MX4D – Jurassic World – An “E” ticket ride!
By Raven West
I first experienced a 4D movie at Disneyland some 20 years ago. The movie was Captain EO, starring Michael Jackson and Angelica Huston. Seats moved, lasers sparked, smoke blew and it was fun for a seventeen minute amusement park attraction. But that’s all it was; an amusement park attraction which closed in 1996.
Although 3D movies have been around for more than 60 years, IMAX theaters renewed the fad and when the more sophisticated technology brought us Avitar in 2009, the 3D craze took off.
I wasn’t impressed.
In many cases the visual 3D wasn’t much more exciting than looking at slides through a ViewMaster toy. Special effects can be more of a distraction than an enhancement to the story, if there is one, and the overall quality of the movie itself is usually sacrificed for the “bells and whistles” of the technology.
So, when I heard of the extra “D” that Media Mation was adding to the 3-Ds I was skeptical. Would a theater equipped with moving seats synchronized to the action on the screen, air, water blasts, leg and neck ticklers, wind, fog and scents create a more realistic movie going experience?
I have to say, after seeing Jurassic World at the Plaza Cinemas 14 in Oxnard, (the very first theater to feature MX4D in the U.S.) the answer is a resounding YES.
Visually, the 3D was subtle and extremely clear from every point on the screen. While the movement of the seats was at first very noticeable, after a while the synchronization with the action didn’t distract from the overall enjoyment of the movie. In many scenes, actually feeling sensations such as riding on a motorcycle, flying in a helicopter, or being dragged on a dirt road along with the actors on the screen, was a true YOU ARE THERE! experience.
The sound quality was a comfortable level and never overpowered the dialogue, so the audience would totally enjoy the movie itself.
Fortunately the special effects didn’t include the smell of the dinosaurs’ breath or have severed body parts flying through the screen.
4D movie technology has come a very long way since “Captain EO” at Disneyland. There is no doubt it will continue to be a true full blown movie experience at Plaza Stadium 14 in Oxnard for many years to come.
Upcoming movies that are scheduled to be released in MX4D include “Minions,” “Ant-Man,” “Terminator: Genisys” and “Fantastic Four”
Plaza Cinemas 14 is located at 255 W 5th St, Oxnard, CA 93030
For movie information, call: (805) 487-8380
Raven West is a free-lance writer and published author who has lived in Ventura County for more than twenty years. She has an extensive knowledge of local wineries from Thousand Oaks to Ojai and will be covering special events which take place at the tasting rooms throughout the year.