Woooooooo! What a freaking experience! I'd like to simply say that theaters and the like have certainly changed a ton since I was a child. I can't leave it there though, because if I did, you probably wouldn't know, unless you too have gone recently. It doesn't even suffice to say that the whole experience was far more expensive than I ever would have imagined possible, and that it's likely going to continue getting more expensive as time goes on!
Sooooooo! What did I pay to, um, see?
Aquaman? Mary Poppins Returns? Escape Room? The Mule? Perhaps, as a music fan, I went to go see, Bohemian Rhapsody? Could I have seriously sat through The Nutcracker and the Four Realms? Maybe I wanted to see this new Robin Hood adaptation? With all the recent hype I might try my hand at the Spider-Verse?
None of the above. Back in, uh, well, lets just call it last year because I can't remember the exact day, my wife and I noticed an add for Bumblebee on CNet that sounded promising; our son loves transformers. The review hinted at a family friendly movie with action packed moments, thus, we packed ourselves into an Uber and took a ride. Since it's Saturday here, Central time, we decided to go as early birds at a viewing scheduled for 10:15 AM. We figured the place would be mostly empty, so we'd have the room mostly to ourselves. In the event that we needed to go get more popcorn, more soda, more hotdogs, more pizza, more sanity, we wouldn't have to deal with a bunch of staring eyeballs we ourselves could not see.
And the prices were insane!
Popcorn? Nearly 8 dollars. Mini pizza? Nine dollars. Soda? Five dollars. Tickets? Twenty dollars per ticket at the counter, about 15 if you get them in advance. I got them yesterday, so whatever.
Thankfully, we had budgeted about a hundred dollars all the way around, so we weren't short and got some extras, because it's not an every day experience anyway and because the last time I went to a theater and truly enjoyed the experience was, uh, about 17 years ago. I didn't anticipate liking the movie much, so I figured I'd make up for it in other ways, such as paying for something called D-BOX... And that's where things got interesting!
I, Nocturnus Prime, was thrown around...
for everyone who doesn't know, D-BOX is essentially motion feedback, which is the kind of thing you're used to if you played video games in the 90's and still do today. If your controler vibrates when you get punched, get shot at, get into a car crash, blow yourself up in any myriad of ways or what have you, you've already experienced a bit of what D-BOX does. This is a whole body experience, not just your hands. You sit in an amazing seat I honestly wanted to take home because it's so freaking comfortable, then depending on what the movie does, things will start happening to you.
And a movie like Bumblebee, is quite a way to try it out!
The movie takes place in the year 1987, its events centered around protagonist B-127, a bot that can transform into a bunch of scary stuff you probably don't want in your garage. After crashlanding in California and hammering it out with decepticon Blitzwing, an enemy who atempts to coerce the hero into revealing the whereabouts of Optimus Prime, he is discovered as a Volkswagen Beetle by a teenage girl in her uncle's junkyard. Being drawn to working on cars and getting them fixed up, she begins to work on the Beetle only to have it transform into a bewildered and memory corrupted B-127. After nicknaming the car "Bumblebee," the two manage to retrieve a message left by Optimus urging Bumblebee to defend earth, which is where most of the fun really begins!
But not all of it! I can honestly say that from the beginning to the end, that chair will jolt you in ways you've probably not felt unless you've been in a racecar. As the motions are all synced up with the movie's sound and immages, in the case of this particular movie, you'll have your seat tilted forward and back and even sideways as soon as Cybertron is presented on the screen, jerked massively when bumblebee crashes after his crazy trip to earth, feel the motors of cars and helicopters as you're tilted this way and that in an atempt to capture the various motions you might experience in said situations and vehicles, and I'd say that overall, it's worth staying for the final Corvette scene.
If you have about a hundred dollars to spend and you're not really sure how to spend it, I'd recommend this as an idea. With Aquaman and Mary Poppins currently holding the box office's praises, Bumblebee is a nice third place worth going to, particularly if you can and want to have the D-BOX experience make a ton of sense. That's not to say it wouldn't make any sense to purchase such seating if only for the comfort it provides including the extra width and armrests and reclining capability, but for this stuff to seriously make your movie experience bang for your buck, as it were, you need an action vid at the very least. The controls are located under the right armrest on a little pad, allowing for the adjustment of intensity and relaxation with ease. Honestly, if you're not sitting dead center or if your theater's soundsystem isn't the greatest you've ever heard it's worth going the extra mile with D-BOX as it really does let you feel many of the sounds.
On the other hand, if you're exceptionally sensitive and you easily suffer from motion sickness this thing will truly mess with you. If that is you, you can still go watch with all the added comforts of the d-box seat, just have the feedback controls turned off. It may also be that you've already gotten into the 4DX experience, in which case d-box is going to seem taim in comparison.
the bottom line as I see it, however, is that especially if you're totally blind, adding an extra layer of dimencion at the movies can really make a difference. Gaming with vibration isn't for everyone, and I imagine that d-box isn't either, but until you try it, you're not going to know which camp you fall into.