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Watching a movie in 4D review

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  • Engagement
  • Experience
  • Immersiveness
  • Creativity
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Watching a movie in 4D was the don, and by that I mean it was the bossiest (like a boss) thing I did during my trip in South Korea. The one thing, other than shopping, I actually didn’t mind doing twice if only they still had XMEN: Days of Future Past still showing. Everyone has to try it at least once in their lives, guaranteed to leave you feeling some sort of way other than indifferent.

For the price of less than a Gold Class ticket here in Australia, that enables you to sit in a more comfortable seat and stuff your face silly with some proper food other than popcorn, I got to enjoy a movie (in my opinion) the best way possible. Gold Class has nothing on 4DX.

What is 4D?

Imagine taking a roller coaster, a movie seat, a massage chair, a few pressurised sprays that shoot water, warm and cold air; then you put it altogether for each individual about to watch a movie in the movie house. This by the way is all on cue with the event occurring in the scenes of the movie. My impression of 4D was I am going to sit in a chair that moved and sprayed water on me as had been explained to me prior, but it is more than just that.

Watching a movie in 4DX seating: JustMadeBetter

Watching a movie in 4DX seating

How it works

What my friends forgot to emphasize when they explained the concept of 4D to me, was that the chair moving wasn’t just some rocking chair effect. It really is more like how a roller coaster moves and invokes emotions in you, whether you like it or not. I went to watch an action movie thankfully, Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise, and boy was in for a ride. The chairs went through every angle possible, the scariest being slowly rising in an anticipating kind of way before it tips you to face your body downward as the actor in the movie falls down.

The water being sprayed to your face was also quite emotion invoking in this movie because it happened over and over again, plus you knew it was coming so the anticipation had you on edge. They also used enough water with each spray, that you need to wipe your 3D glasses every now and then to see clearly. The funny thing is I cannot recall walking out of the movie wet, so they didn’t use too water much either.

The pressurised air that came from the back of your seat, in an attempt to scare you, was the equivalent of having someone yell out “booh!” especially during a tense moment when you least expected it. It is intense, unfortunately there were no scenes with heat so I never got to experience that.

In some of the scenes, certain events occured where Tom Cruises’ back interacted with other objects. Whether this was being thrust against a wall vigorously or being jilted slightly, the chair massaged your back accordingly either by dabbing you really fast, or slowly and pleasantly including every other pace in between.

Popcorn factory: JustMadeBetter

Popcorn factory: JustMadeBetter

The Experience

One thing I haven’t mentioned was that the movie house that i watched 4D in, used Real 3D and not just 3D. Trust me there is a difference. In real 3D, I didn’t struggle to focus to get the depth of field effect to pop and come into effect. I just put on the glasses that looked different from normal 3D ones, and that was it, 3D was on. It didn’t feel gimmicky or like had to find that sweet spot for it to work.

The full experience of 4D when all parts come together, is like nothing I have experienced in its totality. I’d even say the immersive-ness is even better than playing your best made video games. This is because video games just invoke your minds imagination and leave your body behind. Roller coasters are designed to just try scare you without much reason, and scare you as much as possible. They do take your body along the journey but fail to engage the brain on a higher thought level than “OMG, we are going to die!”

“…video games just invoke your minds imagination and leave your body behind. Roller coasters are designed to just try scare you without much reason…”

That half sweet, half salty popcorn though... #JustMadeBetter

That half sweet, half salty popcorn though… #JustMadeBetter


Watching movies in 4D on the other hand, does it all and ticks every box. While the movies storyline is invoking your brain on a high thought level and imagination, the whole cinema seating is constantly ensuring that your body and all its hormones, feelings and emotions are coming along for the ride. All the while watching in flawless, Real 3D.

The effect is a party like no other, and also in the process you gain an appreciation for the actor and what they have to go through in the movie, even though it is just pretend. After all they are physically acting and performing, even though it is make believe. You understand that they are jumping into water and getting wet & dirty. They are falling on objects and being cut, which by the way just doesn’t just look cinematically beautiful depending on the angle it is being shot from, but also hurts. Even if it didn’t hurt the actor in the making of the movie and they used fake blood, you rightfully attribute that pain to the character in the story as you rightfully should.

Watching a movie in 4D

Watching a movie in 4D adds all component in real life that are lost in story telling. Some people have a more vivid imagination than others. With 4D, however imaginative you are is put on steroids. The best non 4D movie I have watched was Avengers on release date, where every one was jeering and laughing at specific moments. It was beautiful. With watching a movie in 4D, that seemed to be the norm almost all the time. Everyone is laughing, cringing, roller coaster screaming in fear and sighing of relief as they try to calm down from laughter, because they survived it. You just have to try it out! I just wouldn’t try it with a low tempo genre movie title, like Romance for example unless it is action packed.

Any movie title you watch, whatever you were going to rank it out of a scale of 10, 4D will add an additional 2points to the result just for showing up. I thoroughly and utterly enjoyed watching a movie in 4D.

About the author


A digital enthusiast at heart with a particular vice for the web. Tawanda graduated with an I.T. degree specialising in Multimedia technologies at Deakin University where he rebuilt the foundations of his digital passions. Tawanda has since worked 3 years in the retail industry on different levels of hierarchy in a nationwide, home & hardware organisation, where he picked up the love to explain and promote products. Currently he works full time as a Digital Coordinator in the education sector with more than 3 years experience. Visit Tawanda's website.

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