Big Boat / Big Laughs

Plus, it does julienne friesWith the launch of “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” at the Ontario Science Centre tomorrow comes the return of the IMAX documentary “Titanica“, which will be moored (berthed?) at the Shoppers Drug Mart OMNIMAX Theatre for the duration of the exhibit.

I was invited to a screening of the movie — and a preview of the exhibit — earlier this week, and it was quite impressive; also fun was the chance to chat with director and producer Stephen Low about the making of the film and the current state of large-format cinema. I don’t usually run interviews in this space, but I’ll try to put a more detailed record of the conversation up over the weekend.

Anyway, if you have even the slightest interest in this sort of thing, the exhibit’s well worth a look, and will be running for the rest of the year. It’s certainly worth your time. The gift shop kind of overdoes it, though.

If you’re looking for a more conventional cinematic experience, there are several of those opening this weekend:

Knocked Up“: Judd Apatow follows “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” with another take on arrested development; this time, it’s Seth Rogen’s slacker who’s jolted into manhood against his will when a one-night stand with TV producer Katherine Heigl leads to an unexpected life commitment. As in his previous film, Apatow delivers a shaggy mess of a movie — in his editing suite, laughs trump spatial coherence every time — that may well be the year’s funniest, sweetest and most pointed social study.

“Mr. Brooks”: After the screening, Adam Nayman summed this up with three simple words: “Not since ‘Dreamcatcher’.” He goes into further detail here, but really, there’s no easier way to convey the absolute batshit-insane quality of Bruce Evans and Raynold Gideon’s fevered serial-killer melodrama … I mean, any film in which William Hurt plays the wisecracking embodiment of Kevin Costner’s psychopathic rage is going to be a little bit different, but then you throw in Demi Moore as a driven police detective worth $60 million (!) and rising comic sensation Dane Cook in a role that could have been played just as well by a golden retriever, and you’ve got something truly crazed. Oh, and I almost forgot the shotgun-wielding meth freaks, and the subplot where Costner worries his daughter might have inherited the Murder Gene, and the thing with the disguise kit … ah, hell, let’s just say I’m glad someone else volunteered to write the Metro review. I could never have done this justice in 300 words.

Rise: Blood Hunter“: Lucy Liu has not had the best luck in building on her “Kill Bill” cred. “Code Name: The Cleaner” was kind of abysmal, and now she gets stuck tromping through in this silly movie about a recently turned vampire who decides to devote her unlife to killing her own kind. Which would be pretty cool, except that writer-director Sebastian Gutierrez (a) can’t write and (b) really can’t direct, so his amazing B-movie cast (listed in the review) just sort of walks around waiting to bite or be bitten. The gore is considerable, and Liu takes her clothes off a lot, so there’s that, but you really do need more than blood ‘n boobs to make a good vampire picture these days.

Severance“: It’s “Deliverance” meets “Office Space”! No, wait, it’s “The Office” meets “Hostel”! No, wait, it’s a corporate training video that runs into all the various Jasons from the “Friday the 13th” series! (Actually, that one has potential.) Unfortunately, what this movie really is is a single joke stretched out to feature length by a director with no evident sense of humor. Not that one can’t make comedies about killing people … just that this one doesn’t actually satirize the things it says it’s satirizing.

Ten Canoes“: If “Mr. Brooks” is a hallucinatory fever dream, “Ten Canoes” is its blissed-out Good Twin. Rolf de Heer’s placid, mesmerizing myth from the Australian Outback is a marvelous fusion of seriously old-school oral narrative and modern cinematography; all it asks of you is that you sit back, relax, and pay attention to the screen.

There are ten movies opening next week.