I don’t know if you know this about me yet, but I am a “cinephile” (a film or movie enthusiast as defined by Urban Dictionary), which means I like all kinds of films and film genres. Some movies from my childhood I am able to quote nearly word-for-word, i.e.: Trading Places with Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy I know pretty much verbatim. I also know just about every word to My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, and The Shining (and not just the made-for-TV versions). My grandma once took me to see Heavy Metal when it came out in theatres. (She had no idea that it was R-rated. She thought it was a Disney-like cartoon. It wasn’t. But since she was raised in a poor, immigrant family, we stayed until the end to get our money’s worth.)
That said, I took my kids to see the new Spy Kids movie in 4D: All The Time In The World. I saw the first three Spy Kids movies so I pretty much knew what to expect, but this sequel was going to be a little different. It is in 4D “aroma-scope.” (At first I thought they had said, “aroma-vision.” I was intrigued by this oxymoron. How can one smell with her eyes, I had wondered. It was a mystery that I needed to solve.)
I was excited when we arrived at the theatre and I saw the movie poster because Jeremy Piven is on it. I love “The Pivs.” (Ironically, I think one of his first movies was Lucas way back when. I did not have a crush on him, just Charlie.) If you are unfamiliar with Jeremy Piven, he is in a ton of John Cusak movies: One Crazy Summer, Say Anything, The Grifters, Grosse Point Blank (my personal favorite), Serendipity, The Runaway Jury to name a few. But his best role is uber-agent to the stars “Ari Gold” on Entourage. (I’m so sad that this is the final season.) Other notables in Spy Kids 4D that I like are: Joel McHale (from The Soup) and Ricky Gervais (there are so many notable things that Ricky has done but maybe most famous is that he is the creator, writer, director of The Office).
So I get our Spy Kids tickets and I’m handed scratch-n-sniff cards with the numbers one thru eight laid out in two rows of four. The numbers are amid gray, clock cog-shaped emblems. Already I’m a little disappointed. I thought they had figured out something epic like THX or 3D, but no, it’s scratch-n-sniff.
When the movie began and the first numbered cog was flashed on the screen *SPOILER ALERT* I knew that the scent was supposed to be bacon (at least I think it was, judging by what was on the screen) but when I scratched and smelled my card, it reeked like the swaying palm tree air freshener in a downtown Detroit taxi. So I thought, maybe I didn’t scratch it hard enough. I clawed the card with the same result: taxi air freshener.
The next few numbers all had the same aroma as the first. My son kept handing me his card and asking me to try to scratch it for him because his was “broken.” Frankly, halfway into the movie I began to think that it was a good thing that our cards were aromatically challenged. Some of the things they wanted us to smell did not look pleasant *SPOILER ALERT * like #7’s dog fart (that one had to be for the seven-year-old boys in the audience because my kid tried to sniff it and was disappointed that it didn’t work. I guess they know their demographic).
But even though our aroma cards didn’t work, my seven-year-old wants to see it again. So thumbs up from the junior set. I, however, want to wait until it comes out on DVD.