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Watch Movies in 4DX and You’ll Get an Education in Filmmaking

If that was a case of too many effects being unnerving, too little can also be frustrating, and 4DX still has a way to go. In “Star Wars,” the multitude of scenes set in sand dunes highlighted the format’s inability to reproduce “grittiness.” Sand whipped punishingly at the characters onscreen, but I felt nothing at all.

In spite of the format’s growing pains, I remain a champion of it. “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” was transcendent, as was “It Chapter Two’s” final battle with Pennywise. The ability to experience fighting Henry Cavill in a helicopter or being chased around by a giant spider-clown makes you appreciate just how difficult it is to masterfully control chaos onscreen.

And there is room for subtlety. In “It Chapter Two,” wind blew through the audience whenever our heroes walked around Derry, mimicking the “Missing” posters that flit through its streets. But once Pennywise was killed, the winds, too, were dead. Derry was still at last.

So that’s why, every time I enter a theater, I check for seatbelts. Even for non-4DX screenings — it’s just become habit. Not because movies are boring without effects. But because we should hope that every film is as attentive in its world-building and skillful at keeping an audience’s attention as “Mission: Impossible” was.

What makes 4DX worth the price of admission is the opportunity to watch a great movie turn otherworldly.

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