I may never go swimming again.

This weekend, in a break from the norm, I journeyed into the fringes of the motion picture experience and discovered nature. I mean real life, in your face, duck 'cause here it comes in 3D nature.

I have been to an IMAX theater before. I have seen a 3D movie before. I had never before combined the two experiences. But I have experienced the underwater documentary, Into The Deep, and my life is forever changed.

A brief history. A few years ago, I don't remember exactly, they started building IMAX theaters, movie screens six-stories high, created to show certain films created for this new, exciting format. I saw a production at the Smithsonian a couple years ago, and it's an awe-inspiring sight. Well now, they're making them in a new kind of 3D. Good-bye flimsy plastic geek goggles, hello cool-awesome Devo-retro military night-vision visors. Now we're talking 3-friggin'-D!

So my first foray into this new world was this undersea voyage of discovery. I tell you, there are some things about the bottom of the ocean that man was not meant to know. You ain't lived until you've watched a lobster molt.

OK, let's be honest here, this was a documentary. 35 minutes of some out of work actress doing a voice-over while we watched fish. But damn it, it was captivating. Would it have been as captivating in regular, run of the mill, 2D? Yeah, it would. But when a 4-story Moray Eel lunges at you in 3D, you jump, scream and often times wet yourself.

I want to see what happens when they start making fictional stories for this format on a large scale. There are approximately 150 of these theaters in the world at this time, compared to over 26,000 regular screens in the US alone. But that number will change. The first made-for-IMAX feature, Wings of Courage (with Val Kilmer and Tom Hulce) is already a huge success, and I have every intention of seeing it soon, but IMAX announced last week plans to create an all-new Star Trek adventure with the entire crew of either, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, or The Next Generation. They expect to release it in 18-24 months. Imagine what the hunger for THAT will be!

I tell you, if you have an IMAX theater near you, take advantage of this incredible format and see Into The Deep or Wings of Courage. I mean this is like no other kind of 3D you've ever experienced! Even if you see one of the many 2D versions of an IMAX film, it's still a sight to behold.

About the film itself. Cool. Cool, cool. I have a whole new respect for starfish. When they showed us the mating rituals of whatever kind of squid we were seeing, "Once a year, the Spring Moon brings thousands of these creatures together to mate for the only time that year in an unabashed orgy." I could only think, "Kinda like college." You get to see Sea Lions brushing their teeth, a Sunstar stalk just about anything that gets in its way - sort of like the Alien ships in Independence Day, a Giribaldi Fish do some house cleaning, and a couple of love-lorn Crabs.

Crabs ... cool. They look like something out of a science-fiction movie.

In fact, most of these denizens of the deep are straight out of the most overactive imaginations you can think of. If they haven't been tapped for inspiration yet, they will be soon. Me, I'm gonna make a movie about this all-powerful Sea Anemone, eating away at the fabric of time. Whatdya think, will it sell?

In all, I grant Into The Deep 4 Babylons. Most of those Babylons are as much for the experience as for the film, and for what wonders the future could hold.

Hey Mr. Lucas! You wanna revamp Star Wars one more time? Make it an IMAX 3D flick. Can you imagine...?

Editor's Note:

Ever heard of Dave and Buster's? It's this video arcade for adults, 21 and over, with virtual golf, virtual baseball, virtual reality fighting, pool tables, blackjack tables, shuffle board tables, and a whole bunch of other things! Plus, it's got a great bar. So while you're strapped into this virtual skiing machine, a waitress comes up to you and asks you if you want another Vodka Martini.

We have found heaven.

I'm having all my birthdays there.