2019-01-06 01:53:30

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.

Final thoughts?

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.

I do not know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future.

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2019-01-06 02:15:50 (edited by Chris 2019-01-06 02:27:55)

The haptic feedback sounds somewhat interesting, but I'm not sure if it's enough to make me go to more than the occasional movie once every few years. I don't like movie theaters, period. Why? Well, the prices are ridiculous! Food and drinks are overpriced. I suppose you could argue that you're paying more to be waited on hand and foot, but meh! There audio system is too loud and echoey. You can't pause the movie if you want to take a break, eat, pee, go to sleep, etc. You can't rewind if you missed something. The audio description units I've tried only broadcast the description, forcing me to listen to the description in one ear and the movie in the other. I much prefer having the track mixed into the program. You can't watch the program when ever you want. You must adhere to the schedule which is extremely irritating!

If I had my way, I'd get rid of cable TV and movie theaters. I don't appreciate advertisements or trailers for unrelated content. I don't want to stop everything I'm doing at 7:00 PM just to watch my favorite TV show or movie. Netflix rocks! Also, most of the movies that they show eventually end up on Netflix or iTunes, so it doesn't matter. I'd rather have an on demand copy rather than being forced to pay every time I want to view it.

What happened to Movie Pass? That sounds like a great idea, but apparently AMC and others hate it. How well does it actually work?

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2019-01-06 04:12:46

That's one kick ass chair. What theatre did you go to that has this D-Box? I'm mildly interested, if only to experience being in a make-shift amusement park ride for a film. Not a bad purchase, really, if it brings that much added experience to the film.
Per the prices of the theatre's food offerings, I'm with you on that one. Expensive as all get out. Went to see the Crimes of Mister Grindelwald, and boy were those prices eye-watering. Makes me appreciate people smuggling in snacks in their backpacks to enjoy munching on something without having to spend so much cash, and just spend about 10 bucks at the dollar store to bring in chips and other assorted delights.

"Each day is a little life; every waking and rising a little birth; every fresh morning a little youth; every going to rest and sleep a little death."
--Arthur Schopenhauer

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2019-01-06 10:44:22

@Chris
It appears the company behind MoviePass is on its last legs. Who knew offering unlimited movies for $9.95 a month wasn't a good business strategy when the studios were charging them $12-$14 for each ticket? Not the folks at MoviePass, apparently.

They increased their subscription price from $9.95 to $14.95 a month and stopped allowing their subscribers to see the most popular films. I suppose that still isn't a bad deal if you go to the movies more than once a month. However, they have a bad reputation for making big changes on the fly without warning people first.

Speaking of AMC, they have their own subscription service now. It costs anywhere from $20 to $24 a month depending on where you live. It was a flat $19.95 a month, but they were losing money hand over fist just like MoviePass. I have no idea how well MoviePass or AMC's offering works because I never go to the movies.

I think movie theaters are poor value for the money. If I'm going to pay $10+ per ticket, I don't want to have to listen to ads and other assorted nonsense first. If you include the insanely high price for snacks and drinks, people talking through the entire movie, and babies crying, it doesn't make for a very pleasant experience. I'd rather save my money and wait for the movies I want to watch to appear on Netflix or the movie vault. D-BOX sounds really interesting though. I may have to go check it out some time.

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2019-01-06 12:46:41

in Vienna we have a similar thing. Its called "4DX". It's basically a chair that can move forwards/backwards and left/right. It also has vibrating parts like the back and the head and even the waist. In addition to that the cinema in wich this technology is being used has heat, water and air effects. oh yeah! There is also air wich flows around your legs up to your knee, it is kind of cool because you can sort of feel when someone gets shot in the knee because you feel an air current on your knee. I watched Aquaman in this "4DX" cinema and I got very wet because the film mostly playes in the oceans.

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2019-01-06 15:39:53

I remember going to see Logan back in 2017 and was floored at just how awesome the experience was.  WHere we went, the AMC-30, we actually had the luxury of having  servers come to us in our comfy-as-hell chairs and I had the added bonus of DVS.    Yeah, between all what's been going on, The movie theaters has definitely taken a turn to the more intense.  Then again, with everyone having movie theaters at home, it'd make sense that the  cinemas would have to do something to top the "basic" experiences we all have the luxury of, provided we do, otherwise they may be suffering buisness wise.

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2019-01-06 16:46:03

Due to a Tmobile Tuesday offer that took $5 of an Atom Ticket order, and some free popcorn and drinks from Coke rewards, I was able to go to see Aquaman for 49 cents. Don't know why matine was so cheap, they didn't have Dbox, but they did have nice chairs.

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2019-01-06 20:00:33 (edited by Nocturnus 2019-01-06 20:01:52)

@G-Rad, post 6:
Sounds about right.  I know now that even if that same movie comes out on netflix, hulu, whatever, I'll never get the same experience, and I'm pretty sure our son would agree.
@Warcat, post 5:
I mentioned the 4DX experience as I was concluding, because it is available in select places here in the US.  If you've already done it, D-BOX is going to seem rather lame in comparison.
@deadPixel, post 3:
D-BOX is becoming rather common as far as theaters go, now available in about 30 different countries.  Check your local movie listings and make sure you reserve ahead of time, as even if you find the seats as you're walking in, they won't be activated unless you've already paid for the experience.  While you can purchase them there at the theater you risk not getting one if the movie you're going to see is popular, as the theaters are not exactly canvassed with d-box seating.  It is also worth noting that not all movies are d-box compatible.  Much like coding an HTML page with proper tags to showcase elements properly to screen readers, d-box is not always coded into films.

I do not know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future.

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2019-01-06 22:21:37

At least you don't live outside a city with a soda tax. I kid you not in Philadelphia you get taxed for soft drinks. The reason the food is so expensive is because the theater makes no money on ticket revenue. I think there's a theater around me that had or has the old chairs so it’s like $5 a ticket. Up the mountains in PA you can find movie tickets for $5 to because not many people go but yeah it is only going to get more expensive. When I was 10 or so there was only 1 Movie Theater that had audio description and only 1 movie at a time. I'm glad that they are all described now and the seats kind of make up for the price. They used to do student discounts and they don't even do that anymore. Still for me it is worth the price to go see a new movie. Don't get me started about the convenience fee if you order online. Also someone sighted always has to order them for me on the app as the seat selector is inaccessible.

Kingdom of Loathing name JB77

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2019-01-07 15:55:37

Hi,
We don't have d-box in our local theatre, but what we do have is audio description in nearly every screen which is ace, particularly as no one else accept me can hear it. I do wish we'd have d-box because I'd love it even more. However in the UK I think the nearest d-box place is in London.o, and that's not as easy as you might think for me personally due to where I'm situated in the UK.

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2019-01-07 20:22:57

I'm an avid moviegoer. In fact, I plan to go tomorrow to Bumblebee. The ticket prices are five dollars on Tuesdays at the Marcus Cinema around here, so I plan to go to that. That being said, I usually have to pay a bit extra for the Dram Lounger seats, basically leather recliners, since there's more space for my service dog to rest on the floor. But yes, my friends and I go to plenty of movies together. We saw Predator, Venom, Infinity War, Incredibles 2 and Into The Spiderverse in 2018 alone. Oh yes, and Black Panther. This year promises to be no different. I'm going to ask them about Glass, since I haven't seen Split and Unbreakable yet but I plan to, then we've got The Lego Movie AND How To Train Your Dragon 3 next month, Captain Marvel the month after that, Hellboy and Avengers: Endgame that month, Detective Pikachu and Godzilla the month after, Men In Black International and Toy Story 4 in June, Spider-Man: Far From Home and The Lion King in July, An empty August and September, then Zombieland 2, maybe, sometime in October, Kingsmen 3 in November, closing out the year with Star Wars Episode 9 in December. So it's going to be a very, very busy year for us movie fans. And a very, very hurtful year for our wallets...

Excelsior!

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2019-01-08 02:06:24

rofl @ post 11, methinks truer words were never spoken.
I thought my back was a bit sore from the rigorous motion of the d-box experience, and then I checked my bank account...

I do not know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future.

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2019-01-08 11:55:41

I actualy got to do this a couple years ago. me and a friend went to see starwars, the force awakens back when it was new and in sinnimar. this was somewhere in shefield, sorry but i can't spell that for the life of me, because my friend lives in huddasfield so i was at his place for the night. And god was it one of the best simimar expeeriences i've ever had, ever. I'd deffinutly recommend it to pretty much anyone into gaming and films with lots of action, it really does a great job of bringing everything to life in a pretty amazing way. My main problem with a lot of sinnimars here in the UK is the kind of wacky audio description, although they have gotten a lot better at fixing that up lately, still i remember spending a lot of that particular film trying to get my head in a position where i could hear more than just static.

2019-01-09 19:06:27

To the person that mentioned How to Train Your Dragon 3, yes I am looking forward to that one too. I've noticed that 2017 onwards has been one big movie hit after another.

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2019-01-09 21:57:45

It'll be interesting to see what all these new upcoming movies do to the gaming industry, if anything or if things will remain as they are now.
There's a ton of truth to those who stated that as streaming services like netflix, hulu and both Disney's  and Apple's new upcoming streaming services start trying to entice the general public, that theaters are going to have to start offering more than just the movies.  With VR stuff also on the rise, I can't help but wonder who really wants the stuff more, gamers or movie goers, and which industry is going to take the cake where either side of the coin is concerned.  It used to be a question fo whether you were willing to sit through youtube adds and someone's grainy bunch of videos just to watch old and somewhat recent programming and movies, versus paying a monthly subscription to some on-demand behemoth like netflix.  Now, I thinkt the question is going to be, whether or not people will shell out  more cash for virtual experiences longterm.

I do not know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future.

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2019-01-11 17:07:04

That's actually a very interesting point! AT one point I think ou could get d-box in your home but it's expensive, and I think it's more partner based now. They once had a gaming chair that supported it for racing games, I believe. I don't know what the current state is. I think they used to offer a standalone system for movies on dvd but now I can't seem to find any info on that model, unless it's been changed once again. I remember at one point that they've built it into some couches/sofas though which is highly amusing to read about, and kind of cool if a bit gimmicky.

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2019-01-12 01:34:35

I've had the 4-d film experience a couple of times and loved it.  Theatres have to start offering more than just movies, our family already has a movie theatre quality surround sound system. We're also getting a 4k tele, so graphical capabilities will also be covered for anyone who comes into the house.  Movie theatres have got to be thinking, "If the general public can get 4k teles or surround sound systems for their homes, what can we offer as a business that'll keep the crowds coming?"  That's what I'd be considering if it were me, it's not all just about the movies.

Really, movie theatres don't necessarily make all that much the first or second week a movie comes out. Why?  Because most of their earnings are payed off to the studeos and producers of the films. That's why they charge for the snacks and stuff, they have to make proffit somehow. I can sympathize, and I believe that if they make the snacks larger in size, it makes up for the price.  I like going to the movies because the drinks are usually worth the money, and so is the popcorn.

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2019-01-12 02:27:18

True true, but not everyone is made of gold, sadly.  Still, since I can actually count the times I've been to the movies on my fingers and toes and name every movie I've seen in this post without making it exhaustive, I suppose I'm not exactly bleeding financially because I went to theaters.  Let us begin, in chronologicle order:
1.  The Lion King (1994)
2.  Toy Story (1995)
3.  Twister (1996)
4.  Mystery Men (1999)
5. Double Take (2001)
6.  Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)
7.  The Scorpion King (2002)
8.  Reign of Fire (2002)
9.  XXX (2002)
10.  Spider-Man 2 (2004)
11.  The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
12.  The Case for Christ (2017)
13.  Bumblebee (2018, a few weeks later for me)

I do not know what my future holds, but I do know who holds my future.

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