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

Friday’s openings: Disney vies with deadly ‘West’

After one of the busiest weeks of the year, one in which some half dozen worthy films opened all at once, we return to a bit of quiet, with the mainstream taking the lead. Friday's openings are as follows:

"Maleficent": Angelina Jolie stars as the presumed "evil" fairy who decrees that the young princess (Elle Fanning) will prick her finger on a spinning wheel, thus falling into her long nap. But this is revisionist, live-action Disney, so don't expect a reprise of the 1959 animated effort.

"A Million Ways to Die in the West": Two words — Seth MacFarlane. That's pretty much all you need to know about this comic look at a western town and the many comically dangerous things that the "Family Guy" creator finds funny about the Old West.

Meanwhile, the Magic Lantern picks up two of the more interesting films that screened all of one week at AMC River Park Square, both of which are much better fits for Spokane's only art house:

"Locke": Tom Hardy plays a man driving, driving, driving as he struggles to do what he thinks is right while his life falls apart around him. I'm reminded of the old tagline for the TV series "The Naked City": "There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them."

"Only Lovers Left Alive": Jim Jarmusch makes a vampire film with two of the coolest bloodsuckers imaginable, Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton. Not much happens, but it all happens with … style.