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Solo


Release:
2018, Buena Vista
Starring:
Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Paul Bettany, Woody Harrelson
Director:
Ron Howard
MPAA Rating:
[PG-13] sci-fi action/violence
Genre:
Action/Science Fiction
Runtime:
135 minutes

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY in 4DX

Contributed by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for RadioFree.com
May 24, 2018

Poised at the forefront of the specialized field of interactive movies, 4DX is a state-of-the-art technology developed by CJ 4DPLEX that aims to immerse patrons in the cinematic experience through the use of tactile and environmental stimuli.

Comparable to a simulator ride at an amusement park, theaters equipped with 4DX utilize seats with servo motors capable of moving up and down, left and right, and forward and back with variable force and speed timed with the action on the screen. Additionally, the seats vibrate, tickle, jostle, and fire small blasts of air for further tactile immersion. Environmentally, 4DX can generate lighting effects, wind, bubbles, snow, fog, and even rain, though movie-goers not wishing to get drenched, or even damp, have the ability to individually turn the water option on or off at their discretion.



4DX is obviously best implemented by kinetic action flicks that can organically incorporate most of these effects into their narratives. With motion being the centerpiece of the technology, it is readily compatible with films sporting adrenalized settings with high-speed vehicles ranging from cars to jets to spaceships. Any installment of The Fast and the Furious immediately springs to mind as an ideal candidate, but entries in the James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Mission: Impossible franchises would also be excellent matches.

In the case of the Star Wars adventure Solo, 4DX is able to flex most of its key features through the production's myriad action scenes and changing environments. The Millennium Falcon is arguably the star of the show, and Solo's breakneck Kessel Run, which sees the iconic ship navigating out of the pull of a gravity well while evading a monstrous space creature, is perhaps the most thrilling moment. It's a signature sequence sure to cement the movie's place in the Star Wars pantheon, and with 4DX, audiences feel all of the pitch, roll, and heave as Han and his crew race through the treacherous expanse. This use is an example of 4DX at its most natural, elevating Solo from passive participation to interactive expedition.



Onscreen fights are enhanced with timed jostling. Like an aggressive massage chair, the 4DX seat plays whack-a-mole with viewers, with the strongest force coming courtesy of a bar against one's lower back to simulate the hardest punches endured by the characters. Meanwhile, small air ducts mounted on the headrest enhance moments like close calls with gunfire (stormtroopers have notoriously bad aim, providing ample opportunity for shots whizzing by) and a rubber cord mounted at the base of the seat whips against spectators' legs in sync with turbulence.

Amongst the environmental elements, water will occasionally sprinkle the crowd, most noticeably in a comical shower scene with Han and Chewbacca. Fog machines flanking the screen periodically billow, though one could imagine this feature more brilliantly complementing The Empire Strikes Back, where it would fit seamlessly with Luke's visit to the swamp planet Dagobah, the lightsaber duel on Cloud City, and Han's entombment in carbonite. Solo is better served by the more subtle effect of lighting, when sparks and explosions in the film flash through the theater on cue. The typically ignored sense of smell also gets to join the party, as 4DX is able to release a variety of scents into the air.

As of the writing of this article, there are more than 61,000 4DX seats operating in 515 auditoriums across 59 countries. Stateside locations equipped with 4DX include Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, New York, Seattle, Orlando, Chicago, and D.C.


About the Movie (studio synopsis)


Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga's most unlikely heroes.


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