite that, MX4D is still a good time every now and then. I will say though, the experience itself was better than the movie I saw throughout (Independence Day: Resurgence in case you didn’t remember me typing earlier). Stay tuned for more content I am going to post on here, pretty soon I’m going to have a review up for “Finding Dory,” the new animation from Pixar, which is a sequel to the 2003 movie “Finding Nemo,” and I’m planning to see “The BFG” over the next weekend, so if I do, I shall have a review for that posted soon as well. Stick around, because Scene Before is your click to the flicks!