'Spy Kids 4' Really Smells ... On Purpose

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The director of the fourth "Spy Kids" movie wants people to be able to smell the action.

Good luck with that.

Remember Smell-O-Vision? That was an attempt 50 years ago to introduce smells into the movie-going experience. It involved a system that strategically released different scents into the theater, cued by the movie's soundtrack.

The smells came with a distracting hissing noise, and people in the balcony often complained the smells reached them too late. Or not at all. This caused audience members to sniff loudly to catch the faint whiffs.

Robert Rodriguez swears it will be different this time. The director of "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4-D" tells USA Today his fragrant plans doesn't rely on fancy machines that can go horribly awry. He's using good old-fashioned scratch 'n' sniff technology.

Everyone who goes to the movie will be given a card to smell at the appropriate time. The movie will tell you when.

The movie follows baby-toting spy mom Jessica Alba as she and her twin stepchildren save the universe. Wait a minute. Baby-toting? Let's hope there isn't a scratch 'n' sniff card for that.

Rodriguez admits he's always appreciated the often-cheesy artistry behind B-movie showmanship.

"After 'Spy Kids 3,' I had to do something new, add another surprise," the director tells USA Today.

It was fun making the movie, he adds, especially keeping his smelly plans a secret. He didn't even tell his actors.

"I had actors smelling things on set," he tells USA Today, "but they never questioned it."

He adds that the cards will work a lot better than Smell-O-Vision.

"It's very fun and interactive since you never know where and when a smell will come next," he says. "It adds a lot of extra laughs."

His Aromascope idea has been a bit hit in testing screenings, he tells USA Today. Will it work with nationwide audiences when the movie opens Aug. 10?

"You never know," he says. "It would be great if it caught on and everyone started doing it."

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.