Julius has been riding my ears and marked the date exactly when this ‘Penguins of Madagascar‘ movie would come out (and lucky for him, we get movies here pretty much on US release date and not like when I was a kid, half a year later) and he really wanted to go with his friend Richard, but somehow I could not reach his mom (tried email, sms, calling …)
So, we were adventurous enough to ride down Ba Trieu by bike and got our ticket for the 3D 4DX presentation.
What is that 4DX you ask? Here a snippet from wikipedia:
4DX allows a motion picture presentation to be augmented with environmental effects such as seat motion, wind, rain, fog, lights, and scents along with the standard video and audio. As such, theaters must be specially designed for and equipped with 4DX technology.
As this is a South Korean invention, it is now in theaters all over Asia, but so far only one location in the US has it (Regal Cinemas LA Live).
So, what to make of it? Mind you that it comes with an extra premium on the ticket price, I read 22$ in the US, here we paid 10$, while usually movie tickets are 6$.
It is a lot of rattling and wind
Julius obviously loved it! It turns the movie into a ride. But I found this ‘gimmick’ to be obnoxiously overused. They start you off not with 1, but 2 trailers just showcasing what the system does! So much for the ‘surprise’ and then we got a movie trailer for Exodus, which was already prepped for rattle-vision.
By that time I would have liked to watch the movie in ‘peace’ with maybe occasionally an effect here and there. The ‘augmentation’ of the movie feels like a kid that has discovered photoshop for the first time .. ‘let me crank up contrast and hue to the max and on every single photo and let’s try as many filters as I can find’ … This is why I think this technology is great for short 15 min theme park rides, but not for a full motion picture. I found it rather distracting at times, the wind blowing pretty cold from one side, while the strobe effect was only on the other side and the hissing of the various compression based effects was too loud.
On the other hand, since those seats are expensive they equip only rather small screening rooms with it, so you get a smaller screen … and I also suspect that we did not get the best sound system … I believe I would have enjoyed the movie more on a bigger screen and in Dolby Atmos.
The movie itself is nice and goofy kiddie fare with some off-color jokes thrown in for the grown ups. I think the Penguins made great side kicks in the Madagascar movies, but a full movie? A lot of elements seemed pulled together forcefully to make for a whole movie. Julius liked it but was quick to say that he prefers ‘Big Hero 6‘.
Funny side trivia, Benedict Cumberbatch really can’t say the word ‘penguin’ he says it like ‘pengwing’ … check youtube for proof