(The following sentence should be read in a deep, sonorous, Don LaFontaine-esque voice.) In a world…where three dimensions are not enough… one South Korean company is taking movie-going…to the next level. [Cue “O Fortuna.”]
The company: CJ 4DPlex Co., which almost certainly boasts an all-robot staff. The movie: Titanic, of course. As millions of Americans drink in the sights and sounds of James Cameron’s masterpiece in just three lousy Ds, their thrill-seeking brethren in South Korea, Mexico, China, and Thailand will be enjoying Titanic in 4DX.
But what, exactly, does that mean? And are tesseracts involved? According to the L.A. Times, 4DX showings are sort of like Disney World’s old “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience!” attraction. Audiences are treated to an immersive experience that employs seats that pitch and roll, spooky fog, shifting lighting, and “scent-based special effects.” (Finally, the chance to really feel the stench of a third-class cabin!) As the ship begins to sink, viewers will be splashed with water and get blasted with icy bursts of faux North Atlantic air.
Part of me thinks 4DX sounds like the greatest invention since Smucker’s Uncrustables. But the part of me that feels compassion wonders if it’s gauche to turn an unfathomable tragedy into a theme park ride. What’s next, a Hindenburg simulation?
Then again, Titanic isn’t the only film getting the 4DX treatment. Movies like The Hunger Games and John Carter have already paved the way, and soon The Avengers will follow in their footsteps. American audiences, however, won’t be able to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of 4DX yet; according to a statement from the company, plans for U.S. theaters “are progressing swiftly,” though it doesn’t say when the first 4DX theater will open stateside.
What do you think, PopWatchers: Have you been yearning to get sprayed with saltwater and smell Rose’s fear as you watch Titanic? Or do you think the 4DX experience might leave you feeling a little seasick?