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Sand Storm

A fairly familiar critique of patriarchy from a humanist and feminist perspective, but one that’s put across with some very impressive filmmaking skills by a…

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Deepwater Horizon

Everything here feels routine—more like an inevitability than a work of art or even a piece of entertainment.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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ICUN4D: Two-eye-witness report from Korea on 4-D Avatar

Many thanks to Seano in Seoul for this report:

I went to see it yesterday (that's why I was searching for some info on it). Anyway saw it at the theatre in TimesSquare CGV, the screen and cinema is average size with the seats in 4 seater units in 3 columns with about 10 rows. Ticket price is W18,000 (about $16). The experience definitely enhances the 3D and is more than just a gimmick, though there is room for improvement.

The motion effects include the 4 seater unit pitching and yawing along with the expected vibrating and dropping, so in the flight scenes the seats are swaying and leaning with the helicopters and those reptile birds and obviously shaking you about with every explosion. There are individual effects on each seat with a automated brush at ankle level that spins across your legs and a kicker in the back of that feels like the person behind you is kicking your seat when activated.

The wind effects are probably the best and most seamless, tranquil breezes in the forest and gale force when a heli is landing. There's also individual wind effects in the seat with a whisper of air blowing past your ear when an arrow or bullet whizzes by.

The smell effects aren't quite as good as the others, mostly smelling like car and bathroom air fresheners during forest scenes. And the explosions smells are just unrealistic. The same goes for the laser/strobe effects, they were used at the wrong points in the scene and had little impact though admittedly the movie has few opportunities for strobe effects. Maybe in a movie with lots of storms/lightning this would be cool.

The water effect was only used once when the main characters falls off the cliff into the lake below, the effect just involved a few drops of water being sprayed across the seats.

Considering that the 3D version of the movie costs W14000, you're not paying much more for the 3D version and due to the way the seats are arranged (they hydraulically raise up at the start of the movie to allow for the motion effects) you get a perfect clear view of the screen. The cinema is also pitch black with no side lights or even exit signs illuminated which is perfect for watching a film.

Considering that they only have these 4D cinemas in Korea at the moment it's worth going if you happen to be in Seoul.

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