It's no secret that I'm cuckoo for the Cocoa Puffs that are IMAX - the large-format movie experience that kicks your home theater's ass, no matter how much you spent on it. Originally, IMAX was a bit of a novelty serving a niche market. It used to be that all you could see was educational films...but 100 feet wide. Then came Everest, the dizzying 1998 docudrama that netted $76 million domestically and another $30 million overseas, and IMAX began to shed its bastard child image. Now, the major studios are tripping over each other to get their features converted for play in IMAX-equpped theaters to enhance their regular box office. This year saw the release of Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire (all from lucky dog Warner Brothers), as well as the immersive Magnificent Desolation: Walking On The Moon in 3-D and the re-release of the 3-D version of the very creepy CGI feature, The Polar Express. Next year get ready for (the 2-D) Poseidon (May 12), Superman Returns (June 30) and The Ant Bully (August 4).

On a side note, before the two Matrix sequels hit in 2003, there was a need to keep IMAX movies under two hours, as the platters at the time would have required an intermission if the film ran longer. This resulted in a version of Ron Howard's Apollo 13 (the first theatrical feature converted for IMAX) that seemed a bit rushed, but this need for brevity actually made for a better version of Star Wars - Episode II: Attack Of The Clones. If only there was a DVD version of that leaner version of the repetitive theatrical version of Clones...

I want you kids to write an essay for me, titled, "Why I Love IMAX" or "Why IMAX Is A Big Waste Of My Allowance".