Last night I watched about two-thirds of Furious 7 in a D-BOX seat at the TCL Chinese plex, and I found it mostly pleasing. It’s basically a high-tech chair that rumbles and vibrates and pitches around in synch with the action. You could describe the D-BOX experience as a slightly less dynamic cousin of the 4DX experience, a South Korean-developed system that augments the vibration and movement with atmospheric effects. 4DX is available worldwide (including Vietnam) but it may not be in U.S. theatres for another year or two.
My D-BOX experience happened during a 7 pm screening inside theatre #1. The cacophonous Avengers: Age of Ultron premiere was occuring outside on Hollywood Blvd. and inside the adjacent Dolby theatre. A friend has told me I’m going to hate, hate, hate this Joss Whedon-directed Disney release, which screened last weekend for the junket whores.
I can’t believe I’ve now watched portions of Furious 7 in three different theatres so far. I’ve now seen the completely sub-mental Abu Dhabi sequence. Are you reading this, Michael Moses?
The D-BOX rumblings and seat shiftings seem to happen a half-beat after the on-screen action, and some of the vibrations didn’t feel strong enough given what was going on in the film. Not every seat was rockin’ and hummin’. You have to make sure to sit in the seat that your ticket tells you to sit in. One hint that it’s a “live chair” is the glow of little green lights just under the right armrest.
But what’s not to like? D-BOX vibrations made Furious 7 feel less arduous to sit through. It also felt a bit like those vibration massage chairs you sometimes see in the waiting lounges of car wash facilities. I was down with it. Content. My ass and lower back were more or less happy to be there.
But I’m really looking forward to my 4DX encounter in Vegas. A 4DX viewing can include the following simulations: Seat motion (tilt left, tilt right, tilt forward, tilt backward, raise up, drop down). Facial air jets. Left and right neck air jets. Water spray. Rain. Wind. Leg tickler. Back poker. Lightning. Fog. Scents (from a collection of roughly 1000 aromas, including tangerines and sea grass). Bubbles. Snow. Warm air.
From a release: “For a motion picture to make use of the 4DX features available in a theater, a 4DX ‘track’ needs to be programmed on top of the existing video and audio tracks. In other words, a 4DX movie is a standard movie with the addition of a 4DX track that controls the 4DX features during playback. The programming of the track is done by CJ 4DPlex, the CJ CGV subsidiary who developed the technology, in some cases with the participation of the studio that originally produced the original movie. Programming a 4DX track into a movie typically takes less than a month.
“As of November 2014, the 4DX technology is currently active in 28 countries: South Korea, Venezuela, China, Cambodia, Israel, Thailand, Russia, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Hungary, Japan, Poland, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Taiwan, Chile, UAE, Croatia, Ukraine, India, Indonesia, United Kingdom and the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Jordan, Bahamas, Costa Rica.”
An HE reader claims that 4DX is available in a theatre with the LA Live complex in downtown LA.