The initial movies that aired in 4dx cinemas over here were overdone and it quickly got annoying. Flashing lights from the side of the screen every time somebody wields a lightsaber just distracts from the movie.
I guess it is similar to 3D. Initially it was overused to make stuff fly in your face, but later it was used more to just give depth to a movie.
There are 4 types of effects:
- motion (in the cinema i went to they moved 4 chairs at a time)
- air/water (wind/mist/rain/splatter). There was a button per seat to turn this off. What distracted me here was that the system used to deploy the water was very noisy. You’d here a ‘pssssh’ a fraction before you would get wet.
- strobes and light effects (used to add lightning to thunder, but also used for light sabers and such)
- smell. This didn’t work for me. None of the scents actually smelled like what they were supposed to smell like. Took too much imagination. Toast smelled more like fire.
Just had my first 4DX experience recently at a theater in Japan, https://www.aeoncinema.com/4dx/
, about 1/2 way down the page, shows a list of all of the effects, and these were all incorporated except snow (yes, even bubbles....
) Movie had a water-based theme to it, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weathering_with_You
so the use of water was somewhat "generous" I'd say, and for some scenes it was kinda cool! (had the option to turn on and off just like you said - but I didn't notice any sound interference from the system - might have been there, but drowned out by the audio track).
There were instances of characters free falling through the sky, and they did a good job between chair motion and wind effect to simulate this - and that worked well for this film I thought. A bit of lightning and wind, but there were times though where the wind force was strong, and you could hear the fans roaring - mostly contained by the audio track, but at times the audio got quiet as the fans were spinning down, so it seemed a bit off, but not horribly so.
The bubbles, although I get the relationship to the scene in which they were used, were simply not necessary, but little kids might get a kick out of it. Fog, same deal.
Chair motion overall was fun; bumping and jarring, swaying, etc., but at least once the chairs thumped when one of the characters got whacked on the back - which seemed inappropriate - I don't think the audience needed to feel the impact, didn't really draw you in like environmental effects.
One incidence of smell too - and I agree - just not what it was supposed to be. Needs work, but I can do without this.
Overall, it was fun - but not in my opinion a game changer, more gimmicky than anything else, but people said/say that about Atmos too....Id have enjoyed the film just as much without it. It added depth on one level, but might also be more of a distraction on another. Still, it's worth doing at least once.