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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Wednesday’s openings: Pies and aliens

Updated post: To include the second run of "Belle" at the Magic Lantern.

Our country celebrates a birthday on Friday. By my reckoning (which is always problematic), this would be the 238th.

Before then, however, something even more important occurs: the week's movie openings, which on this holiday weekend have been moved to Wednesday. Those opening are as follows:

"America": Conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza imagines a world in which America didn't exist. From the Daily Beast review by Andrew Romano: "I don’t have the space here to dispute every specious point that D’Souza makes in 'America' or highlight every bit of nonsensical sophistry he employs in order to mask the emptiness of his so-called reasoning. But his acrobatically evasive—and borderline idiotic—treatment of slavery should be enough to convince all but the most closed-minded D’Souzaites that the guy is little more than a slick, self-promotional propagandist." 

"Earth to Echo": An extraterrestrial uses a bunch of preteens to help it find a way home. Uh, sound familiar? Somebody call Steven Spielberg.

"Tammy": A husbandless, jobless Melissa McCarthy hits the road with her grandmother — and becomes a notorious pie thief.

"Deliver Us From Evil": Based on actual paranormal cases investigated by a now-retired NYPD officer. Oh, and guess who is hawking a book about his so-called "based-on-the-real-story" experiences?

And at the Magic Lantern (which opens nothing until Friday):

"Snowpiercer": Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho wrote and directed this post-apocalyptic tale about the last of humanity riding a super-powered train around the world. Think the "Hunger Games" meets "The Orient Express."

"Belle": A mixed-race woman faces 18th-century British prejudice while being raised by her aristocratic relatives. Based on a real person, though the really interesting thing about this movie project can her found by clicking here (it concerns screenplay credit).