The first 4D cinema in Japan, located in Nagoya, plans to begin screening twelve movies a year in 4D, beginning with Iron Man 3 on April 26th. The format will allow cinemagoers to experience moving seats, strobe lighting, bubbles floating from the ceiling and 1,000 different scents, though hopefully they were unable to perfect the unearthly stench of natto.
A refreshingly honest (or perhaps just lazy) spokesman for the cinema’s operators, Korona World, didn’t bother inventing any reasons why Iron Man 3 would be the perfect movie to begin their 4D revolution. “It was really a matter of timing that Iron Man became the first title for 4DX in Japan,” he said, possibly before admitting he thinks comic book adaptations have become vacuous money spinners and that people would be better off just streaming the movie online if they absolutely insist on watching it.
Having personally been to a 4D movie in 2011 (Captain America in a Shanghai movie theatre) I won’t be attending another any time soon. Within the first five minutes of the “immersive experience” I was jabbed in the back twice – once as someone was shot in that general area and the other as something vaguely energetic happened – then dribbled on by the ceiling as the action moved outside. For the rest of the movie my date perched awkwardly on the edge of her chair, back bruised and hair ruined, while I prayed that Captain America and Red Skull would resolve their dispute peacefully in a location with a mild, predictable climate.