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

Friday’s openings: heaven and other movie tales

According to a Harris Poll conducted in December, some 74 percent of adults in the U.S. believe in the existence of God. Though that percentage is down eight points from previous polls, it still says something about the spiritual energy of a nation that was founded on the notion of a separate church and state.

It also says something about the movies we watch, which this week include among the Spokane-area openings a Christian-sponsored movie titled "God's Not Dead" that, if nothing else, seems to have a "Duck Dynasty" seal of approval.

The week's scheduled openings:

"Divergent": Based on a series of novels written by Veronica Roth, this sci-fi fantasy centers on a young woman named Tris who learns that she is "Divergent" and, therefore, different from regular society. When she learns that she and others are being targeted for extinction, she joins the resistance. Hmmmm, think anyone has read/seen the "Hunger Games" series?

"Muppets Most Wanted": The late Jim Henson's favorite characters return in this jewel-heist caper flick, which stars Rick Gervais, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell. Bonus feature: not one but TWO Kermit the Frogs.

"Tim's Vermeer": Directed by Teller (of the magic duo Penn and Teller), this documentary follows the obsession of technology whiz Tim Jenison for re-creating a painting by the noted artist Johannes Vermeer. No, it's not a magic trick.

"God's Not Dead": A college student and his philosophy professor debate the existence of Father Time. Or something.

And at the Magic Lantern:

"Gloria": A middle-age Chilean woman looks for love in some of the wrong places. Oh, right, that's a different pop song.

"Different Drummers": The Lantern opens this locally made film in what is a second run, following a short premiere recently at the AMC River Park Square.

"20 Feet From Stardom": The Oscar-winning documentary feature, which focuses on the back-up singers for a generation of rock stars, returns for a second run.