Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Monday, May 29, 2017

4DX Movie Experience

This past weekend, C and I headed over to La Villette for two firsts.  One, our first picnic of the year by the canal, and two, our first time experiencing a 4DX movie theater.  If you haven't heard of it yet, 4DX is basically an enhanced theater, and France only currently has one.  Along with 3D and surround sound, 4DX theaters boast seats that move, blast air and have smell-o-vision.  Here's a trailer that's currently playing in French movie theaters to promote it:

I think it's pretty much mandatory that you see an action movie in order to take full advantage of everything the 4DX cinema has to offer, so we decided to see Pirates of the Caribbean in VO. The inside of the theater reminded me a bit of the rides at Disney that require a movie screen.  They were large, had foot rests and a protective bar in front.  There was also a small button on each one to choose if you wanted water or not:
I initially had it on, but ended up turning it off half-way through the film because who wants water spraying on their 3D glasses all the time?!

So what did we think? On a scale from 1 to 10, I'd say 6.5.  The timed seat movements were cool, but it did bother me a bit that they moved for both the antagonists and the protagonists.  I suppose they were just trying to give people their money's worth, but it was a little bit distracting to have the seat move for everyone, and not just from one person's point of view for example.  Two other things I wasn't a big fan of was sometimes it would poke you in the back to simulate movement behind you, but in reality, it really just felt like you had a kid behind you kicking your seat.  And secondly, the chair movement reminded me a little bit too much of airplane turbulence, and I kind of get enough of that when I fly.

There were also times where lights would turn on behind us to simulate lightning or explosions, but it wasn't that well done - it mostly seemed like someone was just turning on the lights during the middle of the movie and it was distracting more than anything else.  And the smell-o-vision was pretty limited - I think I only smelled something twice during the whole movie.  There were a few times where I thought it could have really made an impact and added to the movie - like a saltwater smell, or when a ship was burning or someone was cooking - but they didn't really take advantage of that at all.

The one thing I really did like though was the air movement.  Bullets whizzing by, etc didn't really feel realistic, but they did a great job at making us feel like we were really on a boat at sea with the wind in our hair, and since I love being on the water, this was one of my favorite parts of the whole experience. 

Besides all of that, the other bit of frustration I had was the price. I have the Gaumont movie pass, which is supposed to give me unlimited movie access, but I still had to pay 6€ extra to see this.  That's not such a big deal, but I also had a free movie pass that I was hoping to use for C's ticket.  After spending a frustrating 30 minutes trying to reserve online and finally contacting Gaumont via social media, I found out free & reduced-price tickets couldn't be used for 4DX films.  That meant I had to pay the full-price of 20€ for C's ticket + 6€ for my own - so it ended up being an expensive night when I was initially expecting to pay 0€.

So is it worth it?  Given the price....I'd say it's worth trying once or twice, but I likely won't be making it a habit. I imagine it would be a really fun activity to do as a family (though FYI, there are height requirements), and C & I both agreed that an intergalatic-themed movie would also be fun to see. I normally don't like sitting in the front row, but I would definitely recommend it for this type of theater.  It makes the movie seem more realistic since you don't have anyone sitting in front of you.

Lastly, on a side note - the mall where the theater is located was surprisingly nice for the neighborhood.  It looked like an upscale American mall, with tons of cute boutique shops and American-style restaurants.  There was a burrito place, a juice bar, an Asian Fusion restaurant, a cute pub, etc, and I would definitely recommend checking out the shops if you are looking to purchase some unique France-themed gifts.  There was also an anti-gravity flying pod that looked fun too.

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Blogger wonky73 said...

Sounds like something that is worth trying at least once. Now I wish I had seen Guardians of the Galaxy in it, but my theater had moved those seats to Pirates of the Caribbean.

May 29, 2017 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It is not the first 4d cinema in France, the parc du futuroscope had these back in the 90s as well as a few other places I remember going to as a child. On a different note, I am a bit baffled that you still continue to live in France after all these years, a lot of your blog posts are clearly negative and belittle most French things (healthcare, dentists, people etc...). Why don't you move back to America and purchase a big house and improve your standard of living since France is clearly a third world country according to you? There you can get nice teeth cleaning, amazing customer service, friendly people and lots of money which you clearly cannot in France.

June 14, 2017 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Hi Astrofreak, thank you for your comment. Perhaps if you had read a bit closer, you would notice I say 4DX multiple times and not just 4D, which is the technology futuroscope has.

And personally I am a bit baffled that you keep reading my blog since it appears to make you unhappy. This is maybe not the blog for you?

June 15, 2017 at 3:37 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Awesome post you have here! I will definitely check this out. I'm sure me and my friends are going to like it. You should also check out theaters in Makati, I'm sure you'll like it! Anyway, thanks for sharing.

August 17, 2018 at 10:52 AM  

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