Not too long ago my wife and I went to the new Star Wars movie. (Okay, let's get this outta the way... I know the Star Wars fanboys are up in arms over the movie and for the life of me, I can't figure out why. It's a Star Wars movie! You get lots and lots of The Force, good guys, bad guys, explosions, chases, laser fights, battles, betrayals, heroic stuff, aliens, silly haircuts, even sillier sets... You know... Star Wars! I was neither thrilled by nor angry at the movie. It is what it is and it is perfectly mediocre.)
What did thrill me, however, was the prospect of seeing The Last Jedi in super-amazo MX4D!
"Bonus! What in God's name is MX4D?" I ask the ticketeer.
"It's the newest evolution in the 4D cinema experience where you actually “feel” the movie," the Ticket Master recites in a bland voice. "Enjoy the magic of the movies."
(At the B&B theater chain, I believe employees are required by law to say that last bit about the magic of the movies. Too bad they never conjure any magic in their tone. But I suppose magic is sorely lacking in minimum wage jobs.)
However, the magic-loving Ticket Holder still hadn't answered my question. "So...we 'feel' the movie?" I reiterate.
"That's right, sir."
I sorely want to ask the Ticket Fairy how this MX4D process works for a porn movie, but I know my wife won't approve.
Regardless, we roll the dice, take a chance. My wife shrugs, says, "Let's do it. Something different."
"Okay! Two tickets, please."
"Alright..." the ticket girl intones. "Two senior tickets."
"Um, not yet," I say. "We still have several years before--"
"That'll be $34.00," she responds. "Enjoy the magic of the--"
We pay the outrageous price. I figure even if we're not senior citizens yet, I can't imagine how much the "regular citizens" tickets cost. Some damn movie magic at work there.
We settle into our strange, hard, uncomfortably plastic seats. Put our feet onto the raised platform. I look for a seat-belt, but can't find one, and resign myself to sitting in this awful bucket for three hours.
The usual pre-advertisements (bah! You whippersnappers remember when they didn't show commercials at the movies? Maybe I deserve my senior citizen discount.) run their course as do the endless trailers. Then the screen hits us with more warnings than a Viagra ad.
"Warning," a solemn voice admonishes, "if you're pregnant, sick, old, or near death; if you have a bad back, neck, or any open sores; if you haven't been to the restroom in over an hour; if you're prone to fainting, psychadelically freaking out, or screaming at vicious strobe lights; if you're the litigious sort, than the MX4D experience is not for you. We'd advise you to leave right now and the theatre staff will try not to shame you. Now, sit back and enjoy the magic of the movies."
I whisper to my wife, "What strange magic have we fallen prey to?"
The movie starts. So far, so good as the friendly and familiar Star Wars scrawl trawls off into space. Then...BOOM!
Over the next three hours, we're tipped and dipped, battered by mechanical punches to the butt and back, and have water and cold wind blasted at our faces. With all the smoke on hand in the movie, we're subjected to a smoke scent that smells more like plastic. Snow is dropped. Fog rolls out. And we experience what a small, drunken alien's breath is like.
It truly is the magic of the movies! Yet, oddly enough, all of the movement seems just a beat late for the on-screen action to the point of distraction.
One good thing? If you're ever constipated, the MX4D experience will loosen those bowels. Kinda like being strapped onto an industrial-sized paint-shaker for three hours.
For even more magic, check out Peculiar County...