In the beginning, it sounded like a joke. Posters and trailers for Robert Rodriguez’s latest Spy Kids films claimed that the movie would be presented in 4D, utilizing something called “Aroma-Scope.” What the hell is that? Isn’t 3D bad enough? We’ve heard of in-theater gimmicks that interact with the audience, and of course there are D-Box simulators that attempt to move and shake audience members to try and extend the movie sensation. But Aroma-Scope is the first attempt since 2003's Rugrats Gone Wild to bring back a gimmick once known as Smell-o-Vision, one we weren't necessarily in a hurry to revive.

A source who attended a very early screening of Spy Kids: All the Time in the World told me about the scratch-and-sniff cards they had to use during the presentation, and it hit me that Rodriguez really was going to try and break another dimension by bringing a scented component to theaters showing his movie.

The stars of the film commented on Rodriguez’s truly bizarre plan while attending the red carpet premiere. To the surprise of no one, they all thought it was great. “I think it shows you Robert’s childlike imagination, that it makes the movie that much more of an event and something fun to do for the kids, and there are going to be some smelly smells,” Joel McHale, who apparently smells like lavender in the film, tells The Hollywood Reporter. Co-stars Jessica Alba and Danny Trejo also praised the “technology,” and heralded their director’s genius.

Great. Sounds like fun. Because as a parent bringing your child to a 3D movie, you need another object to juggle on top of the popcorn, soda and 3D glasses your kids are sick of carrying. Can you imagine how confusing it’s going to be as kids try to scratch and sniff a card at the right moment in the film? At least, that’s how I think this is going to work. I’m sure our very own Mack Rawden will have the skinny in his Spy Kids 4D review, which we’ll have up on the site later this week. At least now we’ll understand that if he simply says, “It stinks,” he might be referencing something entirely different.

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